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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Forgetful Jones on June 08, 2016, 05:09:13 AM

Title: Tempo Changes
Post by: Forgetful Jones on June 08, 2016, 05:09:13 AM
This may end up being a short thread, but I thought it may be a fun idea to list some country blues where the player(s) intentionally switch tempos in the song. I'm not talking about the gradual build up in speed that often occurs. I'm interested in tunes that were composed with varying tempos.

I recently added some Little Hat Jones to my library. Outside of one or two tracks I had on comps, I wasn't familiar with much of his material. When I heard "Corpus Blues" what jumped out at me was the switch in pace from the intro to the main body of the song. The intro is quick and lively, but LHJ really slows things down when the verses begin. The pace picks back up when he gets to the outro as well. Pretty cool stuff.

I'm wondering if anyone has other examples of this.

Cheers!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvxuuYeMhtc
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Blind Arthur on June 08, 2016, 05:35:30 AM
This is normal for Little Hat Jones ;) during the same sessions, he accompanied singer Texas Alexander, and I think every title of these sessions begins with an uptempo introduction.
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: harry on June 08, 2016, 07:21:13 AM
Hard Road Blues - Blind Blake. I think he has more songs with a tempo switch.

http://youtu.be/D5noEJMVc_E
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Prof Scratchy on June 08, 2016, 11:33:34 AM
Yes indeed, harry! Blake was always switching tempo. My favourite (of many) is what he does on Night and Day Blues:
http://youtu.be/atu9v8W9h2Q
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: joe paul on June 09, 2016, 01:20:02 AM
Absolutely agree for Night and Day Blues, it really swings, a knock-out tune.
I like the way his One Time Blues (in A) jumps into double-time just for a couple of bars towards the end.

http://youtu.be/TynQU87zlDI

Any others come to mind?

Gordon
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: joe paul on June 09, 2016, 01:24:06 AM
Stonewall Street Blues too. Not as hair-raising as Night and Day Blues, but still great. Especially the last verse.
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Parlor Picker on June 09, 2016, 02:22:56 AM
Another of Blake's which has been in Roger Hubbard's repertoire for many years is Detroit Bound Blues. Like all the songs he plays, he never plays them the same way twice and I've heard him do some hundreds of times - each performance is unique. On Detroit Bound he frequently inserts different licks and runs but is always true to the spirit of the original. Here's an early recording - it's at around 18.10:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGNGAw7-7e0
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: oddenda on June 09, 2016, 04:04:13 AM
St. Louis Blues... built in to the tune!

pbl
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Forgetful Jones on June 09, 2016, 04:20:33 AM
Oh yeah, of course Blind Blake. Tootie Blues was the first one I can recall hearing that had that double-time bit. What a sportin' right thumb!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j58x_6QqAwg
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Prof Scratchy on June 09, 2016, 04:45:27 AM
Peter...the Jim and Bob version? Yes indeed.


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Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Parlor Picker on June 09, 2016, 07:03:19 AM
Peter...the Jim and Bob version? Yes indeed.

Yes, the Genial Hawaiians! That track on a Yazoo compilation introduced me to their work.
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Johnm on June 09, 2016, 08:18:14 AM
Hi all,
On some of the Blake tunes, "Hard Road", for example, Blake does not actually change his tempo, but instead changes his subdivision of the beat.  In that song, his prevailing feel is four beats per measure, each with an underlying triplet.  When he goes into his little rhythmic breaks, the tempo remains constant, you can tap your foot right through the change, but what he does do is switch to dividing each beat into four sixteenth notes rather than a triplet.  It sure is a neat effect.  Other players who similarly switch from an underlying triple subdivision of the beat to an underlying duple or quadruple subdivision of the beat include Bo Carter, Robert Johnson, Big Joe Williams and Skip James.
An interesting result of switching from a "swung" eighth note, underlying triplet feel to a "straight eighth" division of the beat, is that the straight eighth division of the beat into two equal parts ends up sounding intensely syncopated, and almost drunken.  Bo Carter achieved this effect on his song "Pretty Baby", where he played straight eighth notes under his singing, but switched to an underlying triplet feel for his instrumental fills.
All best,
Johnm   
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: jpeters609 on June 09, 2016, 08:29:16 AM
Does the intro to William Harris' "Bullfrog Blues" fit the bill? Either way, it sure is satis-mamlish-fying...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNwzCcTRh0w
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: harry on June 09, 2016, 10:24:37 AM
Thanks Parlor Picker for introducing me to Roger Hubbard.  Brighton Belle Blues is another masterpiece in the Blue Goose catalogue.
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Parlor Picker on June 10, 2016, 03:47:43 AM
Thanks Parlor Picker for introducing me to Roger Hubbard.  Brighton Belle Blues is another masterpiece in the Blue Goose catalogue.

That was recorded a long time ago! Check out his recent album "If I Had a Dollar" at his website: rogerhubbard.co.uk.

Roger has always been one of the most natural singers/guitarists around with incredible technical ability and a great feel for this music.
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Lyndvs on June 10, 2016, 04:50:55 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MitU9Cy0iJ0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MitU9Cy0iJ0)

Sleepy John.
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: banjochris on June 10, 2016, 09:00:56 AM
I see your "Vernita Blues" and raise you Fiddlin' John Carson's "Swanee River." This is incidentally one of my favorite old-time recordings.

https://youtu.be/shus55CzzDw
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Lyndvs on June 10, 2016, 11:27:26 AM
Well,I fold!.Amazing stuff  hadn`t heard that in years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRtKSrpT71E (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRtKSrpT71E)

I will offer up a little Charley though,hopefully to save face a little. :)
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: banjochris on June 10, 2016, 03:00:43 PM
That's a great one, and reminds me of Blind Willie Johnson's (and later Lead Belly's) "Let Your Light Shine on Me."
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Forgetful Jones on June 11, 2016, 06:25:59 PM
I had never heard Estes's Vernita Blues or Carson's Swanee River before. Both are great!

I Shall Not Be Moved - Haven't heard that one in a while. Also Great.

I just discovered this tune recently:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIPG2cOQPAk

Recorded in 1897!!!! Wow. I had no clue. I love the way they slow it down and dive into that minor key. I listened to this probably 25 times in a row today. I'm struggling deciphering what they are saying though. One day soon I'll attempt to write down what I can and add to the lyrics section. I may need to look up some other versions of the song for help with the words.
Apparently they recorded another tune in 1897 "Who Broke the Lock," but it doesn't turn up on YouTube, eMusic, iTunes, Amazon or anywhere else I've looked (digitally).
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: sam on June 12, 2016, 06:11:47 PM
both Cousins and DeMoss tracks appear on  Lost Sounds compilation on archeophone.
hear a snippet here, well worth the price of admission: https://archeophone.com/artists/c/sam-cousins-ed-demoss/ (https://archeophone.com/artists/c/sam-cousins-ed-demoss/)
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Mr. Crump on June 15, 2016, 12:33:52 AM
Forgetful Jones, that is a beautiful, intense performance! I am glad to learn about Cousins and DeMoss -- thank you for that.

The song may be related to the more familiar gospel song "Poor Mourner's Found a Home," and that might help to decipher the lyrics. However, if there is a relationship, I can't hear it.

If I am hearing the words correctly, and if I am not letting my Frank Stokes obsession get the better of me, this older spiritual seems to be one of the sources for Stokes's "You Shall." That is, it seems to be the source for the title and the hymn in the last verse. "And the good Lord set me free." I just checked and it still sounds to me as though Stokes is saying "pray mourner" rather than "poor mourner."

Did everyone else already know this?
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Forgetful Jones on June 21, 2016, 04:57:13 PM
Sam- Thanks for the heads up on the Lost Sounds comp. Definitely seems worth picking up.

Mr. Crump - Sounds like "Poor Mourner" did the same thing for you as it did for me. I'm still pretty mesmerized by the performance as well. I listened to "You Shall" a bunch last night, while checking out the lyrics in the Stokes thread here. Man that song got bumped up to one of my favorites. "Had to fight about it...but he owed me... my money"  So good!
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Stuart on June 21, 2016, 07:32:19 PM
Sam- Thanks for the heads up on the Lost Sounds comp. Definitely seems worth picking up.

There's also the book by the same name which I highly recommend:

http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/82bnq3sk9780252028502.html

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Sounds-Recording-Industry-1890-1919/dp/025207307X

Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: oddenda on June 22, 2016, 12:05:00 AM
Definitely a worthy book, as is the CD of examples with the same name issued on Archaeophone.

pbl
Title: Re: Tempo Changes
Post by: Mr. Crump on June 22, 2016, 01:15:07 PM
There is a really excellent discussion of the relationship between "Poor Mourner" and "You Shall" in Paul Oliver, Screening the Blues. I had not seen it before.

Oliver thinks that the actual title of Stokes's song is "You Shall Be Free." That sounds dubious to me. One of the most distinctive things about Stokes's song is the way he clips the phrase "You shall" in the chorus and does not complete the sentence until the final verse.

What I found most surprising in Oliver's discussion is that the association of "Poor Mourner" with "Run, N--, Run" is very old. The songs have been fused since before the Civil War, apparently. The association makes sense, I guess, if you consider that "Run, N--, Run" was a slave song before it was a minstrel song. In other words, a song about a runaway slave eluding capture would have been sung together with a hymn of emancipation.
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