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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: SpikeDriver on July 09, 2006, 05:23:12 PM

Title: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: SpikeDriver on July 09, 2006, 05:23:12 PM
Because of my limited singing, I was thinking of working up a list of instrumentals.

Here are a few that came to mind.

Blind Arthur's Breakdown - Blake
Old Country Rock - W.Moore
Guitar Rag - Sylvester Weaver
Dark was the Night - BWJ
So. Carolina Rag - Willie Walker

Of course there are plenty more, just wondering if anyone had some real favorites.

Thanks
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Pan on July 10, 2006, 01:06:01 AM
Big Bill Broonzy:

-House Rent Stomp
-Guitar Shuffle.

Broonzy also arranged fine instrumental choruses with the melodies on many of his songs, so you could easily treat them as instrumentals if you wished, for example "I Gets the Blues when it Rains" or "Glory of Love".

Cheers

Pan

Edited to add: I have absolutely fantastic live solo guitar arrangements of both House Rent Stomp and Guitar Shuffle on an old blues guitar double-LP compilation by the French Vogue label. I believe the Vogue recordings are now also available in CD, and are in fact discussed here: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=88&topic=1530.0.

By the way, has anyone heard the Amsterdam recordings yet? A review would be brilliant!
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: GerryC on July 10, 2006, 02:09:59 AM
Hi Spike.
From Broonzy again - Saturday Night Rub and Pig Meat Strut (which deserve outings for their titles alone!); Rev Davis' - and others' - version of Cincinatti Flow Rag/Slow Drag. For slide, I too play the splendid Guitar Rag by Sylvester Weaver, but I couple it with an arrangement of Vestapol, which I also play (partially) with a slide. You can hear an mp3 of this whole arrangement on my website www.gerrycoopermusic.co.uk  I also like Grossman's Slow Blues in C, which pulls together a lot of Blind Blake licks,and Steve James' arrangement of Buddy Bolden's Blues, which is related to the rather more complicated St Louis Tickle. William Brown's Mississippi Blues also makes for a great instrumental, especially if you can persuade someone else to 'second' on another guitar.

Cheerily,

Gerry C
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: tenderfoot84 on July 10, 2006, 06:10:20 AM
One of my favourite blues guitar instrumentals is "Spanish Blues" by Lewis Black. It's a very rough round the edges recording and Black's moaning "vocal" is supreme.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Parlor Picker on July 10, 2006, 06:38:49 AM
... and speaking of "moaning vocals", there's always the superb "Dark Was the Night..." from Blind Willie Johnson.

Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: outfidel on July 12, 2006, 01:00:33 PM
I love Bayless Rose's "Jamestown Exhibition", which you'll find on American Primitive Vol. II (http://www.revenantrecords.com/?section=releases&cd_ident=17). It's one of those C-A7-D7-G7 pieces with lots of neat variations.

Another favorite is all the variations of "Buckdancer's Choice" by Sam McGee, Mississippi John Hurt, Merle Travis, et al.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: GerryC on July 16, 2006, 05:38:32 AM
And one that I forgot: Spanish Fandango. There are many variations on this tune (and title!) but it's nice to have something in 3/4 (or 6/8, depending on the version) to drop into a set where four-time is predominant. Steve James has a great version of this tune - plus an interesting history - in his Roots and Blues book/CD combo, available from the Acoustic Guitar magazine website. (Stef Jam's book is full of other goodies too.)

Cheerily,

Gerry C
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: dave stott on July 21, 2006, 04:35:47 AM
one of my favorites right now, while it wasn't originally an instrumental.

Is Ernie Hawkins version of Cocaine off of his Blues Advice CD....
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: GhostRider on July 21, 2006, 05:01:56 AM
Howdy:

Possibly the most influencial CB instrumental of all time, and my favorite, "West Coast Blues" by Blind Blake.

Swing your partner,
Alex
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Blue in VT on February 21, 2008, 07:33:15 AM
Howdy all,

I'm looking for a few suggestions of tunes to work on in the future.  As I've been playing for a couple of years now things are starting to come a bit faster for me and I would like to have a few things lines up to work on over the coming months.  That said...I'm not much of a singer....yet....I hope... :P and so I've really enjoyed learning instrumental pieces or songs where the guitar can stand alone if nec.  So I would love to hear what you all consider to be your favorite instrumental blues.  And if there is learning material out there for the tunes a reference would be very beneficial.  Time period doesn't matter nor does region.  Though I'm starting to mess around with slide tunes...they are no my strong point yet...so lets stick to non-slide tunes for now.

Thanks all!!!

Cheers,

Blue
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: daddystovepipe on February 21, 2008, 08:05:46 AM
Lonnie Johnson has some great instrumentals.
My favorite is "Away Down in the Alley Blues" or "Blues in my Fingers".
They are both transcribed in this Stefan Grossman book about Lonnie's playing.
http://guitarvideos.com/books/F3346.htm
Even the solo's and fills of his songs with vocals are very usable to construct instrumental pieces.
Cheers,
Carl
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 21, 2008, 08:10:05 AM
Well, dang, Blue, I was just going to suggest slide tunes. One thing's for sure: there will be a whole lot more to choose from. Might be a good time to make it a stronger point.

Not slide:

Stocktime (Buck Dance) - Mississippi John Hurt (he does sing a couple sort-of verses at the end of the version on The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt, but other versions are instrumental). This is a nifty, simple little instrumental IMO, that nobody plays.

Etta Baker - Check out the CD One Dime Blues. Lots of instrumentals, somewhat in the Piedmont style, with rags, blues, instrumental versions of classics like John Henry, Bully of the Town. Laid back guitar picking. There's also a DVD lesson from Homespun Tapes which I haven't seen. There's also a CD of duets with Taj Mahal.

Many of my favourite instrumentals are either slide tunes (Tampa Red, Sylvester Weaver) or by Rev. Gary Davis. Those are probably not what you're looking for.

Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 21, 2008, 08:41:36 AM
Thought of a couple others.

Bayless Rose - on the Document Ragtime Guitar CD: Jamestown Exhibition.

Jamestown is actually available in a slightly better remaster on the CD Old-Time Mountain Guitar, which is a great CD, leaning towards the hillbilly side of things. It's a CD with a bunch of great instrumentals: Sam McGee's Buck Dancer's Choice, David Miller's Jailhouse Rag. Though a number of the others are duets, and involve slide. 

Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: CF on February 21, 2008, 08:51:17 AM
'Jackson Stomp' by the Mississippi Mud Steppers is really good . . .
Bill Monroe's 'Tennessee Blues' is a monster . . . 
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Blue in VT on February 21, 2008, 09:01:48 AM
Great suggestions so far...I love all the differnt versions of Buck Dance ThatI have come across and MJH's is one of my all time Favs.

I guess I wouldn't mind slide tunes as well...that way its a more universal list of instrumntals and not just ones I'm intersted in at the moment.

Thanks ya'll keep'em coming!

Blue
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Johnm on February 21, 2008, 09:04:27 AM
Hi Blue,
A couple of other good ones:
   *Mance Lipscomb's "Boogie in A", played out of dropped-D tuning
   *Libba Cotten's "Vestapol" and "Honey Babe, Your Papa Cares For You", plus many hymns in Spanish:  "When I Get Home", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling", "'Til We Meet Again"
   *Sam McGee's "Franklin Blues" and "Buckdancer's Choice"
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Slack on February 21, 2008, 09:12:03 AM
Spanish Flang Dang (The Spanish Fandango) I know Mance Lipscomb and Elizabeth Cotten did versions, probably a bunch of others did as well.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Slack on February 21, 2008, 09:13:45 AM
Oops, I see from the other thread you are already playing it!  :D
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: outfidel on February 21, 2008, 09:14:09 AM
Here are two of my all-time favorite ragtime blues instrumentals that I hope to be able play...someday...

Rev Gary Davis - "Slow Drag" aka "Cincinnati Flow Rag" (Ernie Hawkins teaches this one on his new DVD)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Hbuf6FEoY

Merle Travis - "Cannonball Rag" (Marcel Dadi teaches this one on his Guitar Workshop DVD)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSk4loi6zTc
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: GhostRider on February 21, 2008, 09:26:44 AM
A great source of CB instrumentals is Big Bill Broonzy. Some that stand out for me are "Saturday Night Rub", "House Rent Stomp". Lots of others (memory?).

Alex
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Pan on February 21, 2008, 09:50:57 AM
Check out: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=2453.0

Cheers

Pan
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 21, 2008, 09:59:47 AM
Since Pan (thanks Pan!) dug up a thread with exactly the same subject matter and some good recommendations from the earlier thread, I have merged the two threads.

BTW, one of my favourite instrumentals happened to come on iTunes just now: Jesse Fuller's Fingerbuster.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Blue in VT on February 21, 2008, 10:32:16 AM
Awesome Andrew...thanks for combining the threads....cheers to you pan for finding it again!

outfidel...thanks for those clips...I know that RGD has alot of great instrumentals....and that Merle Travis tune is AWESOME....I've not ventured into his music yet but this may make me want to!

Ghost...I think Big Bill has many tunes that can be played as instrumentals and hope to pick up Woody Mann's DVD lesson of his stuff...

Slack...I've been trying to get Libba version of Spanish Flang Dang for a week or two...simple song to play...hard song to get the feel just right.  Of course I think thats true of most of these songs.  I would love to learn both Mance's and MJH's versions...anyone know if there is TAB for Hurt's Version anywhere?

John M...Thanks for the great list...I think the many of Libba's tunes are great instrumentals...I would love to learn "Ontario Blues" one of these days as well.  And its funny that you should mention Mance's "Boogie in A"  I think this is my favorite Lipscomb tune and I WILL master it someday....I'm dropping you a PM about it.

Others of my favorites are the many versions of Vestapol etc., some of Mance's other instrumentals like...Sentimental Piece in G etc...Scrapper Blackwell has a number of good ones...like A Blues.

On the modern side of things I really like Paul Asbell's Chunky Monkey Gumbo, Hawkin's Potato head blues and Lightnin's Hideaway.

We've got a Great list going here!

Cheers,

Blue

Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: frankie on February 21, 2008, 12:53:50 PM
David Miller's "Cannonball Rag" is also good - he's got a nice touch...   That's on Times Ain't Like They Used To Be, Vol. 7.  On Old-Time Mountain Guitar (an excellent CD!) there's a recording of Spanish Fandango by John Dilleshaw and the String Marvel that would stand pretty well as a solo piece.  It's purty - and kinda distinctive sounding.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Stuart on February 21, 2008, 01:13:49 PM
there's a recording of Spanish Fandango by John Dilleshaw and the String Marvel that would stand pretty well as a solo piece.  It's purty - and kinda distinctive sounding.

John Fahey did it as "Hawaiian Two-Step" with uke accompaniment, and solo as "Spanish Two-Step."
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Rivers on February 21, 2008, 08:49:49 PM
Good topic. It would be fun to put them all into a table. We will have the perfect new repository for such things very soon.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Rivers on February 21, 2008, 08:50:43 PM
Guitar Rag, Sylvester Weaver, later known as Steel Guitar Rag
Twelve Sticks, Rev. Gary Davis
Alma Waltz, Mississippi Mud Steppers
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: dj on February 22, 2008, 04:35:25 AM
They're both duets, so not quite what Blue in VT is looking for, but two of my favorite country blues instrumentals are "Guitar Stomp" and "Railroad Stomp" by the Jolly Two - Walter Roland and Sonny Scott on guitars.  The songs are both on Document CD 5144:  Walter Roland Volume 1.  I have to say, if I were being shot off into space and there was only room on the spacecraft for 10 blues CDs, this would be one of them.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: frankie on February 22, 2008, 04:58:17 AM
Sylvester Weaver

He's actually a good source of instrumentals, many of which have interesting & distinctive melodies.  The following are all on vol 1 (Document) and are all instrumentals:

Guitar Blues
Guitar Rag (twice)
Weaver's Blues
Smoketown Strut
Mixing Them Up In C
I'm Busy And You Can't Come In
Steel String Blues
Six-String Banjo Piece
Damfino Stump

Guitar Blues, Guitar Rag and Steel String Blues are all played with a slide, so probably not what you're after - Steel String Blues is actually a trio - two guitars and fiddle.  The others are all solo pieces.  Mike Seeger recently recorded Smoketown Strut.  I think there are some really nice ones in there...  and they're not quite the technical challenge of a Lonnie Johnson or Blind Blake piece, while still being fun to play & interesting music...  worth checking out!
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 23, 2008, 12:29:48 PM
Sylvester Weaver

He's actually a good source of instrumentals, many of which have interesting & distinctive melodies.  The following are all on vol 1 (Document) and are all instrumentals:

Guitar Blues
Guitar Rag (twice)
Weaver's Blues
Smoketown Strut
Mixing Them Up In C
I'm Busy And You Can't Come In
Steel String Blues
Six-String Banjo Piece
Damfino Stump

Guitar Blues, Guitar Rag and Steel String Blues are all played with a slide, so probably not what you're after - Steel String Blues is actually a trio - two guitars and fiddle.  The others are all solo pieces.  Mike Seeger recently recorded Smoketown Strut.  I think there are some really nice ones in there...  and they're not quite the technical challenge of a Lonnie Johnson or Blind Blake piece, while still being fun to play & interesting music...  worth checking out!

Good point, Frank. I had mentioned Sylvester Weaver, but said that he might not do because of the slide factor. As you point out, though, he has quite a lot that are not slide pieces - more raggy instrumentals. Damfino Stump is one I've always meant to work out, though I'd really prefer to work it out on a 6-string banjo.  :P

Another musician who has quite a number of great instrumentals spread over his recording career is John Jackson. They are some of my favorites in fact. Some are quite technically advanced but that shouldn't stop anyone from trying...

Some of John's instrumentals (not including banjo instrumentals):

Guitar Rag
John's Guitar Boogie
John's Rag
Flat Foot and Buck Dance
Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
John's Ragtime
Knife Blues
Blind Blake's Rag
Fairfax Station Rag
Rappahannock Blues
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 26, 2008, 08:40:01 AM
A couple people mentioned Mance Lipscomb's Boogie in A and Spanish Flang Dang earlier. Mance has quite a number of instrumentals.

There is also Sentimental Piece in G (which isn't particularly sentimental). And also Rag in F, which is a nice one. There are several others:

Rag in G
Blues in G
Mr Tom's Rag
Rag in A
Missouri Waltz
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Blue in VT on February 26, 2008, 10:33:21 AM
Thanks for mentioning that Andrew...I think that Mance is a very underrated instrumental player.  There is a sizable amouont of educational material out there on Mance's music but it is almost all about his songs.  In fact the only Instrumentals that I have been able to find TAB for are "Rag in G" and "Rag in A" both of which are on the excellent DVDs by Ernie Hawkins....and Frankly Mance's Rags...all sound the same just in different keys...they are may least favorite of his instrumentals.  In the back of my head I dream of someday producing some instructional material covering this overlooked subject....But I'm a long way from being able to do that.

I also "rediscovered" the excellent instrumentals of Richard Hacksaw Harney the other day while driving into work.  I would love to be able to play "Delta Eagle" some day!

Cheers,

Blue
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 26, 2008, 10:50:13 AM
Yes, Rag in A and Rag in G seem to be the same. I think the one that has the best sound, probably because it is out of F and therefore doesn't sound as typical, is Rag in F. A bit repetitive itself, but fun and open to playing around with it.

Hacksaw is a great one. Wouldn't we all like to play like him.
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: uncle bud on February 26, 2008, 12:39:34 PM
Just had another one come up on the old computer speakers.

No Time at All - Tarheel Slim, from the album of the same name. Sounds like it's in Vestapol (no slide).
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Johnm on January 27, 2013, 04:57:01 PM
Hi all,
Buddy Boy Hawkins' "A Rag" is a great one in this category, though it has a spoken commentary as does William Moore's "Old Country Rock".  Jesse Thomas had a great one from his post-War recordings called "Melody in C" that I've never heard covered.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: DrHepcat on January 29, 2013, 04:27:36 AM
Boogie Woogie Dance-Tampa Red?!
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: JohnLeePimp on January 29, 2013, 11:01:14 AM
Burk Holmes' Piece - Herlin Holts

Bud Grant's Grunt - Bud Grant

Instrumental Piece 1 - Buddy Moss
Title: Re: Country Blues Instrumentals
Post by: Johnm on January 29, 2013, 04:24:09 PM
Nice choice, DrHepcat, and welcome to Weenie Campbell!

John Lee, I was just listening to "Burk Holmes' Piece" the other night.  That's a great one!
All best,
Johnm
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