WeenieCampbell.com

Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Prof Scratchy on February 16, 2007, 08:43:51 AM

Title: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Prof Scratchy on February 16, 2007, 08:43:51 AM
A digression - but who can add to the list: Leadbelly; Henry Townsend; Skip James; Blind Blake; Peetie Wheatstraw....i.e. guitarists who played piano / pianists who played guitar??? I recently saw Ernie Hawkins in Glasgow and he was doing a guitar version of Skip James' piano piece "If you haven't any hay". Good version - though the piano version (in fact anything Skip did on piano) is just a knockout. There seems to be so much to say about blues piano...not many folk musics where the piano is such a feature from day one of the tradition? And the variety of regional styles is just about as rich as the guitar repertoire. Maybe needs its own area?? Or forum?
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: blueshome on February 16, 2007, 10:44:33 AM
Lightnin' Hopkins - piano and pipe organ!
Otis Spann played a little guitar.
Tampa Red
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Pan on February 16, 2007, 10:50:52 AM
Here's a video of Roosevelt Sykes playing the guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfiqe45Hix4

I didn't know he did until I saw it!

 :)

Pan
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: waxwing on February 16, 2007, 10:53:25 AM
Well, this discussion is doing fine in the Fora we have.-G-

Hey Scratch, I don't see how any discussion of Country Blues Piano wouldn't fall into either "Weenie Campbell Main Forum - Anything and Everything Country Blues" or "Country Blues Licks and Lessons - Discuss Country Blues Licks & Playing Tips, Plus Instruction in Audio, Video, Tab and More" or possibly "Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos - Discuss the Instruments Used in Playing Country Blues" (altho' I don't think a discussion on the piano tonewoods that get that "authentic" sound is gonna draw much disciussion -G-).

None of these fora are guitar specific and guitar doesn't appear in their titles, except the last, which is obviously our all inclusive "gear" board. I have long been encouraging blues discussion for other instruments and I welcome this recent show of interest in piano discussion. So have at it! Why not start a thread in Licks and Lessons on that Walter Davis arrangement you are trying to work out, discussing why he sounds so distinctive? Or how 'bout a discussion in the Main Forum on whether piano players prefer to learn note for note arrangements or just get the chords and improvise? It's time for all the lurking piano blues players to come together on this and the fora already exist to contain these discussions. And don't forget to add a "piano" tag to the threads you start. I'm not a piano player and it would be hypocritical for me to start these discussions.

I've split this thread off and we'll see how it flies.

All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 16, 2007, 11:58:12 AM
Otis Spann played a little guitar.
Yeah, I have a couple of mid-60s tracks somewhere on which he accompanies himself quite acceptably on acoustic.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 16, 2007, 12:14:35 PM
Bukka White's amazing keyboard pounding on Drunken Man (Takoma) or Sugar Hill and Single Man Blues (Arhoolie) were once the most listened to tracks. Must revisit them and see whether it was youthful exhuberance of the shock of the new clouding my judgement. ;D
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Richard on February 16, 2007, 01:58:47 PM

Prof, I think your recent foray, on piano has reminded us of the fact that piano players made huge contributions to country blues. I also want to quickly mention Calvin who joined recently and is a very promising young pianist, I think it's really great that somebody his age likes the music so much.

I'm digressing  :o  so since the piano subject is now being aired, this is maybe a good time (as Waxy suggests) to garner some opinion on the idea of a dedicated piano corner somewhere on the forum where pianists can make the odd post without being, shall I say, overshadowed by the guitar element.

It strikes me that if the likes of "Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos" can warrant a board then surely the piano must deserve a mention, possibly a simple solution would be to rename that to "Piano, Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos" which would do the trick - at least we would then be acknowledging the instrument.

So to reiterate Waxy's call, any pianists out there who are lurking quietly now is the time to voice your opinion.

By the way, are there any other sites which cater for piano in the idiom of country blues as we like it?
 
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: banjochris on February 16, 2007, 02:57:04 PM
I'll add Lonnie Johnson to the list -- I love Lonnie's piano playing, even though he pretty much sticks with the one arrangement. Also, I believe Scrapper Blackwell played piano. Oh, and Rev. Gary Davis.
Chris
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: uncle bud on February 16, 2007, 05:24:47 PM
I was just listening to Scrapper playing piano today behind Brooks Berry on the Juke. He does several himself as well. I really like his simple style of playing.

Blind Blake actually played piano (rather unconvincingly as I recall, certainly compared to his guitar-playing) on a track or two, didn't he? Can't remember which right now.

Just to clarify a point here, the different forums on Weenie are not instrument specific. Personally, I'd love to hear more piano-playing weenies follow Calvin's lead and post on the Back Porch. Discussions of specific pianists etc. are always welcome -- and strongly encouraged! -- in the main forum and have occurred there, like this one about guitarists playing piano. I've personally learned a lot about blues pianists through the many CDs of piano players that have been added to the Juke the past couple years.

There are quite a few members here who are not players as well. Weenie is a country blues forum, welcoming all comers whether they play guitar, piano, phono-fiddle, or hambone, or whether they play 78s, LPs and CDs.

Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Pan on March 02, 2007, 04:09:47 PM
As Bunker Hill allready mentioned, Bukka White could play the piano too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ5hy8x4q3I

Cheers

Pan
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Parlor Picker on March 03, 2007, 01:43:46 AM
Although not heard on record (well it takes him about 30 years to get around to recording a follow-up), Roger Hubbard is no slouch on the old joanna.  He's recently written a couple of new blues on piano, entitled "I'm Stuck" and "Too Little, Too Late".  Great pounding, mean, barrelhouse piano - well it sounded like that at his house in a little Sussex village... Hope he gets them recorded before too long - I'm already on the case nagging him. ;)

Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: banjochris on March 04, 2007, 12:49:13 AM
I just thought of another one from the 78 era... Walter Roland.
Chris
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Johnm on March 05, 2007, 04:47:05 PM
Hi all,
Pete Franklin, like Scrapper, was an Indianapolis guitarist who also played piano.  I believe that Curtis Jones started out as a guitarist in Texas and only ever actually recorded guitar on his Prestige Bluesville release from the '60s.  Catch me if I'm wrong on this, please, Bunker Hill, because I'm not at all sure.
all best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Bunker Hill on March 05, 2007, 11:27:56 PM
I believe that Curtis Jones started out as a guitarist in Texas and only ever actually recorded guitar on his Prestige Bluesville release from the '60s.  Catch me if I'm wrong on this, please, Bunker Hill, because I'm not at all sure.
Yep, that's what he said in interview. He was in Britain in 1963 and recorded an album here for Decca on which he accompanies himself with guitar on a couple of songs. There's a Val Wilmer photo of him playing the instrument at one of the gigs at the time.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Johnm on January 04, 2008, 09:56:11 PM
Hi all,
Clifford Gibson accompanied Ed Bell on piano on the song "Tooten Out", and showed a very clean technique and beautiful tone, showing many of the same qualities he had on guitar.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Parlor Picker on January 05, 2008, 02:10:43 AM
Although not heard on record (well it takes him about 30 years to get around to recording a follow-up), Roger Hubbard is no slouch on the old joanna.  He's recently written a couple of new blues on piano, entitled "I'm Stuck" and "Too Little, Too Late".  Great pounding, mean, barrelhouse piano - well it sounded like that at his house in a little Sussex village... Hope he gets them recorded before too long - I'm already on the case nagging him. ;)



The album is out (called "Out of my Hands"), but almost as expected, Hubbard wigged out and recorded them on guitar.  "I'm Stuck" features some funky electric slide.

Roger's website is currently in a state of transition, so you can't order the album there.  Anyone desperate for a copy (it's far from a pure blues album, featuring mostly "singer/songwriter" type stuff, but has plenty slide guitar and mandolin.  One track "Tin Star" is a 12-string slide instrumental) can send me a personal message and I'll put you in touch with Roger (his abode is also in a state of transition at the moment).
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Johnm on February 21, 2011, 04:37:49 PM
Hi all,
I believe Paul Geremia falls into this category, though I don't know how much piano he has played in recent years.  Ann Rabson also plays both instruments well. 
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: hortig78rpm on February 21, 2011, 10:00:17 PM
lonnie johnson, isaac youngblood,tampa red,t-bone walker,forest city joe( harmonica),
just to name some other guitarists

regards
mike
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: oddenda on February 22, 2011, 03:21:03 AM
Tarheel Slim, Henry Johnson were a couple I recorded on piano.

pbl
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Shovel on February 22, 2011, 04:10:28 AM
i'd be willing to bet that in a way similar to how we only got a sliver of 'blues' from performers who surely had much wider-ranging repertoires, we also only got a slice of their instrumental talents .. i'd bet many if not most of the highly skilled blues guitarists played more than one instrument. too bad we cant know for sure.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Lyndvs on February 22, 2011, 04:12:18 AM
Yank Rachell could play piano,you can find an example on the Sleepy John Estes "Newport Blues"cd on Delmark.
Lyndvs.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: hortig78rpm on February 22, 2011, 04:32:57 AM
hakshaw harney, but poorly recorded and willie guy rainey from georgia

regards
mike
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: harry on February 22, 2011, 04:43:28 AM
according to this article Robert Johnson played piano and pump organ.

http://www.msbluestrail.org/_webapp_1389781/Robert_Johnson_Birthplace (http://www.msbluestrail.org/_webapp_1389781/Robert_Johnson_Birthplace)
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: LD50 on February 22, 2011, 08:30:31 AM
Blind Blake actually played piano (rather unconvincingly as I recall, certainly compared to his guitar-playing) on a track or two, didn't he? Can't remember which right now.

Blake played piano on Let Your Love Come Down with Bertha Henderson singing. It actually sounds pretty good to me!
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Parlor Picker on February 23, 2011, 01:44:08 AM
Don't think anyone has mentioned the person who started this thread - the great Prof. Scratchy.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Prof Scratchy on February 23, 2011, 01:50:36 AM
To say I could play the piano (or the guitar for that matter) would be stretching the truth to make a point!
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Parlor Picker on February 23, 2011, 03:00:42 AM
To say I could play the piano (or the guitar for that matter) would be stretching the truth to make a point!
Wrong!
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Lyndvs on February 23, 2011, 11:06:10 PM
How could i forget Charley Jordan?.

whoops,sorry wrong thread ^-^.Maybe Charley could play piano though?.Who knows!?.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Gerry Clarke on February 24, 2011, 06:29:42 AM
Just to endorse Chris's mention of Walter Roland.  He was not just one of the greatest piano players and singers to make records, but he also played and recorded beautifully sensitive guitar.  One of my all time all around musical idols.  I'm pretty sure some or all the guitar recordings are out on Document.

Gerry
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 24, 2011, 07:07:27 AM
Just to endorse Chris's mention of Walter Roland.  He was not just one of the greatest piano players and singers to make records, but he also played and recorded beautifully sensitive guitar.  One of my all time all around musical idols.  I'm pretty sure some or all the guitar recordings are out on Document.
Gerry
His daughter was still alive five or six years ago see Walter Roland tag entitled "Gutbucket Piano".
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: harry on February 24, 2011, 08:28:47 AM
Just to endorse Chris's mention of Walter Roland.  He was not just one of the greatest piano players and singers to make records, but he also played and recorded beautifully sensitive guitar.  One of my all time all around musical idols.  I'm pretty sure some or all the guitar recordings are out on Document.
Gerry
His daughter was still alive five or six years ago see Walter Roland tag entitled "Gutbucket Piano".

I wish you could show that article to Allmusic guide biographer Jason Ankeny who wrote "After 1935, however, Roland seems to have dropped off the face of the earth -- his subsequent activities and ultimate fate remain unknown".


Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: hortig78rpm on February 25, 2011, 01:32:53 AM
hello

have a look : www.deltahaze.com and you`ll find a bio of roland. he died in 1972

regards
mike
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: uncle bud on February 25, 2011, 05:57:00 AM
hello

have a look : www.deltahaze.com and you`ll find a bio of roland. he died in 1972

regards
mike

Thanks for that, Mike. I had not been aware Walter Roland was around so long. And ready to play too. That's more than a damned shame.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: banjochris on February 25, 2011, 07:47:21 PM
That is a shame. He died the day I was born.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: LD50 on February 27, 2011, 11:56:19 AM
Yeah, back in the 60's and 70s so many researchers were falling all over themselves trying to stake out every little detail of Robert Johnson's life that piano players and musicians who weren't from Mississippi were often terribly neglected.

But it's good to see from reading that article that they finally interviewed Roland's surviving children, at least. 
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: hortig78rpm on February 28, 2011, 12:07:42 AM
so if you`re interested, here is a small list of great pianoplayers, who lived
in the 6o`s and 7o`s without getting noticed by notorious guitar-buffs:
charley segar: lived in 1972 in chicago
will ezell: died in chicago around 1963, just a few block away from the delmark record-office
monkey joe coleman : recorded in 1968, lived up till the nid 7o`s
blind clyde church: died around 1975 in memphis.
bernice edwards: died in houston 1968
wilson thunder smith: murdered in 1963
ernest "44" johnson: died in the mid 6o`s in mississippi

regards
mike
Title: Guitarists who also played Piano ( and vice versa)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on April 10, 2015, 07:12:04 AM
Have we done this yet?


Well there's Guitar Pete Franklin, superb on both
Rev. Davis occasionally tickled the ivories
Rossevelt Sykes was recorded on guitar at least once that I know about
Peetie Wheatstraw of course
Skip James, natch

Who else?
Title: Re: Guitarists who also played Piano ( and vice versa)
Post by: Mr.OMuck on April 10, 2015, 07:13:46 AM
Bukka White
Title: Re: Guitarists who also played Piano ( and vice versa)
Post by: eric on April 10, 2015, 07:39:44 AM
Jelly Roll Morton
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: oddenda on April 10, 2015, 08:40:06 PM
Has anyone mentioned Brownie McGhee yet? Not too shabby!

pbl
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: harry on April 11, 2015, 06:33:04 AM
Has anyone mentioned Brownie McGhee yet? Not too shabby!

pbl

Which album/recordings?
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Lignite on April 11, 2015, 06:51:38 AM
Leadbelly (Eagle Rock Rag)
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: ScottN on April 11, 2015, 11:49:24 AM
Walter Roland has some great songs on both guitar and piano.
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: oddenda on April 12, 2015, 06:44:31 AM
Harry -

          Singles from Oct 1941 backing Buddy Moss: "Joy Rag", "Little Angel Blues", "Poor Child Blues"(u), "Gamblin' Woman Blues"(u) - OKeh (Columbia). I'm too damn lazy to dig through the post-war discography, but I'm sure there are a few sides "non-folk" with his piano.

pbl
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Lastfirstface on April 12, 2015, 11:15:27 AM
What are some tunes that Walter Roland plays guitar on?
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: banjochris on April 13, 2015, 09:06:38 AM
Roland plays a couple of instrumental duets with Sonny Scott (hope I'm remembering that right) -- one's called Guitar Stomp and is on a Yazoo release (one of the Before the Blues I think). One of his versions of Red Cross Store is on guitar, and he backs up Lucille Bogan on guitar (along with Bob Campbell) on Tired as I Can Be and I Hate the Train They Call the M&O.

I think there are a few others but those are the ones off the top of my head. Those Bogan tracks in particular are excellent, I wish she had made more with guitar backup. (I wish she had made more records, period!)
Chris
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Johnm on April 13, 2015, 09:32:24 AM
In addition to the ones Chris mentioned, he did "Railroad Stomp" and "Come On In" with Sonny Scott (with the latter song recorded as by the Jolly Two), as well as "Frisco Blues".
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Lastfirstface on April 13, 2015, 11:18:48 AM
Thanks Banjochris and John. Turns out I actually had a couple recordings by Walter Roland and Sonny Scott in my collection under the name "The Jolly Two." Those Lucille Bogan sides are great. Is he playing with the same Bob Campbell that did Shotgun Blues?

Pete
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: banjochris on April 13, 2015, 02:26:32 PM
Is he playing with the same Bob Campbell that did Shotgun Blues?

I do believe so.
Chris
Title: Re: Country Blues Guitarists Who Played Piano (or Vice Versa??)
Post by: Johnm on December 08, 2015, 09:34:23 AM
Hi all,
Lesley Riddle played some piano on his album that came out on Rounder in the late '70s or '80s.
All best,
Johnm
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal