WeenieCampbell.com

Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: waxwing on November 23, 2004, 03:16:04 PM

Title: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: waxwing on November 23, 2004, 03:16:04 PM
I've been transcribing Scrapper's Back Door Blues (inspired by Ari and Alex's recent query) and noticed the II7ish chord in the intro so I was able to get the II7-V7-I in the verse, but, inspite of several BBF rags I do, no bells were going off and I was stuck after the IV7 section. I was sorta thinking this might be where RJ got the idea to put the II chord in Love In Vain. Fortunately someone on the PWBL serendipitously mentioned Scrapper using a III-VI-II-V-I on a few tunes. I realized that the one little figure I'd worked out was an F#7 (Key of D) and everything fell into place. Cool! So it's a |I|I|I7|I7|IV7|IV7|I-III7|VI7|II7|V7|I|I| progression in D (capoed up 3), at least for the first couple verses. Granted this, too, is a 12 bar blues and I was thinking maybe we could start a new thread on Rag Blues with various Circle of 5ths progressions. I like the lists of various styles of blues we've been generating. The way Scrapper works it, tho', it doesn't really have a strong rag feel, especially in the break and final verse where he simplifies it quite a bit with very blue single note runs.
I promise I'll post this one on the Back Porch, once I get the snapped treble over the strummed bass down. It's coming.
All for now.
John C.
Edited to add:
Was working on it this morn and he actually does hit most of the chords in the break, tho' not always with the same time values, but the third and especially the last verses seem to be simplified. Nice little double stop figure in there, too.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: waxwing on November 27, 2004, 06:55:22 AM
Hey JohnM, thanks for movin' this over and getting a thread started (I'm assuming it was you since you seem to have done a bit of housecleaning last night - I'm out on the east coast, at the moment, with limited access).
So I guess it would be a little crazy to list all of Blind Boy Fuller's rag blues (easier to list his non-rags, eh?), so why don't we limit this to non-Piedmont blues with any Circle of Fifth/Rag tendencies, 12 or 8 bar? Of course, I'm drawing a blank at the moment, out of my milieu, but there is another Scrapper tune that I'll look up when I get back to my temporary home in SF. I'm thinkin' there must be some in the string/jug band repertoire or from the likes of Stokes and Sane, the Shieks, et al.? How 'bout some of those piano influenced St. Louis players?
Take it away, Weenies!
All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: a2tom on November 27, 2004, 08:28:20 AM
I am intrigued by the whole rag/circle of 5ths progression thing.  In fact, this is how Ragtime Ditty #12 came about - I got to playing with this chord progression idea around the fretboard.  My brother asked me "what makes a rag a rag", and I pretty much pointed to the chord progression, and syncopation.   So, yes, where is this idea used outside of "rags" and "ragtime blues"?   I have a very small "cranial database" of this kind of information.  Aside from knowing some BBF and a few others rag blues that use the VI7 - II7 - V7 - I progression.  If I get the point, the tune you refer to adds one more cycle back in the circle, back to the III7 chord, which then leads into VI7 - II7 - V7 - I? 

tom
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on November 27, 2004, 10:00:49 AM
Hi all,
Yes, John C, I thought the suggestion in your post to make this a separate topic was a good one because the circle of 5ths thread runs through so much of the blues.  As for where this type of progression occurs outside the raggy blues, Tom, the circle of fifths was a major driving force harmonically in the Pop music from the 20s on up through the 50s among such composers as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and many others.
One kind of blues you encounter the circle of 5ths in a lot is what you might call a "Pop" blues, because it uses the 32-bar structure and A-A-B-A phrasing commonly found in the Pop music of its era.  Bo Carter was a major practitioner in this style, and such tunes of his as "I Want You To Know", "I Get the Blues" and "Honey" fall into this category.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: waxwing on November 27, 2004, 10:09:34 AM
Hey Tom, head on over to the Juke, where you can request the tune and give a listen yourself. Scrapper only plays a little partial (2, 3, 4 strings) of the III7 for half a measure (or not at all in verse 3 and 4 - only one beat in the break).

I'm no expert, but I think the Circle of Fifths, played the right way 'round, is fairly common in many folk musics.

Ah, Weenie Central informs me that JohnM has posted. Maybe I'm thinking of pop-folk from the '60s Folk Scare?
All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: GhostRider on November 29, 2004, 09:59:42 AM
Hey BJ (Barbeque John):

One of the first Country Blues I ever heard was "Early Morning Blues" by Blind Blake. I remember thinking what a bluesy sound it had was despite the fact that it used more than the I, IV and V chords

I-IV(1/2), V(1/2)-I(1/2), V(1/2)-I(1/2), I7
IV-IV(1/2), V(1/2)-I(1/2, V(1/2)-I(1/2), VI(1/2)
II7-V-I(1/2), V(1/2)-I(1/2), V(1/2)

Alex
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: frankie on November 29, 2004, 10:07:46 AM
I'm no expert, but I think the Circle of Fifths, played the right way 'round, is fairly common in many folk musics.

Ah, Weenie Central informs me that JohnM has posted. Maybe I'm thinking of pop-folk from the '60s Folk Scare?

It seems to me that the circle of fifths found expression in a lot of homegrown music because it was a popular way to harmonize at the time.  Echoing what JohnM wrote, I think that it's adoption by rural musicians reflected a desire to sound uptown or (for lack of a better term) "jazzy".  It's use in Scrapper Blackwell's material definitely sounds less to me like ragtime than jazz in its execution, maybe because of the way SB articulates the rhythm.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: frankie on December 01, 2004, 02:02:23 PM
where is this idea used outside of "rags" and "ragtime blues"?

In addition to Bo Carter's solo material, the music of the Mississippi Sheiks very often incorporates these changes.  If I had to, I'd also describe the Sheiks' music as jazz-y rather than ragtime-y.  I think JohnM nailed it as the prevailing harmonic language of pop music from that period.  Those Chatmons...  so snazzy.

Ramblin' Thomas' Lock and Key Blues comes to mind.  In theory, I suppose he's not really doing anything too far afield from what Scrapper Blackwell does in Back Door Blues, but man...  is his execution weird!
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on December 14, 2004, 04:26:59 PM
Hi all,
One musician who worked this harmonic territory a lot and exceedingly well was Papa Charlie Jackson.  I've been thinking a lot about his version of "Skoodle-Um-Skoo", recorded very near the end of his recording career, in 1934.  It can be found on Document DOCD-5089, Papa Charlie Jackson, Vol. 3.  The form for "Skoodle-Um-Skoo" is as follows:
 Intro: |V-II7|V-II7|-circuitous descending chromatic run that ends up at--
 Vamp: |I-VI/#I|II7-V7#9| while he sets up the song's subject matter, followed by a run into--
 Verse:  |  VI  |  VI  |  II7-V7#9 |  I   |
              |  I     |  I     |  II7          |  II7 |
              |  II7  |V7#9|  to--
 Chorus: | I      | I       | II7            | II7  |
              |V7#9|V7#9| III             | III |
              | VI    |  VI   |  II7           | II7  |
              |V7#9|V7#9|  I               | I     |
After the first chorus, all subsequent choruses replace the initial two bars of I with two bars of VI7.  The intro, vamp and verse never return.
A couple of interesting things about this rendition of "Skoodle-Um-Skoo":
 * Papa Charlie played it in open Bflat (without a capo), tuned a half step low.  He played a surprising number of tunes in Bflat, something which I don't think even Rev. Davis did much of, though some of you who really know Rev. Davis's repertoire may know otherwise.  In Bflat, the VI/#I chord works out to be G/B, fingered:
                                        x 2 0 0 3 x
Papa Charlie fingered his I chord, Bflat, on the interior four strings here:
                                        x 1 3 3 3 x
  * On other tunes he played in Bflat, Papa Charlie also fretted the third fret of the first string, which makes me think he was using the ring finger of his left hand to barre the top four strings at the third fret when he fingered a Bflat chord.  That first string third fret ends up being a 6th relative to Bflat which gives it a jazzy sound.
Papa Charlie's V7#9 chord in Bflat ends up being F7#9, fingered:
                                        1 x 3 2 4 4
The rasty #9 note, G#, at the fourth fret of the first string, clashes with the A note at the second fret of the third string.  I think Papa Charlie picked it up coincidentally with his left hand little finger, which he was using to fret the seventh of the F7#9 chord at the fourth fret of the second string.  The sound of this chord is a really good way of telling when Papa Charlie was playing in Bflat, because he used it all the time in that context.
The chorus of the tune ends up being a 16-bar blues, though not like any of the models we have discussed so far on the 16-bar blues thread,  The chorus, especially when starting on VI7, starts out being a straight circle of fifths progression until it hits the III chord, D.  The III chord effects a sort of "resolvus interruptus" action by delaying the resolution to the I chord and sending the circle of fifths progression back to VI, which III is the V of.  It is a neat way to extend the progression and delay resolution until the end of the form.
Here's the progression expressed in Papa Charlie's key, Bflat.
 Intro: | F-C7|F-C7| run
Vamp:  |Bflat-G/B|C7-F7#9| run into verse
 Verse:  |  G  |  G  |C7-F7#9| Bflat|
             |Bflat|Bflat|  C7  |  C7  |
             |  C7  |  F7#| 
  Chorus: 
| G7(Bflat first time)|G7(Bflat first time)|  C7  |  C7  |
|  F7#9                     |  F7#9             |  D    |  D    |
|            G                |       G            |  C7   | C7   |
|           F7#9            |     F7#9         | Bflat | Bflat |
If you've never played in open Bflat before, you may want to give it a try.  It's a hell of a lot of fun, and makes you feel like a real guitar ace.
All best,
Johnm 


 
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: frankie on December 15, 2004, 12:22:40 PM
Thanks for this post, John - really excellent.  A double-whammy of theory and exposition of the style of a truly underrated guitarist.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: uncle bud on December 15, 2004, 01:10:17 PM
John -just to clarify. You use the phrase "open B flat". This is not to indicate an alternate tuning, right? He's playing in standard tuning (a half step low) in the key of Bb, as I read it. 

I suppose playing on a guitar banjo would make playing in Bb a bit more comfortable.  :)

This tune benefits from being one of his last recordings (and the record's in good shape) -- the sound is quite clear. You can really hear that F7#9 in there, which may not have been the case with some of the early recordings!

I also really like the song that follows on the CD, If I Got What You Want. More of a standard rag but a fun tune.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on December 15, 2004, 02:35:38 PM
Yes Andrew, you're right, I meant in standard tuning, playing in Bflat without a capo.  It is not as uncomfortable as you might think.  I agree with you about "If I Got What You Want", it's a good one, as is the oddly titled "Self Experience" which tells about getting busted when police raided a gambling spot.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: uncle bud on December 16, 2004, 07:20:30 AM
Hi John - Thanks. I'll definitely be trying Skoodle-Um-Skoo, Bb be damned. From the way the lyrics are so realistic and detailed, Self Experience sounds just like that, a real story of Papa Charlie getting busted.

The song I should really be learning is We Can't Buy It No More, in honour of our current Quebec liquor board strike. A lot of work getting a bottle of red wine here these days...

Edited to add: Forgot to mention that just a few songs after Skoodle-Um-Skoo, is another favorite, one of the earliest personal banking songs, You Put It In, I'll Take It Out...
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: GhostRider on December 16, 2004, 09:59:54 AM
Hey Unkie Bud:

No red wine in Quebec? There must be riots in the streets!

No Same Sex Marriage Alberta Alex
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: uncle bud on December 16, 2004, 11:12:28 AM
Hey Unkie Bud:

No red wine in Quebec? There must be riots in the streets!

No Same Sex Marriage Alberta Alex

Quebecers are crying all over their camembert...

Actually, you can get it (management is running 50 stores or so out of 400 or so) but it's work. Plus there's still wine and beer in the depanneurs, but the wine's for teenage girls. Not a lot of sympathy for the union as you can imagine. Even I say privatize...

As for marriage, the more the merrier I say. We know you're secretly a Frankie Jaxon fanatic, Alex...  >:D  (Trying to maintain some semblance of CB content)

Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on December 19, 2004, 02:05:34 PM
Hi all,
I came across a 12-bar blues today that falls in this category, and I can't think of any other songs that follow its form.  It is "Black Dog Blues" by the hillbilly artist Bayless Rose, and it works as follows:
   | III7 | III7 |  VI7 |  VI7 |
   |  II7 |  II7 |   V7 |   V7 |
   |   I   |   I  | I(V7)|   I    |
Rose plays it in G.  It's a pretty cool sound to have a G blues starting out on a B7 chord.  I used to think Rose might be Dick Justice recording under a pseudonym, but he does sound like a different person, although perhaps from the same part of the world.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 19, 2005, 05:35:58 PM
Hi all,
I was just looking through these old topics and thought of a tune in this category that takes the sophistication to a completely different level:  Leroy Carr's "Longing For My Sugar".  It is an exceptionally pretty tune on which he is joined by both Scrapper Blackwell and Josh White, and it appeared on the old Yazoo compilation of Leroy and Scrapper, "Naptown Blues", Yazoo L1036. 

Right from its intro, the song lets you know it means business.  It is in Bflat, and begins with this complex turn-around:
|   B flat      |   D7   |    Eflat       |E diminished7 | 
|Bflat/F-G7| C7-F7 |Bflat Bflat/Aflat Eflat/G Aflat9/Gflat|Bflat/F--F7|
Once the full form starts, you realize it is a 12-bar blues, but utilizing a much different harmonic vocabulary than you normally encounter in its era.  It goes:
| B flat    | D7  |   G  minor  |  B flat7   |
| E flat    |   E dim 7 |  B flat/F  |  G 7   |
|C 7 |F7|Bflat-Bflat/Aflat-Eflat/G-Aflat9/Gflat|Bflat/F-F7|
The four chords in the eleventh bar each get one beat, and provide the same descending bass line that Robert Johnson used in his famous turn-around on his "A" tunes, like "Me and the Devil", or "Kind-Hearted Woman".  Leroy similarly keeps the I note, Bflat, ringing in the treble over the entire descending line.

If you look at how "Longing For My Sugar" moves from one chord to the next, it is exceptionally nifty.  When  Leroy goes from B flat to D7 in the second bar, he sets up a V-I resolution into G minor, the relative minor of B flat major--it is surprising, beautiful and natural all at the same time.  Just as quickly, though, he goes from G minor to Bflat 7, setting up a V-I resultion into E flat, the IV chord of B flat, with it falling in the fifth bar of the form where you always go to the IV chord anyway.  The E diminished 7 chord is used as a linking chord and to get the chromatically ascending bass line from E flat to E, continuing on up to F, though that note happens under the Bflat chord in the seventh bar.  By continuing on up from Bflat/F to G7 in the eighth bar, Leroy starts the circle of fifths progression that is eventually going to get him home, since G7 is the VI 7 chord of B flat.  Sure enough, he resolves the G 7 (VI 7) to C7 (II7), then to F7 (V7), and finally back to I, immediately beginning the descending bass line turn-around that will take him to the V7 chord that points him back to the beginning of the form.

Another really cool thing about the progression is the opportunities for melodic/linear movement it presents as you move from one chord to the next.  Josh White picks right up on this, going from F over the initial Bflat chord, to F# over the D7 chord to G over the G minor chord to Aflat over the B flat 7 chord.  Go Josh!  It takes big ears to pick up on those kind of possibilities.  This progression abounds with them, though.

I don't really see "Longing For My Sugar" as being Raggy--it is much more Jazzy, a distinction Frank made earlier in this thread.  Indeed, it anticipates a lot of the harmonic innovations Charlie Parker was to bring to the blues in the Bebop Era.  Here is a numerical version of the progression, for those of you who might like to transpose it to a more guitar-friendly key than B flat.
|  I   | III7  |  VI minor  |  I7   |
|  IV  | #IV dim7 |  I/V  |  VI7 |
| II7  | V7  | I-I/flatVII-IV/VI-flatVII/flatVI|I/V--V7|

I hope you can request this tune on the Juke, or perhaps someone can post an mp3 of it.  It's a great one.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: waxwing on February 20, 2005, 06:39:34 PM
Not only is this a really cool progression John, and it's great that you are bringing piano tunes into the mix for those of us branching out into our own arrangements, but the idea that Josh White played with Leroy Carr and Scrapper is a shocker to me, Not only do I think of them from disparate areas (i.e. seperated by the Appalachians) but I also (I guess, erroneously) put them in somewhat different time frames. What is the place and date of the recording, if you happen to know. I realize Yazoo isn't always forthcoming with discography info. I'm guessing New York, but I would have thought Josh was still acting as somebody's lead boy when Leroy passed. But from what you say, he was pretty sophisticated at this point.
Thanks.
All for now.
John C.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 20, 2005, 07:33:21 PM
Hi John C.,
The track is from 1934, I believe, and Josh was plenty sophisticated at that point. Truthfully, I think the cut would be stronger with only Josh playing on it. Scrapper sounds a bit out of his element with this type of progression, where as Josh sounds perfectly comfortable. I don't think Josh was anybody's lead boy after Joe Taggart, and I think Joe passed pretty early on, at a point in which Josh had already gone out on his own.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: dj on February 21, 2005, 04:00:07 AM
Longing For My Sugar was recorded Monday, December 17th, 1934 in New York City.  It was the second day of a three day session.  There were 23 different songs recorded at that session, 10 of them featuring both Scrapper Blackwell and Josh White on guitar.  It was Leroy Carr's penultimate session.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: thumbstyle on February 21, 2005, 11:17:01 AM
Wow, great description of a nice progression, John. 

For that turnaround |Bflat-Bflat/Aflat-Eflat/G-Aflat9/Gflat| Bflat/F ... I've been playing these shapes:

x_x_8_7_6_6   x_x_6_7_6_6  x_10_8_8_11_x   x_9_10_8_11_x  x_8_8_7_6_6

to keep the descending line in the bass and the Bb on top. With my small hands I find it difficult to play that "Robert Johnson" figure out of the long-Bflat position. Still, it's a bit of a handful. Any thoughts on a better way to do it?

Cheers,
Dave
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 21, 2005, 12:12:21 PM
Hi Dave,
It looks like your version has been transposed to C, am I right?? (Whoops, read your first chord diagram backwards--you're in Bflat of course.)? Here goes:?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Bflat:? X-X-8-7-6-6
?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Bflat/Aflat:? X-X-6-7-6-6?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Eflat/G:? X-X-5-3-4-6
?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Aflat9/Gflat:?X-X-4-5-4-6
I think these piano-y-sounding voicings sound so great on the guitar.?
All best,
Johnm
Edited to add:? I realized after I posted this that there is a slightly niftier and more uptown substitution for the third chord in the walk-down.? It is Eflat6/G and it is voiced:
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??Eflat6/G:? X-X-5-5-4-6
The difference is pretty subtle, but I think it leads better.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: thumbstyle on February 21, 2005, 07:18:29 PM
Thanks John,

Actually, no, I'm still trying to play it in Bflat. I start off with your voicings for Bflat and Bflat/Aflat, then move over to the 5th thru 2nd strings starting with the Eflat/G (and move the Bflat in the treble to 2nd string/11th fret) to try to reduce the stretch on my vienna sausages.  :)

In any case, I like your version with the Eflat6/G - smoove, baby! (And easier to play -- a bonus).

Dave
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Buzz on April 11, 2005, 12:54:07 PM
Sorry this comes on line so late after the thread is trailing off, but having some computer problems of late. Fixed for now!

Longin' for my Sugar is one of my favorite tunes. John M brought it, taught it at PT a few summers ago, (maybe 4 ?), and I fell in love with it, and play it still. The chord progression is beautiful, very melodic/graceful/harmonic/all of that to me, evokes the sentiment of the lyrics well. Love to study it with all this description and commentary, really 'fleshes it out' for me.Thanks to all of you.
Buzz :D
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on July 05, 2005, 08:23:06 AM
Hi all,
One player who excelled at circle of fifths progressions was Bo Carter, and Bo was also innovative in using what might be called a "Pop Blues" format for a number of his songs, so-called because they share the 32-bar, AABA structure common to most pop songs coming out of Tin Pan Alley in Bo's era.
One of Bo's prettiest tunes in this style is "I Get The Blues", which he played in his G tuning, DGDGBE, on a wood guitar instead of the National he normally used.? He plays the song in the key of G with a D shape at the seventh fret as his home position.? The progression is as follows:
A1:? |? ? ? ?I? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?I? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?VI7? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?VI7? ? ? |
? ? ? ?|? ? ?II7? ? ? |? ? ? V7? ? ? |? ? ? I/IV7? ? ?|? ? ? ?I/V7? ? ? |
A2:? |? ? ? ?I? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?I? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? VI7? ? ? |? ? ? ? VI7? ? ? |
? ? ? ?|? ? ? II7? ? ?|? ? ? ?II7? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?V? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ?V7? ? ? |
B:? ? |? ? ? I? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? I? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?I7? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ?I7? ? ? ? |
? ? ? ?|? ? ?IV7? ? ?|? ? ? IV7? ? |? ? ? ? IV7? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?IV7? ? |
A3:? |? ? ? ?I? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? I? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?VI7? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?VI7? ? ?|
? ? ? ?|? ? ? II7? ? ?|? ? ? ?V7? ? ?|? ? ?I/IV7? ? ? ?|? ? ? I/V7? ? ? |
With the exception of the IV7 chord, which is fingered? XXX986, Bo plays everything else out of the long A or A7 positions and D or D7 positions.? For a song with as active a progression as "I Get The Blues" has, the left hand sits surprisingly easily.? That having been said, Bo spins a ton of variations in the course of the performance, and has some difficult stuff going on like two-note slides in which the distance between the notes changes during the course of the slide.?
One interesting aspect of the performance is that Bo is not overly scrupulous about hitting chord tones in the bass as he moves through the progression; quite often as he is playing the VI7 chord, E7, he is hitting the open fifth string, G, in the bass and the contrast between that G note in the bass and the G# in the E7 chord up the neck can be a little rasty.? I think that maybe for Bo, as for Mance Lipscomb and many other players, the time-keeping function of the notes the right hand thumb hits is more important than their pitch.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on December 30, 2005, 11:57:26 PM
Hi all,
One song I have been listening to lately that would certainly fall into this category is the old Pink Anderson & Simmie Dooley number, "Gonna Tip Out Tonight".? It has been re-issued several times and has come out again recently on the great Old Hat set, "Good For What Ails You--Music of the Medicine Shows 1926--1937".?
On the song, both Anderson and Dooley are playing out of G position in standard tuning.? Dooley, one of the small group of guitarists whom Rev. Davis spoke well of, sounds as though he might be flat-picking.? Dooley handles the vocal lead, and his wide vibrato seems like it might place him in the Frank Stokes generation.?
The song has an unusually complex form:? an 8-bar intro on which Dooley plays a never-to-return kazoo, followed by a 16-bar verse, sung and repeated, with two sets of lyrics, an 8-bar segue that resolves into the 36-bar chorus, complete with first and second endings.? Whew!
Here is the bar structure and progression for the song:

INTRO:
? ?|? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? E7? ? ? |? ? ? E7? ? ?|
? ?|? A7? ? ?D7? ?|? ?G? ? ? ? ?E7? ?|? ?A7? ? D7? |? ? ?G? ? ? ?|

VERSE:
? ?||:? ? ? G? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?E7? ? ? |? ? ? ?E7? ? |
? ?|? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?E7? ? ? ?|? ? ? E7? ? ?|
? ?|? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?A7? ? ? |? ? ? ?D7? ? |
? ?|? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? G? ? ?:||

SEGUE:
? ?|? ? ? ? A7? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? A7? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? D? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? D? ? ?|
? ?|? ? ? ? D? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ?D? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? F#? ? ? ?|? ? ? ?F#? ? |

CHORUS:
? ?||:? ? ? ?E? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? E? ? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?E? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?E? ? ? |
? ? |? ? ? ?E? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? E? ? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?E? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?E? ? ? |
1st Ending:
? ?|? ? ? ? D? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ?D? ? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ?D? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?D? ? ? |
? ?|? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?G? ? :||
2nd Ending:
? ?|? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?G? ? ? |
? ?|? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ? ? ?G? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? D? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?G? ? ? |
? ?|? ? ? ?A7? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ?D7? ? ? ? ?|? ? ? ? ? G? ? ? ? |? ? ? ?G? ? ? ||

For the most part, the progression is not too surprising, following conventions of ragtimey circle-of-fifths progressions as they are often encountered.? The segue, though, and the transition into the chorus is kind of a shocker, even if you've heard the song many times before.? In functional harmony, the last chord in the segue preceding the chorus should be a B7 chord since it is the V7 of the E chord the chorus starts on and would lead into the E chord very naturally.? The F# chord Anderson and Dooley play instead is a real surprise.? I believe the basis for its selection is that the melody note being sung over the top of it is an F# note, and that the musicians assumed that the most fitting chord to back that note would be one that employed it as a root.? We've encountered this kind of harmonization before in Sam Collins, Leadbelly, Andrew and Jim Baxter and others, and it is discussed in the "Harmony/Hearing Chord Changes" thread on the Main Forum.? Whether or not that was the reason for choosing the F# chord to back the melody at that point, the effect is electrifying, and really sets off the beginning of the chorus, where Pink joins in the singing and the energy level goes up perceptibly.? And like many passages in this music that sound strange at first hearing, repeated listening makes it seem like the only correct choice.
Here are the lyrics for "Gonna Tip Out Tonight":

? ?Gee, I'm feeling mighty lonesome
? ?Gee, I'm feeling mighty homesome [!]
? ?My girl quit me and I don't know what to do
? ?She even told me from the start
? ?If I'd go I would break her heart
? ?Every time I think about it makes me feel so blue.

? ?This morning I receive a note,
? ?And this was the answer I wrote, said,

? ?(CHORUS)
? ?"Go on, girl, don't sing them blues to me
? ?I'm just as sweet as any man can be.", she
? ?Even told me to my face that
? ?Any old rounder sure can take my place, said
? ?"I'm gettin' tired of your low-down ways,
? ?I'm goin' back to my baby day, so
? ?Go on, girl, honey, you can't bluff, I'm gonna
? ?Tip out tonight and I'm gonna strut my stuff, I mean
? ?I'm gonna strut my stuff."

It occurred to me as I was typing out the lyrics that this song could just as easily been recorded by the Carolina Tar Heels.? They did a lot of material like this, and it would have suited them very well.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 24, 2006, 03:05:20 PM
Hi all,
I found a great song that fits this thread perfectly though it also could go in the Blues in F thread.  It is on an old Historical Records LP called "Rare Blues, vol.5" that I recently borrowed.  The song is "The Gin Done Done It", and it is performed by Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie, about whom I know exactly nothing, though the album does say they were Socks Wilson and Harry McDaniel, and that McDaniel played the guitar.  The cut was recorded in New York City on July 18, 1929.

The song is played in F position in standard tuning and McDaniels employs a very suave flat-picking technique, combining full chordal strumming with runs linking the chords.  It is a style that in the present day Blues revivalist world has no practitioners that I have heard.  Moreover, McDaniels is very adroit; he actually sounds more like some of the slick Old Time guitarists like Roy Harvey, Norman Woodlieff, and Alfred Steagall in the way that he negotiates playing in F, than he does like such blues guitarists as Luke Jordan, William Moore or Blind Blake.  "The Gin Done Done It" is a 12-bar blues, though it lacks the stereotyped down feeling normally expected of the Blues.  The progression works so:

   |  F--C7   |   F--C7   |   F--C7   |   F7    |
   |   Bflat   |   Bflat    |   Bflat    |   F/A   |
   |   C7      |    C7      |  G7--C7  | F-(C7)|

This is a wonderful performance.  The two singers sound like seasoned professionals, and the rueful tone of bogus repentance is really rich.  Both song and performance sound like they come out of the same millieu as the songs of Sloppy Henry--clever lyrics, great delivery and pretty irresistible entertainment.  I may teach this one at Port Townsend this summer.

   Goin' to take my gal to a social dance, but I didn't have no seat in my pants
   Give me four dollars, take me in, I took the four dollars and I bought some gin
   CHORUS:  The gin done done it, all doggone it, the gin made a fool outa me

   I tore my hair and I walked the street, I wanted to whip everyone I meet
   'Long came John, who's my best friend, cut his head 'til it was a sin
   CHORUS

   I shot some craps to my disgrace, I run everybody out the place
   Dice was loaded, made me sore, I left four hustlers lyin' on the floor
   CHORUS

   I went to church to do the Holy roll, grabbed me a sister to convert her soul
   Two minutes later the preacher came in, she stopped rollin' with me, started rollin' with him
   CHORUS

   I took my cow to the doctor man, somethin' 'bout her I couldn't understand
   I milked her good, 'bout half past ten, didn't give nothin' but a bucket of gin
   CHORUS

   I tore up all my gal's good clothes, didn't mean to do it, the good Lord knows,
   My landlady is a good old soul, I even took some of her sweet jelly roll
   CHORUS

   I went downtown 'bout half past four, stole two hot dogs from a butcher's store
   Got locked up, the judge, he said, "Take six months to clear your head."
   CHORUS

   The jailhouse step was slick as glass, I tried to run away got shot in the
   Yes, I told my gal, to bring me beer, get some money if she had to sell a little coal
   CHORUS

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Stuart on February 24, 2006, 06:36:45 PM
Hi John:

While doing the usual search for "The Gin Done Done It" after reading your post, I ran across the following page--a listing of the Columbia 14000D series:

http://settlet.fateback.com/COL14000D.htm

Some of the titles are fascinating, such as "Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter," also by Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie. Both tunes appear to be on Document 5564 "Coot Grant & Kid Wilson: Complete Works V.2 1928-1931."

Roy Book Binder does a version of "The Gin Done Done It" on "Bookeroo."

One things leads to another...(especially on the web). I don't know whether to take the name of the second tune ("Get Your Mind...") as just a catchy song title or as a personal admonition--but why take any chances?--In my case it's probably both!

My Best,

Stu
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Bunker Hill on February 25, 2006, 12:08:40 AM
Some of the titles are fascinating, such as "Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter," also by Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie. Both tunes appear to be on Document 5564 "Coot Grant & Kid Wilson: Complete Works V.2 1928-1931."
Coot Grant & Kid Wilson were a popular vaudeville husband and wife in the mould of Butterbeans and Susie. Coot Grant was actually Leola B Wilson (better known for her recordings with Blind Blake) and Wilson was Kid Wesley Wilson - confusing ain't it? But it gets worse, the Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie were actually Wesley Wilson and Harry McDaniels, as stated on the sleeve of that LP.

What I used to amuse me about that series of compilations were the quotes from notable jazz citics of the time (1965-6) thus:

"For the collector of jazz recordings, these are the best of times; the collector's whims have never been catered to quite as extensively as they are at this moment. He has his choice of a steady flow of recordings of new performances, which range in style from piano rags and early New Orleans ensembles to the most whimsical furies of the avant gardists - a spectrum broader than jazz has ever known before. And at the same time the opportunities to fill in past gaps in his collection - or simply to start collecting - are unprecedented." (John S Wilson, New York Times)
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Stuart on February 25, 2006, 05:49:07 AM
Hi Bunker Hill:

Thanks for providing the additional info and helping to sort this out. Without access to any of the original recordings or information about the recordings or the artists, it's difficult to be clear with respect to who the artists were and what the various versions of the songs sound like. I'm looking forward to actually listening to them some day.

Thanks again,

Stu
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 25, 2006, 10:23:33 AM
Hi all,
Thanks, Stu and Bunker Hill, for tracking down down the information on Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie.  It's good to have the sense of who they were more fleshed out. 

The record that had "The Gin Done Done It" had another tune by them that fits this thread too, as well as being an excellent number.  "Do It Right" is played out of the F position, capoed to the second fret, and I believe is the only instance I can think of in this music in which a musician chose to capo and play in F to sound in G.  I think it is very unlikely the guitar is simply tuned a whole step high because of the uptown nature of the musicianship.  The progression/form of the song works out as follows.  Assume four beats per bar unless otherwise indicated and the chords are named by position played rather than absolute pitch, which would be one whole step higher.

When the gal gets old, she wants to be alone, you left a little work undone at home
             |    F----C7                     | F--C7          |    F                   | D7/F#        |

Do it right                        Do it right                                      What-
|       G7       |G7- 4 + 2 beats   |        C7          |         C7               |

Ever you're doing, go on, do it right                                        When-
|    F          D7    |  G7    C7   |       F                |     F/A           C7     |

As you can see, the 2-beat pick-ups for the repetition of the phrase "do it" in the second bar of the second line are treated as add-ons to the four beats of the measure.
When this song started out, I thought it might be an advice-giving type of song like Sleepy John Estes's "Clean Up At Home".  It turns out to be a lot more subversive than that.  These guys were really funny and quick, and as with "The Gin Done Done It", it's all in the delivery.

   When the gal gets old, she wants to be alone, you left a little work undone at home
   CHORUS:  Do it right, do it right
   Whatever you're doing, go on, do it right

   Whenever you're doing whatever you should, just do your best to do it good
   CHORUS:

   When you have a fight and you didn't win, buy a shotgun, start over again
   CHORUS:

   If your gal comes home, she's feelin' tight, she wants some lovin' that very night
   CHORUS:

   If you're feelin' bad, 'cause you're on the shelf, get some rope, go hang yourself
   CHORUS:

   If your gal needs money, how bad you feel, get some money if you have to steal
   CHORUS:

   If your wife leaves home every time you do, somebody outside knows more than you
   CHORUS:

   When your pal buys your gal a Coca-Cola, you can bet your life he's playing her Victrola
   CHORUS:

   The elephant said when he swallowed the cat, "Got a mouthful of kitty and it's tight like that."
   CHORUS:  Do it right, he did it right
   Whatever you're doing, go on, do it right

All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on June 17, 2006, 01:38:19 AM
Hi all,
One of the most unusual songs to fall into this category is "Ash Tray Blues", recorded by Papa Charlie Jackson, probably the least played of the great early blues players by present-day musicians.  "Ash Tray Blues" is remarkable for being played by Papa Charlie in the key of E flat in standard tuning (tuned slightly low), without a capo, a position that not even Rev. Davis ventured to play in, at least on recordings.  This song can be found on "Papa Charlie Jackson, Vol. 2", Document CD DOCD-5088.
"Ash Tray Blues" is an early example of the type of "Pop Blues" that Bo Carter would later specialize in, employing a 32-bar AABA structure.  The progression is as follows:
A1:
|      E flat      |      A (E flat) dim 7 |       E flat      |       C7          |
|      F7#9      |      B flat 6            | E flat/E dim7  |  F min/B flat   |
A2:
|      E flat      |      A dim 7           |       E flat      |        C7          |
|      F7#9      |      B flat 6            | E flat7/D7     |E flat7/D7/E flat7|
B:
|      A flat      |      A flat              |      E flat       |        C7          |
|      F7#9      |      F7#9               | B flat6/A6     | B flat 6/A6/B flat 6|
A3:
|      E flat      |      A dim 7           |      E flat       |        C7           |
|      F7#9      |      B flat              |   E flat7/ D7   | E flat 7/D7/E flat 7|

Papa Charlie fingered the less frequently encountered chords included in this song as follows:
   E flat:  X-X-1-3-4-3   A dim7:  X-0-1-2-1-2   F7#9:  1-X-3-2-4-4
   B flat6:  0-1-3-3-3-3  E dim7:  0-0-2-3-2-3   F minor:  X-X-3-1-1-1
   E flat7:  X-X-1-3-2-3  A flat:  X-X-6-5-4-4     A6:  X-0-2-2-2-2
The A diminished 7 chord might more aptly be termed an E flat diminished 7 chord, but Papa Charlie played the open A string and diminished chords are usually named for the lowest pitch voiced in them.  Papa Charlie uses the same rhythmic motif for the last two bars of A2, B and A3--a bar split between a chord and its neighbor a half-step down, followed by a bar in which the chord and its lower neighbor are given a beat apiece followed by the return to the original chord for two beats.  Papa Charlie sounds to be flat-picking or perhaps playing with a thumb pick, though I would vote for the flat pick.  He plays lots of nifty connecting runs between the chords and sounds the consummate professional.
The vocal makes its first entrance at B, and from there on until the end of the form, Papa Charlie simply alternates between B and A3 (though he plays two consecutive A3 parts at the very end of the song).  So it is that in performance the 32-bar form is jettisoned and he ends up rocking back and forth between parts B and A3.  I don't know the significance of the ash tray of the title, though Sam Chatmon used to sing a great "Ash Tray Taxi Blues" ("I want all you women to park your butts over in here").  Here are Papa Charlie's lyrics:

   She's my baby, she's a lady, oh honey bee
   Thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   Ah baby, ah lady, come get me so true
   Because I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   Yes, I'm thinking 'bout the Ash Tray Blues
   Ain't got no time to lose
   Sweet baby, don't leave me with the blues

   SPOKEN:  I ain't talkin' to one, I ain't talkin' to two
   I'm talkin' to the captain and the whole doggone crew
   SUNG:  I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   Deet doh doh dee doh dee doh doh doh
   Dohdle-oh doh doh
   Dohdle-dee doh, doh dee doh doh
   Dee dohdle-oh doh, dee dohdley doh doh do
   Dohdle-oh doh, dohdle oh doh
   Dohdle-oh doh doh
   I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   SPOKEN:  Yes, she smokes a cigarette, throws her ashes in the tray
   She's a good woman, she likes to have her way
   SUNG:  She's still thinking about the Ash Tray Blues

   Oh, baby, Oh, lady, come get your babe
   I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   I'm going away, won't be long
   You'll look for me, I'll be gone
   I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray blues

Papa Charlie was really a terrific player, with a very lively touch, and his chordal sophistication, I believe, surpassed that of his contemporaries Blind Blake and Lonnie Johnson.  I think the fact that the great majority of his recordings were acoustically recorded has probably hurt his chances for more recognition from present-day blues fans, along with a preference nowadays for the rougher and more low-down blues sounds over his slicker Pop and Jazz-influenced material.  It's too bad, because he really deserves more recognition.  He was a stellar musician.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on October 12, 2006, 03:17:37 PM
Hi all,
I've been listening a lot recently to Texas Alexander's recording of "Mama, I Heard You Brought It Right Back Home", on which he is accompanied by the sensational pianist Eddie Heywood.  The song has two parts: an unusual raggy 16-bar blues phrase and a "break" section which is 8 bars long.  Eddie Heywood's playing on this song is an exercise in perpetual motion; even in measures where the harmony is holding on one chord he often engineers little walk-ups or walk-downs, achieving a sort of "running-in-place" effect.  The 16-bar section of the song works out so, with only the essential harmony shown.

   |      Eflat      |      Aflat7     |      Eflat      |      Eflat7      |

   |      Aflat7    |      Adim7    | Eflat/Bflat7   |      Eflat7      |

   |      Aflat      |      Eflat      |      G7          | Cmin/Adim7  |

   |      Eflat      |      Bflat7    |  Eflat/Edim7   |Bflat7overF/Bflat7|

The 8-bar break section, for which Heywood switches to stop-time behind the descending bass line, works as follows:

   |      Eflat      |EflatoverDflat |Aflat6overC   |Aflatmin6overCflat|

   | EflatoverBflat|    Bflat7       |     Eflat       |     Bflat7           |

Some of the walk-ups and walk-downs that Heywood uses work as follows:

   *  In the third and fourth bars of the 16-bar section, where the harmony moves from Eflat to Eflat 7, you can use a walk-up with two beats of Eflat, one beat each of Bflat7 over F and Gflat dim7, resolving to Eflat7 over G.  Chordal positions would be as follows:
   E flat:  X-6-8-8-8-X, Bflat7 over F:  X-8-8-7-9-X, Gflat dim7:  X-9-10-8-10-X
   Eflat7 over G:  X-10-11-8-11-X
   *  Similarly in the break section, you can move from Eflat over Bflat in the fifth bar to Bflat7 in the sixth bar via a walk-down, with two beats of Eflat over Bflat, one beat each of Eflat over G and Gflatdim7, resolving to two beats of Bflat7 over F and two beats of Bflat 7 in root position.  The positions:
   Eflat over Bflat:  X-1-X-3-4-3, Eflat over G:  X-X-5-3-4-6, Gflatdim7:  X-X-4-5-4-5,
   Bflat7 over F:  X-X-3-3-3-4, Bflat7:  X-1-3-1-3-X
Other chord positions used in the song, assuming you are playing it in open E flat, are as follows:  E flat:  X-6-5-3-4-X, Aflat7:  4-X-4-5-4-X, Adim7:  5-X-4-5-4-X,
   Bflat7:  6-X-6-3-3-X, Edim7:  X-7-8-6-8-X, Eflat over Dflat:  X-4-5-3-4-X,
   Aflat6 over C:  X-3-3-1-4-X, Aflatmin6 over Cflat:  X-2-3-1-4-X

If you're feeling a little leery about playing in open E flat, the song will transpose relatively easily into C position in standard tuning, and you could capo it to suit your singing.  I think there's a lot to be said for learning how to play out of closed-position keys though, and it definitely makes for a more pianistic sound, if that appeals to you.  In any case, it's a great song and a hell of a lot of fun to play.
All best,
Johnm       
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on December 23, 2006, 12:39:10 PM
Hi all,
I have been listening recently to the JSP Old-Time re-issue, "Appalachian Stomp Down", and have found a real beauty on there performed by Emry Arthur and The Cumberland Mountain Singers, recorded on June 25th, 1928 in Indianapolis.  The song has the unwieldy title, "In The Heart of The City That Has No Heart", and it is not a blues, but it has a really pretty and unusual extended circle-of-fifths progression, so I thought I'd post about it here. 
Emry Arthur is a particular favorite of mine.  Vocally, he bore some resemblance to Kelly Harrell, though perhaps sounding a bit looser.  Like Harrell, his repertoire was all over the map, with a strong dose of parlor songs, as well as some traditional songs and ballads, and Bluesy songs like "Oh Reuben".  He was a good plain guitar player with some excellent accompaniments in low-tuned Spanish and Vestapol, and a degree of sophistication in standard tuning as this song shows.  He also played the harmonica well off of a rack.  He died in 1966 in Indianapolis, and I don't know if any of the Old-time musician/researchers active back then like Mike Seeger, John Cohen or Art Rosenbaum had a chance to visit with him or record him before his death.
"In the Heart Of The City That Has No Heart" comes out of the Parlor Song tradition, and sounds like it was written by some Tin Pan Alley composer of the day, with all of its complex interior rhymes.  Arthur plays it in 3/4 time with a boom-chang-chang accompaniment.  It is exceptionally pretty, both melodically and chordally, and when the harmony singer enters on the chorus, it is great.  There are some real surprises in the chords, too.  Arthur changes them a little from verse to verse and chorus to chorus, and where that happened I have chosen the version that sounds stronger.  I have indicated the chords and bar structure above the first verse and chorus.  I would appreciate any help with the bent bracketed phrase in the chorus; it is hard to hear, and I don't think Arthur and the other singer are singing the same words.  Of course, the sentiment expressed here is a far cry from standard Blues lyrics, but I think we can take it.

         |      E     |      E          |     C7      |    E       |     
   She wanted to roam, so she left the old home, the
   |     F#7     |      B7      |    E    |  E     |       
   Old people's hearts were sore,       She
   |    F#minor   |      B7          |   E         |    E           |   
   Longed for the sights, and the bright city lights, where
   |     G#7      |  G#7  |   B7  |  B7         
   Hundreds has gone before,      She
   |     B7       |   B7        |  E   |  E     |
   Went to the heart of the city,    And
   |      B7       |   B7     |  G#7  | G#7|
   Mingled with strangers there,     But
   | C#7  |     C#7      |F#minor | F# minor |
   Nobody said, "You're being misled", For
   |    F#7       |  F#7     | B7    |   B7   |
   What did the strangers care?

   CHORUS:
           |     E      |    E     |  A     |  F#7   |
   In the heart of a city that has no heart
   |         B7          |      B7    |        E             |    E        |
   That's where they meet, and that's where they part, the
   |   G#7    | G#7     |    E         |    E        |       
   Current of life   has proved too strong, so
   |   F#7    |    F#7   |   B7        | B7   |
   Poor little girlie just drifted along
   |  E     |      E        |   A     | F#7  |
   Nobody cared if she lived or died
   |  B7   |      B7       |     E       |    E          |
   Nobody cared if she laughed or cried, she's
   |     C#7  |    C#7   |F#m   |      Am              |
   Just a lost sister and nobody missed her, in the
   |   E     |   B7   | E     |   E    |   
   City that has no heart

   A year passed by, there's a tear in her eye
   And sorrow is on her brow
   Oh, what would she do if the old people knew?
   She couldn't go back home now
   Her dear mother said when they parted,
   "Remember your good old name."
   Then her Daddy said, "Rather, we'd see you dead
   Than to bring us disgrace and shame."

   CHORUS

Arthur used the following voicings for the less frequently encountered chords he plays in the course of the song.  He voices G#7:  X-X-1-1-1-2, and plays his bass from the fourth string.  Many of you who have played Blind Blake material may be familiar with this voicing from his C tunes, where he particularly liked to use it.  In Blake's context it is designated Aflat7, and it functions as the flat VI chord in C.  For Arthur, it is designated G#7, and it functions as the III7 chord.  Arthur plays his F# minor chord so:  2-X-4-2-2-2, and most often plays his bass from the fourth string, though he strikes the sixth string once or twice.  He voices his F#7 chord: 2-X-4-3-2-0, a great sound, getting the seventh off of the open first string.  This voicing was used by Carl Martin in his versions of "Good Morning, Judge" and "Crow Jane".  I hope you get a chance to hear this song--I have an idea that it's the kind of thing R. Crumb was talking about in his (paraphrased) quote, "One of the few times I have any kind of love for humanity is when I listen to old records."

Edited for correction from banjochris, 12/24

All best,
Johnm           

   
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: banjochris on December 24, 2006, 01:29:38 AM
John, the missing bit of "In the Heart of the City That Has No Heart" is

"The current of life has proved too strong."
Merry Holidays, etc.
Chris
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on December 24, 2006, 04:05:59 PM
Thanks for the help with the lyrics, Chris.  I figured if you had heard the song you would know the missing line.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on May 22, 2007, 11:05:17 PM
Hi all,
A tune that fits this category that I've really been enjoying lately is the Mississippi Jook Band's "Skippy Whippy", recorded in 1936 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  The band featured Roosevelt Graves on guitar, his brother Aaron on tambourine and Cooney Vaughan on piano.  Roosevelt is playing out of Spanish tuning, as I believe he did on all of his recordings, pitched at Bflat in this instance.  His playing is just sensational, and is unusual in being very obviously improvisatory.  He pretty much changes what he is playing on the song all the way from the beginning to the conclusion of the rendition.  The song is a nice variant of the 12-bar blues progression, and works as follows:

   |    I    |    I     |     I    |    I    |

   |   IV   |   IV    |     I    |   VI7  |

   |   II    |   V7   |     I    |  I / V7 |

The movement to the VI chord in the eighth bar and the II chord in the ninth bar is really pretty, and is one that was used in almost all of the early Blues recordings by Leecan & Cooksey.  Spanish tuning was not used for raggy material all that much, (Buddy Boy Hawkins's "A Rag" being an exception) but Roosevelt Graves makes you re-think the possibilities that Spanish makes available to the player of raggy blues.  His fingerings for his VI and VI7 chords (E and E7 relative to his tuning/capo placement) are really easy and natural, X-X-2-1-0-2 and X-X-2-1-0-0, respectively.  Similarly, his II chord is simplicity itself:  X-X-2-2-2-2.  In general, use of alternate tunings begins to seem quixotic at the point at which whatever is being played ends up more difficult to play than it would be in standard tuning.  Roosevelt Graves and Buddy Boy Hawkins make me realize that Spanish tuning has a lot of untapped potential for raggy-type material, and with a little exploration, might yield some terrific sounds that would work really well in the style.
Incidentally, the time of the Mississippi Jook Band is stellar, and no small credit for that must go to Aaron Graves, because his tambourine playing is smoking.  "Skippy Whippy" is on the new JSP "Mississippi Blues" set, for those of you who are interested in seeking it out.
All best,
Johnm   
 
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Bunker Hill on May 23, 2007, 12:17:24 AM
Incidentally, the time of the Mississippi Jook Band is stellar, and no small credit for that must go to Aaron Graves, because his tambourine playing is smoking.  "Skippy Whippy" is on the new JSP "Mississippi Blues" set, for those of you who are interested in seeking it out.
I don't know how in depth the notes are to this set but Gayle Dean Wardlow's Blind Roosevelt Graves (1909-1962), in Chasin' That Devil Music (p.191-5) is worthy of attention.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 01, 2008, 09:06:43 AM
Hi all,
East Coast bluesman Ralph Willis was in the studio in New York City for a rare solo session on October 3, 1951, and recorded two numbers:  "Salty Dog" and "Old Home Blues".  Both tracks are strong, but "Old Home Blues" is really special.  It is a beautiful, relaxed, medium tempo sort of Pop blues, strongly reminiscent of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind".  Willis played the song out of C position in standard tuning, and sets the stage immediately with his intro, in which his touch and tonal control establish a distinctive mood.  The song has a complicated form, which plays out as follows:

   Instrumental Intro:
   |    C   |    E7    |    F    |    F    |   
   |    D7  |   G7    |    C   |    C    |
   Vocal Verse:
   |    C    |   E7    |    F    |    F    |
   |   D7   |   G7    | C--A7 | D7--G7 |    C    |
   Vocal Bridge:
   |   E7    |   E7    |    F    |    F    |
   |   D7    |   D7   |    G7  |    G7  |
   Vocal Verse Out:
   |    C    |    E7   |    F     |    F    |
   |   D7   |    G7   | C--A7  | D7--G7 |    C    |
   Guitar solos on Bridge and Intro Progression:
   Vocal re-enters on one-time segue:
   |   E7   |    E7    |    F    |    F    |
   |   D7   |   G7    | C--A7 | D7--G7 |    C     |
   Vocal sings Bridge and Verse Out, with final resolution from G7 to:
   | C-C7-F-Fm7|    C    |

Here are Ralph Willis's lyrics.  It should be noted that they "sing" better than they "read". 

   Oh yes, darling, I will be standing, way down on that railroad line
   Well, darling, darling, oh my darling,
   I've got the Old Home Blues, yes I mean,
   I really have the Old Home Blues

   Yes, I've got my suitcase packed, and I don't intend to turn back
   No need to grievin', darling, 'cause I told you I was leavin'
   I hear those Home Blues

   You know, when things look like it's swell
   Somethin' come along, make it bad for me, well, well, well, well
   Well, darling, darling, oh my darling
   I've got the Old Home Blues, yes, I mean,
   I really have the Old Home Blues

This song can be found on the JSP set, "Shake That Thing".  Hearing it made me wish that Ralph Willis had done more solo sessions.  A lot of his small ensemble stuff is nice, but his solo work is far more distinctive.
All best,
Johnm     
   
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 05, 2010, 03:48:04 PM
Hi all,
I've been meaning to revive this thread for some time and decided to choose "Whiskey And Gin Blues" a song from the South Street Trio, featuring Robert Cooksey on harmonica and vocals, Bobby Leecan on tenor banjo and Alfred Martin on guitar, recorded in Camden, New Jersey on November 22, 1926.  Both takes of the song can be found on "Bobby Leecan & Robert Cooksey, Vol. 1", Document Records DOCD-5279.  I've often wondered if the session information was garbled at the time the information was taken down, for the guitarist sounds so much like Bobby Leecan, and Alfred Martin plays mandolin, which is tuned to the same intervals as tenor banjo, on other cuts with the duo, but in any event, the performance and the tune are both stand-outs.

The group plays three times through a 12-bar blues form before Robert Cooksey enters and sings a couple of verses, and they are a formidably suave instrumental unit.  The banjoist has a smooth tremolo and phrases the melody perfectly locked in with Robert Cooksey's harmonica.  The guitar playing is spectacular.  If Blind Blake was known as the man who played piano-style guitar, Alfred Martin (or Bobby Leecan) goes him one better.  The guitarist bounces notes in the bass much as Blake did, but instead of bouncing between adjacent strings as Blake most often did, the guitarist bounces between the sixth and third string, harmonizing the progression in rolling tenths (an octave-and-a-third) exactly the way pianists of the era would do it.  The flat-picking guitarist is able to move freely between emphasized single notes, damped strumming and syncopated connecting runs, and shows a particular predeliction for voicing chords with notes other than the root in the bass, so as to achieve melodic movement and counterpoint in the bass, much as in Brazilian choros.
Here is the progression for the first two times through the form.  The guitar enters in the third bar for the first pass through the form.  Where the guitarist voices notes other than the root of the chord in the bass, I'll show it as a slash chord, a la D7/F#, or D7 with the F# at the second fret of the sixth string in the bass.

   ||            |            |      D7      |      D7      |

   |    G      | G   Gm  |     D/F#    |     B7      |

   |    E7     |    A7     |  D   A7/E   |  D   A7    ||

   || D7/F#  |   A7/E   |    D7/F#    |    D7      |

   |    G       |     G     |      D/A     |     B7      |

   |E7/G# E7 |   A7     |  D  A7       |  D     A7  ||

After three instrumental passes, Robert Cooksey enters and sings the following two verses.  Right after he sings the words "mess around" the guitarist plays a run that has to be heard to be believed.

   Drink my whiskey, gonna drink tomcat's gin
   Gonna drink my whiskey, drink my tomcat's gin
   Gonna mess around 'til the boats break in

   When you see two women going hand in hand
   When you see two women going hand in hand
   You can bet your bottom dollar, one wants the other one's man

Immediately following the two verses, the band goes into a 18-bar break or trio section, and it's the prettiest part of the song, just beautiful.  The progression for the trio is as follows:

   ||  D    F#   |    B7    |    E7    |    E7    |

    |  A7  E7#5 |   A7     |   E7    |    A7    |

    | D/F#  F#  |   B7     |   E7    |    E7     |

    |  G    Bflat | D   B7  |  E7 A7 | D  B7    |

    |  E7   A7    |    D     ||

On take two, the guitarist goes to F# mistakenly at the end of the 16th bar and has to hustle the turn-around.  After playing through the trio once, the band returns to the blues form for a pass or two more. 
This is such a terrific tune and performance.  And there's no reason to feel that because you don't know someone who can play Robert Cooksey's harmonica part or someone to play the tenor banjo part that the tune must remain off-limits.  The melody could easily be adapted to fiddle, mandolin, banjo-mandolin, or clarinet or cornet, for that matter.  This is wonderful music that merits a listen and would be hugely rewarding to work up in your own version.  Hell, a solo guitar version would be great!
All best,
Johnm

     
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: David Kaatz on February 07, 2010, 09:02:09 AM
Hi  John,
I just read this whole thread.  Slowly.  Some great stuff here, thank you for so generously sharing all you know. 
I'm not at home so I can't look anything up, but a song that comes to mind that I recall as a down home raggy progression is a Mance Lipscomb tune.  I learned it once and played it for you I think  waaaay back when you were teaching classes in a church in NE Seattle - I took some country blues and a intro to American songwriters class.  Jeez, long story short, I don't recall the name of Mance' tune, but recall it having more going on chordally than his typical tunes.  And I've long since forgotten how to play it.

Dave K.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on February 07, 2010, 10:01:01 AM
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the message.  I will think about it and try to remember what the Mance tune was.  If I come up with it, I'll post here or give you a shout to corroborate whether it's the right one.
all best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on November 07, 2010, 05:09:08 PM
Hi all,
I've been listening to the County "Rural Parlor Guitar" CD, CO-CD-2774, recently, and Estil C. Ball has a couple of cool raggy tunes on there with unusual progressions.  "Waking the Wires" was an original composition of his, and it has a 32-bar, AABA form, like most Pop Songs of the '20s--'50s.  He played it in E, in standard tuning and the progression is like so:

The A parts are all substantially the same, and go:

   |   E   |  E   |  F#7  |  F#7  |   B7  |   B7  |   E   |   E   |

The B part is a III7-VI7--II7--V7 progression, like the bridge of "I Got Rhythm", and it works out so:

   |  G#7  |  G#7  |   C#7   |  C#7  |  F#7   |  F#7  |   B7  |   B7   |

It's great the way that E.C. Ball figured out how to expand his chordal vocabulary by using a few movable shapes, making chords like F#7, G#7 and C#7 accessible.  This would be a fun tune to figure out, and there certainly aren't that many folks playing it at this point.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: eagle rockin daddy on November 09, 2010, 08:30:45 AM
thanks John,  great great thread.

Mike
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on November 09, 2010, 04:06:53 PM
Thanks, Mike, and I hope other folks will feel welcome to add songs or tunes to the thread that fit the title, ask questions about progressions, or anything else that gets discussion going and gets people playing the music.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on January 27, 2011, 12:01:45 PM
Hi all,
I was listening recently to the cuts by Virgil Childers on the JSP set, "Blind Boy Fuller, Volume 2", and was struck by his rendition of "Who's That Knockin' At My Door".  It's a raggy tune in C position, standard tuning (sounding at D), and in the course of his rendition, Virgil Childers played some really nifty chord voicings that are very rarely encountered in the playing of Country Blues musicians.
Childers opens the song with with a solo on the whole form, a bit of a surprise in itself, and then launches into his singing.  Here is the progression he played in his opening solo:

   ||  C/E  Aflat7/Eflat  |   G9/D    |  C       Aflat7/Eflat   |    G9/D         |

   |         D7              |    G7       |  C       Gflat7/Dflat   |   G7/D         |

   |          C               |   G9/D     |  C       C#dim7       |    G9/D         |

   |         D7              |    G7        |  C         G7           |       C            |

   |         E7               |    E7        |   A7/E     Aflat7/Eflat  |      A7       |

   |         D7               |     D7      |           G               |         G7        |

   |   C         C#dim7    |   G7/D     |   C         C#dim7   |         G         |

   |          D7              |        G7     |    C          G7        |        C          ||

Here are some of the chord positions Virgil Childers used in the course of this solo:
C/E: X-X-2-0-1-0, Aflat7/Eflat: X-X-1-1-1-2, G9/D: at first, X-X-0-4-6-5, after the C#dim 7, X-5-X-4-6-5, Gflat7/Dflat: X-4-2-3-2-2, C#dim7: X-4-X-3-5-X, E7: 0-7-6-5-X-7,
D7: X-5-4-5-X-5.
It's really ingenious the way Childers walked into his V chord, G7, both from above by half-step, from Aflat7 and from below by half-step, from Gflat7. His voicing of the rootless G9 is really pretty. He fingered both his E7 and D7 chords in the bridge like a B7 at the base of the neck, just moving the position up.  He played a simplified version of the progression behind his singing. One of the things I particularly like about his chord playing here is that by voicing many of the chords in inversion, with notes other than the root in the bass, he gets a lot of chromatic movement in the bass and a considerably less blocky sound than you get if you always voice the root of the chord in the bass. His sound is very pianistic in a way, and at the same time really flattering to the guitar.

Virgil Childers only recorded six titles, all on the same day at a session in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1938.  All of the songs are included on the Fuller, Vol. 2 set.  Based only on that very small sample, he really had a lot to offer, and it's a shame he never made it into the studio again.  Nothing is known about him.  "Who's That Knockin' At My Door" is really a great song and performance and if you figure it out and do it, I can pretty much guarantee the response is not going to be, "Oh man, not another Virgil Childers song!"
All best,
Johnm    
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on March 03, 2011, 06:51:24 PM
Hi all,
The first number recorded by The Two Poor Boys, Joe Evans & Arthur McClain, was "Little Son Of A Gun", recorded at a session in Birmingham, Alabama on July 25, 1927.  The song features both players on kazoo (a first?), and one playing a 12-string guitar and one playing, I believe, a six-string guitar.  Both guitarists sound to be working out of F position in standard tuning, and are playing at a tremendous clip. 
"Little Son Of A Gun" is a raggy Pop tune with a 32-bar structure, which was the norm for Pop tunes of the era.  It goes so:

   |    F    |    F    |     G7   |     G7   |    C7    |    C7   |    F6   |    F6   |

   |    F    |    F7   |    C7    |     C7   |    C7    |    C7   |    F    |    F     |

   |    F    |    F     |    G7    |    G7    |    C7   |    C7    |    A7  |    A7   |

   |   Dm  |   Dm   |    G7   |     G7    |    C7   |    C7    |    F    |    F     |

Because the song altogether avoids the IV chord, B flat, it bypasses what is normally the most difficult aspect of playing in F.  This song has a great progression (the A7 to D minor move is especially nice), and would work well as a solo number, or especially in a larger ensemble like a jug band or string band.
All best,
Johnm   
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: hellahella on April 07, 2011, 06:42:14 PM
Hi all,
I was listening recently to the cuts by Virgil Childers on the JSP set, "Blind Boy Fuller, Volume 2", and was struck by his rendition of "Who's That Knockin' At My Door".  It's a raggy tune in C position, standard tuning (sounding at D), and in the course of his rendition, Virgil Childers played some really nifty chord voicings that are very rarely encountered in the playing of Country Blues musicians.
Childers opens the song with with a solo on the whole form, a bit of a surprise in itself, and then launches into his singing.  Here is the progression he played in his opening solo:

   ||  C/E  Aflat7/Eflat  |   G9/D    |  C       Aflat7/Eflat   |    G9/D         |

   |         D7              |    G7       |  C       Gflat7/Dflat   |   G7/D         |

   |          C               |   G9/D     |  C       C#dim7       |    G9/D         |

   |         D7              |    G7        |  C         G7           |       C            |

   |         E7               |    E7        |   A7/E     Aflat7/Eflat  |      A7       |

   |         D7               |     D7      |           G               |         G7        |

   |   C         C#dim7    |   G7/D     |   C         C#dim7   |         G         |

   |          D7              |        G7     |    C          G7        |        C          ||

Here are some of the chord positions Virgil Childers used in the course of this solo:
C/E: X-X-2-0-1-0, Aflat7/Eflat: X-X-1-1-1-2, G9/D: at first, X-X-0-4-6-5, after the C#dim 7, X-5-X-4-6-5, Gflat7/Dflat: X-4-2-3-2-2, C#dim7: X-4-X-3-5-X, E7: 0-7-6-5-X-7,
D7: X-5-4-5-X-5.
It's really ingenious the way Childers walked into his V chord, G7, both from above by half-step, from Aflat7 and from below by half-step, from Gflat7. His voicing of the rootless G9 is really pretty. He fingered both his E7 and D7 chords in the bridge like a B7 at the base of the neck, just moving the position up.  He played a simplified version of the progression behind his singing. One of the things I particularly like about his chord playing here is that by voicing many of the chords in inversion, with notes other than the root in the bass, he gets a lot of chromatic movement in the bass and a considerably less blocky sound than you get if you always voice the root of the chord in the bass. His sound is very pianistic in a way, and at the same time really flattering to the guitar.

Virgil Childers only recorded five titles, all on the same day at a session in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1938.  All of the songs are included on the Fuller, Vol. 2 set.  Based only on that very small sample, he really had a lot to offer, and it's a shame he never made it into the studio again.  Nothing is known about him.  "Who's That Knockin' At My Door" is really a great song and performance and if you figure it out and do it, I can pretty much guarantee the response is not going to be, "Oh man, not another Virgil Childers song!"
All best,
Johnm    

I've been trying to learn a bunch of the songs in this thread it's really great so thanks to anyone who has posted anything. I was trying to play this song and something sounded off so I played along with the song a little bit and I think it's supposed to be A7/E not Aflat7/E.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on April 07, 2011, 07:05:01 PM
Hi hellahella,
Welcome to Weenie Campbell.  If you look closely, every time there is an Aflat 7, it is over Eflat, not E.  It's right as transcribed.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: hellahella on April 07, 2011, 07:16:04 PM
Thanks! But I'm sorry I wrote that wrong, what I meant was that instead of Aflat7/Eflat I meant to write  A7/E. But also I was confused because I wasn't playing it fast enough and was confusing the G9 for A7! Thanks, I've got it now.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: JRO on July 01, 2011, 10:31:11 AM
Hi,

Thanks for this thread. It is helpful in many ways and sums many of my scattered thoughts. Especially thanks for John.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Pan on May 12, 2014, 02:20:52 PM
Hi all

The somewhat obscure Noah Moore did a nice tune with the cycle of 5ths like progression.

Usually, the cycles type of progression aim at the I chord, a typical progression would be something like VI - II - V - I. In the key of F these chords would be D - G - C - F.

Moore's tune has these changes, and he starts out with the D chord, but the sung melody starts with the G chord. To my ears, this seriously obscures the tonality, and he doesn't seem to treat the F chord as "home base". This makes the chord changes sound fresh and new, at least to my ears. For some reason, my ear seems to grab G as the tonic chord, instead of F. If we were in the key of G, the chord changes G - C - F - D would represent I - IV - bVII - V, a very different set of changes from the usual cycle of 5ths.
I wonder if anyone else hears these changes the way I do?
Anyway, in the end, Moore does end the song with the F chord, so perhaps I'm just imagining things?

Noah Moore- I Done Tole You (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut6D4oZax2o#ws)

Cheers

Pan

Edited to add: Johnm places the song in the key of C, so the changes C - F - D - G would actually be I - IV - II - V, see his post below.

Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on May 12, 2014, 03:00:11 PM
Hi Pan,
That really is an unusual tune.  It sounds to me like it is in C, and is going:

|   I   |   I   |   I   |   I   |

|  IV  |  IV  |  IV  |  IV  |

|  II7 |  II7 |  II7 |  II7 |

|  V   |   V   |   V   |   V   |

So that every pass through the form concludes on the V chord, in a half cadence.  Doesn't it sound like each verse starts on the C chord?  The ending in F is tough to figure, for sure.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Pan on May 12, 2014, 03:11:24 PM
Hi Pan,
That really is an unusual tune.  It sounds to me like it is in C, and is going:

|   I   |   I   |   I   |   I   |

|  IV  |  IV  |  IV  |  IV  |

|  II7 |  II7 |  II7 |  II7 |

|  V   |   V   |   V   |   V   |

So that every pass through the form concludes on the V chord, in a half cadence.  Doesn't it sound like each verse starts on the C chord?  The ending in F is tough to figure, for sure.
All best,
Johnm

Thanks for your analysis, John! That little walking boogie riff also starts at C, so I think you must be right!

Cheers

Pan
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Gumbo on May 13, 2014, 04:47:08 AM
Interesting tune. I had wondered what this would sound like but hadn't heard an example and hadn't made it work when I tried to get a melody for it.

Normally in a rag (mama rag form) that went C F I would expect it to go Bb Eb afterwards - and our fiddler would be looking at me with a a frowning Eb? expression. This tune uses the chords that i would expect if I'd started in D and flips the pairs around so it goes back up the neck instead of descending. Am I making sense? I think our fiddler would play an F scale with these chords. We call a D G C F rag an F rag - i'll check whether that's the scale she uses.

So I wondered what would happen when the melody started in the middle (on the C of a D G C F rag) and lo! here it is. :)

This probably shows how little I understand of the actual theory of circle of fifths!
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on June 02, 2015, 06:46:51 PM
Hi all,
I found a really pretty raggy tune recently, Rufus and Ben Quillian's "Take It Out Too Deep".  It's a kind of hokum novelty tune, but the melody and progression are really specially fine, as is the musicianship of the backing band.  Here is the tune:

http://youtu.be/RfUEEbEKH40 (http://youtu.be/RfUEEbEKH40)

Here is the Quillian's progression:

VERSE:
   |  D  F#7/C# |    B7    |   E7  A7  |    D    |

   |  D  F#7/C# |  B7  B7/A | E7/G#  E7  |    A7    |

   |        D        |      D7      |       G      |      F#7    |

   |       B7/D#   |   B7/D#   |      E7    |      A7      |

CHORUS:

   |        D        |        D        |        D       |    A7    D    |

   |        D        |        D        |      E7      |       A7       |

   |        D        |       D7       |       G        |     Bb         |

   |        D        |        D        |        D       |       B7       |     E7    A7     |        D        ||

The 18-bar chorus is unusual.  I don't know who the backing band is but I think one of the brothers may have been the pianist.  The slide playing is really adept, very Hawaiian and Jazz-influenced by the sound of it.  The tune is a new one to me, and might be a good one for people with Jug Bands or as a solo arrangement for a guitarist.  It's neat to find a tune of this type that has some different wrinkles.

All best,
Johnm
Title: Question: 2-5-1 Progression
Post by: MissouriTiger on October 31, 2018, 07:04:40 PM
Hello friends,

I wonder if anyone can point me to some examples of  2-5-1 Progression used in country blues?

Thanks,

Greg
Title: Re: Question: 2-5-1 Progression
Post by: Johnm on October 31, 2018, 10:58:44 PM
Hi Greg,
In any raggy 18-bar progression like Blind Boy Fuller's "I Crave My Pigmeat, there are a host of II-V-I progressions.  See below:


   |    G (I)   |    E7 (VI7)  | A7 (II7) D7 (V7) |      G (I)    |

   |    G (I)   |    E7 (VI7)  |          A7 (II7)     |      D7 (V7) |

   |    G (I)    |    G7 (I7)   |        C (IV)          |     G dim7 (Idim7)

   |    G (I)    |     E7 (VI7) | A7 (II7) D7 (V7)  |  G (I) E7 (VI7)|

   | A7 (II7) D7 (V7) |  G  (I)       |

All best,
Johnm

   
Title: Re: Question: 2-5-1 Progression
Post by: waxwing on November 02, 2018, 12:08:13 PM
Hey MT, you might want to peruse this topic:

Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths (https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=712.msg5321#msg5321)

It begins with my discussion of Scrapper Blackwell's Back Door Blues, which is more like a 'standard' 12 bar blues. The 1st 6 bars seem like a normal 12 bar in D, |D(I)|D(I)|D(I)|D(I)|G7(IV7)|G7(IV7)| Returning to the I as usual, but for only half a bar, Scrapper then launches into a walk down of the circle of 5ths from the III7, landing the V7 in the 10th bar where we would normally see it, and resolving to the two final bars in the I, like this: |D(I)/F#7(III7)|B7(VI7)|E7(II7)|A7(V7)|D(I)|D(I)| Whole thing looks like this:

|   D(I)     |   D(I)    |   D(I)             |   D(I)     |

| G7(IV7) | G7(IV7) | D(I)  F#7(III7) | B7(VI7) |

| E7(II7)  |  A7(V7)  |   D(I)            |   D(I)     |

Scrapper only does this in the first two verses and a little differently in the solo. This sounds really bluesy without a hint of ragginess. Other examples are discussed in the topic and Johnm adds more insight as usual.

Wax
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on November 02, 2018, 02:16:03 PM
Hi all,
I have merged the new 2-5-1 topic into the old Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths topic as waxwing suggested.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Rivers on November 03, 2018, 06:19:47 PM
I added the "circle of 5ths (https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?option=com_smf&action=tags;tagid=3744)" tag to it. There was one other thread tagged and probably many more we could tag that way as well.
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Johnm on November 03, 2018, 06:47:20 PM
I think the "theory/analysis" tag generally catches all of these sorts of threads.
All best,
Johnm
Title: Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
Post by: Rivers on November 04, 2018, 04:42:34 AM
I think I know what you're saying. The term "circle of 5ths" is very broad brush when we're talking about country blues, as is "12 bar blues" etc in the majority of cases. It's just a tendency. Uneven phrasing, variations between verses and refrains, middle eights or other breaks out of the main form occur more often than not.

Since people do use these terms, and someone asked, I went ahead and added the preexisting tag.
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal