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You could pick a voice out and pretty much tell who it was, but we never did know Uncle Dave Macon was a white man until way years later. Always thought he was black; everybody did around there. - John Jackson, Smithsonian Folkways Magazine

Recent Posts

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1
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Irene Scruggs Lyrics
« Last post by Stuart on Today at 05:01:15 PM »
From the context she is definitely singing about her man being carried away by the train. But what are the words she's using? Stavin" Chain makes sense if it were a mispronunciation, but I don't think what she sings supports it. It doesn't sound even close. Could it have been a complete flub? Or perhaps some obscurity? 
2
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Irene Scruggs Lyrics
« Last post by eric on Today at 03:20:59 PM »
"ace of change" sounds somewhat, but not quite, like a variation of Stavin' Chain, which would make sense in this context.  Not to state the obvious here, but Blake pretty much owns playing out of C position, if you ask me.
3
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Irene Scruggs Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on Today at 02:40:29 PM »
Thanks for the catch on "up" earlier in that same verse, Stuart.  I've made that change, and will keep listening to the other place.  Thanks!
All best,
John
4
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Irene Scruggs Lyrics
« Last post by Stuart on Today at 01:42:53 PM »
That's a tough one, John. I definitely hear the long A to start the bracketed section and perhaps chain(s) instead of change, but other than that, I'm at a loss. I did hear "up" before "in" in the "...train rolls in the yard," line though. You might want to give it another listen.

I can't even think of anything that would sound similar and make sense for the section in question. But I do hear Blake playing the guitar, which is mystifying in its own right.
5
Country Blues Lyrics / Irene Scruggs Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on Today at 11:30:33 AM »
Hi all,
Irene "Chocolate Brown" Scruggs recorded "Itching Heel" at a session in Grafton, Wisconsin on May 26, 1930 for which she was accompanied by Blind Blake, working out of C position in standard tuning.  Blake's playing on the piece is staggering, and makes you realize the extent to which copying his pieces, transcribing them, playing them however you are able doesn't begin to get at what he was able to express in his own style in the moment.  Scruggs does a terrific job on the vocal, too, just as good as it possibly could be.  I'd very much appreciate help with the bent bracketed section in the third verse.  Here is "Itching Heel":



INTRO

The white folks is done started talkin', you better start walkin', they're talkin' 'bout my no-good man
They say he is shiftless, they say he is worthless, I know he ain't the worst in the land
He don't do nothin' but play on his old guitar, while I'm bustin' suds out in the white folks' yard
Now you know that's hard, and I'm getting sick and tired, you know I ain't satisfied, bring me a job,
And then I'll be satisfied, I ain't jokin', mean I'll be satisfied

Now, when his heel is itchin', he want to start driftin', and go a long, long ways from home
Now, when I first met him, he gave me a gold watch and chain, he caught the train today and left me out in the rain
Now, you know that' mean, and it won't be long, before, you come driftin' home, maybe in the morning,
He'll come driftin' home, oh baby, he'll come driftin' on home

Just as soon as that train rolls up in the yard, going to follow my man if I have to ride the rods
Was a mean old fireman, as mean as he could be, when I waved at my man, he blew his smoke back at me
Now, you know that's tough, and I don't want to get rough, he carried away my [ace of change], ain't it a shame?
You know I ain't satisfied, oh baby, you know I ain't satisfied

GUITAR SOLO (Spoken, Scruggs: Ah, play that thing, boy! Blake: I'm gon' try! Scruggs: You know I ain't jokin', you got to bring me a job!  Blake: Well, I ain't gon' bring no job, 'cause I ain't starving!)

You know I give you your three hot meals every day, while you sit at home and pass the time away
Every time your heel itches, you want to go on strange ground, but if you don't stop chasin' women, you'll break your good thing down
You had a job down on the levee makin' a dollar ten a day, you give the dollar to a high yella and throwed the dime away
Now, I'm gonna get you, I mean without a doubt, baby, and put your taillight out, I don't mean maybe
I meant to put your taillight out, ooh baby, I mean to put your taillight out

Edited 3/20 to pick up correction from Stuart

All best,
Johnm,     
   
6
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on Today at 10:42:16 AM »
Hi all,
For "Every Dog Must Have His Day", Johnny Temple sounds as though he was backed by the Harlem Hamfats, with Joe McCoy supplying the guitar intro, out of G position in standard tuning.  Here is the song:



GUITAR INTRO

Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
But I want you to remember, baby, hoo-well-well, every dog must have his day

Yes, you put me out, baby, and the snow was fallin' down, ooo Lord,
Well, you put me out, and the snow was fallin' down
Because I was all out and down, hoo-baby, you didn't want me around

GUITAR SOLO

After I was down, none of these women come around
Uh, when I was down, none of these women come around
But since I've got my money, hoo-baby, they always hangin' 'round

Because I am down, all my clothes in pawn, ooo Lord,
Because I am down, all my clothes in pawn
But you gon' need me some day, baby, ooo-well-well, I have my good clothes on

Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day, hoo-well,
Everybody's down, sure got to rise some day
But I want you to remember, baby, hoo-well-well, every dog must have his day

All best,
Johnm



 
7
Super Electrical Recordings! / Re: Elizabeth Cotten 1958 vinyl reissue
« Last post by Mr.OMuck on Yesterday at 05:47:07 PM »
One of the great records!
8
Country Blues Licks and Lessons / Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Last post by Johnm on March 18, 2019, 12:09:50 PM »
Hi all,
We haven't had a new puzzler for a while,  I've found one--Jimmy Murphy's "Electricity".  Here it is:



The questions on "Electricity" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Jimmy Murphy use to play the song?
   * Describe the bar structure and chord progression, in Roman numerals of Jimmy Murphy's first two solos.

Please use only your ears and guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any responses before 8:00 AM your time on Thursday, March 21.  Thanks for your participation and I hope you enjoy the song.
All best,
Johnm
9
Other Musical Interests / Re: Dick Dale
« Last post by jpeters609 on March 18, 2019, 09:04:59 AM »
I saw him perform about 25 years ago at the Majestic Theater in Detroit, and it was a tremendous show. Never saw a guitarist go through so many flat picks! He was one of those musicians for whom the word "influential" really and truly applies.
Jeff
10
Other Musical Interests / Re: Dick Dale
« Last post by Stuart on March 18, 2019, 08:30:59 AM »
Thank you, Eric. He was a surfer who just happened to be a great guitar player. I don't think there was a kid growing up by the ocean who wasn't enthralled by his music. I remember seeing him in a video where he talked about surfing, his guitar playing, musical influences,  etc. It might have been a surfing video (one of my guilty pleasures). Here are a couple of links to obits that are a little closer to the bone:

https://www.surfer.com/features/surf-rock-godfather-dick-dale-passes-away-at-81/

https://www.app.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/03/17/dick-dale-king-surf-guitar-also-king-jersey-shore/3196592002/

R.I.P. Dick. May all your waves be perfect.
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