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Recent Posts

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1
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Last post by alyoung on Yesterday at 02:28:59 PM »
"prob Sam Price, pno, prob Teddy Bunn, gtr, unkn sb" -- from Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943 (but also on my copy of DOCD-5239; the session info is on the inside of the front sleeve -- the format is a bit convoluted, but it's there).
2
Jam Session / Re: Two Trains Running - Film
« Last post by TenBrook on Yesterday at 10:29:11 AM »
Hi all,
I just re-remembered that I was hoping this documentary would show up for online streaming and it looks like it's now available on Hulu and I believe it can be rented to watch on Amazon as well.

Lew
3
Super Electrical Recordings! / Re: Charley Patton remasters
« Last post by DerZauberer on Yesterday at 03:03:18 AM »
Quick side note: The discussion here led me down a rabbit hole of comparing all the versions I have of Willie Brown's "Future Blues". It's amazing to do these kinds of comparisons with a song you know really really well.

I still have a soft spot for the very early Yazoo transfers (talking LP era here), with Nick Perls surfing the grooves and getting the best he could in a pre-digital-cleanup time. They do sound close to the sound you get from a reasonably clean 78rpm record being played. Of course, especially on some of the real nasty noisy tracks, clean-up has done wonders. I do have a couple of Son House's "Preachin' Blues", for example, that are barely listenable in their older versions, and much more enjoyable in more recent releases.

But the Willie Brown expedition has shown me a few things:
(1) It is very hard to define an objective "best" - more hiss and crackles often also mean more clarity and high-end, a lot of clean-up sometimes results in much reduced bass present on the original recording, then there is the influence of stylus+cartridge, eqalization, etc. - what is "best"?
(2) Consistency should not be under-estimated. My Wille Brown tracks sound quite different, but they usually are "in line" with their release. On one CD, all tracks are a little "boomy", so the track fits in just fine - but compared to another compilation with a very tight bottom end, it feels completely out of place.
(3) I do like the effort put in by the "American Epic" team, on the AE releases as well as Tefteller's more recent calendar CDs. They are maybe a little on the "analytical" side (very tightened up and scrubbed, rather "modern" sounding), but overall very consistent and in most cases great improvements especially to relatively unclean copies.

The benchmark for me still ist the Robert Johnson set - then again, these are not 1929 clay-cum-garbage Paramount pressings, but based on really high quality source material (and with a lot of money behind to do so because of his popularity).

Would I love an "ultimate" Patton edition? Absolutely. Until then, I will keep switching between what I have (Paramount Boxes, JSP, various compilations, Catfish Records "The Definitive"). Do I think there is a market for such an "ultimate" edition? Probably not, Patton is much more of an acquired taste and a lot less known than RJ. Maybe, just maybe, should there be another Blues revival caused by a popular young band referencing these old heroes... does not seem likely though.
4
Saturday Night Fish Fry / Re: Steve James & Del Rey at Dusty Strings Feb 16
« Last post by Parlor Picker on January 17, 2019, 01:58:04 AM »
A bit far from southern England! Give them my best wishes Stuart. (It goes without saying that you'll enjoy the gig.)
6
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on January 15, 2019, 04:42:25 PM »
Hi all,
Another interesting track from "The Essential Johnny Temple" is "Better Not Let My Good Gal Catch You Here", which turns out to be a sort of evolutionary transitional stage between Ishmon Bracey's "Saturday Blues" and Frankie Lee Sims' "Lucy Mae".  I had previously thought that "Lucy Mae" was based on "Saturday Blues", but it now seems more likely it was based on the Johnny Temple song.  He has a really expert pianist and guitarist backing him, and I don't know who either one of them was because this Document series had nothing in the way of session information.  The song has a really tricky scansion, and I've inserted commas to indicate where Johnny Temple did little pauses in his delivery of the lines.  It reads oddly, but sung that way, it grooves like crazy.  Here is "Better Not Let My Good Gal Catch You Here", with apologies to non-U.S. Weenies who may not be able to view the video.



INTRO

My regular woman, she bring me the daily news, my, Monday woman, she buys my socks and shoes
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

She may cut you, she may, shoot you, too, she may break your back in two
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

My Thursday brown, she holds my pocket change, my, Wednesday brown, she wants to do the same
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

She got a razor, she got a Gatling gun, she cut you if you stand, she shoot you, if you run
REFRAIN: You better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what my gal may do

When my Friday brown knock up, on my door, my Thursday brown, well, she, have to go
REFRAIN: Now you, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Oooh, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

I got, three, four puppies, I got one, shaggy hound, takes, all them dogs to run my, women down
REFRAIN: You, better not let my, good gal catch you here
Well, it ain't no tellin', what she might do

All best,
Johnm
 
7
SOTM - Song Of The Month / Re: SOTM 25 September: Bottle It Up/Step It Up And Go
« Last post by Johnm on January 15, 2019, 04:15:13 PM »
Hi all,
I just discovered this cover by Johnny Temple, who recorded the song as "Fix It Up And Go".  There were some pretty high-powered Jazz players of the era on this recording--Henry "Red" Allen on trumpet, Buster Bailey on clarinet and Lil Hardin Armstrong on piano.  Here is "Fix It Up And Go":



INTRO

The rooster chewed tobacco, the hen dipped snuff
The pullet ain't grown, but she knows her stuff
REFRAIN: She got to fix it up and go, she got to fix it up and go
All you high-powered women, you got to fix it up and go

I had a woman, built up for speed
Hair on her head like a Japanese
REFRAIN: She had to fix it up and go, she had to fix it up and go
All you high-powered women, you got to fix it up and go

I got a hot dog, it ain't cold
It's just right enough to fit your soul
REFRAIN: You got to fix it up and go, you got to fix it up and go
All you high-powered women, you got to fix it up and go

SOLO

I believe somebody fishing in my pond
Catching my perches, grindin' up their bones
REFRAIN: They got to fix it up and go, they got to fix it up and go
All you high-powered women, you got to fix it up and go

I woke up this mornin', 'bout the break of day
Felt on my pillow where my baby used to lay
REFRAIN: She had to fix it up and go, she had to fix it up and go
All you high-powered women, you got to fix it up and go

Well, the sticks and stones break my bones
I'd be a fool if I let you go home
REFRAIN: She got to fix it up and go, she got to fix it up and go
All you high-powered women, you got to fix it up and go

All best,
Johnm


8
Hi all,
This is just a mid-month reminder that the Song of the Month lesson at my website for January, 2019 is "Black Mattie", as performed by Teddy Williams.  You can listen to the track on the post immediately prior to this one in this thread.  For this month only, I'm offering a lesson that includes the intro, verse one and two accompaniments and coda for $35.00.  For more information or to order the lesson, go to www.johnmillerguitar.com , in the Teaching section.  Thanks.
All best,
Johnm
9
Country Blues Licks and Lessons / Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Last post by Johnm on January 14, 2019, 09:45:53 AM »
Hi all,
It appears that everyone who intended to respond to the J. T. Smith puzzler on "Corn Whiskey Blues" has done so, so I'll post the answers.  Here goes:

For J. T. Smith's "Corn Whiskey Blues":
   * his playing position was E position in standard tuning as every one who responded had it--well done!
   * from :00--:05, he was fretting the first and third strings first sliding into the twelfth fret on those two strings, then the seventh fret, then the fourth fret.  He articulated little slides on the third string into these target frets.  This is sort of a simplified version of a move that Charlie Patton and Frank Stokes utilized, though in their version they went to the ninth fret on the first and third strings in between the twelfth fret and the seventh fret.  Pan had J. T. Smith's move spot on--well done!
   * In the last two bars of his verses J. T. Smith rocked from a I chord to a IV minor chord in the eleventh bar, returning to the I chord for the twelfth bar.  Prof Scratchy and Pan both had this move figured right on.
   * J. T. Smith played the ascending/descending fill from 1:03--1:05 as follows: the fill starts on the + of beat one in the seventh bar of the form, with a grace note hammer to the first fret of the third string.  On beat 2 +, he went from the open second string to the second fret of the second string, on beat three, he played a triplet moving from the open first string to the second fret of the third string, and from there to the open second string.  On beat four, he played another grace note hammer to the first fret of the third string, and he resolved the run to the second fret of the fourth string on the + of beat four.  Pan had this run perfectly described, as well--excellent!

J. T. Smith seems such a thorough-going pro, a great guitarist, beautiful deep voice and original lyrics.  I hope folks enjoyed the song, and thanks to all who participated.  I'll look for another puzzler soon.
All best,
Johnm

 
10
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Johnny Temple Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on January 13, 2019, 09:39:06 AM »
Hi all,
Johnny Temple was one of very few blues musicians who recorded covers of Skip James songs.  Johnny did a really nice job with "Cherry Ball", for which he was joined by a pianist, clarinetist and an expert guitarist.  It would be interesting to know whether the different verses that Johnny sang on this recording were his own inventions or if they were verses that Skip sang in performance but didn't include on his Paramount recording.  I don't think there is any way of finding out at this point.  Here is Johnny Temple's "Cherry Ball":



INTRO

I love my Cherry Ball better than I love myself
I love my Cherry Ball better than I love myself
When my Cherry Ball quit me, I didn't want nobody else

When my Cherry Ball quit me, she quit me really nice, quiet way
When my Cherry Ball quit me, she quit me really nice, quiet way
I wouldn't mind it so bad, but she taken my whole payday

My Cherry Ball, she left me, standin' in the back door, cryin'
My Cherry Ball, she left me, standin' in the back door, cryin'
Sayin', "You've got a home, daddy, ooo-baby, long as I got mine."

My Cherry Ball, she's sweet, sweet as she can be
My Cherry Ball, she's sweet, sweet as she can be
Ain't but one thing I hope: my Cherry Ball come back to me

I take care of my Cherry Ball, if I don't take care of myself
I take care of my Cherry Ball, if I don't take care of myself
And the reason why I do it, I don't want to have nobody else

All best,
Johnm




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