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Sugar Babe was the first piece I learned, when I was a little boy about 13 years old. Reason I know this so good, I got a whippin' about it. Come out of the cotton-patch to get some water and I was up at the house playin' the git-tar and my mother come in; whopped me cause I didn't come back - I was playin' the git-tar. Yeah, I got a whippin' bout Sugar Babe - I never will forgit that one - Mance Lipscomb, from his biography

Recent Posts

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41
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Floating Verses
« Last post by Johnm on May 30, 2020, 10:34:50 PM »
Hi Brennan,
It isn't exactly what you described but you might find the following thread on "The Earliest Appearance of Archetypal Blues Lyrics" interesting:  https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=6031.msg48202#msg48202

All best,
Johnm
42
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Floating Verses
« Last post by Stuart on May 30, 2020, 10:02:17 PM »
Not that I know of, but Michael Taft's concordance might yield some leads if you know what you're after:

http://konkordans.se/Dylan61/mainwebsite_html/michael%20taft,%20blues%20anthology.txt.WebConcordance/framconc.htm
43
Country Blues Lyrics / Floating Verses
« Last post by Brennan on May 30, 2020, 05:28:02 PM »
Many articles, books, posts, etc characterize verses as "floating" or "stock" verses.

But is there any good repository of floating verses?

Many of them are obvious to even a casual listener, but has anyone compiled a good database of floating/stock verses?

Thanks!
44
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Wilmer Watts and the Lonely Eagles Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on May 29, 2020, 05:41:05 PM »
Thanks so much for the help, Suzy, you got it.  Boy, was I ever not hearing that.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm
45
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Wilmer Watts and the Lonely Eagles Lyrics
« Last post by Suzy T on May 29, 2020, 05:37:35 PM »
White and the black all gathered round?

That doesn't make much sense though.  I believe this is the first recorded version of this song which apparently was based on true events that took place in St. Louis.  Great version.
46
Country Blues Lyrics / Wilmer Watts and the Lonely Eagles Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on May 29, 2020, 05:14:36 PM »
Hi all,
Wilmer Watts and the Lonely Eagles were an Old-Time band from North Carolina, I believe.  The recorded "Been On The Job Too Long" at a session in New York City on October 3, 1929.  The song gained some currency in the 1960s and was recorded by Dave Van Ronk and Tom Rush (separately) as "Duncan and Brady".  It's a great song, and I like Wilmer Watts' version much the best, despite the fact that it seems like Watts had a hard time keeping the two protagonists straight.  A number of the uncertain places in the lyrics, I feel like I have what Watts sang, but I wonder if he learned the song from hearing someone else sing it, and misunderstood some of the lyrics.  I'd appreciate help with any bent bracketed passages.  Here is "Been On The Job Too Long":



Twinkle, twinkle, 'lectric star, yonder goes Brady on an electric car
Makin' his way to the Freedom Land, he's gonna kill him a sucker like a bulldog's man
REFRAIN: Been on the job too long

Brady was a worker on the telephone wire, 'long come Duncan with a shining star
Looked old Brady right through the specs, he said, "There's no use in talkin', Brady, get your checks."
REFRAIN: Been on the job too long

SOLO INTERLUDE

Brady replied, and he answered, "No."  Duncan showed him a sight that was never before
Said, "Now, Brady, you're a-ruining your rest.", old Duncan shot a hole through Brady's chest
REFRAIN: Been on the job too long

Brady had a little .25, kill a man about a half a mile
Duncan had a big .44, When he laid old Brady in the barroom door
REFRAIN: Thought he'd been on the job too long

SOLO INTERLUDE X 2

Early in the mornin', just about nine, hearses and the hacks all formed a line
White and the black all gathered around, they gonna take Mr. Brady to the buryin' ground
REFRAIN: Been on the job too long

SOLO INTERLUDE X 2

Brady went to hell with a crutch under his arm, said, "Mr. Devil, well I ain't here long."
Devil says, "It is just this-a-way, well, there's never been a sucker here that ever got away."
REFRAIN: Been on the job too long

SOLO INTERLUDE

Brady had a little .25, kill a man about a half a mile
Duncan had a big .44, well he laid old Brady in the barroom door
REFRAIN: 'Cause he's been on the job too long

OUTRO

Edited 5/29 to pick up correction from Suzy T

All best,
Johnm



47
Other Musical Interests / Re: Mi Amigo Carlos + Happy Birthday to John!!
« Last post by alexwang17 on May 27, 2020, 06:45:11 PM »
Wow, that was really a nice gesture, Alex, and you sound great.  Thanks very much!
All best,
Johnm
Thank you, John!! Hope you're doing well! I saw you seem to be a regular instructor at Vancouver's Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop. I hope one day we can be together somewhere and play music.. after the pandemic is gone. Take care!!

Best,
Alex
48
Country Blues Licks and Lessons / Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Last post by Prof Scratchy on May 27, 2020, 03:28:18 PM »
Drat! Shouldn’t have changed my mind! Excellent puzzlers, Johnm!
49
Country Blues Licks and Lessons / Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Last post by Johnm on May 27, 2020, 12:13:46 PM »
Hi all,
It has been a little while since there have been any new responses on the Charles Caldwell and J B Lenoir puzzlers, so I will post the answers:

For Charles Caldwell's "Remember Me":
   * He played the song in A, in standard tuning, as Old Man Ned and Forgetful Jones identified it.  The way you can tell he plays it out of A in standard tuning rather than Spanish tuning or E in standard tuning capoed up is that he is hitting a little counter-punching II note occasionally over his I chord in his signature lick.  The signature lick starts on a V note at the second fret of the fourth string on the + of beat four, going up to a bVII note on the open third string on beat one of the form, holding that into beat two, and resolving up to a I note at the second fret of the third string on the + of beat two.  He then hits the I note an octave lower, on the open fifth string, on beats three and four, pinching it with that II note, the open second string on beat four.  He then re-starts the lick on the + of beat four, changing it when he gets to beat one by hitting the bVII note on beats 1 + 2, rather than having it sustain from beat 1 into beat 2.  The remainder of the lick is the same as in the first bar, except he hits the II note on the open second string a sixteenth note ahead of beat four rather than pinching it with the open fifth string on beat four.  The II note would be a fretted note, at the fourth fret of the fourth string in E in standard tuning and the second fret of the third string in Spanish tuning, and in either case would involve a conscious choice to fret and play it, as opposed to A in standard tuning where it is a "found" sound on an open string that sits easily and naturally and just comes from running the right hand in the rhythm of the lick. 

For J B Lenoir's "Born Dead":
   * His playing position was Dropped-D, as Prof Scratchy had it in his very first response to the puzzlers.  When I initially started to figure this song out, I thought it was in E position, standard tuning, but when I listened to J B Lenoir's outro, from 3:47 to 3:55, I realized he was playing in Dropped-D tuning.  He clearly hits a G chord on the open fourth, third and second strings at 3:53, and his concluding ascending run is a piece of cake in Dropped-D, but would be really non-intuitive and awkward to play in E in standard tuning.  He's just hitting an ascending arpeggio on the open sixth string, open fourth string, second fret of the third string, third fret of the second string, open first string, resolving to the second fret of the first string.  Get in Dropped-D and put a capo on the third fret and it's right there.

JB Lenoir used Dropped-D tuning for a lot of his solo tracks from the mid-60s, and his sound in Dropped-D was really original, not owing any obvious debts to previous players who had utilized Dropped-D a fair amount, like Gabriel Brown and Lightnin' Hopkins.  On "Born Dead", he in particular utilized a little box of notes located at the third and fifth frets of the fifth and fourth strings.  It's there that he plays his most florid and exciting out-of tempo fills on the song.  You can tell from his tone, especially if you've watched the videos of him playing that are up on youtube, that he used a thumbpick on his right hand to play most of the guitar part on the song, just occasionally using his index finger to pick, too.

I sure like both of the songs in this puzzler, and I think they were both pretty tough identifications.  I hope folks enjoyed the songs, and thanks especially to those who participated.

All best,
Johnm   
50
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: David McCarn Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on May 27, 2020, 06:49:04 AM »
Hi all,
I was able to find links to almost all of David McCarn's songs posted in this thread and edit them into the posts.  If you want to hear some clever lyrics, give these songs a listen.
All best,
Johnm
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