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A lot of people play this music and what they'll do is do a cover. I don't do a cover, I do a dedication - Jerry Ricks, on playing traditional blues, interview in Blues Review No. 46, April 1999

Recent Posts

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51
Books and Articles / Re: Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
« Last post by Gilgamesh on July 14, 2019, 05:21:27 PM »
Quote from: Waxwing
Speaking of "performance" as an aspect of performing, as it were. I think that is RJ's primary attribute. His guitar is not really all that mind bending, I've heard his voice described as that of a squirrel, but he really "brings it" in the moment. Rarely do I hear "performance" spoken about as an aspect of playing music, on this board or others. Arranging, playing clean, tone, clear voice, or raspy voice. These and other things are technical qualities, which make them easy to define and often discussed. But the quality of focusing your entire being into the moment of performing, in a way that compels engagement by the observer, is a far more etherial aspect, difficult to talk about, or even comprehend for many. Possibly, the only thing that really counts to most of the audience.

RJ had it! He brought it in both of his sessions. You feel it when you hear it.


Charisma, in other words. Excellent point. So many musicians complain that their records are dull simulations of their live performances. I don't think RJ would have said that. There are some ordinary moments across the 29 sides, but for the most part, RJ's records project a confident, charismatic performer.
52
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Barbecue Bob Lyrics
« Last post by LeftyStrat on July 14, 2019, 04:49:01 PM »
Thank you, John...for your response.  I may have done so long ago, but if not I'd like to do so again.   

I joke in my posts here about not daring to say what I hear is right, because I know my ears are nowhere near as good as the wonderful folks here, you included.   Heck, the doctor told me recently that a hearing aid might be best to prevent further hearing loss. 

I reckon what I mean is that I'm awfully glad to contribute to this and any other threads that I can, and I am humbled that my contributions are so graciously accepted.

Thanks again, so much!
53
Weenie Campbell Main Forum / Re: Quote Drive 2019
« Last post by Rivers on July 14, 2019, 04:20:54 PM »
Ten thousand river commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or define it, cannot say to it 'Go here,' or Go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at - Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
54
Books and Articles / Re: Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
« Last post by orvillej on July 14, 2019, 12:08:34 PM »
I read the book. I found it interesting and appreciate the years of work and research Gayle and Bruce put into writing it and finally getting it published. I caught a few of the mistakes, some of which just seem like typos, and in reading this thread I see more that have been noticed by the erudite members here. While the book has its shortcomings, I found the detailed look at the movements and relationships of RJ to be informative and since I've never been interested in the devil at the X-roads BS, I was glad they depicted him as a person and a musician and gave short shrift to that stuff. I think overall it's an important addition to the blues scholarship that we have.
55
Books and Articles / Re: Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
« Last post by bnemerov on July 14, 2019, 10:48:25 AM »
John,
Amen.
best,
Bruce
56
Thanks Lindy and all for recommending "Control of Nature" and McPhee, never heard of him and this stuff and his writing is right up my alley.  Actually, I've read his stuff in the New Yorker... And timely, I just got through with his Mississippi river piece and understand perfectly the problems and danger they are now facing.  Let's hope the control structure at old river holds.

I'm on the 2nd story now about Vestmannaeyjar, which I visited a few years ago while in Iceland -- I knew about the 1973 volcano and toured the volcanic flow - but had no idea what the island went through - absolutely fascinating.  It's nice to have google maps to zoom right down and see for yourself!
57
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Barbecue Bob Lyrics
« Last post by Johnm on July 14, 2019, 08:29:49 AM »
Thanks very much for those suggestions, LeftyStrat, I re-listened to the songs, and in every instance I preferred what you heard to what I had transcribed.  I've made the changes, and the lyrics make more sense now.  Thanks!
All best,
Johnm
58
Country Blues Lyrics / Re: Barbecue Bob Lyrics
« Last post by LeftyStrat on July 14, 2019, 07:44:57 AM »

You can tell old jambooger, I hired him a room today
You can tell old jambooger, I hired him a room today

I've always heard the second half of this line as "I ain't in my room today"


Quote
I'm gonna buy me a mattress, to-loo, to lay my head
I'm gon' buy me a mattress, to-loo, to lay my head
I don't want to lay where you and jambooger laid

my brain has always registered the "to-loo" as "pillow", albeit strangely pronounced given the half-yodel he sounds like he's doing :)


And from "Tellin' It To You":

Quote
I got a brand new mama, threw snow in my face
Got a brand new mama, threw snow in my face
"Pack up your suitcase, someone have taken your place."

The first two lines sound like this to me:

I got a brand new mama to snore in my face

Just my two cents.  I know far better than to demand that I'm correct ;)
59
Books and Articles / Re: Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
« Last post by Johnm on July 13, 2019, 10:15:46 AM »
Hi all,
I guess I value accuracy of musical analysis more (which figures).  The commercially created mythology around Robert Johnson has been easy enough to ignore.  The lives of musicians are like anyone else's lives--they are lives.  That's why I don't get very excited about documentation of life events, birth certificates, marriage licenses, et al.  That is certainly just my own orientation, though, since many people find such things fascinating.
All best,
Johnm
60
Books and Articles / Re: Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson
« Last post by Rivers on July 12, 2019, 05:54:55 PM »
I look forward to the second, and probably third editions of the book, regarding this first edition as a plateau. Bring it on. Musical analysis errors pale in comparison to the hype we've been subjected to for far too long, by people who should have known better, and actually did know better but, you know, $$
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