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I heard them bring that old Iron Curtain down on me - Sleepy John Estes visits eastern Europe, The Voice of the Blues

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 102671 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1965 on: October 10, 2018, 03:14:38 PM »
Congratulations and thanks for all your hard work in putting this thread together! Now, roll on no.301!


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Offline Stuart

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1966 on: October 11, 2018, 10:14:39 AM »
Congratulations and thank you, John. As the Prof said, it is the result of a lot of hard work and is a very significant contribution.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1967 on: October 11, 2018, 04:20:35 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks for the good words, and thanks in particular to Old Man Ned and Prof Scratchy, who have been such regular participants in the puzzlers.  I'm convinced participation in the puzzlers is a skill-building exercise in developing the ability to identify playing position/tuning, especially if engaged in over a period of time.

Before I get back into posting more puzzlers, I'm curious:  I wonder how many folks have figured out one or more of the songs that have been discussed in this thread.  There are indexes to every song on this thread in the very first post to this thread.  I went back and took a look, and found that I had figured out/transcribed the following songs that have been discussed in this thread:
   * Up and Down Building The KC Line--Little Brother
   * Alabama Prison Blues--Jesse Wadley
   * Trouble--Reese Crenshaw
   * Sun Don't Shine--Teddy Williams
   * French Blues--Frank Evans
   * Baton Rouge Rag--Joe Harris
   * Guitar Blues--Johnny St. Cyr
   * Too Many Women Blues--Willie Lane
   * Going Where the Monon Crosses the Yellow Dog--Scrapper Blackwell
   * Hollandale Blues--Sam Chatmon
   * I'm a Crawling' Black Snake--Lightnin' Hopkins
   * Run Here, Faro--Myrt Holmes
   * Faro--Rosa Lee Hill
   * Pretty Polly--E. C. Ball
   * War Blues--Pernell Charity
   * See What You Done Done--Baby Tate
   * Rosalee--Luther Huff
   * Just A Note--Ralph Willis

I know that Gordon figured out Boy Green's "A & B Blues" and posted it on site.  Has anybody else figured out songs from this thread?  In a way, that's what developing the ability to identify playing position/tuning is all about. 
all best,
Johnm

   
     

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1968 on: October 12, 2018, 01:17:46 PM »
I had a go at Baby Tate's See What You Done Done, but mostly it's inspired me to try transcribing other tunes by some of my favourites, such as Charlie Jordan's Two Street Blues and Raidin' Squad Blues  and Hacksaw Harney's Ragtime Blues with varying degrees of success.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1969 on: October 12, 2018, 01:22:50 PM »
Thanks for the report, Old Man Ned.  Applying the skills to the material that most appeals to you is a great way to go--keep up the good work!
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 01:59:53 PM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1970 on: October 12, 2018, 03:01:25 PM »
The only one I had a serious attempt at was French Blues, but then I did have some additional help from a certain Johnm ;)


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Offline harriet

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1971 on: October 12, 2018, 03:32:49 PM »
No, I think its more that I like alot of the musical selections of lesser known artists presented in the puzzlers and occasionally I will go online and buy more of that artist's work. The thread has definitely led to a broader horizon and I thank you for it.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1972 on: October 12, 2018, 05:28:59 PM »
I think my experience of doing the thread has been much like what you talk about, Harriet.  I think when I started the thread I had the idea that I had a pretty good knowledge of recorded Country Blues.  I was quickly disabused of that notion when I began to see the amount of stuff up on youtube by musicians in the style that I had never heard or heard of before.  It also re-emphasized something I already felt, that when critics, writers and fans of the music set up hierarchies of who is "the best", "the most accomplished", or whatever other superlative you'd care to use to describe a musician, they're basically barking up the wrong tree.  I've run into so many musicians in the course of picking out the puzzlers, many of whom were field recorded and may have only recorded a couple of titles, who were every bit as good as the big-name players who made commercial recordings.  If you haven't listened to it for a while, go back near the beginning of the thread and listen to Big Boy doing "Blues".  It is incredibly good, both instrumentally and vocally, as good a train blues with a narrative as has ever been done.  Or Eddie Bowles doing "Blues"--so fresh and original sounding.  I feel lucky to have had a reason to search out this stuff.
All best,
Johnm
 

Offline Stuart

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1973 on: October 12, 2018, 08:28:38 PM »
And that's only the recordings that are extant and accessible. Not positing an argument from ignorance, but when we consider that many musicians and their performances were never recorded, the possibilities boggle the imagination--or at least my imagination.

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1974 on: October 14, 2018, 09:50:32 AM »
Hi all,
I have a new puzzler for those of you who are interested.  It is John Henry Barbee's version of Big Maceo's "Worried Life Blues".  Here it is:



The questions on "Worried Life Blues" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did John Henry Barbee use to play the song?
   * How does his solo differ structurally from the remainder of the song?
   * Where did John Henry Barbee fret the run that concludes the first four bars of his solo, from 2:15--2:17?

Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM your time on Wednesday, October 17.  Thanks for participating and I hope you enjoy John Henry Barbee's rendition of "Worried Life Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1975 on: October 17, 2018, 08:18:44 AM »
This is such a great performance, especially vocally, from John Henry Barbee. I think he?s playing it in D standard. The song is an 8 bar blues but he plays the solo break as a 12 bar form. For the solo excerpt, I think he takes a double stop of 1str 4fr and 2str 5fr which he slides up to 1str 5fr and 2str 7fr: slide23456, slide 23456, slide23456, slide23456 then on the first string hammering on from 5fr to 7fr 4 times ending on 1str 5fr, then 2str 765, then 3str 7 4 .


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Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1976 on: October 18, 2018, 12:46:59 PM »
I'm in agreement with Prof Scratchy. D standard, I'm not hearing a low 6th string tuned down to D. 8 bars for the verse and 12 for the solo, if I'm counting right (not my strong point).

From 2:15--2:17, I'm also hearing the 1st string at the 5th fret, 2nd string at the 7th fret with the hammer on the 1st string at the 7th fret. Agree with the end of the run as well. I had this down the neck finishing on the b on the open 2nd string, but on listening it doesn't sound like an open string being picked and the ending of 1str 5fr, then 2str 765, then 3str 7 4 fits better with where he is for the first bit.

Also agree with the Prof about the vocals. John Henry Barbee does have a wonderful voice, doesn't he.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1977 on: October 19, 2018, 10:05:56 AM »
Hi all,
Any other takers for the John Henry Barbee puzzler?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1978 on: October 19, 2018, 11:57:45 PM »
I?m with the Prof on this.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #1979 on: October 24, 2018, 09:14:14 AM »
Hi all,
It doesn't appear that there will be any more responses on the John Henry Barbee puzzler, so I'll post the answers.

For John Henry Barbee's version of "Worried Life Blues",
   * His playing position was D in standard tuning, as all three responses had it--well done!
   * He played his solo as a 12-bar blues, while the sung portions of the song have an 8-bar form, as the responses noted
   * John Henry Barbee fretted the run from 2:15--2:17 as follows:  He does five hammers from the fifth fret of the first string to the seventh fret of the first string, resolves back to the fifth fret of the first string, walks down the second string from seventh to sixth to fifth to third fret and ends the descending run at the fourth fret of the third string.  If you begin the phrase using your index finger to fret the fifth fret of the first string, the ring finger can fret the seventh fret of both the first and second strings.  The second finger can fret the sixth fret of the second string, resolving to the index, which can fret both the fifth and third frets of the second string, resolving to the second finger, fretting the fourth fret of the third string.  The next phrase begins with the second finger sliding up into that fourth fret of the third string.

John Henry Barbee sounds so strong in what he did, both vocally and instrumentally, on every recording I've ever heard of him, and he had the rhythmic energy to sound like a whole band in a solo performance.  Thanks to Prof Scratchy, Old Man Ned and blueshome for their responses.  I'll look for another puzzler to post soon, and I hope people enjoyed John Henry Barbee's "Worried Life Blues".
All best,
Johnm   

 


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