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I think I saw some old man and he was real good on the guitar, on the chords, and he didn't sing that good, just play something like that, and I copied some of that and put the words to it. And Blind Blake used to have something kinda in that style. He would play in that style and I thought he was a real good guitar player. Nice chords. Played finger style. - Jesse Babyface Thomas explains how he wrote Blue Goose Blues, interview in Shreveport, La., ca. 1989

Author Topic: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store  (Read 2873 times)

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Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2015, 02:16:33 AM »
That's a great find John. According to Godrich and Dixon, the track was recorded in Chicago in 1938 with Willie Bee (James) on guitar. George Curry is also listed separately in Godrich and Dixon, and his nickname seems to have been Leroy's Buddy. Curry recorded several tracks as vocalist, but these were all unissued. My copy of G&D is quite old now, so maybe the entry for this song has  now been updated. It's a great version.

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2015, 07:03:37 AM »
Since Walter Davis' part 2 was posted, I thought I would post the first one:



here are the lyrics - not sure about 'faded' in the second verse. I like it, but he may just be singing 'painted' twice.

I have the first stanza of the fourth verse the way I hear it, but I'm not totally sure about it.

Red Cross Blues - Walter Davis

The Red Cross is helping poor people who cannot help themselves
The Red Cross is helping poor people who cannot help themselves
I went down there this morning, they said they wasn't helping no one else

Uncle Sam's flag is painted, painted in red, white and blue
Uncle Sam's flag is painted, painted in red, white and blue
'cause the Red Cross won't help us, what in the world is we going to do?

I spent all my money, did not save a lousy dime
I spent all my money, did not save a lousy dime
I didn't ever think I would be worried, people, with these hard old times

So I will remember this, the longest day I live
So I will remember this, the longest day I live
The Red Cross has told me they did not have nothing to give

My little children was screaming, crying "Papa we ain't go no home"
My little children was screaming, "Papa we ain't go no home"
The Red Cross has cut us off, man, and left us all alone   

Edited to pick up corrections from Johnm
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 12:54:58 PM by frankie »

Offline One-Eyed Ross

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2015, 07:33:35 AM »
Transcription looks good to me.

I hear "faded" which, to my mind, makes sense...the colors are faded because times are hard, etc...

SSG, USA, Ret

She looked like a horse eating an apple through a wire fence.

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2015, 08:04:58 AM »
Frank, I'm hearing that fourth stanza beginning
   SO I will remember this
I'm hearing "painted" twice in the second verse too, I think.

It's fascinating how differently Walter Davis played this one from Part 2 of the same song--harmony, fills, everything.  It's every bit as different from Part 2 as Charlie Patton's two parts of "High Water Everywhere" are from each other.  Big ears Walter Davis had!
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2015, 12:56:04 PM »
Thanks, John - made the changes.

Big ears Walter Davis had!

Agreed - wow!

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2015, 01:23:41 PM »
Well, here's a take on it...  probably too many spices in the stew, and the whole thing stayed on the burner too long. You can probably get the gist of it in the first few minutes. Indebted strongly to the playing of Andrew Dunham and Walter Davis, with an honorable mention to the songwriting skills of Johnnie Temple...


Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2015, 01:48:46 PM »
Well, good on you, Frank, that is terrific in so many ways!  It doesn't overstay its welcome a bit, because you've got so many ingredients in there and you keep changing them.  The first time you go to that IVmMaj7, it about drove me nuts . . . and it continued to do so every time you went there after that!  The idea of doing verses as lyric breaks and treating a portion of the verse as a refrain is happening, and I assume where Johnny Temple comes in.  Great soloing too, and great to see you trust yourself and just go for it.  One of your very strongest efforts, at least to my tastes.  Electric sounds mighty fine, too.  That made my day.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 02:09:48 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2015, 04:20:17 PM »
Thanks, John - I'm glad you liked it. That was my first time through the whole thing and most of those ideas were kind of worked out on the fly. It did take me a while to get the IVmMaj7 to work in a way that felt real. It still feels a little like a pastiche of ideas, but maybe that's what happens when you try a new idea...  you need to keep working with it a while before you can really make it part of your everyday language. There was one thing toward the end that I hit on by accident - turning the V7b9 into a Vm7b9 - or put another way: flatVII7 (an F7 in the key of G). I thought it was kind of an interesting sound...  might play with that a bit more.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #53 on: June 28, 2015, 09:17:21 AM »
Loved that version, frankie! Even the skull was smililng!

Offline uncle bud

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SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #54 on: June 28, 2015, 09:40:12 AM »
Very cool, Frankie. Love all the minor sounds, one of the key hooks for me in the playing of Walter Davis. I've thought before about how to get that mood on guitar, not simple - or risks sounding simple,. Lots of texture here though. Really nifty soloing too.

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2015, 05:12:24 AM »
Thanks, guys.

Andrew, I can't really take credit for making the minor sounds work - the heavy lifting was done by the ideas that Andrew Dunham used in Hattie Mae and I just re-purposed them and added the V7 below the Idim. Even that was kind of a happy accident. In general, I tried to stick with thinking of shapes that could be re-used in different places on the guitar as that's a simple and effective way of getting at new harmonies for those of us that are harmonically challenged.

I went with half spanish because it made free-handing a real cinch while at the same time preserving all the familiar stuff on the top 4 strings. Plus, I rarely if ever use that tuning, so it was about time. :)

Offline banjochris

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2015, 09:30:47 AM »
It's fascinating how differently Walter Davis played this one from Part 2 of the same song--harmony, fills, everything.  It's every bit as different from Part 2 as Charlie Patton's two parts of "High Water Everywhere" are from each other.  Big ears Walter Davis had!

Red Cross Blues was Davis' first recording, and I'm 99% certain (without my B&GR in front of me) that the piano on Davis' first couple of sessions was played by Roosevelt Sykes. And I remember reading somewhere (might have been in Henry Townsend's autobiography) that either the record company or maybe Davis himself felt his piano playing wasn't strong enough yet when he first went to record.

Chris

Offline banjochris

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2015, 09:40:40 AM »
And Frankie, just listed to your version -- just great! Keeping to the vocal melody had to have been a challenge on that too but you nailed it.
Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2015, 10:36:46 AM »
Hi Chris,
I'm very dubious that Roosevelt Sykes played the piano on "Red Cross, Part 2", whatever DGR said or says.  The time, attack, and especially harmonic stuff is Walter Davis all the way.  Even at that stage Roosevelt Sykes was much more technical than Walter Davis ever became, and he never evinced stuff like that IVmMaj7 in his own recordings.  Why introduce it in the recording of someone else?
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: SOTM June 19th - Red Cross Store
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2015, 10:47:49 AM »
No, no, John, sorry if I wasn't clear -- I meant part 1 only -- Red Cross No. 2 is definitely Davis. I mentioned it since you mentioned how different #1 and #2 were.
Chris