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Kassie Jones - a masterpiece. Most surreal version of the Casey Jones theme. Keeps digressing into talk of other things. Freudian dream imagery - John Fahey, on Furry Lewis

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 104768 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2070 on: July 23, 2019, 06:39:11 AM »
Hi all,
Any other takers for the Brooks Berry/Scrapper Blackwell puzzler on "Sweetest Apple On The Tree"?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2071 on: July 26, 2019, 09:29:55 AM »
Hi all,
It looks like everyone who intended to respond to the Brooks Berry/Scrapper Blackwell puzzler has done so, so I'll post the answers.

For Brooks Berry and Scrapper Blackwell's "Sweetest Apple On The Tree":
   * Scrapper's playing position was E in standard tuning (tuned low), as everyone who responded had it--well done!
   * From :27--:30, Scrapper fretted 1-3-2 on his first three strings, going from the third string to the first, playing an E9.  Prof Scratchy identified the position correctly, as did Old Man Ned, and Ned and blueshome had the chord named correctly.  It is a ninth chord by virtue of having a major third on the third string, the seventh on the second string, and a II note on the first string, which because the seventh is present in the chord, is designated a ninth.
   * Scrapper fretted the triplet figure he played from 1:35--1:46 on the first three strings, at 7-0-7, going from third string to first string, and played the triplets striking those three strings in the following order:  first string--third string--second string.  Doing it this way, he gets an interesting sound, because he is playing a higher-pitched note on the third string, seventh fret, than he is on the open second string, and that sound of playing a higher-pitched note on a lower string gives a distinctive timbre to the triplet.
   * Scrapper fretted and played the harmonized descending lines from 4:04--4:06 on the fifth and third strings, starting with the fifth string at the fourth fret and the third string at the third fret, probably fretting the fifth string with his second finger and the third string with his index finger, moving that shape down one fret intact, to 3-2, then moving down one more fret intact to 2-1, ending up in an E chord.  Little Hat Jones employed a similar move in some of his E blues, as did Carl Martin.

Scrapper continued to play so well on this album and on the solo album he recorded for Art Rosenbaum that came out on Prestige-Bluesville.  His time on this track is so lovely and settled at a very slow, medium tempo which can be hard to keep where you put it.  I love Brooks Berry's singing, too--she sounds like a blues singer rather than a gospel singer singing blues.

Thanks to Prof Scratchy, Old Man Ned and blueshome for participating and I hope folks enjoyed the song and the puzzler.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2072 on: August 17, 2019, 09:58:29 AM »
Hi all,
It has been a while since we've had a puzzler, and I've chosen a new one, Smith Casey's "Santa Fe Blues".  Smith Casey was an inmate at a Texas prison who was recorded by John Lomax and Ruby Terrill Lomax.  Here is "Santa Fe Blues":



The questions on "Santa Fe Blues" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Smith Casey use to play the song?
   * Where did Smith Casey fret the bent note and and the two higher-pitched answering notes in the treble from :04--:08?
   * Where did Smith Casey fret the opening of his solo, from :22--:25?
   * Where did Smith Casey play the notes he is playing in the treble from :30--:35?

Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and don't post any responses before 8:00 AM your time on Wednesday, August 21.  Thanks for your participation and I hope you enjoy Smith Casey's "Santa Fe Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2073 on: August 22, 2019, 09:15:02 AM »
Hi all,
Any takers for the Smith Casey puzzler, "Santa Fe Blues"?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2074 on: August 22, 2019, 09:34:38 AM »
I have to say I've tried all kinds of tunings and capo positions to work this out, but I'm ready to admit defeat on this one! What a colossal performance though. Looking forward to the answers.

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2075 on: August 22, 2019, 01:01:51 PM »
I'm struggling with this one too. I've yet to even figure out if it's in standard or open tuning. I find myself wanting to ask him to slow down a bit. Normally this would drive me nuts, but I'm finding something strangely hypnotic about this tune. I'll keep plugging away till the answers posted and hopefully follow this post up with a reply that's a bit more constructive :-)

All the best, Ned

Offline daddystovepipe

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2076 on: August 22, 2019, 03:26:54 PM »
I looked at this one a long long time ago.
To me he's playing in drop D position but tuned way down to Bb. 
The usual drop D forms work well then. 
First string 5th fret, second string 6th fret bend, adding the first string 7th fret.
You get a nice dissonant when going to the IV chord G, with the third string 3rd fret against the open second string.
The solo up high is a the long A chord half bar at the 7th fret with rocking between frets 8 and 10 for the first string.
I recorded an instrumental based on this



Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2077 on: August 24, 2019, 06:43:52 AM »
Hi all,
Any other takers for the Smith Casey "Santa Fe Blues" puzzler?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline lindy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2078 on: August 27, 2019, 09:30:10 AM »
After taking your excellent classes at Port Townsend earlier this month, John, I promised myself that I would make an effort to figure out some of these tunes.

I initally came to the same conclusion as Daddystovepipe, but I wasn't confident enough in my skills to say so out loud. So now I'll ride on his coattails and also vote for dropped D tuned low. I'll also agree with his assessment of chord shapes, but it's hard for me to decide if they're in the 7-8-10th fret position or higher, considering the low tuning.

Lindy

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2079 on: August 27, 2019, 10:20:51 AM »
I think daddystovepipe has it. I havenít tried this out, but all of the ideas fit. My favourite part of this piece is the way he walks (crashes) into the IV chord. Itís the most compelling train piece Iíve heard on guitar. Wonderful.


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Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2080 on: August 28, 2019, 11:46:52 AM »
Hi all,
I think I'll post the answers on Smith Casey's "Santa Fe Blues".  Here they are:

For Smith Casey's "Santa Fe Blues":
   * His playing position was D in standard tuning.  He never plays a low D from the beginning to the end of his rendition, always either living on the open fifth string when playing in D or alternating between the open fifth and fourth strings.  Moreover, he consistently voices his IV chord, G, with a low root in the bass, and in standard tuning that note is put at the third fret of the sixth string, where it sits very naturally with what he plays in the treble in his G chord.
   * In the passage from :04--:08, Smith Casey is bending the 6th fret of the second string up almost a half-step and then going to the fifth fret of the first string, followed by a repeat of the bend, then going to the seventh fret of the first string.
   * For the the opening of his solo, from :22--:25, Smith Casey takes a "long A" shape up the neck with an index finger barre of the first four strings at the seventh fret and the little finger fretting the tenth fret of the first string, exactly as Daddy Stovepipe had it.
   * In the treble, from :32--:35, Smith Casey is playing his G chord, going from a grace note third fret of the third string to the open second string, then moving from the open first string to the third fret of the second string and back to the open first string.

I think this is a wonderful piece, and quite agree with Prof Scratchy that a high point is the way Smith Casey dropped a bomb, hitting that sharply accented #IV note of the IV chord when he transitions to the IV chord.  I think it's also remarkable the extent to which the playing is simultaneously very free-sounding and very controlled.  Smith Casey really was a master.

Thanks to all who participated, and I hope folks enjoyed the song.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2081 on: September 27, 2019, 09:36:29 AM »
Hi all,
I have a new puzzler for those of you who are interested.  It is "Been In The Army Since 1941" by Lawyer "Soldier Boy" Houston.  Here it is:



The questions on "Been In The Army Since 1941" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Lawyer Houston use to play the song?
   * As Lawyer Houston begins the piece, what note of the scale is he playing in the bass with his thumb, and on what string and what fret is he playing it?
   * For Lawyer Houston's guitar interlude from 1:50--1:55, he opens up playing what note in the bass?  Where on the neck is he playing it?
   * True or False:  Lawyer Houston never plays a IV or V chord in the course of the song.

INTRO

Says, I been in the Army, since nineteen and forty-one
Well, I've been in the Army, since nineteen and forty-one
When the Japanese got Pearl Harbor, they issued me a Thompson sub-caliber machine gun

Well, I was in love with a woman, and her name is Ernestine
Well, I was in love with a woman, and her name is Ernestine
She is the most loveliest woman, that I have ever seen

She lives out in California, but Ft. Worth, Texas is her home
She lives out in California, but Ft. Worth, Texas is her home
Said, I still love that woman, that's why I composed this song

GUITAR INTERLUDE

She once have been my wife, but now she's married to another man
Yes, she once have been my wife, but now she's married to another man
She dealt me an ace-high straight, but I did not play my hand

Nineteen and forty-three I went to the Philippines, came back in nineteen and forty-five
Nineteen and forty-three I went to the Philippines, came back in nineteen and forty-five
I only live for that woman, that's why I'm still alive

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 Monday, September 30.  Thanks for your participation, and I hope you enjoy the song.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 10:35:36 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2082 on: October 01, 2019, 08:16:38 AM »
Hi all,
Any takers for the puzzler on Lawyer Houston's "Been In The Army since 1941"?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2083 on: October 01, 2019, 09:50:52 PM »
I started trying to play this very briefly yesterday, and now posting after listening to the whole thing, and no guitar in hand.

Key of E, standard tuning.
Opening bass note G#, 4th fret 6th string.
For the guitar interlude, I think he is playing the same G# as above.
True, no IV or V chord.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2084 on: October 02, 2019, 01:44:48 AM »
I find these one chord songs the hardest to figure out. It does sound like heís playing in the key of E, but maybe not in standard tuning. The overall feel reminds me of Li Son Jackson, so I wondered if he could be in G6 tuning, tuned low - but thatís just a guess.


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