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I don't want to get my throat cut by a sand-footin' woman or anything unnecessary like that - Bukka White

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 128913 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2130 on: May 16, 2020, 12:05:02 PM »
Hi all,
It's been a while since we had a new puzzler.  I thought I would do two this time, for which the only question will be the playing position/tuning used by the musicians to play their songs.  The first one is "Remember Me", by Charles Caldwell, and here it is:



INTRO

Will you remember me?  Can you remember me? The last time I saw you,
I caught you by the hand, do you remember me?  You said I'd be your man

SOLO

Can you remember me?  The last time I saw you
I caught you by the hand, do you remember me?  You said I'd be your man

SOLO

Do you remember me?  The last time I saw you
I caught you by the hand, do you remember me?  Said I would be your man, that I would be your man, that I would be your man

Do you remember me? 

 The second is from J B Lenoir, and it is his "Born Dead", recently posted in the "The Wordless Voice" thread.  Here is "Born Dead":



INTRO

Lord, why was I born in Mississippi, when it's so hard to get ahead?
Why was I born in Mississippi, when it's so hard to get ahead?
Every black child born in Mississippi, you know the poor child was born dead

When he came into the world, the doctor spank him, the black baby cried
When he came into the world, the doctor spank him, the black baby cried
Everybody thought he had life, and that's when the black baby died

He will never speak his name right, the poor baby would never speak his mind
Lord, he will never speak his name right, the poor baby, he will never speak his mind
The poor child will never know his mind, why in the world he's so far behind

Lord, why was I born in Mississippi, where it's so hard to get ahead?
Lord, why was I born in Mississippi, when it's so hard to get ahead?
Every black child born in Mississippi, you know the poor child was born dead

The only question for each song is what playing position/tuning was used to play the song.

Please use only your ears and your instruments to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM your time on Monday, May 18.  Answer for one or both songs, and I hope you enjoy the songs.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 03:58:44 PM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2131 on: May 19, 2020, 08:40:39 AM »
Hi all,
Any takers for the Charles Caldwell and J B Lenoir puzzlers?  Go for both or answer just one.  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2132 on: May 19, 2020, 10:23:13 AM »
I'll say Spanish for Charles Caldwell and Drop D for JB Lenoir.

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2133 on: May 19, 2020, 03:04:54 PM »
Charles Caldwell may be in Spanish around A
JB Lenoir may be in standard tuning E position

I'm not too confident in either answer, but Caldwell is especially tricky to my ears.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2134 on: May 19, 2020, 05:13:24 PM »
I'm pretty sure they're both played in standard tuning.

I think Caldwell's in Em capoed up to A and never hits the first string except at the very end of the tune - the main lick fits perfectly on an Em chord and the open 4th string, with the open 2nd string used as drone and the main melody played on the 3rd string.

Lenoir sounds like regular old E position to me with a fancy IV chord, playing that Lightnin'-esque B note on the 2nd fret of the 5th string for his turnaround.

Great songs.
Chris

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2135 on: May 21, 2020, 06:36:28 AM »
Spanish at A for Caldwell and E standard for JB.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2136 on: May 21, 2020, 11:29:10 AM »
Yes on reflection, and with a guitar to hand, I’ll now go for E standard for JB. I was led astray by Alabama March!

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2137 on: May 21, 2020, 11:51:04 AM »
Was puzzling over these last night and decided against posting until I'd come back and had another listen. I'm still going with what I thought last night, Charles Caldwell in A standard tuning and J B Lenoir in E standard.

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2138 on: May 21, 2020, 12:17:28 PM »
I'm changing my answer on Remember Me. I think he's in standard tuning, A position. He still gets some gritty (awesome) sounds that I can't quite figure out.

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2139 on: May 25, 2020, 10:50:53 AM »
Hi all,
Any more takers for the Charles Caldwell and J B Lenoir puzzlers?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2140 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   
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 06:52:53 AM by Johnm »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2141 on: May 27, 2020, 03:28:18 PM »
Drat! Shouldn’t have changed my mind! Excellent puzzlers, Johnm!

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2142 on: June 03, 2020, 09:46:05 AM »
Hi all,
I think I'll post two new puzzlers with the same format as last time, with the only question being what playing position/tuning was used to play the songs in question.  This time, the two featured musicians are players who were first recorded by Dr. Harry Oster at Angola Penitentiary.  The first song is "Duckin' and Dodgin'" by Hogman Maxey.  Here is his rendition of "Duckin' and Dodgin'":



INTRO

You can duck, you can dodge, but you can't come home no more
You can duck, you can dodge, but you can't come home no more
'Cause the key you got don't fit that lock no more

INTERLUDE

Oh tell me, babe, where you stay last night?
Oh tell me, babe, where'd you stay last night?
You didn't come home, sun was shinin' bright

INTERLUDE (Spoken: Now look at Grandma, there, tryin' to boogie!)

You can boogie, you can boogie, you can boogie from your heart
You can boogie, baby, boogie from your heart
Lord, I hate to boogie, and I like boogie in the dark

OUTRO

What playing position/tuning did Hogman Maxey use to play "Duckin' and Dodgin'"?

The second song is from Guitar Welch, and it is his version of "Electric Chair Blues".  Here it is:



INTRO SOLO (Spoken:  Say there, old partner, how about let's goin' down the road a piece and have a ball.  Okay, Bob, I don't care if I do.)

I'm gonna shake hands with my partner, I'm gonna aks him how come he here
I'm gonna shake hands with my partner, I'm gonna aks him how come he here
You know, I had a wreck in my family, they gonna send me to the old 'lectric chair

Wonder why they 'lecstrocute a man, at the one o'clock hour at night
Wonder why they 'lecstrocute a man, baby, Lord, at the one o'clock hour at night
The current much stronger, people turn out all their light

Hoo well, I guess I have to go back home
Hoooooo, baby, guess I have to go back home
Seem like my trouble, baby, they ain't gonna let me alone

I believe, I believe, baby, I believe I'll go back home
I believe, oh baby, Lord, I believe I'll go back home
This old life I'm livin', baby, Lord, it ain't gonna last me long

SOLO

Goodbye, little girl, tell you, well, goodbye, goodbye
Goodbye, little girl, goodbye, bye, well, goodbye
I got a Special Limit, pretty mama, baby, and I've got to leave your town

I heared a rumblin' this mornin', baby, was deep down in the ground
Rumblin' this mornin', baby, Lord, it was deep down in the ground
Boys, that must have been that old devil, trying' to chain my baby down

SOLO

What playing position/tuning did Guitar Welch use to play "Electric Chair Blues"?

Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 6.  Thanks for your participation, and I hope you enjoy the songs.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 03:10:59 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2143 on: June 03, 2020, 10:14:34 PM »
John, that "Duckin' and Dodgin'" has a texture that reminds me weirdly of Fahey's "Downfall of the Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill." Very few pieces manage to do that!
Chris

Online Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2144 on: June 03, 2020, 10:22:33 PM »
You've got me curious, Chris, because I don't have the sound of the Fahey tune in my head at all.  I'll have to check it out--thanks!
John

 


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