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When you hear that bell ringing, can't you hear that whistle blow. Well I feel like leaving but I don't know where to go - Bumble Bee Slim, Bricks In My Pillow

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 106284 times)

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Offline harriet

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #90 on: June 12, 2014, 06:29:50 AM »
I'm with dunplaying vestapol Eb for Big Boy.

Offline Old Man Ned

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Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #91 on: June 12, 2014, 11:06:02 AM »
I thought the Big Boy tune was in Cross note at first hearing but on a couple more listens last night I've convinced myself it's Vestapol.  The Honeyboy tune sounds like it's played out of C position but it sounds a couple of frets up to me putting it in D.

Offline Pan

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« Reply #92 on: June 12, 2014, 06:15:52 PM »
Hi all

Agreed on Vestapol in Eb, and standard tuning, C-position, pitched at around D (capo II?).

On a side note, is it just me, or is the Honeboy Edwards tune a remake of "Hesitation Blues"? I've been on a Hesitation Blues trip lately, so I might be just imagining things. :)

Cheers

Pan

Offline Johnm

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« Reply #93 on: June 12, 2014, 10:51:53 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks for participating, folks, and it's neat to see some first-time identifiers posting.  "Big Boy" did play his "Blues" out of Vestapol.  Two places that point towards the tuning being Vestapol rather than cross-note are at :18-:19 and at :23-:24, where he plays an arpeggio at the twelfth fret from the first string to the second, third, and fourth strings while holding his slide still; he gets a major chord doing that, so that pretty much puts him in Vestapol.  I really think Big Boy's playing on the piece and singing are sensational.  His time was so powerful, and he had a really nice deep singing voice.  This performance is right up there with my all-time favorites in Vestapol, like Jimmy Lee Williams' "Have You Ever Seen Peaches".  Big Boy's time and touch remind me a lot of Smith Casey.  I think I'll try to transcribe the lyrics, though a lot of the spoken passages are kind of tough to hear.

Honeyboy Edwards' "I Love My Jelly Roll" was played in C position in standard tuning, where everybody put it, I think.  C position seems a clearer identification to make than some of the other tunings/positions, and it may be that a raggy progression like the one in this song assists in making the identification.  I had much the same reaction to the tune that Pan did upon hearing it for the first time--it just seemed like "Hesitation Blues" with a different set of lyrics to me.  I wonder if Honeyboy's playing here shows some Hacksaw Harney influence?  He does a couple of things that remind me of Hacksaw's playing.

Someone who has been participating and following this thread suggested to me today that it might be fun if people found any of the songs in the thread interesting or challenging enough, to start  separate threads devoted to a group effort to figure out one or more of the songs in a more thorough way.  That has been done in the past here, though it has been a while since anybody did it.  I remember years ago a number of people collaborating to try and figure out Willie Trice's "Good Time Boogie".  I think that thread can be found towards the tail end of this board probably.  In any event, if any of you would like to start a separate thread to figure out any of the tunes we've looked at so far, go for it!  I think I'll probably just stick here trying to scout out interesting and challenging songs for this thread that haven't been already transcribed  or publicly identified as being in a particular tuning/position.  There's so much of the music for which all of the tunings/positions have already been identified--if you don't believe me, just check in Weeniepedia!  It's been great having a reason to scout out songs and performances I've never heard before.  I'll find another performance to post for identification here very soon.
All best,
Johnm

 

Offline Johnm

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« Reply #94 on: June 13, 2014, 10:17:46 PM »
Hi all,
The song I found is "My Pore Mother Keeps On Praying For Me", performed by Wallace Chains, who was recorded in Texas while a prison inmate in the period 1933--1958.  The song can be found on the Document CD, "Field Recordings: Vol. 6: Texas (1933-1958)", DOCD-5580.
Chains was quite an inventive and accomplished player, and original, too.  He does a lot of things on this cut that I've not heard other players do when playing in the same position.  Here is his performance:



My poor mother keeps on praying for me, ooo-well-well
My poor mother keeps on praying for me
Say, "God bless my son, wherever he may be."

Worked all the summer long, didn't save no railroad fare, ooo-well-well
All the summer long, didn't save no railroad fare
Now my money's all gone, and my friends, they don't even care

When I'd work in the summer, when the days were long, ooo-ooo-ooo
I worked in the summer, babe, when the days were long
Now I ain't got no money, all my friends is gone

Well, I would go beggin' but I don't like playing blind, ooo-ooo
Well, I would go beggin' but I don't like playing blind
And the woman she's gone, took all [recording defective here] of mine

You people see my condition, won't let me have my fun, ooo-ooo
You people see my condition, won't let me have my fun
And my money's all gone, and my friend won't give me none

The identification questions are:
   * What position/tuning is playing the song out of?;
   * What chords is he playing at :07-:09 and :10-:12, and where is he fingering them?;
   * Where is he fretting the walk-down he does at 1:30-1:34?

As always, please work it out just by listening and trying what you hear out on your guitar, and please don't post any answers until Sunday, June 15.  Please feel free to answer as many questions as you wish.  This tune really rewards repeat listening, because Wallace Chains plays a tremendous number of variations.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 10:23:48 AM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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« Reply #95 on: June 14, 2014, 10:57:56 PM »
I apologize for jumping the gun on this a bit, but it's 15-June in my time zone, and I happen t be up!  :)

The playing on this song is just wickedly sophisticated, it seems to me - like Jesse and Willard Thomas rolled into one guy!

The identification questions are:
   * What position/tuning is playing the song out of?;

Standard tuning, key of G - tuned low, maybe down about three half steps.

   * What chords is he playing at :07-:09 and :10-:12, and where is he fingering them?;

B - B7 and C - C7, relative to the position, both with a little run from the tonic on the first string down to the b7, fingered thusly:

B - xx4447
B7 - xx4445
C - xx5558
C7 - xx5556
 
   * Where is he fretting the walk-down he does at 1:30-1:34?

Such a great lick. All in first position, I think of these as four double-stops, thumb leads, followed by the index. First two double stops are on the 1st and 3rd strings, last two are on the 4th and 2nd strings:

DS1: xxx2x1
DS2: xxx0x0
DS3: xx3x3x
DS4: xx0x0x

Kinda hard for me to hear, but he repeats this twice - the second time around, DS4 resolves to C, I think:

DS1: xxx2x1
DS2: xxx0x0
DS3: xx3x3x
DS4: xx2x1x

The lower string of each DS is played first with the thumb, followed by index on the higher string. Slick!

There is a LOT going on in this one.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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« Reply #96 on: June 15, 2014, 03:11:15 AM »
You're right to jump the gun Frankie. We Euroweenies have an unfair  time zone advantage! This is a wonderful performance with some of the best playing I've heard for a while. I love the vocals on this too. I think you're right in your analysis. I'd been battling away with regular tuning key of F, with the chords at 07 and 09 as long A/A7 and long B/B7. That's as far as I'd got. Fortunately as it turns out, as I'll now have a go in tuned down G! The doublestops on the walk down often appear over the G7 chord in Scrapper Blackwell's playing in D. Anyway, another fine puzzle!

Offline dunplaying

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« Reply #97 on: June 15, 2014, 03:48:09 AM »
I was with you Prof as I thought it was in F and the first chord I had as xxx023 .
A knockout track.

Offline Johnm

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« Reply #98 on: June 15, 2014, 10:30:43 AM »
Hi all,
Other thoughts on the cut?  Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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« Reply #99 on: June 15, 2014, 07:35:43 PM »
Hi all,
Since no one appears to be eager to add to the identifications of Wallace Chains' recording of "My Pore Mother Keeps On Praying For Me", I'll post the answers.  As it turns out, Frank nailed the identifications in the first post, with:
   * The song being played out of G position in standard tuning (though tuned a step to a step-and-a-half low)
   * The chords being a B derived from the "long A" shape walking down chromatically on the first string to a B7, followed by a C voiced the same way and walking down to a C7 the same way.
   * A walk-down in sixths, with the thumb in the right hand leading the index finger, just the way Frank described it.
Great job on the identifications, Frank!  Your detailed descriptions of how Chains made his moves greatly simplified my job of describing what he did. 

A couple of additional points might be worth mentioning.  Prof Scratchy and dunplaying both said they had been working on F position in standard tuning, but at the stage they had gotten with the tune, they had both identified the first chord change correctly relative to the position they were working out of. 

The more tunes we work through in this thread, the more apparent it becomes to me that in terms of determining how a musician on a recording played what he/she did, the most crucial factor is making the identification of the playing position/tuning that the musician used for the song correctly, because the answers to all of the other questions depend on that determination having been made correctly.  Two factors in the sound of Chains' rendition that may have helped identify his playing position as G position in standard tuning are:
  * Chains at the very start rocks from his I chord to a V7 played out of a C7 shape, which has a pretty distinctive sound.  Unfortunately, the C7 shape could be used in either the F position or the G position as a V7 chord, so that alone won't swing the identification, though it makes G position a possibility.
   * At :16-:17, Chains does a walk-down from his I chord to his VI7 chord in the bass.  That move eliminates F position in standard tuning as a possibility, because the lowest scale degree you have access to in the bass when playing out of the F position in standard tuning is the major VII note, E.  At that point G position becomes a much stronger choice as Chains' playing position.

The point Frank made about chains sounding like a combination of Jesse and Willard (Ramblin') Thomas was really well taken, and thinking about it, I realized that I thought that at least a couple of moves in the Wallace Chains song duplicated ones that Ramblin' had played.  I'm attaching an .mp3 of Ramblin' Thomas's recording of "Lock And Key Blues".  Compare, if you wish, Thomas's harmonized walk-down from his I chord to his VI7 chord (G to E7) at :01--:03 of "Lock and Key" to Chains' walk-down at :16--:17 of "My Pore Mother Keeps On Praying For Me".  Compare also the nifty descending lick Thomas plays at 1:10--1:12 of "Lock and Key" to what Chains plays at 1:57--1:59.  They really sound like they knew each other.  Ramblin' Thomas's sound in G position, standard tuning was so unusual that the tendency is to assume Chains copped his ideas from Ramblin' Thomas, but it could have been the other way around, for all we know.  I admit to finding the Chains piece more satisfying to my tastes, and he has so much other neat stuff in his rendition that Thomas did not play, too.  And I agree with Prof. Scratchy that not only is Chains' playing terrific, I really like his singing, too.  What a terrific piece!

I'll try another song soon.  Any other comments or questions on "My Pore Mother Keeps On Praying For Me"?

All best,
Johnm

Offline wild irish rose

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« Reply #100 on: June 15, 2014, 09:53:42 PM »
Wallace Chains sounds like a seasoned performer and a lot of the notes he hits on this track give me goosebumps. Fantastic song and definitely grabs your ear throughout. Now I just hope to work out an arrangement of my own to perform.

This thread (and just the forum in general really) has introduced me to a lot of new recordings and reading everyone's breakdowns really inspires! Hopefully some day soon I can have a go at it just to better train my ear.

Offline Pan

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« Reply #101 on: June 16, 2014, 07:15:18 AM »
What a fantastic performance! I agree with everyone, he's a very sophisticated player. Thanks again for a great song for an example, John!

Cheers

Pan

Offline Johnm

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« Reply #102 on: June 16, 2014, 04:44:06 PM »
Hi all,
I've got another tune picked out--it's called simply "Blues" by Eddie Bowles, who was recorded by Art Rosenbaum in Iowa, I believe.  I think Eddie's time has a beautiful relaxed quality, and like Wallace Chains, he had a lot of sophisticated sounds and harmonic ideas I've not heard other players utilize.  I have a slightly different idea for the identifications this time.  Let's do it in two stages.  In the first stage, we'll just try to answer:
   * What playing position/tuning did Eddie Bowles play "Blues" in?
Please wait until Tuesday, June 17 to post your identification of Eddie Bowles' playing position/tuning.  On Wednesday that determination will be made, and at that point we'll go on to questions of the "How did he play the lick at X point of the rendition?" type.  As always, please use only your ears and your guitar to make your assessment of what playing position/tuning he was working out of.  I hope you enjoy Eddie Bowles' "Blues" as much as I have.



I woke up this morning, nothing on my mind
I woke up this morning, nothing on my mind
And I looked out the window, saw my baby cryin'

I wondered in my mind what the reason is my woman's out there cryin'
And I asked her, "Baby, why are you cryin' today?"
Say, "I got the blues, sweet daddy, feel like goin' away."

I told her, "Sweet baby, I ain't got a dime to my name."
I said, "Sweet mama, I haven't got a dime to my name.
So you see, sweet mama, I have no money for your carfare or the train."

She looked at me, this what she said to me,
"You don't need no money where I intend to go.
I think I'm goin' to the river and jump over and drown."

Well, she started to the river, she stopped and turned 'round and 'round
I was sittin' there, baby, with my head hung down 'most to the ground
When she turned to start walkin' back to me, baby, I could go through the ground

I taken her by the hand, walked away from where she was
And I taken her by the hand, "Mama, don't get them kind of blues no more."
Ever since that, baby, we never had no blues no more

All best,
Johnm
   
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 12:42:36 PM by Johnm »

Offline mr mando

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« Reply #103 on: June 17, 2014, 03:02:32 AM »
That's C position in standard tuning capoed up to where I can easily sing the low five note (which I can hardly do without a capo), probably 2 or 3 frets, no giutar at hand to check. Great tune I've never heard before. Nice II7 chord and Count-Basie-like turnaround ideas.

This whole thread, I have to say, is so much fun. Too bad I missed the Wallace Chains tune, because I usually stay away from computers on weekends. I don't really want to change my habits in this respect, so would it be possible to use Mondays as start for our guesses for the weekend challenges??

Offline Laura

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« Reply #104 on: June 17, 2014, 03:36:06 AM »
This is a really great track, love it!  I'll take a guess at the tuning only because it sounds similar to something I've been playing around with and kind of works with this - Is it in Drop-D? or at least D position.