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Author Topic: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station  (Read 2359 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2015, 11:47:10 AM »
Hi all,
I thought I would try to come up with my own version of the song.  It's attached below.
All best,
Johnm

Online harry

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2015, 12:11:17 PM »
Wow that's fast John! But good job. I remember reading somewhere that Crudup could only play in one key, is that true?

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2015, 12:25:03 PM »
I thought I would try to come up with my own version of the song.  It's attached below.

Great time on that, John! Love it! Your singing sounds great, too - greasy and expressive with a kind of Walter Davis "I'm here to confirm all your worst paranoid fears" quality...

Damn...  are you playing the 9-string?!?!

I remember reading somewhere that Crudup could only play in one key, is that true?

"Could" and "did" are two different things...  pretty much all of Crudup's recordings are done in cross-note tuning with the capo at various spots.

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2015, 04:27:26 PM »
Thanks for the good words, Frank.  Anytime something I do is mentioned in connection with Walter Davis, I'm a happy guy.


Damn...  are you playing the 9-string?!?!

Yes, that is what this musician was doing.

All best,
Johnm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2015, 01:37:27 AM »
That 9 string has a wonderful crisp and dry sound! Great addition to the performances of this song.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2015, 03:51:37 AM »
Great inaugural post, Frank. Plenty to think about. I'm glad there's more than a week to let it sink in.

I've been wondering about Arthur Crudup's technique for a while and you just gave me the missing piece.


Offline Pan

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2015, 06:07:54 PM »
Thanks for a great thread, Frankie!

And thanks for posting your version of the song, John! Great singing, and as others have said, the 9 string guitar sounds fabulous!

Cheers

Pan

Offline dj

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2015, 06:04:47 AM »
Thanks for a great post, frankie.

The thing that surprises me most about Jesse Lee Vortis' and Carl Hodges' versions of the song is that neither one of them uses Crudup's final verse, which to me is the verse that makes the song memorable.  That's literally true in my case: reading over the lyrics before playing any of the songs, I was thinking I didn't know the Crudup version of the song, then I got to his 4th verse and thought "Oh yeah, THAT song".

And thanks for a really fine version, Johnm.

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2015, 12:07:09 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks to dj, Pan and Prof Scratchy for the good words.  For those who are interested in such things, the 9-string guitar I played on my version of the song was put together by Todd Cambio, who makes Fraulini Guitars.  Todd took the body from a little old '20s sort of no-name guitar and put a neck of his own making on it, with a headstock to accommodate 9 strings.  I pretty much leave the guitar in Spanish tuning, which it particularly seems to like, and it is set up with single strings for the three lowest pitched strings and the upper three strings in unison pairs (no octave courses).
Of the three versions of "Greyhound Bus Station" in Frank's original post in this thread, I've found myself particularly drawn to Jesse Lee Vortis' version, for some time.  It really sounds like no other tune or way of playing in Spanish that I've heard.  Part of what makes his sound unique is his signature lick.  Jesse Lee starts out landing heavily on the third fret of his fifth string in the bass; that note is the bIII note of his scale in Spanish, and he doesn't really resolve to the I note in the bass, the open fifth string until the third beat of the second measure of his signature lick.  By having the bIII note in the bass rather than the I note, he almost sounds like he's playing in the relative major of the key he's actually playing in, or Bb rather than G.  The notes in the treble against his lick have a weird, disoriented sort of sound until he resolves to the I note in the bass, too.
Jesse Lee's IV chord is unusual, too.  Instead of opting for the most common IV7 chord up the neck, X-0-5-5-5-8, Jesse Lee puts in a sus4 for the IV7 chord, F, and insistently goes from a brushed 5-6 on the third and second strings to a slightly bent 8th fret of his first string, the bVII note of his IV chord.  So against his IV chord, he is essentially playing X-0-x-5-6-8, which voices out as X-5-X-R-4-b7, or a C7sus.  That chord gives his IV7 chord a much more equivocal, mysterious sound than we're accustomed to hearing in Country Blues.
Add to this the way Jesse Lee Vortis seems to flip his beat as noted earlier in this thread and you wind up with a really singular rendition of "Greyhound Bus Station".  I hope we can be as bold in coming up with our own ways of playing songs we like, when we don't want simply to do a version that closely references an earlier recorded performance.
All best,
Johnm 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 12:08:53 PM by Johnm »

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2015, 01:28:40 PM »
I'm partial to the Vortis performance, too - it seems so amazingly particular to him, even after finding quite a number of other recordings. Thanks for the additional detail on Vortis's playing, too - I had missed the suspension in the IV7 chord - very nice.

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2015, 02:29:47 PM »
Hi all,
I found this performance of "Greyhound Bus Station Blues" by Johnny Hines, whom I know nothing about.  From the one comment posted at youtube, it sounds like he was a street player in Gainesville, so he may have been a Florida native.  In any event, it is certainly the same song as the other musicians in this thread were doing, and a really nice version.



All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2015, 03:03:20 PM »
great find, John. He has a great sound... and he sings all of Crudup's verses!

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2015, 02:25:33 AM »
Here's another, from RL Burnside:

Online Johnm

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2015, 02:56:04 PM »
That is a great find, Prof!  I don't know if I can recall another piece by Burnside played out of A position in standard tuning.  He really seemed to favor E in standard tuning ("Natural", as per Robert Belfour) and Spanish.  His sound in A is quite different than what I've heard from him before.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: SOTM 8-May-2015: The Greyhound Bus Station
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2015, 03:04:46 PM »
Hey, John, finally listened to your Greyhound Bus Station. Real nice! The 9-string sounds perfect for the arrangement.

 


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