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Author Topic: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.  (Read 512 times)

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Offline Thomas8

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Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« on: April 10, 2016, 09:17:49 AM »
Hello There,

My name is Thomas and this is my first post on this great forum, I started to play the piano about eight months ago and at first was completely smitten with those technical masters like the Sykes's, Ammons, Cow Cows, Maceos ie. the ones that possess a lifetime worth of technique and talent that us mere mortals could only dream of.

However, recently I've become entranced with those pianists especially from St Louis among others (Jab Jones) who could play not as virtuoso's but simply as musicians, and whom possessed a sound that was altogether less impressive yet maintained that big emotional weight we call the blues. Of Course the prime example of this would be Walter Davis but I'm inclined to praise Peetie Wheatstraw who, although possessed less variation than Davis had a really low down sound and was a more competent accompanist.

I don't think St Louis gets as much recognition for it's music as the other big areas do, and it is surprising considering the diversity of the blues scope there and how much creativity the musicians demonstrated in terms of technique and songwriting (but that's a whole other post).

I've always been a big fan of Lonnie Johnson's piano playing as well, the sound on Sam You're Just A Rat is just evil and reminded a lot of Hellhounds On My Trail. I also mentioned Jab Jones, I think he contributed a great deal to the sound Sleepy John got on those early recordings like those chordal stabs on The Girl I Love and also provided wonderful accompaniments to Will Shade and the Jug Band.


Anyway in the video I tried to provide a tone similar to those great accompanying pianists, but please bear in mind my musical wherewithal on the piano is not fully realised yet and I unfortunately don't have a real piano, but the digital isn't bad if you turn it up.

Thank you and have a pleasant day.


Offline Johnm

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 10:58:25 AM »
Hi Thomas8,
Your idea of pursing the less technical pianists is a great one, and you sound good doing it.  My only suggestion for the song you played is to be a bit further back in the beat, where the vocal and guitar part are.  Nice job!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Thomas8

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 12:24:12 PM »
Thank you Johnm,

Yes I was struggling at points the recording was fairly quiet, I mean at the end I pretty much missed the IV V change altogether, I should know by now playing loudly over a quite recording wreaks havoc on your rhythm which has to be tight as a glove for the real stuff. thanks for the feedback I know I'm fishing for compliments here (apologies) but as you are a guitarist extraordinaire I wondered what you thought of the recording itself. I mean I'm no singer.

Thanks Thomas

   

Offline Johnm

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 02:23:21 PM »
Hi Thomas8,
Your singing and guitar playing sound fine to me, and you'll just continue to get better as you do it more.  A song you might want to check out for this treatment is Teddy Darby's "Pokino Blues".  Peetie Wheatstraw played piano on it, and it has my favorite piano playing of his that I've heard, and a terrific signature lick.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Thomas8

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 12:04:41 AM »
Hi Johnm,

Thanks again, I've been wanting to buy some Blind Teddy for a while simply because of Peetie and Roosevelt's appearances alongside him but the prices are a bit steep and the document Lp doesn't have "Pokino Blues" on it unfortunately, but I suppose the price tag hasn't dissuaded me in the past. Anyway thanks again for the feedback and taking your time to listen to me play.

Thomas.

Offline harry

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 08:53:07 AM »
Hi Thomas,

Nice to hear some piano blues on Weenie Campbell. I think you got the right feel to play this type of music. With some more practice I'm sure you're gonna improve a great deal. You certainly have the best piano blues book laying on the keyboard (Improvising Blues Piano - Tim Richards). It's the finest piano blues instruction out there.

Are you aware of the excellent Yazoo album Twenty First St. Stomp: The Piano Blues Of St. Louis?



Blues piano was the reason I started playing music in the first place. I became interested in the guitar a few years later.
I played some piano blues myself on the weenie back porch awhile back (Delta Woman Blues - Tampa Red).

Offline Thomas8

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 10:08:28 AM »
Hello Harry,

No I wasn't aware of it and my does it look good, it's like a who's who of St Louis piano players.
Yes I need to practise more I'm playing out on the street with the guitar so juggling between the two is a challenge due to my susceptibility to this great music. I mean when I hear that lowdown St Louis piano sound I'm fixated on it, but equally when I listen to Tampa Red or Lonnie Johnson I can't help but wince at the majesty of their sound.
Do you play out and about yourself? nice to see some mutual appreciation for this music, it' is bizarre why more people don't spend their whole life playing three chords. I shall hunt down the track you posted thanks for responding.

Thomas

Offline harry

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 09:21:12 AM »
There's even a volume 2 with again excellent content.


Down On The Levee: The Piano Blues Of St. Louis


Offline Thomas8

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 09:37:32 AM »
Fantastic it's got everything you'd want on there even some Lonnie Johnson piano stylings, I heard your track as well and I was mighty impressed, you've got a great sound do you play out much??

Offline harry

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Re: Peetie Wheatstraw Sound, Minimalist Piano Playing.
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 02:16:26 PM »
Fantastic it's got everything you'd want on there even some Lonnie Johnson piano stylings, I heard your track as well and I was mighty impressed, you've got a great sound do you play out much??

Check out the Weenie Performers thread

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=10739.0

 


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