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Pot of ham and cabbage, ain't enough to fill mine. That just makes me peckish, I could eat a dozen fine - Me And My Tapeworm, Sylvester Weaver 1927

Author Topic: Tempo Changes  (Read 1194 times)

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Offline Forgetful Jones

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Tempo Changes
« on: June 08, 2016, 05:09:13 AM »
This may end up being a short thread, but I thought it may be a fun idea to list some country blues where the player(s) intentionally switch tempos in the song. I'm not talking about the gradual build up in speed that often occurs. I'm interested in tunes that were composed with varying tempos.

I recently added some Little Hat Jones to my library. Outside of one or two tracks I had on comps, I wasn't familiar with much of his material. When I heard "Corpus Blues" what jumped out at me was the switch in pace from the intro to the main body of the song. The intro is quick and lively, but LHJ really slows things down when the verses begin. The pace picks back up when he gets to the outro as well. Pretty cool stuff.

I'm wondering if anyone has other examples of this.

Cheers!


Offline Blind Arthur

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 05:35:30 AM »
This is normal for Little Hat Jones ;) during the same sessions, he accompanied singer Texas Alexander, and I think every title of these sessions begins with an uptempo introduction.
You canīt trust your baby when the ice man comes hanging around :D

Offline harry

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 07:21:13 AM »
Hard Road Blues - Blind Blake. I think he has more songs with a tempo switch.


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 11:33:34 AM »
Yes indeed, harry! Blake was always switching tempo. My favourite (of many) is what he does on Night and Day Blues:

Offline joe paul

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 01:20:02 AM »
Absolutely agree for Night and Day Blues, it really swings, a knock-out tune.
I like the way his One Time Blues (in A) jumps into double-time just for a couple of bars towards the end.



Any others come to mind?

Gordon

Offline joe paul

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 01:24:06 AM »
Stonewall Street Blues too. Not as hair-raising as Night and Day Blues, but still great. Especially the last verse.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 02:22:56 AM »
Another of Blake's which has been in Roger Hubbard's repertoire for many years is Detroit Bound Blues. Like all the songs he plays, he never plays them the same way twice and I've heard him do some hundreds of times - each performance is unique. On Detroit Bound he frequently inserts different licks and runs but is always true to the spirit of the original. Here's an early recording - it's at around 18.10:

"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline oddenda

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2016, 04:04:13 AM »
St. Louis Blues... built in to the tune!

pbl
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 10:24:39 PM by oddenda »

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 04:20:33 AM »
Oh yeah, of course Blind Blake. Tootie Blues was the first one I can recall hearing that had that double-time bit. What a sportin' right thumb!


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 04:45:27 AM »
Peter...the Jim and Bob version? Yes indeed.


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Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 07:03:19 AM »
Peter...the Jim and Bob version? Yes indeed.

Yes, the Genial Hawaiians! That track on a Yazoo compilation introduced me to their work.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Johnm

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2016, 08:18:14 AM »
Hi all,
On some of the Blake tunes, "Hard Road", for example, Blake does not actually change his tempo, but instead changes his subdivision of the beat.  In that song, his prevailing feel is four beats per measure, each with an underlying triplet.  When he goes into his little rhythmic breaks, the tempo remains constant, you can tap your foot right through the change, but what he does do is switch to dividing each beat into four sixteenth notes rather than a triplet.  It sure is a neat effect.  Other players who similarly switch from an underlying triple subdivision of the beat to an underlying duple or quadruple subdivision of the beat include Bo Carter, Robert Johnson, Big Joe Williams and Skip James.
An interesting result of switching from a "swung" eighth note, underlying triplet feel to a "straight eighth" division of the beat, is that the straight eighth division of the beat into two equal parts ends up sounding intensely syncopated, and almost drunken.  Bo Carter achieved this effect on his song "Pretty Baby", where he played straight eighth notes under his singing, but switched to an underlying triplet feel for his instrumental fills.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 08:29:16 AM »
Does the intro to William Harris' "Bullfrog Blues" fit the bill? Either way, it sure is satis-mamlish-fying...

Jeff

Offline harry

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 10:24:37 AM »
Thanks Parlor Picker for introducing me to Roger Hubbard.  Brighton Belle Blues is another masterpiece in the Blue Goose catalogue.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Tempo Changes
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2016, 03:47:43 AM »
Thanks Parlor Picker for introducing me to Roger Hubbard.  Brighton Belle Blues is another masterpiece in the Blue Goose catalogue.

That was recorded a long time ago! Check out his recent album "If I Had a Dollar" at his website: rogerhubbard.co.uk.

Roger has always been one of the most natural singers/guitarists around with incredible technical ability and a great feel for this music.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

 


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