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The blues is a mighty long road. Or it could be a river, one that twists and turns and flows into a sea of limitless musical potential - Billy Gibbons

Author Topic: Charley Patton's vocal style  (Read 1368 times)

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Offline sofingraw

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Re: Charley Patton's vocal style
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 02:02:13 PM »
Not that it matters, nor will we know for sure, ever..

However, I think if Charlie WAS drunk in any recording that I've heard, it would have to have been 'Hang it on the Wall' from one of his later sessions. To my ear, he seems maybe just a bit... extra.. loosey goosey in that one. A great record, mind you, but he's either feeling a couple of drinks, or perhaps just playing loose with the lyrics and phrases. The asides, too. (Loudly) AWWWW SHURE.... sounds a bit tipsy to me.

Again, who knows for sure? Nobody. Haha!

I'd also like to make note of the -sometimes- distinct difference between 'drunk' and merely 'drinking'...

Offline Kokomo O

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Re: Charley Patton's vocal style
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2017, 04:19:12 PM »
You make a good point about the difference between drinking and drunk. In fact, throughout the western world, and in much of the US before and during Prohibition, it was pretty common for people to drink moderately during the day, as early as breakfast time. So it's not beyond expectation that a professional musician like Patton, or any of the folks we listen to regularly around here, would have a few sips through the day. If that loosened them up a little, so be it.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Charley Patton's vocal style
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2017, 05:13:05 PM »
Back in the early 70s during my cab driving days, I'd get bar calls at 7:00 am--both going and coming. Some guys were hard core: For example, three shots of Smirnoff 80 followed by an orange juice chaser, followed by another three shots and a chaser. They'd have me come in with them so they didn't get stuck in the bar--and then I'd drive them to work. Some guys just stopped in for a drink before work. And there were other guys who'd drink all day, painters, landscapers, laborers, etc. I knew them from around town. I guess as long as they could do their job, no one hassled them about it. Pints and half-pints of flavored gin, rye, bourbon, etc. were standard equipment. And if you didn't know better, you'd never know they'd been drinking.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 05:14:52 PM by Stuart »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Charley Patton's vocal style
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2017, 08:57:17 PM »
I remember getting a sore throat channeling Patton after a workshop at Port T followed by some shots of whisky back in the barracks, Irish as I recall. I was playing with Alex I think. Sounded good to me at the time (but probably wasn't). Certainly loosens any inhibitions which would be useful, CP was never lagging vocally behind the guitar. I could only manage a couple of songs and it hurt afterwards.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Charley Patton's vocal style
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2017, 12:15:30 AM »
Well Riv, those of us who escaped the great medical boondoggle of the '50s, tonsillectomy, have a much easier time generating good relaxed glottal fry.

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Offline Rivers

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Re: Charley Patton's vocal style
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2017, 06:37:41 PM »
I still gots all me surplus fleshy bits matey!

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