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Author Topic: Memphis Jug Band Recording Miscellany  (Read 444 times)

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Offline arlotone

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Memphis Jug Band Recording Miscellany
« on: May 14, 2017, 12:06:18 PM »
While compiling a list of Memphis Jug Band Singers and Memphis Jug Band Players, I also noted a few interesting facts about their recordings along the way:

Songs where someone plays two instruments

Sometimes I Think I Love You: Will Shade plays guitar in the first half, then switches to harmonica in the second half.

Taking Your Place: Will Shade plays guitar for most of the song, but switches to harmonica for a solo in the middle (revealing that the remaining guitarist, Charlie Burse, counted fingerstyle blues among his many skills).

Jazzbo Stomp: Jab Jones plays piano for most of the song, but switches to jug for two sections.

Songs where someone does something they don't normally do

Tired of You Driving Me: Ben Ramey sings his only solo vocal.

Jug Band Quartette: Jab Jones sings a high, floating harmony instead of his usual gruff style.

I'll See You In the Spring, When the Birds Begin to Sing: Will Shade plays jug for the only time on a pre-war commercial recording (he often played it on post-war field recordings and on Gus Cannon's 1963 Stax album).

Songs that incorporate elements of other songs

Coal Oil Blues: The 8-bar chord progression and melody later becomes the chorus of "Stealin Stealin," while Ben Ramey plays almost the same kazoo part.

Memphis Yo Yo Blues: Will Shade plays a harmonica solo that later becomes the main riff for "You May Leave But This Will Bring You Back."

Jazzbo Stomp: Will Shade copies some of the fiddle licks from "Memphis Shakedown," while Jab Jones plays mostly the same jug part.

Bob Lee Junior Blues: Will Shade and Vol Stevens play the melody of "Careless Love" on harmonica and mandolin for the last solo.

Songs without a guitar

Round and Round: Charlie Burse played guitar on the songs recorded immediately before and after this one, so it's not clear why he didn't play on this one. The arrangement feels rather empty with Vol Stevens's mandolin as the only stringed instrument.

Songs with a female instrumentalist

Mary Anna Cut Off; My Love is Cold; Little Green Slippers; Fishin' in the Dark: Laura Dukes plays mandolin on the first two and ukulele on the last two.

Songs with male/female duets

I Packed My Suitcase, Started to the Train; State of Tennessee Blues: Jennie Mae Clayton sings the first few verses and Will Shade sings the final verses. In the first song, they both add spoken replies to the other's verses.

Oh Ambulance Man; Papa's Got Your Water On: Hattie Hart sings the main part and Will Shade adds a response within each verse.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 07:31:16 PM by arlotone »

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Memphis Jug Band Recording Miscellany
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 05:06:10 AM »
I'm not sure if this counts as "incorporating elements of another song" but the intro to "Fourth Street Mess Around" is a little quote of "Funky Butt/St Louis Tickle."

Offline arlotone

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Re: Memphis Jug Band Recording Miscellany
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 07:08:58 PM »
I'm not sure if this counts as "incorporating elements of another song" but the intro to "Fourth Street Mess Around" is a little quote of "Funky Butt/St Louis Tickle."

Nice, yes ... as played here at 0:36:

https://youtu.be/oaoTxMJeInQ?t=36s

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