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When you go down in Deep Elem to have a little fun have your $15 ready when that police man comes - Prarie Ramblers, Deep Elem Blues

Author Topic: Songs for Bass and Guitar?  (Read 448 times)

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Offline Norfolk Slim

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Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« on: July 17, 2017, 11:48:13 AM »
My wife plays Double Bass (or stand up bass in American parlance).  She is far more knowledgeable in technical terms than I- reads music well and so on.  She even counts:-)  She has played classical, swing/ jazz and and currently sings in an award winning choir.

However, despite the house being full of musical instruments we have never played together.  She's not keen on blues as such- especially one man and a guitar type old fashioned scratchy stuff of the type I try to play. 

We really ought to try to figure out something though.  Its been 20 odd years after all and having moved last year, we now have a dedicated music room with all my guitars, a keyboard, her basses and so on.

Any ideas for numbers we could have a crack at?  Bass and guitar isnt a combination I recall hearing (not without other instruments as well) but perhaps there are tracks I've not come across?  If not, has anyone heard of people playing this sort of combination- and if so are there any tunes which might satisfy my blues nerdery and not offend the Mrs?!  I suspect we might be better off leaning towards the raggy end of the spectrum but any thoughts welcome...

Offline Slack

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 12:10:49 PM »
How lucky to have a bass player, who can sing in the house!  Simon, I find it hard to believe you don't play together... but relationships are complicated!  :P

She already plays swing?  Learn swing chords, if you don't already know, and apply to blues progressions.  Like Route 66.  Swing is great fun!

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 12:17:50 PM »
Its fair to say that she would claim herself not to be a solo or contemporary style singer particularly- so she is unlikely to be happy to sing things, at least not as a lead.

I should probably also say that when I say she has played jazz and swing- it was very much sheet music based- playing Glenn Miller et al with a band rather than the freer stuff. 

Offline Stuart

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 02:10:00 PM »
Hi Simon:

Check out Thompsonia to see how Eric and Suzy's daughter Allegra plays and sings with her parents. Suzy's the one to elaborate on this so I'll defer to her.

Also, in the Seattle area Matt Weiner plays with Del Rey on occasion.



I think the key is finding music you both enjoy and working out arrangements. If she doesn't like old Blues then some of the classic ragtime, swing or jazz numbers might be good middle ground as might hillbilly jazz, i.e. Bob Wills' material. The Hot Club of Cowtown is a three piece (bass, guitar, violin) band that might give you some ideas.



Offline Pan

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 05:12:35 PM »
Sounds like a delightful dilemma! :)

Harlem Hamfats come to mind as a jazzier ensemble. Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, and Tom Dorsey & Tampa Red also have some harmonically more challenging tunes, apart from the 3 chord blues. The "blues with minor chords" thread could also give some ideas.

Cheers,

Pan

Offline Rivers

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 05:26:41 PM »
Perhaps you could track down the recordings that Alfred Elkins played on and run them through a system with sufficient bass response so that you can actually hear the bass. There's tons of great material, variety and ideas right there. Plus they already did the hard yards, figuring out how to best arrange country blues for acoustic bass / guitar / vocal.

Ransom Knowling as well.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 06:20:23 PM by Rivers »

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 11:47:27 PM »
Any Tommy McLennan song!


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Online Johnm

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 06:19:30 AM »
Hi Simon,
You might try "Cow Cow Blues" by Cow Cow Davenport.  His piano part has a ripping left hand bass part that your wife might find really fun to play, and you could fill in the chordal stuff on the guitar.
All best,
Johnm

Offline bnemerov

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 06:24:17 AM »
Simon,
Slim & Slam; great bass and guitar duo.
Quirky material that may intrigue the Missus.
Also a chance to learn idiomatic language!
Vout, Reet,
bruce

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 07:07:20 AM »
Good suggestion Johnm, and if you fancy adding words:


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Offline harriet

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 09:39:52 AM »
I don't know whether you'd call this the raggy end or not...



Luke Winslow King has examples from his Sunday Bloody Sunday session with his partner Esther Rose on washboard and a bass player bass - here's one example Of Memphis Minnie's "Chauffeur Blues" with a bass player and featuring Robert Luti, who has the distinction of being deported from New Orleans, presumably to keep America safe from dangerous slide guitar players:



or Joe Williams' "Mule to Ride"....



« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 04:54:21 PM by harriet »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Songs for Bass and Guitar?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 11:10:02 AM »
Howdy:

Memphis Minnie recorded an number of tunes with stand up bass during her period after Kansas Joe and before Little Son Joe (Mid '30s). Some (many) are rather risqu? and all swing. How 'bout Ice Man (Come on Up) for starters?

Alex

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