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I thought, and still do think, that Lemon was a very good guitarist. Gary disagreed. (laughter) Gary started to play a very accurate pastiche of Lemon's Black Snake Moan, and Gary just opened his mouth and let out with this incredible blood curdling scream, and then he stops and says, "Man, he couldn't have sung no louder if someone was cutting his throat". He was merciless - Reverend Gary Davis, by Dave Van Ronk

Author Topic: "Ginseng Blues"--Kentucky Ramblers  (Read 619 times)

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Offline Johnm

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"Ginseng Blues"--Kentucky Ramblers
« on: July 19, 2018, 11:52:32 AM »
Hi all,
The Kentucky Ramblers recorded "Ginseng Blues" in 1930.  I don't know the personnel on the recording, apart from Larry Hensley, who played the mandolin in the group, I believe.  The structure and phrasing of this song is discussed in the "Vocal Phrasing:  The Long and the Short of It" thread.  I'd very much appreciate help with the bent bracketed passages.  Here is the song:



INTRO MANDOLIN SOLO

Ain't a-gonna dig no ginseng, well, I ain't a-gonna hunt no squirrel, ain't-a gonna do a doggone thing but love my dear sweet mama
REFRAIN: You can't read my mind
When you think I'm a-lovin' you, mama, I'm quittin' you all the time

YODELED REFRAIN

My home ain't here, it's down in Caroline, I got three chillens down in Georgia, but they sho' ain't mine, sweet mama
REFRAIN: You can't read my mind
When you think I'm a-lovin' you, mama, I'm quittin' you all the time

YODELED REFRAIN

I got a girl in Georgia, one in Dixie, too, if you treat me mean, sweet mama, I'll turn my back on you, good baby
REFRAIN: You can't read my mind
When you think I'm a-lovin' you, mama, I'm quittin' you all the time

YODELED REFRAIN

Well, I ain't a-gonna work on no tipple, ain't a-gonna load no coal, put my head out the window, watch the drivers roll, sweet mama
REFRAIN: You can't read my mind
When you think I'm a-lovin' you, mama, I'm quittin' you all the time

YODELED REFRAIN

Edited 7/19 to pick up correction from banjochris

All best,
Johnm

EDITED TO ADD:  Larry Hensley was a member of Walker's Corbin Ramblers, not the Kentucky Ramblers.   


 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 06:40:53 AM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: "Ginseng Blues"--Kentucky Ramblers
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 01:31:47 PM »
He really swallows that line, but I do believe it's...

My home ain't here, it's down in Caroline, I got three chillun down in Georgia but they sho' ain't mine, sweet mama.

Chris

Offline Johnm

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Re: "Ginseng Blues"--Kentucky Ramblers
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2018, 02:06:14 PM »
Thanks, Chris--you've got it once again.  Thanks so much!  I really love this song and the band's rendition of it.
All best,
Johnm

 


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