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That's what I liked about hitch-hiking. If a crowd wasn't big enough, I kept walkin'- Brownie McGhee

Author Topic: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?  (Read 11342 times)

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Offline Slack

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Re: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2007, 09:29:44 AM »
 :P

The technique comes in handy - mostly when you only yodel once.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?
« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2007, 02:26:55 PM »
Very good point Alex.

Riffing further on the JR/CB connection, one of the things that has always intrigued me is his superbly uneven timing. Where the bar structure would naturally imply a change he often hangs in there for a couple of bars until he's finished with the vocal or just feels the change. It's so country blues, I do it, you all do it I'm sure, it's part of the vernacular.

The big question I had at the back of my mind, albeit not verbalized, before reading the book was "is that contrived?" In my case it's more or less contrived, in Jimmie's case the answer is I think, a resounding "no". Jimmie was just a natural, following his own muse.

This is borne out by the many accounts in the book from musicians who played with him, and also by Ralph Peer. He was supremely relaxed when recording and performing solo, and likewise found it supremely difficult playing with accompanists. He hated to have to make every change with the band and would become very frustrated as a result. Since Jimmie was the star they rehearsed long hours and did many takes to get it right, always on edge waiting for the uneven breaks.

I don't know if this proves anything either way, I just thought it was interesting.

Offline banjochris

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Re: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2007, 03:15:59 PM »
Yeah, I've always thought JR sounded more relaxed on the ensemble pieces when he's not playing an instrument at all.
Chris

Offline outfidel

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Re: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?
« Reply #63 on: May 11, 2007, 07:55:26 PM »
Rivers - Thanks for the heads-up on that biography, which I'm very interested in reading it. I do have a copy of a book that Nolan Porterfield edited, Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the JEMF Quarterly -- but, unfortunately, many of the chapters are weighted down by academic-ese.

I prefer instead a good story told well -- sounds like that's the case with the Rodgers biography.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2007, 09:01:18 PM by outfidel »
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Offline Rivers

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Re: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?
« Reply #64 on: May 14, 2007, 04:15:32 PM »
I found Porterfield got the balance just right Michael. When you read it, you too Slack, please post your impressions on this thread, particularly on early influences that I may have missed as I blasted through it.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Frank Stokes, Jimmie Rodgers & the medicine shows?
« Reply #65 on: May 28, 2007, 09:01:51 PM »
Spent last night at Kerrville Folk Fest. We had a great time even though the skies opened up right before the evening concert and we got drenched. Decided to flag the 3rd party entertainment and split back to Austin. No chance! The river was biblically flooding 10 knots over the road both a mile north and south, a Texas feature and fairly awe-inspiring to witness.

So we headed back to the festival and jammed late into the night with strangers who are now, as tends to happen at festivals, friends. I had a long chat with a guy who'd seen Hank Williams at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport as a kid. I'd just finished reading one of Hank's bios so that was very cool.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, this morning I was doing a walkaround of the muddy site, think 'World War I', with the guy I'd been playing guitar with the previous evening. We met a longtime resident of Kerrville and I mentioned Jimmie Rodgers and how I really wanted to see the Blue Yodeler's Paradise and did he know where it was.

I got great directions from Xavier and voila, an hour later we did a drive by of the yellow brick mini-mansion Carrie and Jimmie built it in a desperate attempt to beat that old TB in the excellent Hill Country climate. It's a really nice house on a prime spot on a hill. There's no hoopla, it's obviously privately-owned and very well kept. There were a lot of cars outside, who knows what was going on.

I fell in love with it on sight and immediately began speculating how much it might be going for these days, imagining restoring the place and inviting my friends to drop in and give them the tour.

Anyway, just thought I'd share that major buzz with y'all.  8)

 


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