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Black water risin', Southern people can't make no time. And I can't get no hearin' from that Memphis gal of mine - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Rising High Water Blues

Author Topic: Fiddle Blues  (Read 8381 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Fiddle Blues
« on: December 07, 2005, 09:34:51 AM »
Hi all,
We have long had a Mandolin Blues thread, and it just didn't seem right not to have a Fiddle Blues thread as well.  So as not to be hoggish, I am just going to get the ball rolling by naming five of my favorite fiddle blues performances.  They don't even scratch the surface of what has been done.
   * "All Night Long" by Leonard Rutherford, fiddle and Dick Burnett, guitar ( I think).  This might not only be my favorite fiddle blues, it may be my favorite fiddling.  Rutherford's slippery note-making is kind of miraculous.  It is just perfect.
   * "Hometown Blues" by Jimmy McCarroll with the Roane County Ramblers.  What a killer!  The band's heavy time is just mean and nasty, and Jimmy McCarroll was sensational.
   * "Rolling Mill Blues" by Peg Leg Howell with a mystery fiddler (not Eddie Anthony).  This is a very beautiful song with great upper register fiddling by whoever did it.
   * "Georgia Stomp" by Andrew and Jim Baxter.  Everything these guys did was wonderful, but this is the first one I ever heard, on The Anthology of American Folk Music, so it has a special pull for me.
   * "Stop and Listen Blues, #2", with Walter Vinson on guitar and vocal and Lonnie Chatmon on fiddle.  As with the Baxters, the Mississippi Sheiks were responsible for a lot of great music.  You all probably have your own favorites.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2005, 10:37:08 AM »
My PegLeg Howell CD says that the fiddle on Rolling Mill is possibly Ollie Griffin.  By the way, I have just been reading Lost Delta Found and there is a bit of interesting stuff in there about Son Sims, who was the sole fiddler that they found at that time (1941) in that area of the Delta.  I think that even 10 years earlier, they might have found more fiddlers.

Some of my favorites:
Dickson County Blues by Arthur Smith, also his Fiddlers Blues
KC Railroad blues by the Baxters -- gorgeous!  And I like Bamalong Blues too
Frisson de Samedi Apres Midi by Wade Fruge -- older generation Cajun fiddler playing the blues, a tune he learned from a black street fiddler
Blues a Bebe -- Creole fiddler Bebe Carriere, Dewey Balfa also played a killer version of this
Jelly Roll Blues by Butch Cage, very funky but wonderful
Leake County Blues -- Leake County Revellers -- hillbilly blues with a lovely "Careless Love" section
I also love Jug Band Blues by Sara Martin, with Clifford Hayes fiddling.

There is much, much more.  By the way, I am looking for suggestions for material to teach, discuss, listen to, etc for my fiddle class at Blues Week next summer. I always make a source material CD for the students and am always looking for new stuff to put on it!
Suzy T.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2005, 12:35:14 AM »
This isn't really on topic but the compilation that got me taking notice of the instrument in a 'blues setting' was called The Country Fiddlers. Released by Roots in November 1968 it had a jokey cover photo of Johann Stauss's statue in Vienna with a dirty great red X through it. The tracks were:

Andrew & Jim Baxter - The Moore Girl
Chasey Collins - Walking Blues
Jack Kelly?s South Memphis Jug Band - Highway No. 61 Blues
Henry Williams & Eddie Anthony - Georgia Crawl
Mississippi Sheiks - Lonely One In This Town/Sittin' On Top Of The World
T C Johnson &? Tom Nelson -T C Johnson Blues
Tom Nelson - Blue Coat Blues
State Street Boys - Rustlin' Man
Peg Leg Howell & His Gang - Too Tight Blues/Peg Leg Stomp
T C Johnson Boys - Violin Blues
Texas Alexander - Seen Better Days/Frost Texas Tornado Blues
Mobile Strugglers - Fattenin' Frogs/Memphis Blues

Rather eclectic selection for an early attempt at getting guitar/harmonica centric 'country blues' fans interested...but it worked for me despite my earlier vehement hate of the instrument on Charlie Patton recordings! :(

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2005, 10:58:38 AM »
I know what you mean about Henry "Son" Sims' playing on the Charlie Patton stuff, it still doesn't feel all that compelling to me.  Still, I think it is good to study up on all available black fiddling from the 20's because there isn't all that much of it!
I just finished reading "Lost Delta Found" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and got out my copy of the old time fiddle and banjo music by Nathan Frazier and Frank Patterson, which John Work recorded just prior to the field trip where he recorded Muddy Waters, it is definitely not blues music but is one of only a handful of examples of black musicians playing what we think of as hillbilly music -- really, the old time dance music from before the 20th century. Actually it sounds very much like other early oldtime music from the south, very modal.  I think I can still hear some of the Scots-Irish antecedents in the melodies.  To my ears, I can't tell the race of the players, only that the playing is not very slick, but that can be said of almost all the field recordings of fiddle/banjo music that I've heard!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 10:35:11 PM »
Hi all,
I recently picked up a CD, "Big Joe Williams--Back To The Country", Testament Records TCD 5013, with some outstanding Blues fiddling on it by Jimmy Brown, a transplanted Mississippian residing in St. Louis at the time of the recording (1965) whom I had never heard of before.  The entire CD is superb, with a very generous program of 21 songs and a lot of variety.  Big Joe and Jimmy Brown are also joined by the harmonica player Willie Lee Harris, and on one cut, Big Joe is joined by Bill Foster on second guitar, about whom the notes say nothing.
Jimmy Brown's tone on the fiddle is kind of rough; it has a great edge to it, and some of what he plays brings to mind the playing of Dad Tracy on one of Big Joe's earliest sessions.  Brown shines throughout the program but has particularly strong moments on "See See Rider', one of the best versions of that warhorse that I have heard, "Desert Blues", and "Breakdown", a simple country dance instrumental on which he and Big Joe really tear it up.
One of the things that makes the CD wear particularly well with repeated listenings is its range.  Rather than running the same ensemble through the entire program, the producer, Pete Welding, ran through different combinations of people on different tunes.  All three of the performers are featured on vocals during the course of the program, Big Joe sits out a tune or two, and Jimmy Brown plays guitar on a couple of numbers as well.  I believe the CD may just recently have been re-issued.  If you are a blues fiddler or just like that sound you may want to check it out.  Recordings by blues fiddlers in the post-60s period are not all that common.  I was able to find the CD at Roots and Rhythm for a very reasonable price.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline banjochris

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 12:29:50 AM »
I totally agree that "Rolling Mill Blues" and "All Night Long" are way up there -- I'll add a few of my own favorites:

"Warm Wipe Stomp" -- Macon Ed and Tampa Joe. This is one of the most bizarre recordings ever, with slide guitar and a surreal conversation going on with the music.

"Right Now Blues" -- Frank Stokes and Will Batts.

"Memphis Stomp" -- Lonnie Johnson with Nap Hayes and Matthew Prater. A real virtuoso performance from Johnson.

"Please Baby" -- Mississippi Sheiks.

"Been Listening All the Day" -- Blind Joe Taggart. More old-time than blues, but a personal favorite.

All the Baxter stuff, of course, and the Frazier/Patterson and Gribble, Lusk and York tracks on the Altamont album. And I also recommend Fiddlin' John Carson's "Hawk and the Buzzard" -- a great version of "Raise a Ruckus Tonight."
Chris


Offline GhostRider

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2007, 10:56:42 AM »
HI:

Whilest listening to the Victor Recordings of Frank Stokes (which includes four guitar-fiddle duets), I found a fiddle tune I quite liked, Bunker Hill Blues. The recording is a bit whupped and Franks guitar accompanyment is pretty basic, but the fiddle is great.

Who is the fiddler on these four tunes?

Alex

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2007, 11:13:09 AM »
Who is the fiddler on these four tunes?
Will Batts who can also be heard on, I think, all of Jack Kelly's recordings. He's discussed in Bengt Olsson's 1970 Memphis Blues booklet. I'll see if there's anything said worth reporting back.

Edit: In fact it's an entire very interesting chapter devoted to an interview with his sister Maggie Tuggle. At the end there's a list of Batts's entries for the period 1921-1955 from the Memphis City Directory.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2007, 11:22:04 AM by Bunker Hill »

mississippijohnhurt1928

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 01:28:52 PM »
"Come Back Corrina" Recorded By Charlie Patton In 1929 Features Henry "Son" Simms On Fiddle And Vocals.


Henry Eventually Played With Muddy Waters On His Field Recordings For Alan Lomax.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2007, 04:39:33 PM »
Hi all,
I recently heard a Blues fiddler I had never heard before:  E.L. Coleman, who recorded one tune with Sylvester Weaver on slide guitar and Charles Washington on banjo-guitar.  The tune is called "Steel String Blues" and it appears on the Sylvester Weaver, Volume 1 recording on Document.  The ensemble sound is a real one-of-a-kind affair.  Weaver sounds to be playing lap-style slide in Vestapol, and pretty darned Hawaiian sounding.  He goes to a flat VI chord in the sixth bar of the form, and it sounds fine even though neither of the other two players plays to it.  Washington is playing out of E in standard tuning and has a lot of nice touches to what he is doing.  Coleman was a smooth player with good intonation, and changes what he plays a lot during the course of the rendition.  It's nice not to hear the same pass over and over again, though if the playing is good enough, that approach can be pretty great, too.
I was wondering--does Dixon & Godrich have a performer's index?  It would be interesting to know if E.L. Coleman ever showed up on any other recordings.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline dj

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2007, 05:27:20 PM »
Hi, John.  E.L. Coleman had one other release under his own name, "Blue Feelin' Blues", recorded right after "Steel String Blues", but accompanied by Clarence Williams on piano rather than by Weaver and Washington.  At the same session he accompanied Sara Martin on "Strange Lovin' Blues" and "I Can Always Tell When A Man Is Treatin' Me Cool", both with Weaver and Washington.  There was an additional master cut at the same session, right after Coleman's two songs and before the two on which he accompanied Martin, but as of 1997 it had never turned up.  All this recording took place in St Louis in late March or early April of 1925.   

Offline Rivers

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2007, 05:31:23 PM »
D&G does indeed, primary sequence is by performer with an additional index to accompanists.
 
As primary artist:

E.L.Coleman Instrumental Trio, April 1925, St Louis
E.L.Coleman, vn; Sylvester Weaver, g; Charles Washington, bj
Steel String Blues

E.L.Coleman, vn; Clarence Williams, p
Blue Feeling Blues

As accompanist backing Sarah Martin, March/April 1925, St. Louis
E.L.Coleman, vn-1; Sylvester Weaver, g; Charles Washington, bj
Can't Find Nobody To Do Like My Daddy Do
I'm Sorry Blues
Daddy Ease This Pain of Mine
Strange Lovin' Blues - 1
I Can Always Tell When A Man Is Treatin' Me Cool - 1
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 12:40:20 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2007, 09:41:18 PM »
Hi all,
Thanks, dj and Rivers, for the rapid response on E.L. Coleman.  I'm glad to hear there is more of Coleman's playing on record.
I wondered if anyone knew anything about the history of two Blues or Blues/Jazz violinists of the recent past, Papa John Creach and Don "Sugarcane" Harris.  I remember hearing Harris do some terrific work with Frank Zappa that was very Blues-influenced.  I don't even know if Creach and Harris are still alive.
A present-day violinist working in a Bluesy style is the New Yorker Charles Burnham, who has done some really nice work with James "Blood" Ulmer and Cassandra Wilson.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 11:30:00 AM »
Hi all,
I wondered if anyone knew anything about the history of two Blues or Blues/Jazz violinists of the recent past, Papa John Creach and Don "Sugarcane" Harris. 
The first record he and Dewey Terry (as Don & Dewey) made was an instrumental aptly entitled Fiddlin' The Blues (1955). Harris died in Los Angeles (27 Nov 1999), he was 61. There were numerous, lengthy obituaries published in blues and jazz publications. He's got an entry in Sheldon Harris's Blues Who's Who (p. 211, 1979 ed)

As for Papa John Creach, if I can find where I put Neil Slaven's Zappa biography from memory there's quite a bit on him in that. (No my musical tastes don't stretch to Zappa, the book was given to me in the hope that it might...some hope!)

Offline Rivers

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2007, 03:57:02 PM »
Papa John Creach played with Hot Tuna on their 2nd album Burgers. He passed away in 1994. I remember the local Tuna heads tended to call him "Papa John Screech" which was definitely a cheap shot, probably it took a while to get used to his contribution to the sound. But he was actually very good.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2007, 05:59:56 PM »
Thanks, Bunker Hill and Rivers, for the information on Sugarcane Harris and Papa John Creach.  I wish I could remember the album and title of the particular cut I remember Sugarcane Harris playing with Zappa, because it was just sensational playing.  We could use some help from a Zappa freak, I think.  Are you out there, John C.?
Another blues fiddler I've been enjoying recently who (surprisingly) has not generated any comment in this thread thus far is Charlie Pierce, who recorded with the Memphis Jug Band on Novemember 7-8, 1934, at their last pre-rediscovery session.  He was a smooth player and unusually nifty with the bow.  He shines throughout the tunes recorded on those two days, but most particularly on "Bottle It Up and Go" and his three instrumental features, "Memphis Shakedown", "Rukus Juice and Chittlin'" and "My Business Ain't Right".  "Rukus Juice And Chittlin'" is probably the strongest tune of the bunch, and hits a really pretty change part of the way through when, instead of resolving to the IV chord, G, as it has up to that point, it makes a surprise move to the II7 chord, E7.  It repeats the change for a couple of times through the form and then reverts to the original progression, a standard 12-bar blues in D.  According to the notes of the "Memphis Shakedown" JSP set where I heard the tune, Pierce was older at the time the band recorded, born around 1870, and had once been a dancer in medicine shows and a member of W. C. Handy's band.  In any event, he was a fine fiddler, and one of the strongest on early Blues recordings.
All best,
Johnm

Muddyroads

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2007, 06:27:21 AM »
Butch Cage comes to mind when you speak of fiddle blues. The two Arhoolie recordings taken from the Dr. Henry Oster, Country Negro Jam Session, Arhoolie CD372 and Old Time Black Southern String Band Music , Butch Cage and Willie B. Thomas, Arhoolie 9045 are from the same field recordings with little overlap on cuts.  This primordial swamp blues from Louisiana.  Great stuff.  Butch will let loose with some trumpet swing line in the middle of a solo that is so incongruous it works!

Another great blues fiddle recording IMHO is Goin' To Louisiana featruing the young fiddler Cedric Watson and the piano accordion of Corey Ledet.  This Zydeco team plays some great blues with the real feeling.

When Pete Welding did the Chicago String Band record back in the 1960's it was apparent that the fiddle was or had been replaced by the harmonica.  The harp is easier to play and  a lot less maintenance.  But the fiddle sings like no harmonica ever could.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2007, 01:20:34 PM »
When Pete Welding did the Chicago String Band record back in the 1960's it was apparent that the fiddle was or had been replaced by the harmonica.  The harp is easier to play and  a lot less maintenance.  But the fiddle sings like no harmonica ever could.
Carl Martin's fiddle playing makes that LP. Pete Welding made no bones about the motivation for the session:

"The four men were brought together in the late spring of 1966 with the express purpose of recreating for recording the raucous, exuberant sound of the string band. The reason for doing this was a simple one: such an ensemble, while apparently a frequent and familiar phenomenon over wide areas of the South in the years prior to World War II, had been inadequately represented on recordings and here was a unique opportunity thanks to the availability of several fine bines musicians with string-band experience as an integral part of their musical backgrounds, of documenting this aspect of country blues performing practice Beyond that, it was felt that the four would produce at the very least some interesting and enjoyable music which, as the record reveals, they did.

Still, why go to the trouble of recording a musical idiom that is all but moribund and in which there is absolutely no contemporary interest? Well, first of all, because it was possible and, second, would probably be fun. But primarily because it, hopefully, would fill in some gaps in blues history by giving us an indication of the standard playing practices employed in ensemble music in the country blues so we could see how they carried over into the modern electric ensemble (and in this connection the musicians were asked to rehearse and to develop their own ensemble techniques and repertoire wholly on their own, without benefit of any "assistance" or guidance from the record's producer, me). Another consideration was that of testing the theory that the harmonica had taken over the functional role formerly held by the fiddle in blues ensembles, an assumption I feel has been fairly well validated by these recordings, particularly those on which the two instruments are heard together, You Know I Do and John Henry.

Modest goals perhaps but, I feel, well worth the effort. Whether or not the Chicago String Band pretends to any significant niche in blues history is conjectural. but one thing is sure: it has given us some spirited, joyously funky and totally unpretentious music which can be enjoyed wholly on its own terms. And that's reason enough for this album."

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2007, 01:53:45 PM »
John:

Some info on Sugarcane Harris (from http://www.united-mutations.com/h/sugarcane_harris.htm)

"Don 'Sugarcane' Harris

Born: June 18, 1938 in Pasadena, CA
Died: November 30th, 1999 in South Los Angeles   

In 1955 Dewey Terry and a couple of friends started doo-wop band The Squires. The band included Dewey Terry, Don Harris, Lee Goudreau, Bob Armstrong, Chester Pipkin, Leon Washington and Don Bowman. They recorded various singles on various labels.

 From 1957 on (until about 1967), Dewey Terry and Don Harris continued as a duo: Don & Dewey, releasing various singles on Specialty Records. 1970 saw the first Don & Dewey album release, compiling most of their singles from previous years.

In the late sixties, Don 'Sugarcane' Harris, started playing with and doing sessions for various artists, including Little Richard, Johnny Otis and John Mayall.

In 1969, longtime Don & Dewey fan Frank Zappa, got Don 'Sugarcane' to join his band. Zappa recorded "Hot Rats", "Burnt Weeny Sandwich", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and "Chunga's Revenge" with Sugarcane Harris in his band.

In the seventies, Sugarcane Harris recorded and toured with a.o. John Mayall, the Pure Food & Drug Act and made a couple of solo releases. In the early eighties, he played with Tupelo Chain Sex.

The last years of his life, Sugarcane toured with Dewey Terry again as Don & Dewey. In later years, several of Sugarcane's solo albums have been reissued on cd."

Alex

« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 01:57:55 PM by GhostRider »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2007, 07:49:19 PM »
Thanks very much for the information on Sugarcane Harris, Alex.  After reviewing the Zappa titles you cited, I'm pretty sure the cut I remember him playing so excitingly on was on "Hot Rats".  I will check it out.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2007, 08:12:44 PM »
There's some fiddle on Big Joe's first recorded version of "Baby Please Don't Go."

I really love the sound of blues on the violin.  When I get a craving for it I usually turn to Canray Fontenot.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline waxwing

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2007, 03:39:10 PM »
Here's a link to a page on Sugarcane Harris. It contains a discography showing what albums he played on for Zappa as well as a couple he played on for John Mayall, both of which I was pretty familiar with in the early '70s.

Another fiddler who played with Zappa was Jean luc Ponty, but I think of him as more of a jazz musician. Interestingly, I notice both Ponty and Harris played on Zappa's Hot Rats LP, a hugely influential album.

I don't remember Papa John playing with Zappa, and the discography I found for him only shows him playing with Jefferson Airplane/Starship and Hot Tuna, as well as quite a few solo albums.

All for now.
John C.
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Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2013, 05:47:07 PM »
Hi all,
I had occasion to listen to the Jack Kelly cut, "R.F.C. Blues" today, and hadn't listened to him for a little while.  The cut has Will Batts on fiddle, as did many Jack Kelly cuts, and I was struck by how simultaneously simple and effective Will Batts' playing on the tune was.  He's pretty much just playing double stops that outline the chord changes, and occasionally going into tremolo with the same double stops.  As simple as it sounds when you describe it, it really sounds terrific in the context of the full ensemble, two guitars and fiddle.  It is definitely worth checking out if you are a fiddler, or even if you just like blues fiddling.  It's kind of nice to remember that the simple approaches can sometimes suit the music so well.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2013, 02:19:53 AM »
It's kind of nice to remember that the simple approaches can sometimes suit the music so well.

Wise words, John and so relevant in many quarters - especially where country blues is concerned.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline btasoundsradio

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2013, 11:11:37 AM »

Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

Offline fat chance

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2013, 04:12:20 PM »
I have a CD "Violin, Play the Blues for me."  African American fiddlers 1926-1949.  Old Hat CD-1002.  24 cuts on it and I really enjoy it.  Most of these performers are seldom heard  on this site.
Fat Chance

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2013, 02:04:56 PM »
Two great fiddle blues records were done by white groups in the mid 1930s. One is "Oxford (Miss) Blues" by Bill Nettles on the Vocalion label and recorded in Dallas at that famous June 1937 session. The vocalist sings a verse and the fiddler take a break, but it is great blues fiddling. One of Nettles sidemen was from Oxford, Miss., he told me in the 1960s when he lived in Monroe, Louisiana.  Has any WC member heard the reissue of it.? Oxford American magazine released it on a CD a few years back.
    Secondly, the Hackberry Ramblers under the Bluebird name of Riverside Ramblers did  "The Old Fiddle Blues" on Bluebird in 1937.  It is great blues fiddling by a Cajun group.
  Lonnie Chatman did some great fiddling on a 1935 Bluebird title "Fingering With Your Fingers." It is an instrumental and unusual that Bluebird put it on the flip side of a Mississippi Sheiks blues recording  with Walter Vincent singing "Lean To One Woman." Some Sheiks fans have probably heard that reissue.
    Finally. there was an amazing recording in 1937 in San Antonio by Don Law for Vocalion of the western  swing group, The Nite Owls. On one side a woman named Helen Hunt (listed as vocalist on the label) sang "Married Man Blues" that was written by Harold Holiday (AKA Black Boy Shine).
     Helen Hunt is almost definitely a BLACK woman singing with a white western swing band. I played the  song for a few collectors and Larry Cohn who did the Sony/Columbia reissue program.They agree she is black.  He had never heard of that side by Helen Hunt/ the Nite Owls.  It has NOT been reissued by any present day company that I know of. The title is listed in the western swing discography under the Nite Owls only.
 So how did this group get recorded?  I  believe Holiday brought her to record by herself with him playing piano behind her and instead Don Law placed her with the Nite Owls to see if it might sell. But she is one helluva  blues singer and belts it out with  intensity not heard by most white women blues singers.  Have any WC members heard this recording? It deserves to be reissued if it is not on some CD I have not heard of.  gayle dean wardlow

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2013, 02:53:40 PM »
Thanks so much, Gayle, for posting about these records!  I never heard of Bill Nettles and am glad to know about him, it seems to be an early western swing group, contemporary with early Bob Wills, Milton Brown, etc.  There is something in the fiddling, a few licks here and there, that make me think the fiddler might have been listening to Eddie Anthony (there's some lyric content similar to Peg Leg Howell too, although that means nothing really) and Arthur Smith too. I looked him up in Russell and Bill Nettles was the mandolin player and vocalist. He recorded with several different fiddlers, the one on Oxford Blues (from his first session) is Doc Massey, who also recorded with Buddy Jones (another I never heard of).
You can hear Oxford Blues here:

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2013, 03:05:57 PM »
Listening to Helen Hunt with the Nite Owls - with all due respect, I can't say that she sounds particularly black to me, any more than Cleoma Falcon does. I'm sorry there's not more of her singing to listen to!  Here is "Married Man Blues":

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2013, 03:20:29 PM »
There's a Cattle CD from Germany of the Nite Owls with that track on it. Not a major label, methinks.
http://www.dagmar-anita-binge.de/ccd302-nite.owls.html

Offline Pan

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2013, 03:58:00 PM »
FWIW, this thread resurrected just as I was listening to some Mabel Robinson recordings from 1941. She was backed by a group called "The Four Blackamoors". The personnel is unknown, but their violinist is terrific.
The music is perhaps closer to jazz than blues, though, but their "You Don't Know My Mind", at least,  is a 12-bar blues tune.
The Blackamoors recorded their own tunes with harmony vocals as well, but I personally much prefere their work backing Robinson.

They can be found on the document CD "Jazzin' the Blues vol. 2.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/jazzin-the-blues-vol-2-1939-1946-mw0000078533

Cheers

Pan

Offline TallahatchieTrot

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2013, 07:15:14 PM »
Thanks Cleoma and Gumbo. At least I got some interest in those cuts. Nettles cut is western swing as you noted, but fine fiddling. Helen Hunt?  Makes one side and is gone. The connection to me is that the composer credits on the label are to Harold Holiday who was Black Boy Shine who cut sides for Vocalion for about 3 years. So why would a  white woman singer record a blues written by a  black piano player and cut only one song in a long session?  Just thinking out loud but now some people will show some interest. Thanks again for finding those cuts, fellows.  Helen Hunt? what happened to you and where did you  go to after your one song?
 Oh--Buddy Jones was from Shreveport and did early white blues and western swing titles. He was a sergeant  on the Shreveport police department and Jimmie Davis hired him and also recorded at same sessions for Decca with Buddy.

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2013, 12:54:48 PM »
I agree with Cleoma in that I don't think Helen sounds particularly 'black'. But as the song goes, it makes no difference after dark. Gayle, you make good points/rationale that would suggest that she is black.
Many of us who love this old music and R&B and such like to think we can identify the race of a singer. Myself included. But sometimes you just can't tell.
I have nothing further to offer.

Dave

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2016, 06:56:32 PM »
Hi all
I just found this Mississippi Sheiks instrumental, "Fingering With Your Fingers", and wondered if any of you fiddlers play it.  Those double stops Lonnie Chatmon plays on this are so pretty!  Have you figured this one out, Suzy?



All best,
Johnm

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2016, 06:12:38 AM »
I mess around with that one on mandolin. It's a fun tune. Tuba Skinny plays a cool brass band arrangement of it that you can find on youtube.

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2016, 08:53:36 PM »
Thanks for reminding me about this tune!  I think I'll try to learn it.

Offline evan

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2016, 02:42:18 PM »


I'm not sure if this is blues, but I love it

Offline evan

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2016, 02:45:45 PM »
I've also always enjoyed "Railroad Blues" by the Nations Brothers as well

Offline P D Grant

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2016, 12:31:45 PM »
A 'little' more recent, but one of the most fiddle blues I ever heard was by Gatemouth Brown at an in-store performance at the Louisiana Music Factory during JazzFest 2004.  I had tears running down my cheeks by the end, and once the music finished I felt a little embarrassed. Until I looked around the room. Everyone else had tears running down their cheeks too. Love all the fiddle on the early Big Joe Williams tracks. Can't wait to search out some of the tracks on this thread.

Offline Suzy T

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2016, 05:02:30 PM »
I'd love to hear that!  I haven't listened very much to Gatemouth Brown in a long time.  If anyone has any that they could post here, that would be great.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2017, 02:20:07 PM »
Hi all,
I was really fortunate in all the music that I was exposed to and got to hear growing up.  In 1964, I believe, my brother  took me to a concert in Philadelphia put together by Mike Seeger that was a split bill, featuring Maybelle Carter in the first half of the show and the McGee Brothers and Fiddling' Arthur Smith in the second half.  Even though I was just a kid I knew it was kind of amazing that I was getting to see those musicians.
I'll never forget that Arthur Smith played and sang the "House of David Blues".  It was so great, and I've always loved that song and have tried to find it on youtube for several years.  Well, I just looked now and it has been put up there, so here it is.  I apologize if Weenies outside the U.S. can not view the video, which also features Sam McGee on guitar and Kirk McGee on banjo.



All best,
John
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 06:29:09 AM by Johnm »

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2017, 07:49:07 AM »
There's another version of "House of David Blues" on Sam and Kirk's "Outstanding In Their Field" that Springfed records put out a couple years ago. I think Kirk is fiddling on it.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2017, 08:07:40 AM »
Arthur Smith's original version with the Dixieliners is on the JSP set, "Appalachian Stomp Down", too.
All best,
John

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Fiddle Blues
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2017, 11:59:10 PM »
Re-reading this thread, as John pulled it up again, and I have been playing a lot of fiddle lately.
Pan mentioned this tune by Mabel Robinson. Now available on YouTube (at least in the US). I agree, the fiddle is great on this, and not just the solos. Cool stuff behind the vocals.




 


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