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At his first performance, in the Empire Theatre in Glasgow on August 1, the audience went wild when Waller made his entrance wearing a kilt. When he sat down at the piano and swung "Loch Lomond," he had them in knots - Fats Waller tours the UK in 1938, from Spreadin' Rhythm Around, Jasen and Jones

Author Topic: I Belong to the Band  (Read 1901 times)

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Offline eagle rockin daddy

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I Belong to the Band
« on: December 16, 2005, 07:36:28 PM »
Ya know, this is really something.  I am really enjoying playing for you all.  I may not be able to stop, I mean, what a great place this is.  I feel like it is sort of like playing for friends you respect.  Over the years of reading the posts, well I feel like I know some of you; waxwing, gcooper, outfidel, Piedmont, everyone.  I love this tune, I love Rev. Davis' sacred songs.  Performing them to an audience is sooooo powerful.  A funny thing happened when I was learning this song.  I was listening to it, and playing it and I had trouble figuring out the Am chord, when all of a sudden I felt something (someone?) forcibly move the fingers on my left hand into the Am chord.  It was so strange, and then later I read in 'Mayor of Macdougal Street' how Dave van Ronk dreamed that the Rev. showed him how to play a turn around that Dave always had trouble with.  I guess the Rev. is still around for those of us who need him. 

with much love to you all, and best wishes for the holidays.


Offline poozmeister

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2005, 08:23:41 PM »
Damn Mike - I really do envy that right hand of yours.  You've got Blake and Davis down really well.  I still struggle with it - getting there.  I read that passage in Mayor of MacDougal Street also.  Awesome!  I guess the Rev still keeps watch over his songs. 

Offline Slack

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2005, 08:24:12 PM »
Hi Mike, thanks for sharing this song with us -- and the anecdote, a very nice thing to imagine --- that Rev Davis is still giving 'lessons'.  Your playing has authority -- a very nice job.

Also thanks for sharing your feelings about the site - one wonders sometimes if the site does this great music justice and it's nice to know that some connections are being made.

Happy Holidays to you and your family too!

Offline whigski3

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2005, 09:24:40 PM »
I enjoyed your recording Mike.

Sort of a coincidence, just this evening I was thinking about the warm feelings I have about this site too.? Thank you all for all of the posts you've made and for and sharing and educating all year long!?

Best wishes,
« Last Edit: December 16, 2005, 09:51:19 PM by whigski3 »
I'm sitting here wondering, will a matchbox hold my clothes...

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2005, 04:05:47 AM »
I know precisely what you mean abuot playing for friends you respect.  Its great isn't it?

As for the song- you really have got the Rev Davis sound down.  You seem to play with some real force which Woody Mann advises is sometihng that the Rev constantly preached (as it were) but its more than just that;  it sounds spookily like the man himself in places.  Nice work.

Offline dj

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2005, 06:00:36 AM »
one wonders sometimes if the site does this great music justice

Yer darn right it does this great music justice!  Every day, everry way.  You the man, Slack!

Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2005, 12:25:06 PM »
Poozie, thanks for the compliments.  I have worked hard on the right hand.  When I started fingerpicking years ago, getting the alternating bass thing was tough.  We all went through that I think, and I found my way to Blind Blake pretty early, from the recording of DVR doing 'That will never happen no more' on the blues at Newport' album.  Fortunately, Biograph had re-issued 5 lp's worth of Blake, as well as a lot of other great stuff, and being in high school with just guitar to work on, I would run home from school and work on it.  My record player had a 16 1/3 speed with would slow it all down to half speed, so I would just go over and over it and try to copy Blake, as well as Doc and everything else I could.. While the Blake stuff is very cool, my thumb got so used to the alternating bass, that in some ways it was limiting, especially with trying to play in 3/4 time or other styles and rhythms.  I also worked out the Reverend's stuff, but it was never quite right.  I will also say that I did not get it all from the lp's.  I grew up in Saratoga Springs, NY, home of the great Caffe Lena, and was the dishwasher there pretty much all through HS, so I got to see a lot of tremendous musicians, Paul Germiah, David Bromberg, Dave van Ronk, Roy Book Binder and so on.  Andy Cohen lived in town, and on and on.  So I would watch these guys on the weekends, (back then Lena booked them for Friday -Sunday so they were around), begged for tips, and went home during the week and practiced.  I am very grateful for the oppurtunity I had.  After grad school, I stopped playing so much, but about four or five years ago, I got this powerful urge to start playing again.  While I wanted to get back into it, it really felt like something I HAD to do.  I got a lot of help locally from Paul Asbell, but the big breakthrough was visiting Andy Cohen about 4 years ago.  I wanted to learn 'If I had my way.' Andy showed me how Rev. Davis used his thumb, not just for the alternating bass, but all across the strings, for brushing, and for alternating with the index finger for single note runs.  At the end of the lesson Andy said something like, 'Well your playing should really take off now'  I didn't understand it at the time, it took about a year to sink in.  I started listening to the Rev's music very critically, and I was able to hear how all the stuff I had trouble with before was done.  Now, I feel so much more versatile with an independent thumb.  Waltz time is much easier, and my ability to take sounds from my mind is much improved.  It has taken a lot of practice, but man has it been worth it.

Slim, thanks so much, I don't really know what to say. I'm humbled.

And Slack, don't worry about the site.  You have done a great job.  I think we all share a love for this great music, and want to keep it alive.  Your site is the best I have seen, and gives us a place to meet and share our passion and connect.  this is very powerful.


Offline outfidel

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2005, 01:42:26 PM »
Hey Mike - I just downloaded & listened to your 3 songs - I Belong to the Band, Making Whooppee & Diddy Wah Diddie - and I am really really impressed with your music! You've got the sportin' right hand alright -- it'll be a long, long time before I can play cleanly at that tempo, and even longer before I can do that and sing at the same time.

btw, I have an iTunes playlist now called "Friends", which includes these recordings by you, pooz, waxwing, piedmont blues, et al - great stuff.
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Offline Stuart

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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2005, 05:57:54 AM »
Excellent playing and singing, Mike. I listened to it late last night "when nothing was going on" (as the Reverend would say) and really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed reading your posts in which you provide some background. I know what you mean about the five Biograph Blind Blake LPs--I think a lot of us have been there. As for your mention of grad school, it reminds me of a humorous (many a truth is said in jest) bumper sticker I once saw (in the Rutgers University faculty parking lot of all places): "Friends Don't Let Friends Go To Grad School!"

Anyway, glad to hear that you have returned to playing the music you love and have found this site--a place that puts you with helpful and appreciative friends.


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Re: I Belong to the Band
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2005, 08:44:41 PM »
Hi Mike,

I really enjoyed listening to you play this song. It's one of my favorites. You did a great job with it. It is wonderful that we can share the things we're working on instead of just talk about them. Thanks for posting this, and keep 'em coming!!


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