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You know, old folks say, it's a long lane don't have no end and a bad wind don't never change. But one day, back when Hoover was president, I was driving my cart down Beale Street, and I seen a rat, sitting on top of a garbage can, eating a onion, crying - Furry Lewis, quoted in Stanley Booth's Rhythm Oil

Author Topic: 28 bar blues  (Read 2227 times)

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Offline Norfolk Slim

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28 bar blues
« on: January 11, 2006, 04:08:04 AM »
I was listening to Paul Geremia's Gambling Woman Blues album in the car on the way to work this morning.  "Cheater's Spell" is a 28 bar blues which struck me as rather unusual.  He plays 16 bars on the one chord (a jam soloist's idea of heaven?!) 2 on the IV, 2 on the I, 2 on the IV then 2 on the V, 2 on IV and turnaround.

Does this pattern appear elsewhere?

Offline Johnm

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Re: 28 bar blues
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2006, 03:08:14 PM »
Hi Simon,
Thanks for noticing Paul Geremia's form on "Cheater's Spell".  I am not aware of any other blues with 28-bar forms, but I will keep my eyes peeled for them.  Bo Carter and Papa Charlie Jackson seem good candidates, though it is unlikely that even if another song has a 28-bar form it will conform to Paul's structure.  I think he has a one-off there.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: 28 bar blues: The Cheater's Spell
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 06:43:40 PM »
Hi Simon,

Cheater's Spell is one of the last tunes Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded (as "The Cheater's Spell"). I don't think it's actually a 28 bar blues, although I can see how you might think it is, as it's a bitch to count, since Paul's so free with it (I can barely count it but felt it as a sort of 12 bar blues). This is one of Lemon's tunes in E that follow the form of Piney Woods Money Mama, Yo Yo Blues, Oil Well Blues and the like. What's making you think it's 28 bars is probably that you're doubling up the count, and the form itself is sort of a 13 1/2 to 14 bar form I think. I'm not great at counting some of these freer versions of blues, despite being a recovering drummer, so will attach the two versions here for the benefit of our viewers.

Paul plays it on a 12-string. He's done this with a number Lemon tunes, not something that immediately leaps to mind as an option, but really works here IMO. He's done it with some others as well, like Shuckin' Sugar, and Stocking Feet Blues I believe.

There's a great line in Paul's version of Cheater's Spell that I'm not exactly sure he gets right but works wonderfully as a threatening line of poetry: "The world ain't ever turned like I'm gonna turn on you someday." Yikes.

This is a great tune in both versions and thanks for reminding me of them as they get lost amongst the more 'obvious' stuff.

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« Last Edit: January 16, 2006, 08:11:30 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: 28 bar blues
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2006, 03:25:33 AM »
Great songs and a great lyric you highlighted bud.

I am however, deeply embarrassed to realise that the song I was referring to was actually not cheater's spell at all- but Blues Around Midnight which is directly after cheater's spell on the cd...

I noted the track number in the car- and then looked it up when I got into work.  And plainly got it wrong!   :o

Offline uncle bud

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Re: 28 bar blues
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2006, 08:44:05 AM »
Ah well, that explains it.  :P

Blues Around Midnight is a Willie McTell tune from his Atlantic Recordings. One of my favorites from that session. Geremia does a great a version as well. They really draw out that I chord to create tension before moving to the IV. I didn't count it yet, but given the extended vamping on the I chord, I'm taking your word for it!

Both versions are on the Juke, for those who care to listen.

Edited to add: Does anyone know if this is a McTell original or if he's covering something? Sounds like a cover to me for some reason.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 08:48:31 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: 28 bar blues
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2006, 09:09:56 AM »
Sorry for being a numpty  :-\

Didnt realise it was McTell.

The knowledge and information in weenieville is wonderful!

I have the JSP mctell set, but Im not sure its on there- certainly ive not made the connection previously.  Might have a look this evening.