collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

The blues ain't nothin' but a low-down achin' chill - Robert Johnson

Author Topic: One of a Kind--and Great  (Read 14676 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10914
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2006, 10:34:38 AM »
Hi all,
I've been thinking about a song that definitely falls into this category that could also be placed in the "8-bar Blues" thread or the "Blues with Minor Chords" thread:  Clifford Gibson's "Don't Put That Thing On Me".  Despite having known the song for many years, I had never noticed until this morning that it is an 8-bar blues; perhaps it is an indication of how much it diverges from the standard 8-bar progressions and phrasing models that it had never occurred to me that it is an 8-bar blues.  
Clifford Gibson plays "Don't Put That Thing On Me" out of E position in standard tuning, pitched just flat of G# (capoed at the fourth fret).  The song's progression works out as follows:

   |        I        |        I        |       iiminor     |   iiminor/I     |

   | iiminor/I    |        I        |      I               |        I          |

So it is that you wind up with an 8-bar blues with no IV chord and no V chord, the only really changes being from E (relative to capo placement) to F#minor.  If that doesn't qualify as one of a kind in Country Blues, nothing does!  
It is interesting that Clifford Gibson chose to play this song in E standard, because the open fifth and fourth strings, A and D, do not work in support of the song's harmony and, in fact, result in the only awkward point in the song's accompaniment, in the tail end of the fourth bar where Clifford Gibson does a thumb brush of the open strings.  The open A and D strings at that point jar with the song's prevailing tonality.  In many ways, cross-note tuning, EBEGBE, would have been a more logical choice for the song (but only if you are conversant with it, I guess).  You would keep all the fretting on the top three strings intact from standard tuning, including the hammer at the first fret of the third string, but lose that rasty flat7 open D string.  When I play this song, I use the tuning DGDFAD, which is like cross-note with the fifth string tuned down a whole step so that you have a convenient low root for the IV chord (though it doesn't get used in this song).  Another advantage of this tuning is that not only the top three strings but the fifth and six strings as well have the same relationship to each other that you encounter in standard tuning.  The difference from standard tuning is that you end up with an octave you don't have to fret between the open sixth and fourth strings.
Just as the harmony to "Don't Put That Thing On Me" is unique, so is the way the lyrics and melody are phrased.  In the first verse, it works out so:
                                                                     Don't put that
thing on me,          don't put that thing on me              I swear
|                  |                         |                  |                |
   I'll be good, kind mama don't put that thing on me      Don't care what
|            |                                        |                 |                     |

Here are the lyrics:

   Don't put that thing on me, don't put that thing on me
   I swear, I'll be good, kind mama, don't put that thing on me

   Don't care what you say, don't care what you do
   You sure can't quit your woman she puts that thing on you

   She puts that thing on you, she puts it on you right
   You can't eat when you get hungry, partner, and you can't sleep at night

   You can't sleep at night, you can't sleep at night
   You can't eat when you get hungry partner, and you can't sleep at night

   I asked a married woman to let me be her kid
   She said she swear, she'd put that thing on me, and I couldn't keep it hid

   I couldn't keep it hid, I couldn't keep it hid
   She say she swear, she'd put that thing on me, and I couldn't keep it hid

   My woman quit me, got her another man
   And the way she had that thing on me I couldn't raise my hand

   Now from my experience, I'll give you your advice
   If you've got a good woman, partner, you'd better treat her nice

   You'd better treat her nice, you'd better treat her nice
   If you've got a good woman, partner, you'd better treat her nice

Clifford Gibson's time on this song has a beautiful relaxed swing and he always had a great tone on his guitar.  I think it is my favorite of all of his songs.

Edited to pick up lyric correction from Bunker Hill, 4/6
Edited, 11/5/10 to add:  My musical analysis of Clifford Gibson's tuning on the post here is off.  He actually played "Don't Put That Thing On Me" in the very same tuning that I describe myself utilizing, though probably a full step higher, at EAEGBE.

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 09:46:14 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2006, 11:19:31 AM »
Clifford Gibson's time on this song has a beautiful relaxed swing and he always had a great tone on his guitar.  I think it is my favorite of all of his songs.
Yeah, all round great song with such perfect diction and enunciation too.:)

It was on Yazoo's Blues From Alabama compilation which at one point was never off the turntable. What I still hear playing in my head, for both verses, is:

"She say she swear she put that thing on me and I couldn't keep it hid"

I'll have to give this a re-listen but ain't got the time now...

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10914
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2006, 11:27:36 AM »
Good catch on the lyric, Bunker Hill.  As soon as I read your post, I could hear it in my mind.  I will make the correction.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10914
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2006, 11:18:48 AM »
Hi all,
A song I was thinking about this morning that I believe fits this category is Blind Joe Reynolds performance of "Third Street Woman Blues".  It is so different from the rest of his recorded repertoire, for one thing.  I believe the rest are either very low-down slide pieces in Vestapol, "Outside Woman Blues" and "Married Man Blues", or E standard, "Nehi Blues".  "Third Street Woman Blues" is very pretty one-chorder in C, standard tuning, with a trancey sort of guitar part that is very African-sounding to me. It bears a very slight resemblance to Lemon Jefferson's "Hot Dogs" in the way it comes on and off the second fret of the third string in C, but I don't really believe it to be derivative of "Hot Dogs"; perhaps it's more of an instance of the position itself giving two different players the same idea.  Joe Reynolds' singing on this is great, too.  He has a great sort of buzzy head tone when he sings, "Oooooooo, comes my Third Street woman, now."  This one is a real beauty.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline tenderfoot84

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2006, 10:35:32 AM »
hi everyone,
johnm you'e right to say that "thrd street woman blues" is a one of a kind - i absolutely love it. i'd never thought of a similarity with lemon's "hot dogs" before but you're absolutely right. my favourite lemon tune also has this "rocking" type motion over a c chord - "dry southern blues". why is that song so under appreciated?

thanks too for pointing out that "nehi blues" is i E standard, it's a nice song and i don't listen to it nearly enough. may i ask: does anyone know what joe reynolds plays under the vocals on "outside woman blues"? it's a song i love to play but i do it with just an alternating bass behind the singing but that my vocals just can't carry it off. i think at times he's brushing open strings and playing very scant slide on treble strings. but the bass runs, break, intro and outro are what make the song phenomenal.
Cheerybye,
David C

Offline tenderfoot84

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2006, 04:04:49 AM »
just to add to my post above, joe reynolds' "ninety-nine blues" is also in C standard and shares much with "third street woman blues" in terms of the positions used. It also features the "rocking" guitar figure over a C chord - but he creates a massively different feel on this song.
i'm a wee bit disappointed in myself for not noticeing how great this song and "nehi blues" are. i think they just get over shadowed by the rest of his recorded output - six songs, but six of the best.
Cheerybye,
David C

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10914
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2006, 09:16:52 AM »
Hi David,
I forgot about the recent finds of Joe Reynolds.  Do you know what the other side of "Ninety Nine Blues" is?  I discovered that I have that track on one of the CDs that accompanies the Tefteller calendars.  "Ninety Nine Blues" reminds me of some of Sam Collins's stuff in C, as well as Lemon.
All best,
Johnm

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2638
  • Howdy!
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2006, 11:12:43 AM »
The flip side of "Ninety Nine Blues" is "Cold Woman Blues".  If I recall correctly, "Cold Woman Blues" was on the disk that came with the 2004 Blues Images calendar, and "Ninety Nine Blues" accompanied the 2005 calendar.  "Cold Woman Blues" is also on the Charley Patton Revenant set, and both songs are on Document's Trouble Hearted Blues: Vintage Guitar Blues 1927 - 1944.       

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10914
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2006, 12:59:52 PM »
Hi dj,
Thanks for the information.  I have the Patton Revenant set, so I will dig out "Cold Woman Blues" and see what's up with it.  It's kind of stupid not to know what I have.  Oh well.
All best,
Johnm

Offline tenderfoot84

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2006, 04:34:24 PM »
hey peeps,

i had thought that with the exception of 'third street woman blues' joe reynolds recorded everything in vestapol. this was pure assumption, from what i'd read -  i was very wrong. i've still yet to have a crack at 'cold woman blues' though.

dj, have you any idea where i can lay my hands on sam collins recordings? i'm aware that this has been discussed on this site before but i'm dismayed to be denied at every cut and turn when i try to lay my hands on it! i love his work on yellow dog, slow mama slow, lonesome road and graveyard digger's blues. these are all that i've been able to accumulate from compilations.
Cheerybye,
David C

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2006, 04:49:56 PM »
Hi David C,

A copy of Yazoo's Sam Collins CD clocks in at a whopping $134 and change at Amazon. I'm assuming you're not insane.

You might consider emusic.com: see http://www.emusic.com/artist/11606/11606752.html . I myself haven't gone the eMusic route yet for anything, but they are offering some of the out of stock Documents (including Sam Collins as per above) as downloads. Plus there's a trial with X number of free downloads, so you could get it that way.

I'd be curious to hear from other Weenies regarding their eMusic purchases. What are the bit rates of the mp3s, are you happy with the purchases etc. Obviously, we'd all love liner notes and uncompressed files on CD, but if the alternative is $134 at Amazon marketplace, well....

I was very (very!) happy recently to score the Mississippi Sheiks Vol 3 on Document through eBay for less than I would have paid for a new Document, even with shipping from the UK. So watch eBay as well.

I love Sam Collins, think he's just great!


Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2638
  • Howdy!
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2006, 06:11:03 PM »
Beat me to the punch, Uncle Bud!

Just be aware that if you can get a copy of the Document Sam Collins CD, or if you download all the Sam Collins tracks from emusic, you get 6 songs not on the Yazoo CD.  On the other hand, if you can find the Yazoo CD, you get better sound than the Document has.  I haven't tried emusic yet, but as more and more of the Documents go out of print, I'm getting darned close to trying it.

Back to the topic at hand.  Johm M., as usual, you've pointed out a really interesting and beautiful song.  It wasn't too hard to figure out, given the playing position and hints about the rocking on and off the third string (and a 50% slowdown on Transcribe!  ;D), and it's fun to play - really kind of hypnotic.  Thanks a lot!

I always wonder when songs like this were played.  It's hard to imagine it accompanying a crowd of dancers at a Juke - it seems too delicate and lacking in bass "drive" for that.  But it's equally hard to imagine it holding an audience on a busy street.  To me it sounds more like a "sitting on the front porch in the evening" piece.  But I could be really wrong about that.  I'd love to know when Joe Reynolds played it. 

Offline tenderfoot84

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2006, 01:54:40 AM »
hey dj,

there's some interesting info on joe reyolds in wardlow's 'chasin' that devil music'.
here's a wee snippet:

Among those who tried to and failed to "run" Joe was Ishmon Bracey, a well-known bluesman from Jackson, Mississippi, who, one Saturday afternoon around 1930, thought to dislodge him from a Vicksburg street by pitting his playing against Joe's. "He worked me over on that guitar," Bracey freely conceded. "He had two, three pieces there he could 'stop' anybody with."

page 174 if anyone's interested. i'd chew my leg off to have been on THAT street.

thanks uncle bud,

eMusic seems to be the way forward in terms of getting hold of sam collins' tracks. i think i'll go with the yazoo tracks and fill the gaps with document. the only problem is i have an allergy to credit cards so i'll need to ask my brother, politely, if he can get me them for me: i can't even sign up for the free trial!
Cheerybye,
David C

Offline GerryC

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
  • Jest settin' here a-pickin' and a grinnin'
    • www.reverbnation.com/gerrycooper
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2006, 03:42:19 AM »
Has anyone mentioned Carl Martin's version of Crow Jane? Whilst the three verses are standard CJ fare, the guitar arrangement , withb its combination of treble string strumming, bass and middle slides and finger-popping, is terrific. I don't think I've come across that turn-around he uses anywhere else: a 'normal' C shape starting on 3rd fret tripletting down to E by playing the 5th, 2nd and open 1st. I mention it because after many months of listening and practising, I finally summoned up the nerve to play it in public for the first time last week. It went down well apart from with one guy who thought I was trying to summon the waiter... ::)

Cheerily,

Gerry C
I done seen better days, but I'm puttin' up with these...

Offline GhostRider

  • Member
  • Posts: 1270
  • That'll never happen no more!
Re: One of a Kind--and Great
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2006, 08:31:09 PM »
Hi:

Just thought of another arrangement that belongs in this catagory, "Walking Across the Country" by Blind Blake. The first 1.75 bars is accompanied by a progression of diminished chords. And the first 2/3 of the turnaround is played by moving a partial G chord up the fretboard.

I don't think I've ever heard either of these devices in any other tune.

Alex

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal