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Boys, I heard what you were doing up there, and I want you to keep playing those new notes - Comment from Bill Monroe to a youthful Russ Barenberg and John Miller, backstage at the Delaware Bluegrass Festival in 1973, after having heard the band they were in, Country Cooking, play a set

Author Topic: one meat ball  (Read 1892 times)

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Offline dave stott

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one meat ball
« on: March 28, 2006, 12:44:25 PM »
hi all,

in an attempt to use my 50 year old ears, I am trying to figure out the chords to One Meatball. I have the Roy Bookbinder version on CD, but it is probably the same as Josh White's..

it sounds to me like it is a series of either 4 chords walking down over and over again or possibly Am - E chord shuffle with a bass walkdown...

any thoughts if I am on the right track?


37 Gibson

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Re: one meat ball
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2006, 04:09:51 PM »

I think you've got it: A (or Am?) at the 5th fret, G at the 3rd fret, first position F, then first position E.  I think Roy hammers from minor to major third on the E chord (open G string to G string at the first fret), then hits the E note on the open first string.  The song has a "boom-chuck" feel for each chord, and the descending bass is captures the main dynamic of the song.  I believe Dave Van Ronk has a version of this too...

« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 04:13:15 PM by 37 Gibson »

Offline Doc White

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Re: one meat ball
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2006, 01:00:59 AM »
I love this tune. I recorded it on my first CD. I first heard on the first Ry Cooder album. I have versions of it by the Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra in "duet" with Abbott and Costello, Josh White and of course Roy. I did a couple of tours with Roy in the late 90's and I'll never forget the look on my daughters face when he played that tune for her in our living room. It was her favourite at the time.
The guy that wrote the lyrics went on to write the lyrics to Unchained Melody 30 years later. At the risk of sounding like a horrible name dropper, I did a festival with Bob Brozman and we did a kind of round robin thing with Fiona Boyes and Ash Grunwald and I played that song. Bob came up at the end of the set and told me his uncle owns the copyright. It's a very strange world.

Offline dave stott

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Re: one meat ball
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 08:57:51 AM »
Thanks all,

maybe my 50yr old ears can pick up chords after all..

: -)


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