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And I want you to take this to your grave, to your grave. No matter how good you sound, you don't sound good to somebody. And no matter how bad you sound, you sound good to somebody. Most of your criticism comes from people who can't pick their teeth, can't pick nothin'™. They say "He can't play, but they can't do nothin'"". Trust me now, don't ever sit down playin' to entertain, to satisfy your audience, because anything you play ain't gonna satisfy all of them anyway. Play to the best of your ability - Jimmy "Duck" Holmes from Bentonia MS at PTCBW 2016

Author Topic: Mississippi Sheiks et al  (Read 5969 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Mississippi Sheiks et al
« on: February 15, 2004, 04:39:23 PM »
As I mentioned when bringing up the last Alvin Hart CD, he sent me listening to the Sheiks again. The two CDs I have are the Yazoo and the Catfish compilations but I'm gonna have to spring for the Documents I think. I have too much fun listening to them.

Any other ensemble type recordings that fall into this category? Listening to the Charlie McCoy CD on Document today (which is just great) I thought that's one for sure. Great variety, great tunes. He even does Too Long, as did the Sheiks, and another one sounded familiar but I will have to track it down. Anyway, without venturing into full-blown string band territory, I'm curious if there's other duets, trios etc that compare. Perhaps other Chatmon related stuff.

Also, in the notes to the Catfish CD it says that Walter Vinson revived the Sheiks before his death in 1975 and recorded an album for Rounder, without Lonnie Chatmon who had died in 1943. Anyone heard this record?

uncle bud

Offline frankie

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 05:09:50 PM »
There's some great stuff by Eddie Anthony in various combinations with other musicians:

Henry Williams and Eddie Anthony
Macon Ed and Tampa Joe

I have those tracks on a Story of Blues CD - Georgia String Bands (1928-1930).

Do you have "Violin, Sing the Blues For Me"? - lots of ensemble recordings on there, including the transcendent K.C. Railroad Blues by Andrew and Jim Baxter.

There's quite a bit to hear on the complete MS Sheiks on Document, though.  If you go at it from a strictly guitar-centric point of view, you may be a little disappointed, but there's some really great fiddling & singing going on.  The overall band sound is great, too.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2004, 06:07:46 PM »
Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers are terrific, I think. Noah Lewis' harp is among the best. And Gus' tone on the jug (played on a rack while strumming banjo) inspired me to pick up a couple lamp oil cans on ebay. Great vocals and some great tunes of various genre.
I have 'The Best of...' from Yazoo (2060)(couple of good pics), but am thinking of springing for the Documents. Or hoping JSP will do a 5 CD set of major jug bands.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2004, 07:39:39 AM »
There's some great stuff by Eddie Anthony in various combinations with other musicians:

Henry Williams and Eddie Anthony
Macon Ed and Tampa Joe

I have those tracks on a Story of Blues CD - Georgia String Bands (1928-1930).

Do you have "Violin, Sing the Blues For Me"? - lots of ensemble recordings on there, including the transcendent K.C. Railroad Blues by Andrew and Jim Baxter.

No I don't have the "Violin, Sing the Blues For Me" compilation, which is supposedly fantastic and I will now have to buy immediately. Thanks for the reminder. Will also check out Eddie Anthony.

Quote
There's quite a bit to hear on the complete MS Sheiks on Document, though.  If you go at it from a strictly guitar-centric point of view, you may be a little disappointed, but there's some really great fiddling & singing going on.  The overall band sound is great, too.

I'm not in it for the guitar per se, although even in accompaniment Walter Vinson is fun to listen to IMO. More the great tunes, the sound and singing.  There is some tremendous singing in the Sheiks material.

Also waxwing, thanks for the reminder about Cannon's Jug Stompers. I have the old Yazoo CD version. Also the Yazoo jub band compilations, Ruckus Juice and Chitlins, although this material strays a bit further from the smaller ensemble sound of the Sheiks.

Offline frankie

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2004, 07:56:58 AM »
No I don't have the "Violin, Sing the Blues For Me" compilation, which is supposedly fantastic and I will now have to buy immediately. Thanks for the reminder. Will also check out Eddie Anthony.

There's a volume 2 called Folks He Sure Do Pull Some Bow.? I don't have it yet, but understand that it's great.? Some of the stuff on Violin Sing the Blues For Me strays from the small group sound, but it is all great!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 10:07:00 PM by Johnm »

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2004, 02:33:22 PM »
UB, thanks for pointing out that 'Ruckus Juice...' is on Yazoo. I heard a cut from it yesterday on Live 365 by King David's Jug Band that made me check the playlist. I couldn't find it at Document.
BTW I recently did a search at Document with 'Various' in the artist window. I would advise anyone who does this to wear a bib and put a lock on your credit card!
Thanks all for the numerous fiddle references. I lost my harp player (to a business proposition in LA) and have a friend who plays fiddle that I've been thinking of approaching. Good to do my homework beforehand, so I can show him what I'm thinking about.
All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline Bill Roggensack

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2004, 09:35:38 PM »
Re: "Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow" - I've got that one, and it's just as good as the "Violin, Sing the Blues For Me". Strong BUY is recommended on both these recordings. And just when you think you're finished exercising your credit card at Old Hat Records, don't forget to pick up the Joe Bussard and norht Carolina collections too! Then you need to take a trip to the County website (www.countysales.com) and take a look at their various string band compilations. I've got the Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee collections, and if you like string band music, this is all pretty interesting material. The Kentucky Mountain Music set is on my 'someday' list.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2004, 04:13:25 PM by FrontPage »
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2004, 11:39:43 AM »
Wandered into my local indie shop yesterday and was pleased to see they had more Document CDs in stock than usual. Was able to pick up the Sheiks Vol 1, and the Walter Vinscon disc. They also had Violin, Sing the Blues for Me which was added to my stack. On top of this they had a bunch of good used stuff, including Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe vol 3 on Document. Also got a Robert Belfour disc.

I held off buying Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow, feeling I was spending enough already and would leave it for a future purchase.

All in all, a good day...

HardLuckChild

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2004, 12:56:47 PM »
I love "Lazy, Lazy River," "She Ain't No Good," and "Jailbird Love Song." Sam Chatmon's "I Have to Paint My Face" and "I Stand and Wonder" are great too, though the cd they are on, "I Have to Paint My Face," is very uneven in terms of song quality.

Offline MuddyBuddy

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2004, 12:56:38 AM »
Uncle Bud

Does the Charlie McCoy record have mandolin playing on it? he was recommended to me as a good example for blues mandolin playing, which I am getting into now. Not too much around. Any suggestions appreciated.

Bert in Sweden

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2004, 07:42:11 AM »
Hi Bert,

Yes, the Charlie McCoy CD has mandolin, quite a bit of it in fact. Charlie is great. Very different from Yank Rachell's style, more string band playing etc. For more ideas, including a list of recordings to listen to for mandolin, check out this thread on blues mandolin from a while back. Feel free to add to it as well if there are things missing from the master list that you notice. I've been meaning to add a couple more recordings myself. You should definitely get the McCoy CD. I'd get the Vintage Mandolin Music compilation from Document as well (although Montgomery is not thrilled with the sound of that one, I can live with it as it's a great selection), if you don't have it.

Edited to add: and welcome to WeenieCampell, Bert!

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2004, 07:47:07 AM »
Hey Bert:

Uncie Bud had a thread in the Weenie Campbell Main Forum called Mandolin Blues which I'm sure would interest you.

Enjoy,
Alex

editted to add: UB beat me to it.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2004, 07:50:48 AM by pyrochlore »

Offline Buzz

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2004, 08:21:15 PM »
 Hi, Bert! Hi, alex and Andrew!

Played this evening some of the tunes Rich del Grosso taught us this past camp, including the Sheiks "Honey, Let the Deal Go Down" He played the original from a CD, which I would sorely like to own. It was totally cool.

I'd recommend you contact Rich, or look at bluesmandolin.com, or whatever his site is called. I don't remember right now.Anyway, the mando sounds so great on these old tunes. I love it.
Miller ;D
Do good, be nice, eat well, smile, treat the ladies well, and ignore all news reports--which  can't be believed anyway,

Buzz

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2004, 07:09:57 AM »
Hi Miller - Good to hear from you.

Document has let all but one volume of the Sheiks discs go out of stock, and I presume that's not long for this world either, but it is the volume that has Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down. It is a shame how slowly they're going about "remastering"/repackaging this stuff. If desperate for the tune, you can get it on the CD Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down on Sony Legacy, a recent Best of the Sheiks, cheap as dirt, haven't heard it so can't comment although the Roots 'n' Blues series did some weird things with sound on their older releases. A lot of Sheiks recordings were pretty clean though, so it should be fine.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2004, 07:13:41 AM by uncle bud »

Offline MuddyBuddy

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2004, 12:02:10 AM »
From a supreme newbie on this forum, thanks for the tip about McCoy and the blues mando thread! I will be ordering some cds in the next few days. Miller has been telling me about the PT class with Rich Del Grosso. It is a long haul for me, but sounds PRETTY fantastic! I would also love to hear John Cephas and Honeyboy Edwards.

cheers
Bert

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2004, 04:27:29 PM »
You're welcome, Bert. PT is great, no doubt about it. And it's not unheard of for folks to travel from Europe for it. I travel from Quebec myself.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2015, 06:15:59 AM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if Dixon & Godrich differentiate in their Mississippi Sheiks session notes between tunes on which Lonnie Chatmon played fiddle versus those on which Bo Carter played fiddle, and also if any of you out there can distinguish Bo's fiddling from Lonnie's by ear.  And . . . if you can differentiate between Lonnie's and Bo's fiddling by ear, what are the distinguishing characteristics of their fiddling styles or sounds?  I haven't listened to the Sheiks nearly as much as some of you have, but I know I couldn't say with certainty, just by the sound, whether Lonnie or Bo was fiddling on a given cut.  Thanks for any insights.
All best,
Johnm
 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 09:10:01 AM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2015, 07:58:16 PM »
Hi John - B&GR only have Bo listed as possible 2nd violin on Lonely One In This Town, although most of the other tunes are listed as "prob. Lonnie Chatman".

Bo is listed as probably playing violin for his own 1928 session on Good Old Turnip Greens, Corrine Corrina, and East Jackson Blues. Fiddle seems more tentative on these first two tracks to me. East Jackson is flashier.

That said, B&GR has other discographical details about the Sheiks incorrect in places, IMHO. As discussed in this thread.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 08:01:12 PM by uncle bud »

Offline wreid75

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2015, 01:57:15 PM »
Can anyone recommend a good book that covers the careers of the members of the mississippi sheiks or a biography?  I can't imagine that with 100000000000 books on Robert Johnson there isn't any on this fantastic group!  With Walter Vinson living until 1975, Sam Chatmon until 1983, and Bo Carter living until 1964 there has to be enough material available to piece a good bio together.

Offline frankie

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2015, 02:49:42 PM »
I can't imagine that with 100000000000 books on Robert Johnson there isn't any on this fantastic group!

Imagine it?

<disclosure=full>
I am serious fool for them - love their music beyond all reason and can explain how to play ANY of the parts in just about ANY of their songs - I need HELP.
</disclosure>

It seems to me that the MS Sheiks fall into a weird no-man's land in vernacular music - not quite rough enough for the CB convert coming from blues rock or chicago blues, not old-time enough for converts from bluegrass, and not 'folky' enough for converts from singer-songwriter land.

To me, they were the most interesting and exciting string and imaginable - crossed stylistic lines with almost complete impunity, could sing their asses off and were immediately identifiable from the first notes. What's not to like?
 
Which is all why I love them, but I admit that I have peculiar tastes.

I like the Peg Leg Howell rediscovery record, too. Mea culpa.

I don't want to deny RJ his adulation, or Patton his box set...  but the level of apathy that the Sheiks get is downright unconscionable.

Don't even get me started on Lemon or Rev. Davis.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2015, 10:41:32 AM »
Everything about the Mississippi Sheiks is ace. And the same goes for the constituent musicians, playing together or on their own. Nothing not to like.

Offline wreid75

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Re: Mississippi Sheiks et al
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2015, 01:59:24 PM »
Since there are not any books on the Sheiks or the Chatmons what are the best sources for info on this family and band?  Are there any primary researchers who compiled a lot on them?  I know Sam did several interviews but what about the others that were alive past rediscovery?  Reason I ask is I will finish up two writing projects next year and would be willing to take on compiling all of it and writing a book, even if it was just web publishing or pdf to people here.  I know that their story has to be fascinating.  Any info or being pointed in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. 

 


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