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I got a gal, she lives in town. I'm gonna see if I can run her down - James Cole's String Band, I Got A Gal

Author Topic: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia  (Read 11647 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2011, 11:16:43 AM »
Hi Little Brother,
That was Lonnie Johnson accompanying Texas Alexander.  Alexander didn't play at all and only sang, one of the very few early blues singers recorded for whom that was the case.
All best,
Johnm

Offline LB

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #61 on: March 16, 2011, 11:22:58 AM »
Oh, no kidding. Okay I must have listened to his stuff and assumed.. you know how that goes :) Thanks!

Online Johnm

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2011, 02:34:44 PM »
You're right, LB.  I was told that Bill Broonzy, in his autobiography, commented on how much Texas Alexander played like Lonnie Johnson, so I think a lot of folks have thought the way you did--it's natural.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #63 on: March 17, 2011, 07:33:11 PM »
Just found this thread. Anything regarding Smoky Babe is interesting to me. That Twelve string played as a six has one of the most distinctive, funkiest sounds I've ever heard. I've tried many times in vain to get that sound. Was he the last great country blues player? Maybe... anyway I want, need, gotta have one o them guitars to tune down to B and play as a six string! ;D
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2011, 04:00:06 AM »
I used to be a regular visitor to Flyright records and the late Simon Napier recommended the Smoky Babe album to me. What a revelation! Every country blues fan I played it to over the years was just as smitten by it as me. It still sounds fantastic today. Straight-ahead, real music!
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2013, 10:41:28 AM »
I thought of this thread last night while I was listening through a bunch of material on the Digital Library of Appalachia, which is well worth checking out for Old-Time field recordings. I was listening to songs and interviews recorded by Kip Lornell with Hobart Smith's brother King Edward Smith. In the course of discussing local string band musicians in the area of Saltsville, and the heavy influence of black musicians and blues on him and his brother, he mentions going up to Roanoke when he was young with Hobart and a neighbor to play in a contest. He describes beating out seventy other guitarist by playing "KC Blues" and "Railroad Bill" on his twelve string. Unfortunately he doesn't make it clear when the contest took place. Here it is:

http://dla.acaweb.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/Ferrum/id/344/rec/10

His attitude towards blues is interesting to hear and his playing, while lacking the virtuosity of his brother, is great in its own way.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 08:19:23 PM by Lastfirstface »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #66 on: March 05, 2013, 08:03:16 PM »
Definitely some Lemon in some of that blues playing.

I hadn't listened to him before that I can recall - very interesting indeed. Thanks for pointing those recordings out. There's a lot to listen to!

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2013, 08:25:20 PM »
The Lemon connection with Saltsville, VA is interesting. Hobart told several people that he learned to play blues pieces directly from a man named "Blind Lemon", but people who I've seen write about Hobart Smith seemed to agree that for geographic and chronological reasons it couldn't have been Jefferson. His brother Kind Edward talked more about learning from records and says that they wanted every blues record they could get their hands on.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: 12-String Players NOT from Georgia
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2013, 05:04:35 AM »
Yes, although Lemon's travels aren't that well-documented of course. I can't recall the chronological arguments at the moment. Hobart had an instrumental called Brown Skin Blues that he said was one of Blind Lemon's (or more accurately responded Yes when asked if it was), but its connection seems tenuous to me, at least to anything on record. He did do some other stuff in E. But that stuff in C from King Edward is totally Lemony. Very cool. Looking forward to listening to the rest of those recordings, not just the blues stuff.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 05:06:36 AM by uncle bud »

 


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