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Pot of ham and cabbage, ain't enough to fill mine. That just makes me peckish, I could eat a dozen fine - Me And My Tapeworm, Sylvester Weaver 1927

Author Topic: Mandolin Blues  (Read 41025 times)

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Offline Bill Roggensack

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2004, 09:57:43 PM »
Uncle Bud:

Since you asked about Bill Monroe, I'll give you some good listening suggestions in the bluegrass genre that have lots of bluesy licks. By the way, here are two more excellent CDs from Louie Bluie:

Martin Bogan and Armstrong / That Old Gang of Mine (Martin, Bogan and the Armstrongs)  Flying Fish 70003, 1992; a re-release of two LPs combined on one CD

Louie Bluie (Howard Armstrong and friends)  Blue Suit Records, 1995; my copy has a personal dedication in Howard's memorable copperplate handwriting

The Music of Bill Monroe from 1936 to 1994 (Bill Monroe and various bands)  MCA 11048, 1994; plenty of bluesy pieces to choose from over this giant's career. To quote Bob Dylan: "I'd still rather listen to Bill and Charlie Monroe than any current record. That's what America's about to me."

And for something more compact and affordable, try:

The Essential Bill Monroe & the Monroe Brothers (Bill Monroe and various bands)  RCS 67450-2; 1997 (a BMG release). It includes Muleskinner Blues, Tennessee Blues, Banks of the Ohio, And Weeping Willow Tree. I think some of the most strongly blues-influenced pieces are among his recordings of sacred music. To my ear, there just seems to be more emotion in the stuff that isn't racing along like a run-away freight train. Perhaps I jsut can't hear fast enough?

Don't miss out on another player that has some great blues chops  here I'm referring to David Grisman. I'll suggest four rather expensive and relatively hard to find CDs that contain some truly great and timeless music:

Tone Poems The Sounds of the Great Vintage Guitars and Mandolins (David Grisman and Tony Rice)  Acoustic Disc ACD-10, 1994.

Tone Poems II  The Sounds of the Great Jazz Guitars, Mandolins, Mandolas & Mandocellos (David Grisman and Martin Taylor)  Acoustic Disc ACD-18, 1995.

Tone Poems III  The Sounds of the Great Slide and Resophonic Instruments (Mike Auldridge, Bob Brozman and David Grisman)  Acoustic Disc ACD-42, 2000.

Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza (Sam Bush, David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, and many others) 2 CD set, Acoustic Disc ACD-35, 1999. Solos, duets, trios and octets: a killer CD with many bluegrass standards.

I would also be remiss if I didn't suggest that you have a listen to Tim O'Brien. He does a great take of Twelve Gates to the City on Hard Year Blues (Flying Fish FF 70319, 1984), and of Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning on Real Time (Howdy Skies HS-1003, 2000). And there's lots of fun and familiar material on his nod to Bob (Dylan that is)  Red on Blonde (Sugar Hill SHCD-3853, 1996).

That should keep you listening for a couple hours!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 02:07:41 PM by Johnm »
Cheers,
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Greg H

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2004, 08:16:08 AM »
Hi everyone.  I've been lurking for awhile and decided to chime in.  Great site!

A couple of additions to the Yank Rachell portion of Uncle Bud's list:

"Yank Rachell" (the Blue Goose album - released on CD by Random Chance)

"Yank Rachell: Blues Mandolin Man" (Blind Pig - also released on CD by Random Chance)

Just a heads up (& with no connection to the site) - both of these albums seem to be going out of print as they are remaindered at www.daedalusbooks.com for
$5.95!  Get 'em while you can.


Offline Slack

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2004, 08:27:52 AM »
Hi Greg, welcome to the forum and thanks for the heads up!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2004, 01:09:02 PM »
Thanks fellers, have updated the list accordingly. Woe to the beginning mandolin enthusiast looking for listening ideas now...

And welcome to the site Greg!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2004, 07:50:03 PM »
Hi everyone.? I've been lurking for awhile and decided to chime in.? Great site!

A couple of additions to the Yank Rachell portion of Uncle Bud's list:

"Yank Rachell" (the Blue Goose album - released on CD by Random Chance)

"Yank Rachell: Blues Mandolin Man" (Blind Pig - also released on CD by Random Chance)

Just a heads up (& with no connection to the site) - both of these albums seem to be going out of print as they are remaindered at www.daedalusbooks.com for
$5.95!? Get 'em while you can.

Hi Greg - Received both of these (among others selections including Johnny Young and Friends) from Daedalus today. Can't beat the price... Thanks again for the tip.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 02:08:48 PM by Johnm »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2004, 07:42:59 PM »
Received today the disc that started this thread, Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps & Blues: Vintage Mandolin Music 1927-1946 Document DOCD-32-20-3. I sure can recommend this compilation. Excellent selection, mix of string band, blues, old country with a blues edge. Seems to be an attempt to do for blues mandolin what Violin, Sing the Blues for Me did for fiddle (though there are some white players here). Quite a successful attempt as well. Gathers selections from many of the players in the master list earlier in the thread, plus more who aren't. Howard Armstrong's playing on State Street Rag is insane. See top of thread for the track list. Good notes by Richard Cherry as well. I'd say no mando maniac should be without it. (Some good band names too: Gid Tanner and His Skillet-lickers, Paul Warmack and His Gully Jumpers, Carolina Peanut Boys...)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2004, 08:27:05 AM »
Just came across this article by Rich Del Grosso about Yank Rachell. Good stuff on Yank's tuning and playing style, and two mando tabs from Rich.

Also a 2nd article on Johnny Young, with tab. Here.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2004, 08:30:09 AM by uncle bud »

Offline MotMot

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2004, 09:07:33 AM »
Just came across this article by Rich Del Grosso about Yank Rachell. Good stuff on Yank's tuning and playing style, and two mando tabs from Rich.

Also a 2nd article on Johnny Young, with tab. Here.

Great stuff!  Thanks for sharing. Blues mandolin blows me away, and this may prompt me to get some of those Yank Rachell and Johnny Young LPs off the shelves.

motmot
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2004, 10:32:58 AM »
Since this thread has come up, let me just throw in the opinion that I don't love the Document compilation.  Sound is terrible, and some tracks are at the wrong speed.  A lot of good stuff on there though, so I do recommend it, but with reservations.  There's a great mandolin compilation on Rounder called, I think, Early Mandolin Classics.  Unfortunately, the sound is pretty bad on that too (it's an old CD). 

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2004, 11:25:06 AM »
Document compilation.  Sound is terrible

It's Document. I expect nothing less. :)

Are there releases of this material out there with cleaner sound? I have some of the material on other collections but haven't noticed any difference in quality, which is typical and not particularly rough compared to a lot of stuff from the era. Is it the limitations of the source material you mean?

It'd be nice to have Old Hat do a mandolin collection.

Quote
and some tracks are at the wrong speed.

Which tunes? I'll take another listen.

Quote
A lot of good stuff on there though, so I do recommend it, but with reservations.  There's a great mandolin compilation on Rounder called, I think, Early Mandolin Classics.  Unfortunately, the sound is pretty bad on that too (it's an old CD). 

I don't have this one as there's overlap with the Document CD and other material I have, plus fewer tracks at a very high price here in Canada when I've seen it. Track for track, I'd say the Document is a better collection.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2004, 10:55:31 AM »
A couple more Del Grosso articles with mando music/tab at Mandolin Magazine's website, http://www.mandolinmagazine.com/workshops/delgrosso/

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2005, 10:50:54 AM »
Hi all,
A couple of more mandolin players still working that have a strong blues influence on their playing:  Mike Compton and Frank Wakefield.  Mike, who is from Mississippi originally, first gained recognition as mandolin player for the Nashville Bluegrass Band, left them, played in John Hartford's last band before his death, and has since returned to the Nashville Bluegrass Band.  Mike's playing is very Monroe-influenced, very bluesy, and in recent years he seems to have broken through to a new level.  He is real good.
Frank Wakefield has been around a much longer time.  He came up in the '50s, had lots of Monroe influence as well, but has also been a huge innovator on the mandolin, introducing techniques like playing double stops between non-adjacent pairs of strings (while damping the pair of strings in between) so you get this almost piano-like texture as you move them around.  Frank has done a great deal of recording, but the best CD of his I have heard is the "Kitchen Tapes" he did with guitarist and singer Red Allen, a former bandmate.  These have been released on David Grisman's Acoustic Disc label, and the caliber of Franks playing on them is really stunning, about as good as it gets.  If you like Blues mandolin, it is definitely worth checking out.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2005, 05:19:46 PM »
Hi all,
I was wondering if any of you mandolin-playing Weenies had ever figured any of Furry Lewis's first three recorded cuts, "Everybody's Blues", "Mr. Furry's Blues", and "Sweet Papa Moan", all of which had Charles Jackson (or Johnson, according to Document) playing mandolin.  They are all good numbers, and I have never heard anyone do them. 

"Sweet Papa Moan" is particularly cool; it is modeled melodically on "Black Snake Moan", and Charles Jackson does some great things on it.  The song is played out of a C position, and Jackson starts out holding a double stop over the I chord that you would nornally associate with the V chord--G on the E pair (third fret) and B on the A pair (second fret).  The sound of that double stop against the C chord Furry playing is pretty exotic.  It suggests a C major 7 chord, not a sound you normally associate with Country Blues, but not at all "loungy" or uptown-sounding, as it might be in other contexts.  Jackson continues to play the same double stop against the IV chord, and the effect is even more exotic--against the F chord, the G note is a 9 and the B note is a #11, or flat 5.  Once again, the sound is not sophisticated or Jazzy, but really just a neat kind of droning, like holding an open fiddle string against a melody as it passes through a chord change.  It sounds great.

Hearing a Lemon-ish model for a mandolin tune made me think how much more of his material might really suit the mandolin.  "Black Horse Blues", which has gotten a lot of attention on this site, could be a real mandolin tour de force, and I think "Easy Rider" would be great, too, with it's signature lick repeating over and over in between the vocal lines.  It's kind of a way to make something new from something old.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2005, 05:41:43 PM »
Interesting idea, John - Black Horse Blues sounds pretty interesting on the mandolin.  I've fooled around with Everybody's Blues - Todd suggested playing that at Clifftop, so I'll dig that up again.  I hadn't heard Sweet Papa Moan before, so I req'd it on the Juke.  Is it me, or is that basically a 2-chord piece?  The effect is really cool, though - certainly worth exploring a little more.

Offline frankie

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2005, 06:30:01 AM »
I hadn't heard Sweet Papa Moan before, so I req'd it on the Juke.  Is it me, or is that basically a 2-chord piece?

After listening again, it's certainly a I-IV-V, but the combined effect of the mandolin & Furry's vocal definitely plays tricks with my ears.  Neat stuff.

 


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