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A fiddle is like a dog -- it can sense fear - Mike Seeger, encouraging a beginning fiddler

Author Topic: Mandolin Blues  (Read 41021 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2006, 04:49:08 PM »
Hi all,
I have been listening to a tremendous mandolin player who I don't think has been mentioned previously on this thread:? Coley Jones of the Dallas String Band.? Two of the band's tunes, "Hokum Blues" and "Shine" are featured on the recent Old Hat release, "Good For What Ails You", and both performances are stellar.? The band's sound in general is ultra-spiffy, with bowed bass, Jones's very expert mandolin-playing, and the surprising guitar of Sam Harris, who at one point on "Hokum Blues" plays the very complicated and notey melody to "Hokum Blues" in tandem with Jones, but one octave lower.? Whew!
It appears that the band's entire recorded works are included on the Document album DOCD-5162 "Texas:? Black Coluntry Dance Music".? There are eight tunes by them in all, including "Dallas Rag".? Also included are tunes by William McCoy, Will Day, Frenchy's String Band, Jake Jones and the Gold Front Boys and Carl Davis & Dallas Jamboree Jug Band.? Sounds like a winner.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 09, 2006, 09:31:23 AM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2006, 11:49:18 PM »
Interestingly, the solo recordings he cut were with guitar, as too the duets with female singer Bobbie Caddillac.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2006, 10:15:07 AM »
The Dallas String Band cuts with Coley Jones are on the Juke as part of the Texas Black Country Dance Music CD that John mentions. The solo guitar pieces Bunker mentions (rather different) are on the JSP set of Texas Early Blues Masters, also on the Juke.  The Dallas String Band stuff is really great. I thought we'd mentioned them, but if not, a glaring omission.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2006, 09:54:19 AM »
Hi Uncle Bud,
I went back and checked and you were right, both the Dallas String Band and the Document CD with their complete recorded output were mentioned on the first page of this thread in a post that listed a variety of blues mandolin recordings, though their music was not discussed there at all.  Good memory!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Slack

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2006, 12:44:30 PM »
Quote
"Hokum Blues" and "Shine" are featured on the recent Old Hat release, "Good For What Ails You", and both performances are stellar.  The band's sound in general is ultra-spiffy, with bowed bass,

Yes!  These guys are great!  And that bowed bass gives them a "super" jug band sound.  The bass doesn;t sound as deep as a double bass -- wondering if it might be cello size or something.

Anyway, I have to admit I love the corny vaudeville humor too....

Hey Coley, can you sing!

No!

Why?

I lost my voice in jail........   

.........I'm always behind a few bars and I can't find the key.

ah well, times change  ;)

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2006, 10:20:34 AM »
Coincidence, I've been working on a guitar arrangement of Shine, probably Louis Armstrong|Golden Gates as channeled by Ry Cooder on "Jazz". Finally figured out the sequence, it has taken me years to get the nuances. Don't think I would have the nerve to sing those lyrics these days. Even though I do "wear my jeans like a man of means and always dress up in the latest style".

Emmet Miller is another guy who recorded some amazing stuff with a hot band, Eddie Lang on guitar, that's well nigh unsingable in public. Pity.

Anyway back to MANDOLINS...

Offline Murphydog

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Mandolin Blues
« Reply #51 on: April 18, 2006, 08:03:19 AM »
Hello there, its been a while since I posted. I've been working on my fingerstyle but now a distraction has cropped up in the form of mandolin. I picked up a nice '30s A model Gibson which is crying out to have some blues played on it.
Can anybody point me in the direction of mando based material both to listen to nad learn from?
Thanks,Paul.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #52 on: April 18, 2006, 08:09:20 AM »
Hi Paul -check here and here. Lots of good recommendations. I am jealous of your Gibson.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2006, 08:10:18 AM »
You mibht check out this other thread titled, oddly enough, Mandolin Blues. Then try the Forum Search function.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline Murphydog

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2006, 08:47:43 AM »
Doh!     I might have known there would already be tons of stuff. How about instructional material? The Steve James looks promising.
Paul

Offline Murphydog

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #55 on: April 18, 2006, 08:49:37 AM »
Ok forget the last post, I just checked the other link. Looks like you've got it covered already. Great site this!
Paul

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2006, 03:57:17 PM »
Hi all,
For those of you on the look-out for Blues Mandolin repertoire, there are some great tunes on "That Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of", on Yazoo, that I don't believe have been previously mentioned on this thread:
   * "Ginseng Blues" by the Kentucky Ramblers
   * "Wild Cat Rag" by Asa Martin & Roy Hobbs
   * "Alabama Blues" by The Three Stripped Gears. 
"Alabama Blues" sounds like it is actually played on a banjo-mandolin, but since it is tuned and fingered the same as a conventional mandolin it should work well.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Flatd7

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2006, 04:11:42 PM »
Wow, John, all three of those sound great. I was able to hear snipits on Amazon and will order it up, forth right. Alabama Blues especially sounds promising. I recently picked up an old SS Stewart Banjolin and am having quite a bit of fun with it. I'll have to sit down and add it to my repertoire.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2006, 11:34:20 AM »
John, you're right, these are all great tunes for mandolin. The Three Stripped Gears have come up before (perhaps on the old listserv) as recommended by Repp. There are a couple tracks on Document DOCD 5461 Too Late Too Late Vol 6, and on DOCD 5392 Hokum Blues and Rags.

The Kentucky Ramblers' Ginseng Blues is really haunting to me, with a truly beautiful melody. As someone mentioned, this song is also available on the JSP Mountain Blues: Blues, Ballads and String bands 1927-38 set (in worse sound). There are several other cuts on that set of interest to mandolin-ophiles. The ones the leap to mind immediately are three tracks by the Three Tobacco Tags - V8 Blues, Reno Blues, and Jersey Bull Blues. That JSP set is a really nice collection. I think Montgomery has mentioned here on Weenie somewhere that the sound on the set is not tremendous. I bow to his judgement there, and certainly agree on tracks I've compared like Ginseng Blues. But the collection has a lot to recommend it in my opinion, including three Dick Justice tracks, some great Gene Autry, Bill Cox, the Carolina Tar Heels, and a lot more (see here). And the overall sound as compared to what we're often used to for some old blues records is of quite good quality. Just that it seems there are better remasterings out there.

I'll have to update the master list...
« Last Edit: May 02, 2006, 11:43:22 AM by uncle bud »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mandolin Blues
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2006, 09:53:48 AM »
A couple more additions to those seeking to expand their mandolin listening collections. Two recent additions to the Juke feature a lot of mando.

All the Walter Taylor titles on the John Byrd and Walter Taylor Complete Recorded Works CD have an unknown mandolin player featured in varying degrees of prominence in a washboard/jug band style. They are not the flashiest or best band of this sort, but a good part of their material has been growing on me. Walter Taylor is also known as Washboard Walter.

More immediately impressive is Al Miller, whose Complete Recorded Works were just added to the Juke. Excellent mandolin playing, so nice that I'm surprised his name isn't mentioned more often. He might be best known for his version(s) of Somebody's Been Using That Thing, and I'd say he is someone to mention in the same breath as Charlie McCoy. The style leans more towards vaudeville-influenced material and hokum, with a little bluesier material. Miller is also a very good singer and this disc is a real hidden treasure in my opinion. Those interested should request Al Miller tracks on the Juke and hear for yourselves if you're not familiar with him.

 


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