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I don't think the average person can come along and play (the blues), because they don't understand the breaks in it... a guy that makes 'em hisself, he knows where the breaks is - Son House, Frets magazine

Author Topic: Lesser known players?  (Read 14191 times)

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Offline GhostRider

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2004, 12:23:28 PM »
Hi John:

Interesting that you should bring Gene Campbell up. I remember reading a short biography of FP Smith which mentioned that FP recorded more pre-war side than any other Texas Bluesman other than the "even more obscure Gene Campbell". So this fellow was the most recorded Texas bluesman of his day (obvious exception of BL Jefferson). And I've never heard even one of his tunes.

Would you say he is worth listening to?

Alex

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #31 on: October 02, 2004, 12:39:10 PM »
Hi Alex,
Yes, I would definitely say Gene Campbell is worth listening to, if only for his different take on playing in C, standard tuning.  There's something about him that reminds me a little bit of Sylvester Weaver (not that they sound like each other).  It's just that they both sound like pretty sophisticated players and people--not raw or particularly country, in either their playing or singing.  And each of them sounds really evolved in his style, but not in ways that ended up being picked up on and developed by other players--kind of "dead end" players, though that is an historical hindsight assessment based only on who made it on to records after them.  They may have spawned imitators who never made it on to records.  But they were both really good players who sound like pro musicians through and through.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2004, 02:20:10 PM »
Gene Campbell

Would you say he is worth listening to?

I agree with John - some very nice stuff.? For some reason, he makes me think of Jess Thomas - maybe because he's sophisticated sounding...? dunno.? There's a tune he does in G that I like a lot - Toby Woman Blues.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2005, 09:54:52 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2004, 02:58:54 PM »
Hi all,
After my previous post, I realized I hadn't listened to Gene Campbell in a long time, and so got out the LP I have of him on Wolf.  It's only half of his recorded output, so there's a lot of his stuff I've missed, including the "Toby Woman" you mentioned, Frank.  I can hear the similarity to Jesse Thomas you cite--a similar kind of crisp touch, and the melody Jesse Thomas sings on "No Good Woman Blues" is identical to the one Gene Campbell used on most of the tunes on the record I have.  It wouldn't be unfair to note that on the tunes from his earlier sessions on the album I have, he's quite repetitious, using essentially the same accompaniment for seven tunes in a row.  The later tunes show some really interesting stuff, though, that make me wish I had the Document CD that has all his tunes--a couple of tunes in F, a really super one in G, and new and fresh ideas in C.  I think he's definitely worth looking into, and I really like his voice.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2004, 07:46:08 PM »
I only have a couple tunes by him, on the Catfish Texas Blues collection: Wandering Blues and Robbin' and Stealin' Blues. Sure does sound like he listened to a lot of Lonnie Johnson, like you said John. Re. flatpicking: lots of treble notes hit with the pick but it sounds like he's using fingers as well. Perhaps he was just one of those guys whose thumb travelled to the high strings a lot.? Agree about the voice too.

Will try to get this on the Juke soon, Alex, so you can hear a couple tunes. I don't think I have any other material by him.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2005, 09:56:41 AM by Johnm »

Yves

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2004, 06:50:12 AM »
Hello guys
Last summer at EBA Mike talked about Kid Prince Moore. We had a wonderfull jam with Mike singing this night
Back to France I rushed on the web to purchase that Document CD. What a discovery... for me. Sounds very close to some Blind Blake with a fluid guitar playing. "Mississippi water" and Georgia blues in the same C shape etc
Anyone knows that one, listened to him ?

I love the BB Hawkins as well. Use to perform "Jailhouse Fire" ... something of a mixed up confusion / adapted version of the original. Nobody's perfect ?

Which LP are Oscar Woods titles. I can't find 'em on my sheds ! ...- my wief said I got too many LP's I Checked 'em on the GD blues & gospel recording... I got 'em and I'm a bit frustrated !

There are many others interesting players I have to serach for on the sheds and will talk about later on.

Hello John I'm a bit lost when you explain that Gene Campbell - I never listened to him - plays a lot in C influenced by Lonnie Johnson. I thought that Lonnie used to play in Drop D and / or G6 "Bo carter" tuning.
The only song recorded by Lonnie Johnson that I firmly recognized as in C STD tuning is "Careless love". I'm probably missing something somewhere ?

So long
Yves

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2004, 08:49:46 AM »
Hi Yves,
You covered a lot of ground in your post!? My knowledge of Kid Prince Moore is limited to the two titles of his that were on the old Yazoo anthology "Ten Years Of Black Country Religion".? Those tunes, "Church Bells" and "Sign Of Judgement", are really beautiful, and Frank has posted a great rendition of "Church Bells" on the Back Porch here at the Weenie site.?

If you have them, you can find Oscar "Buddy" Woods on the old Yazoo LPs "Bottleneck Blues Guitar Classics", where he does "Fence Breakin' Blues" and "Evil Hearted Woman Blues", and on "Blues From The Western States", where he does "Don't Sell It, Don't Give It Away".

With regard to Lonnie Johnson's influence on Gene Campbell, it is not so much that Gene played out of the same positions/tunings as Lonnie did, but rather that his melodies, ways of phrasing and some of the runs that he played seem very influenced by Lonnie.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 06:34:33 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2004, 10:09:30 PM »
Hi all,
One musician who falls into this category who is kind of timely by virtue of John D having recently added an album of his to the Juke is Shirley Griffith.  I know some of you are familiar with Shirley, but for those who are not, he was born in Mississippi but left there as a young man and lived virtually his entire adult life in Indianapolis.  He recorded two albums for Prestige Bluesville in the '60s, one solo, and one with a friend, JT Adams, and also recorded a solo album for Blue Goose in the early '70s.
I feel like Shirley's musical core was formed during his years in Mississippi.  He did really stellar versions of many songs by Tommy Johnson and Ishmon Bracey, that he heard growing up.  Included among those tunes (on record) were "Big Road Blues", "Bye Bye Blues", "Maggie Campbell" and "Saturday Blues".  In addition, Shirley had some tunes of his own, "River Line Blues" and "Shaggy Hound Blues", that compare well with the greatest of Country Blues--they are really terrific.  He also played some Scrapper Blackwell-influenced numbers in D.
I was fortunate enough to see Shirley perform a couple of times, once at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and once at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival.  He was missing the index finger of his left hand, lost in an accident with an axe when he was a child, so when he played a B7 chord he always left the first string open.  He was an exceptional singer and really a strong guitarist, and seemed an unassuming, quiet kind of guy who just happened to be a great musician. 
All best,
Johnm   

Yves

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2004, 10:19:49 PM »
Hello John
Shirley Griffith : I have these 2 old LP's the one with JT Adams and the blue goose that were some of my favorites to listen in the 70'. Really interesting to listen again. Fine player despite his left hand and really good singer. Great choice

I just received the JSP 4 Cd's set "Texas blues" which includes complete Oscar Woods recordings... I'll be much more familiar within a few days.

So long
Yves

Offline Richard

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2004, 08:34:11 AM »
I like Oscar Woods  :D
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Yves

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2004, 10:13:38 AM »
Hello Weenies

If you do not have the "Kid Prince Moore" document CD complete recordings you MUST have it
I got mine for a couple of weeks and already burn it !!!

Yves

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2004, 01:53:30 PM »
Is Robert Petway considered a lesser known player?
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2004, 02:38:14 PM »
Hi Gary,
Yes, I think Petway would definitely qualify as a lesser-known player, and a great one!  I used to read rumors that he was alive residing somewhere in Chicago (this would have been the 1970s).  I have never heard if he was tracked down, but I don't think so.  If he had never recorded anything but his version of "Catfish" he'd still have one of the best Country Blues recordings ever.
All best,
Johnm

Offline phhawk

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2004, 10:02:41 PM »
Howdy, Thought I'd throw my 2 cents worth in.  A few lesser knowns for consideration. George Torrey, Sam Montgomery, Poor Boy Lofton, Willie Reed and for post war there's Black Diamond and Dan Pickett. I'm sure there are others, but, that's all I can think of now.

Phil

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Lesser known players?
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2004, 07:21:11 AM »
Willie Reed

I really like his Dreaming Blues and have fooled around with playing it.


 


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