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Now people, when it comes to the scientifical parts of music, I know nothing about it. But I can play - Uncle Dave Macon, Walking In the Sunlight

Author Topic: Roger Hubbard on YouTube  (Read 2453 times)

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Offline Parlor Picker

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Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« on: May 15, 2007, 01:05:28 AM »
You can now catch British blues legend, Roger Hubbard, performing Bukka White's "Jitterbug Swing" at an open mic. night in a little village pub.  It's only an amateur video, so Roger's face is mostly obscured.

A recent London gig with his powerhouse trio, Buick 6 was filmed and parts are apparently going to find their way onto YouTube as well.  We'll have to keep a look-out.

"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 uncle bud

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007, 07:29:55 AM »
Thanks for posting that, Parlor Picker. What a tasteful musician the man is. He's quickly become one of my favourite contemporary acoustic blues players since I discovered him on the Weenie Juke a couple years back. Great touch, great voice, just great! It's a really beautiful version of Jitterbug Swing.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2007, 08:53:20 AM »
Nice comments, Uncle Bud and I have to agree wholeheartedly.  Roger is without a doubt one of the greatest living country blues musicians. I've not come across anyone from either side of the "Pond" that has a better feel for the music.  I've seen him play literally hundreds of times, but never tire of his performances - and lots of music-loving friends agree here.  He never plays the same piece the same twice, so you could go along and see him every night of the week and not get bored.  One friend commented that when Roger plays, the voice and guitar become as one. Apart from the guitar he's also great on mandolin and piano, not to mention being able to hold his own on bass.

He's a completely natural musician who can just turn up and play a whole gig with a band, not even being familiar with the numbers.  The same applies to studio work - he listens to a song once, then lays down a blistering slide track.  Makes you sick, really...

Maybe you could arrange tour for him in Canada?
"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 Parlor Picker

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 08:48:31 AM »
Whoever made these videos has put up another with Roger.  By no means blues, but a great song that he wrote himself called "No Bed of Roses".

"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 Prof Scratchy

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 11:01:39 AM »
You could put this is in the 'bluesmen who played waltzes' thread!

Offline CF

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 10:03:52 AM »
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Roger's version of 'Jitterbug Swing' . . . & it's DIFFERENT than Bukka's but his handling is very sensitive . . . wow, that some nice playing & singing
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Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2007, 01:23:29 AM »
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Roger's version of 'Jitterbug Swing' . . . & it's DIFFERENT than Bukka's but his handling is very sensitive . . . wow, that some nice playing & singing

Quite right Mr. Cheapfeet, but that's not necessarily his best performance of the piece.  It just happened to be captured at a local open mic night that Roger was persuaded to attend.  As you say, Roger always manages to play very much his OWN version of a classic country blues, whilst still maintaining the spirit of the original.  He does it so well, that a direct comparison is sometimes surprising as to how much he actually changes things around, without losing the feel that was intended by the song's originator.

He's also the only one I know to rearrange a Robert Johnson song and actually improve the arrangement (check out 'Hellhound on my Trail' on his first solo album, 'Brighton Belle Blues', if you can find a copy).

His band, Buick 6, is one of the best blues or blues/rock bands ever, but they get hardly any bookings.  Most of the festivals seem to want second-rate rock bands who call themselves a blues band and play endless crappy versions of Hoochie Coochie Man... Guess they're prepared to play for low money or even pay to play (oh yes, I know it happens).

The London gig I mentioned above is being turned into a live album.  Don't know any more about the video recordings made at the time.
"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 CF

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2007, 10:24:54 AM »
I will definitely have to get some of his & Buick 6's stuff . . . I can't believe artists of this calibre have a hard time getting gigs, what is wrong with people!? There are very few blues musicians who trust in their own voice & understand that their 'blues-voice' or what have you is THEIR actual voice, perhaps slightly flavoured, but mostly theirs none-the-less. Roger would understand that instinctively I would think . . .   
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline waxwing

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 11:30:47 AM »
The problem with people is that they are led like sheep by the RIAA to only want to listen to music by "stars". Hence the whole controversy putting the Juke off the air.

I'll be a bit of a curmudgeon here and say that I find Roger's version of Jitterbug Swing very beautiful. His playing and understated singing is very wistful and gives one a sense of sorrow and loneliness. Unfortunately, to me, that has nothing to do with what the song is about, which, as Bukka performs it so well, is about unrequited lust in the midst of a very sexual dance. It has a lustful angry drive to it. About as far from wistful and lonely as you can get. I can think of many songs that are wistful and lonely, but, to me, this ain't one of them. I guess you might say this is Roger's "take" on it. Does he do Come On In My Kitchen as a fast hard-driving ribald romp? Nothing against Roger's artistry, just think this is a bad choice. As I said, this wistful style would fit many other songs to a T.

And boy, I really don't want to get into that discussion of who owns what voice again. Like any instrument, the vocal apparatus can be used to create any vocal style, and, with practice, any style can be performed with a perfectly believable natural feel. I have always said if you are gonna sing while you play, you should practice singing just as much as you practice playing. With practice, you can make any vocal style "your own".

Perhaps we should have a thread to discuss vocal styles, but it bothers me  that seemingly every time someone posts something sung in a soft understated style that someone has to grind this "everyone should sing in thier own voice" ax once again. No offense CF, just a pet peeve of mine. You're not the only one by a long shot. I'm just more into personal freedom and variety, both from one performer to another and from one song to the next in one performer's set.

Still, a very beautiful performance by Roger, just wish it was of a different song.-G-

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2007, 12:57:31 PM by waxwing »
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 01:09:51 PM »
Well I'm going to disagree with the disagreer (to coin a Bush-ism ;) ) and say that I don't think Bukka's version has a lustful angry drive to it. It has drive certainly, but it's actually kind of trance-like in its execution. The slide-playing in Bukka's original is not aggressive either and is in fact pretty subdued. I don't hear Roger's version as being overly wistful or sorrowful. I think the natural inclination for people covering Booker White would be to go way over on the aggressive side, to the detriment of the song, because he is a powerful presence and singer and because some of his songs do have that force-of-nature sound. I think it shows a good choice that Roger doesn't do that here.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 05:35:40 PM »
Tend to agree... I like the way Roger allows his whiteboy Britishness shine through and still pulls it off artistically. Great touch.

Offline CF

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2007, 06:48:38 PM »
 . . . I agree with all above, probably shoulda said I like how Roger seems to know where his voice can go & doesn't try to push it, it seems from this video anyway. I like the wistfulness in his version but I would agree Waxwing that Bukka's is a different beast, really. I've been watching some contemporary country blues artists on youtube & I think Roger came as a breath of fresh air . . .
I don't think there's anything wrong with mimicing either, there's a balance to be found with all approaches . . . there certainly is something special in hearing a contemporary nailing an old-timey vocal or feel, is an honourable skill in it's own right . . . & rare. 
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Stuart

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Re: Roger Hubbard on YouTube
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 08:43:57 PM »
If you get a chance, listen to him do "Jitterbug Swing" on the Buick 6 "Cypress Grove" CD, and then how it transitions into "Sugar Cane Train," which is based on "Jitterbug Swing."


 


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