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Author Topic: Waltzes played by CB artists?  (Read 18807 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2007, 10:08:17 AM »
Hi all,
I recently remembered a great tune in 3/4 by the brilliant St. Louis pianist Wesley Wallace.  It is his "No. 29", a train instrumental with spoken narration like Blind Blake's "Seaboard Stomp" or "Southern Rag", and it is included on the JSP set from a couple of years ago, "The Paramount Masters".
Wallace was always spoken of by musicians who knew him with the deepest respect for his musicianship, and I can see why.  On "No. 29" he does something I have never heard done before, walking a boogie bass six-to-the-bar, and occasionally breaking out of the boogie feel for treble runs or programmatic effects.  The song sounds like it was performed completely on the fly, for Wallace doesn't maintain anything like a consistent form or bar structure, and he avoids the V7 chord altogether.  In many ways, I find his brand of improvisatory musicianship, maintaining a constant flowing groove behind a spoken commentary, more impressive and mysterious than a more controlled and worked-out approach would be.  Wallace's commentary is also excellent and quite interesting in its own right.
My first experience of hearing this number was on a 1966 Sam Charters compilation entitled Piano Blues (RBF12) in the booklet to which he wrote:

"Wesley Wallace is one of the most interesting of the early blues pianists, but despite efforts by a number of people there is still nothing known about him. His "Number 29" is a brilliant personal variant on the train themes that were popular among early boogie players. The bass rhythm is an unaccented 6/4, (not 3/4 as was suggested in a recent article - the pattern begins at the ascending notes and ends with the lowest tone, repeating without hesitation) and the right hand is involved with rhythms that suggest 4/4 as well as a 6/4 that doesn't coincide with the rhythm of the bass."

The "recent article" alluded to by Charters was by Paul Oliver (Jazz Monthly, Jan 1961) which quoted Little Brother Montgomery's recollections of Wallace to Francis Smith (as he then was) in an interview conducted in 1960. Can't for the life of me recall whether LBM reproted anything of significance concerning Wallace but if so I may post here.

Wallace was also the subject of Bob Hall & Richard Noblett's 1975 Blues Unlimited series, "A Handful of Keys".

Apologies for hijacking the discussion in this manner.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 10:10:17 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2007, 11:00:42 AM »
Thanks for the quote, Bunker Hill.  Despite Charters' assertions, I would contend that Wesley Wallace played "No. 29" in a straight-up-and-down 3/4 meter accented "1-and-2-and-3-and", not in 6/4.  In order to justify analyzing Wallace's meter as being 6/4, one would similarly have to notate conventional boogie bass lines (eight-to-the-bar) as being in 8/4, rather than 4/4.  And nobody does that.
All best,
Johnm   

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2008, 09:40:46 PM »
Hi all,
I recently noticed that Richard "Rabbit" Brown's songs, "Mystery of the Dunbar's Child" and "Sinking of the Titanic" are both in 3/4.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2008, 11:05:04 AM »
Hi all,
Libba Cotten's rendition of the hymn, "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling" is played in 3/4 time in Spanish tuning.  It's from her "Shake Sugaree" album.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2008, 03:23:16 PM »
Hi all,
On the new JSP set, "Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, Volume 1", I discovered a really pretty Pop song in 3/4 that Leroy sings, "Let's Make Up and Be Friends Again".  Leroy does this song without Scrapper and delivers it in his best Pop crooner style.  It's a beauty if any of you like songs in that style and are looking for a more obscure one to cover.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 02:13:58 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2009, 09:46:27 PM »
Hi all,
Washington Phillips' song "Paul And Silas In Jail" is in a quick 3/4.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2009, 09:11:58 AM »
Hi all,
The Blind Willie Johnson song "If It Had Not Been For Jesus" is in 3/4, and is additionally unusual in that Blind Willie's female singing partner carries the lead vocal role on the verses.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2009, 10:46:55 AM »
Hi all,
Oops, I just realized we had missed the most obvious 3/4 tune from Leadbelly:  "Irene".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2009, 11:42:07 AM »
Hi all,
Oops, I just realized we had missed the most obvious 3/4 tune from Leadbelly:  "Irene".
All best,
Johnm

Hi Johnm,

I have the song listed as "Goodnight Irene" (thus in "G", instead of "I", in the alphabetical order).

Can you (or anyone else) suggest a good Leadbelly recording of the song to be listed along with the title?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2009, 11:54:04 AM »
I'm sorry, Pan, I did a sloppy job of reading the list.  There are a couple of good versions on Leadbelly's "Last Sessions".
all best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2009, 10:01:01 AM »
Hi all,
Philip McCutcheon, the extremely eccentric (and that's being charitable) Cedar Creek Sheik, did "Watch the Fords Go By" in 3/4.  I've been meaning to do a thread devoted to his lyrics and hope to get started on it soon.
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2009, 01:46:37 PM »
Hi all,
Oops, I just realized we had missed the most obvious 3/4 tune from Leadbelly:  "Irene".
All best,
Johnm

Hi Johnm,

I have the song listed as "Goodnight Irene" (thus in "G", instead of "I", in the alphabetical order).

Can you (or anyone else) suggest a good Leadbelly recording of the song to be listed along with the title?

I can't suggest the following as a "good" Leadbelly recording, because the sound quality is pretty bad, but probably my favorite version of Irene is found on "Midnight Special - Library of Congress Recordings Volume 1" on Rounder. Lead does a lot of talking in it, explaining the story. It's pretty great. I recall the Penguin Guide recommending Document over Rounder for Leadbelly's Library of Congress recordings because (relative) sound quality but am not sure which volume it's on. The track is 4:42 long if anyone feels like searching for it.

Offline frankie

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2009, 04:29:49 AM »
Two more from what is essentially the Mississippi Sheiks:

Walter Jacobs and the Carter Brothers - Dear Little Girl
Walter Jacobs and the Carter Brothers - Sheiks Special

Both instrumentals - fiddle accompanied by two guitars


Offline Cambio

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2009, 10:54:11 AM »
There is the Tommy Johnson test pressing which I think is called "I Want Someone to Love me", which is essentially a Jimmie Rogers inspired yodeling tune.

Offline Pan

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Re: Waltzes played by CB artists?
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2009, 04:29:27 PM »
There is the Tommy Johnson test pressing which I think is called "I Want Someone to Love me", which is essentially a Jimmie Rogers inspired yodeling tune.

Hi Cambio.

I have the song listed. The song apparently made some purist blues fans wish that it had never been found   :D.
There is some discussion on it on this thread: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=128&topic=3524.0

I've also read somewhere that Muddy Waters' string band performed waltzes for the (maybe white?) dance audience in the Stovall plantation. They were probably never recorded?

 


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