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When Woody Guthrie was singing hillbilly songs on a little Los Angeles radio station in the late 1930s he used to mail out a small mimeographed songbook to listeners who wanted the words to his songs. On the bottom of one page appeared the following: This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin' it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of our'n, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do - Pete Seeger, on Woody, June 67

Author Topic: New Blind Blake  (Read 7651 times)

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Brimhoff

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New Blind Blake
« on: February 05, 2008, 04:56:39 PM »
Maybe this was already mentioned and I just missed it but on Old Hat records homepage they mention a lost Blind Blake recording being found in 2007...

 http://www.oldhatrecords.com
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:19:02 PM by andrew »

Offline CF

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 05:29:47 PM »
O man, this is so great! The songs sound great (tune-wise). . . . I can't believe this stuff keeps coming to light.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:19:23 PM by andrew »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 06:43:50 PM »
Astonishing. I don't think this news has appeared in any of the usually suspect places. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Brimhoff.

People should follow the link to the story at Old Hat, and for short mp3 samples of the two songs, Night and Day Blues, and Sun to Sun.

The record will appear on a new Old Hat release, Trunk Full O' Blues, along with other records found in the collection. They apparently include Charley Jordan, Buddy Moss, Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, Bessie Jackson, Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, Casey Bill, Georgia Tom, and Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah, among others.

Offline rjtwangs

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 06:46:54 PM »
WOW the sound here is wonderful, his guitar sounds incredible. I can't wait for that cd!!

RJ
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:56:39 PM by rjtwangs »

Offline frankie

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 06:52:52 PM »
<guitar nerd mode>

Cool...  Night & Day Blues is in G, but Sun To Sun is played out of A.  Comparatively rare for Blind Blake.

</guitar nerd mode>
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 07:02:40 PM by frankie »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 07:07:10 PM »
I need to update the Blind Blake guitar positions and keys file.  :P

Good on Old Hat. Couldn't happen to a better company. For a label that has only five releases under their belt so far (all great - OK, I don't have the Joe Bussard disc but I've heard it's great ;)), it's encouraging to to see how many releases they have planned:

"Old Hat Records is launching a series of anthologies that will highlight the traditional music of the state of North Carolina. The first CD of the series, entitled In The Pines: Old-Time Music of the Tar Heel State, 1926-1935, is due for release early in 2008. Second in the series will be Gastonia Gallop: Music of Gaston County, NC, 1927-1931, followed by Crazy Barn Dance: String Bands and Brother Teams on North Carolina Radio, 1933-1941. Other CDs will encompass the state?s pioneer recording artists (including Samantha Bumgarner and Eva Davis); traditional gospel music (including the groundbreaking recordings of the Biddleville Quintette); and artists under the management of entrepreneur James Baxter Long (including Lake Howard, Blind Boy Fuller, and Sonny Terry). Together, these anthologies will create the most comprehensive survey ever assembled of North Carolina?s vernacular music of the prewar era. Stay tuned for updates."
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 09:54:57 PM by andrew »

Brimhoff

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 07:21:27 PM »
Considering how many releases they put out since 1999 (only 5) it will take them till 2015 to finish those upcoming projects they have listed on their site   :P  Seriously though Old Hat is like the opposite of jsp they might not release much but each one is a 5 star effort.  Hopefully it wont be too long before they put out these Blake tracks.

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 01:45:44 AM »
WOW!

Fans of contemporary musicians always have the next release form their favourite artist to look forward to. 

One of the rather sad oddities of having favourite artists who died decades ago is that you know that you are never going to hear anything new from them. 

Then, once in a while, something like this comes along.  Its great!

Has anyone told Ari?!

Offline unezrider

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 02:20:18 PM »
hello friend,
thanks for the info! i wasn't aware any new recordings had come to light. if i'm not mistaken, i had read in the 'the stuff dreams are made of' booklet, that a couple blake sides were still out there somewhere, but never found yet. this is truely great news. & those compilations sound real cool, too. ( i can't wait for the bumgarner & davis disc). hats off to old hat (sounds like a bad joke.. ;))
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline outfidel

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 02:46:50 PM »
This is so cool. Old Hat does great stuff -- "Down in the Basement" and "Good for What Ails You" are both terrific compilations
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Offline banjochris

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 03:54:45 PM »
hello friend,
thanks for the info! i wasn't aware any new recordings had come to light. if i'm not mistaken, i had read in the 'the stuff dreams are made of' booklet, that a couple blake sides were still out there somewhere, but never found yet. this is truely great news. & those compilations sound real cool, too. ( i can't wait for the bumgarner & davis disc). hats off to old hat (sounds like a bad joke.. ;))
chris

I think there's still one Blake record to be found -- one side's called Miss Emma Liza or something like that -- can't remember the other side.
Chris

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 06:27:47 PM »
According to the Paramount discography I posted a link to yesterday, the record is another from the 13000 series:

BLIND BLAKE     MISS EMMA LIZA     L1272     13115A  -     -     01/??/32
BLIND BLAKE    DISSATISFIED BLUES    L1267    13115B    -    -    01/??/32

Offline banjochris

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 07:27:41 PM »
Thanks, Andrew.

downthedirtroad

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 07:39:04 PM »
Interestingly enough, John Tefteller included a advertisement for this one missing Paramount 78 "Miss Emma Liza" in the 2006 BluesImages calendar.  I remember it portraying some soldiers marching in unison or something like that.

Offline dj

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 03:52:18 AM »
Quote
I remember it portraying some soldiers marching in unison or something like that.

Thanks for remembering that.  You've got the wrong image, though.  You're thinking of the ad for Blind Lemon Jefferson's "War Time Blues", which is in the same calendar.  The ad for "Miss Emma Liza" is one of the small insets on the September page.  It shows a woman standing coquettishly near the gate in a picket fence and a man coming out of his front door looking at her, with an inset photo of Blind Blake.  The ad only mentions the "Miss Emma Liza" side of the disk.  I'm surprised Paramount was still doing print ads in  1932.         

Offline jostber

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2008, 07:12:10 AM »
Here is Jas Obrecht writing on Blind Blake:

http://www.gracyk.com/blake1.shtml


Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2008, 09:46:59 AM »
Here is Jas Obrecht writing on Blind Blake:

http://www.gracyk.com/blake1.shtml
Interesting. This appears to be his Blues Revue Quarterly feature (issue 7, Winter 1993 p. 18-21) with new paragraphs/material added. BRQ stated it was "excerpted" from a book in progress, which I'm fairly sure has been the topic of discussion elsewhere here because I remember posting part of his email to me on the subject of the book.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2008, 09:51:57 AM »
Indeed it has come up before, BH. I added a Jas Obrecht tag to this topic, which then revealed the previous one.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2008, 12:11:18 PM »
Is Jas a guitar player? If so, I'm surprised he quoted without comment:
"I suspect Blind Blake was a three-finger picker," offers Kaukonen, "and I have a sneaking suspicion he wore picks, because he had such a snappy, percussive sound and he's not popping the strings the way bare-finger players do. His favorite keys were C, G, and E, although I'm pretty sure he could play in any of them if he wanted to."


Offline Johnm

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2008, 12:19:42 PM »
Your point is well taken, Prof. Scratchy.  With only two titles played out of E position in standard tuning in Blake's very large catalog of recordings as a soloist and accompanist, it's hard to see how E could be construed as one of his favorite keys.  And in the famous photo of Blake, he is not wearing picks.
All best,
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Offline Johnm

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2008, 12:25:36 PM »
Hi all,
Incidentally, the communication with Obrecht that Bunker Hill alluded to earlier can be found, I believe, in a thread in the Books and Articles child board entitled:  "Status of Books for Release:  Obrecht, McCormack and Wardlow?"
All best,
Johnm

Offline banjochris

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2008, 03:04:53 PM »
I'm surprised Paramount was still doing print ads in 1932.         

I think a lot of those later ads weren't done directly by Paramount, but by F.W. Boerner, which was a mail-order company, based in Grafton, founded by a Paramount employee and doing a lot of business with them, but not exclusively and they weren't part of Paramount, IIRC. I seem to remember Tefteller going into that (maybe in the 78 Quarterly article, I don't recall). That's why some of the ads with a similar style are for non-Paramount recordings.
Chris

Offline Doug

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2008, 08:03:06 PM »
The ad for "Miss Emma Liza" is one of the small insets on the September page.  It shows a woman standing coquettishly near the gate in a picket fence and a man coming out of his front door looking at her, with an inset photo of Blind Blake.  The ad only mentions the "Miss Emma Liza" side of the disk.  I'm surprised Paramount was still doing print ads in  1932.         

There's a picture of this at http://sundayblues.org/archives/114

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2008, 07:39:45 AM »
This from Marshall Wyatt of Old Hat regarding the release of the newly discovered Blake sides:

I've arranged with John Tefteller to reissue the two Blake recordings
as part of his 2009 Blues Images Calendar & CD. This seemed like an
appropriate vehicle for premiering the two sides, especially since John
has the original advertising artwork for "Night And Day Blues." The
calendars will go on sale July 1st.

I may also reissue the sides later on Old Hat Records, in a different
context.


Offline CF

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2008, 07:59:04 AM »
Hmm, I thought the Old Hat release was a done deal? I've been waiting with bated breath. But now that Tefteller's adding them to his 2009 calendar . . . sorry Old Hat . . . unless their release has other sides I want . . .
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 08:05:30 AM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2008, 08:36:42 AM »
Yeah, the Old Hat website now has no actual mention of a CD release that I can see. I hope they still release one, as their work is superlative.

Offline CF

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2008, 10:32:02 AM »
Yeah Old Hat's releases are great-looking. The problem for me is that I already have much of the material on their compilations so don't buy them . . . this potential release with the newly discovered Blake tunes was a sure sale for me but now that I can get it on a Tefteller release with guaranteed great remastering & a purdy calendar . . . well, there you go. This almost sounds like a bad decision to license these songs to Tefteller before releasing them themselves  . . . .
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 10:33:49 AM by cheapfeet »
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline doctorpep

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2008, 07:16:23 PM »
It's so wonderful that all this stuff is surfacing after eighty years of being forgotten. One might wonder if the forty or so Cryin' Sam Collins songs that remain unreleased will ever see the light of day. Are these two Blake songs from the time period in which he was considered to be at his best, or after his supposed fall from grace, in which "Righteous Blues" is stated to be his swan song?
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

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Offline banjochris

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2008, 10:28:16 PM »
I never understood why people thought Blake went downhill later on -- his last record is a little uncharacteristic, maybe, with "Depression" being in a key he didn't record in much and "Champagne Charlie" being a bit of harmless fun, but "Rope Stretching Blues" is great, and "Righteous" and "Policy" particularly being show-stopping performances.
Chris

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2008, 06:51:50 AM »
I agree Chris, I don't understand the negative view of later stuff either. But I like Champagne Charlie, so for me the moaning seems based on one song, Depression's Gone from Me, which always seemed like just a lazy cover. Rope Stretching Blues is a classic IMO.

What we do get is some fairly different material later in his career. Rope Stretching in A minor, Playing Policy an unusual accompaniment in G, Champagne Charlie an odd song choice, "Depression" a Sitting On Top of the World clone, and now Sun to Sun is in A (rare, as Frankie said), and Night and Day another unusual accompaniment in G.

Night and Day Blues and Sun to Sun were recorded c. January 1932, placing them just before Champagne Charlie and Depression.

Offline banjochris

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2008, 03:06:54 PM »
Just to get the record straight, I like Champagne Charlie, too. It's sort of Blake's "Hillbilly Willie's Blues." I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Depression was a request from the studio for a Sitting on Top of the World cover.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2008, 08:18:16 PM »
Just to get the record straight, I like Champagne Charlie, too. It's sort of Blake's "Hillbilly Willie's Blues." I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Depression was a request from the studio for a Sitting on Top of the World cover.

Yep, wasn't implying that you didn't have good sense ( ;D) just that the usual complaint is something along the lines of oh, Champagne Charlie and Depression's Gone From Me are the demise of Blake, or so bad they're not even him etc etc. Actually, listening to Depression today, there's even a nice, albeit simple, break 2/3 of the way through. Not my fave Blake tune, but there's earlier material that's not my fave stuff either.

Offline CF

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2008, 04:32:46 AM »
A lot of these negative opinions about, say, Blake's detioration at the end of his recording career or Skip James' 60s records seem to have their source from one of the revivalist musicians or writers & then others just tend to repeat that opinion . . . without doing the right thing & listening to the recordings themselves. 'Champagne Charlie' & 'Depression' are welcome additions to Blake's oeuvre in my opinion. At least they're not another damn rag in C or G  :)
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline doctorpep

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2008, 10:41:37 AM »
Yes, the claims about the demise of Blake and James are rooted in white Blues fans and collectors' opinions from four decades or so ago. I bet that the black record-buying public picked up "Depression's Gone From Me Blues" and found nothing wrong with it. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Offline Montgomery

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2008, 11:11:57 AM »
I don't know, I think there was some basis for the speculation that Blake had lost something by his last session.  His last record Depression/Champagne Charlie" comes nearly a year after his last previously-heard record (no collectors had heard the fantastic and uncharacteristic Night & Day/Sun to Sun, which was recorded a few months before his last record).  I happen to love Depression/Champagne Charlie, but it is clearly an uncharacteristic record, and certainly suggests that Blake's playing could have deteriorated.  Champagne is sloppy (perhaps purposely, though it was enough to make some collectors believe it wasn't Blake), and Depression is languid.  Had this record been recorded in 1929, people would think differently, but it is definitely a bizarre coda to Blake's career, and it's no wonder that people speculate about it.  I also found it a little sad that collectors seem to write off this record, because it has so many interesting elements.  But I don't think that white collectors had any agenda in suggesting that maybe Blake's abilities had declined (referring to this record; I've never heard people write off "Rope Stretchin'" or his other 1931 recordings).  Fortunately the newly-discovered record suggests that Blake was perhaps at the top of his game, and even expanding his style of playing near the end, which that casts his final record in a different light.

As for James, I know it's a matter of debate, but I think his playing deteriorated in the 60s, at least compared to his pre-war work.  I still enjoy much of the 60s work quite a bit, but I would not say that he was playing as well, or better than, he was on the Paramounts. 

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2008, 08:15:17 PM »
At least they're not another damn rag in C or G  :)

I resemble that remark! While we're here in the blasphemy department.... Skip James's sixties recordings are a million times better, more profound, more moving, than his earlier stuff in me 'umble. The earlier ones ARE faster however.
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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2008, 08:23:26 PM »
Champagne Charlie is spiffing in my opinion chaps! We should all play in so deteriorated a fashion.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2008, 09:02:16 PM »
One of the things that occurs to me in listening to both Champagne Charlie and Depression's Gone From Me in particular, and to a certain extent the excerpts from the newly discovered sides, is that Blake is much more strummy. To someone focused on fingerstyle blues guitar, this may seem either lazy (a word I already used myself), or the result of drinking (as has been claimed before about later Blake), or a deterioration. But we know so little about Blake. It could be that he was playing in more band situations and strumming more on an archtop guitar, as some started to do in the 30s. As Montgomery suggests, maybe this is more a question of moving in different directions than losing it. Champagne Charlie is quite strummy, suggesting a band accompaniment style to me, but the fingerpicking accompaniment to the verses seems solid to me, his touch still great, the bounce still very much there.

Offline Montgomery

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2008, 07:36:03 AM »
Champagne Charlie is spiffing in my opinion chaps! We should all play in so deteriorated a fashion.

Again, I was not saying that his playing had deteriorated (I love Champagne Charlie); but I don't think that the speculation that his playing had declined near the end is necessarily unfounded, or is some based on some "white blues fans'" malevolent agenda. 

Offline doctorpep

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2008, 11:39:14 AM »
I didn't mean that white Blues fans have a malevolent agenda. I'm a white Blues fan myself! I just mean that the judgments about the music that some scholars and fans, who just so happened to be white, passed in the 1960s seem to have been repeated blindly in many cases. I don't think that blacks who were buying these records eighty years ago scrutinized guitar work too much, unless they happened to be serious players themselves. To the best of my knowledge, most of the record buyers were females who weren't players, and had a little extra money after a long week of work. I think "Depression is Gone from Me Blues" is a bit boring and uncharacteristic of Blake. Any idea why Yazoo chose to put it on their Blake compilation? Perhaps they have a different viewpoint of the song than some of us.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 11:43:01 AM by doctorpep »
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Offline dj

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2008, 12:12:20 PM »
Quote
...the judgments about the music that some scholars and fans... passed in the 1960s seem to have been repeated blindly in many cases

That's at least partly because, back in those pre-internet, pre-Document days, it was so hard to get a copy of the music and hear for one's self.  Back in the late 60s when I was in high school, I hung out with a half-dozen or so people who were really into the blues and who were record collectors to boot.  Several times a year we'd go to New York City or Boston to look for records.  And still we mustered a few hundred country blues tracks among us.  Most of this stuff we just hadn't heard.  So if Sam Charters said an artist was good or bad (or implied it by mentioning or not mentioning that artist), we believed him because we had no evidence to the contrary.

   

HunkyPicker

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2008, 03:53:33 PM »
Wow... this stuff is incredible.  Much better sound quality than most old Blake I've heard.

Has anybody actually heard these the whole way through yet, and is this Trunk of Blues actually on the market yet?

Offline CF

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2008, 04:39:11 PM »
See this thread for the imminent release of the Blake tracks:

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=4956.msg37817;topicseen#msg37817

Again, I'm confused why Old Hat would license these recordings to Tefteller. I probably won't be buying the OH release now . . .
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

HunkyPicker

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2008, 09:32:03 PM »
I'm not sure who Tefteller is.  I know a lot of these players and have learned some here and there, but the depth of this community boggles the mind.  Is this his site:  http://www.bluesimages.com/

Does he put out blues calendar every year that comes with a CD?  Does he do other things too?  Hey... I'm heading over to the Weeniepedia...

HunkyPicker

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2008, 09:36:10 PM »
OK, interesting guy.  He and Joe Bussard must be twin sons of different mothers!

Offline stunasty 55

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2018, 09:14:39 AM »
Sup fellas!

You ever consider that Blind Blake was just playing ?in character? for Champagne Charlie? The song seems to be about a sleezy guy who gets drunk every night, rambles town to town meeting young ladies, and even takes a bullet in Louisville?

I think the songs perfect!

Also, seeing that no one has replied here in the last decade, if anyone can help me out, which songs of Blind Blake?s are in the key of E?

Thanks fellas hoping to hear back!

Stu

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2018, 09:29:39 AM »
Depression Done Gone From Me is in E I think?


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Offline oddenda

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2018, 07:20:45 PM »
     I think that "Champagne Charlie" and "Miss Emma Liza" are merely examples of Blake's non-blues repertoire. They seem to me like vaudeville pieces and can probably be traced back to sheet music of the day.
     In the same way that Luke Jordan's "Tom Brown Sits in his Prison Cell" sits in his repertoire. Remember that these folks repertoire often went beyond 12-bar stuff! The record companies had certain expectations and therefor much non-blues material was not recorded by them. Musicians had to be able to fulfill variable requests to be successful with their main black audience - note that many folks approaches changed over time as they followed their audience's desires, especially if they moved around... country to city being the big one.

pbl

Offline banjochris

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Re: New Blind Blake
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2018, 11:57:38 PM »
Depression Done Gone From Me is in E I think?


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