collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen - Albert Einstein

Author Topic: Leadbelly  (Read 16273 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2007, 11:41:22 AM »
As an amusing aside the Stinson version was recorded by a UK group named the Four Pennies who learnt it from a budget-priced reissue. They managed to get into the Top 20 on 29th October 1964! Am I full of useless information, or am I not? Did I hear someone mutter, "full of crap more like"?  ;D

Highly unlikely!


Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2638
  • Howdy!
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2007, 11:45:40 AM »
Quote
Am I full of useless information, or am I not? Did I hear someone mutter, "full of crap more like"?

When the rest of us Weenies get together without you so we can talk about you, we say "Bunker Hill is a fountain of fascinating arcana."   ;D

Actually, I do find the information about the Four Pennies fascinating.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 11:46:46 AM by dj »

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #47 on: November 28, 2007, 12:18:58 PM »
When the rest of us Weenies get together without you so we can talk about you, we say "Bunker Hill is a fountain of fascinating arcana."   ;D
Ha, ha just stuck in a timewarp. A group calling themselves Ram Jam took Leadbelly's Black Betty into the UK Top Ten 10 September 1977 and stayed in the charts for 12 weeks. A truly one hit wonder outfit, who probably had no clue what the song was all about.

Offline CF

  • Member
  • Posts: 885
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2007, 03:24:05 PM »
Ram Jam's 'Black Betty' is from 1977?? Wow, they were playing that during my junior high school dances in the 80s . . . I always thought it came out at that time . . . I remember hearing Leadbelly do it for the first time & being bowled over . . . he might be one of the most covered folk artists of all time. Songs that we all know through other bands that originated with him are staggering . . .Wasn't much of the 'Skiffle' repertoire based on Leadbelly tunes? He was absolutely amazing . . . I've heard several versions of 'Fannin' St./Mr. Tom Hughes' Town' (??) & they are some of the fastest & most rythmically impressive acoustic pieces I've ever heard.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline waxwing

  • Member
  • Posts: 2543
    • Wax's YouTube Channel
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2007, 04:10:49 PM »
So, I take it you grok my enthusiasm about playing and singing these songs, CF.-G-G-

Thanks for the info all, keep it coming. And thanks for the info on the (doh!) post-war Lead, Andrew.

Hmm? A later version of Thirty Days called Jail House Blues? I noticed a pre-war version and wondered about that, what with all the other changed names. Looks like I better head to Down Home this weekend, see if they have the Last Sessions.

Yeah, A, my Essential has the same screw up.

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

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline onewent

  • Member
  • Posts: 382
  • Mr. So and So
    • vintagebluesguitars.com
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2007, 05:09:41 PM »
Wax/John:  I learned In the Pines recently on the twelve, it's quite straight forward, and if you search Youtube you'll find zillions of versions of it thanks to Kurt Cobain's recording of it.  It's really amusing sifting through the various versions to see what you get..

Knowing your vocal range/timbre, I think In the Pines is a perfect choice for your 12-string rep!

Regards, Tom

Offline waxwing

  • Member
  • Posts: 2543
    • Wax's YouTube Channel
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2007, 05:46:43 PM »
Thanks, Tom. I'm pretty much on my way with WDYSLN/BG/ITP.-G- That's why I picked it first, to let me ease into Leadbelly. Plus Gre has been asking me to learn it since she heard Suzy T. do her Peg Leg Howell inspired version.-G-

I'm part way into Shorty George, thanks to some tab by Harry Lewman, but I want to give one of those later versions a listen and see what I hear. Don't think I'm gonna find any tab for Thirty Days so that'll be a work out.-G-

All for now.
John C.


"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6944
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2007, 07:41:25 PM »
Wax I'm very much looking forward to hearing play those dark, spooky and terrifying tunes at Port T next year. You certainly have the right guitar for it.

Meanwhile I'll see what I've got here and try to pick some winners, they're spread over several albums from different eras.

Best version of Where Did You Sleep Last Night I have is on the Ryko / Tradition CD Goodnight Irene which turns up in cheap bins all the time. Recorded in 1944 (the Stinson recording perhaps?) and unlike the other version I have (Smithsonian/Folkway Vol 1 where he seems to be 'phoning it in' for the academics) on the Ryko he starts real slow and moody, the runs are very clear and frequent, he interjects some nice little vocal asides, and it goes for 3:02. Lots of great gutsy stuff on this CD, a real bargain IMO.

Track 9 'I've A Pretty Flower' is an incredible blues jam with Lead and Josh White totally hammering it in a way that deserves including it in Johnm's thread about all-time great guitar duets. Awesome, powerful stuff that can teach us all a thing or two about playing blues with another guitarist.

Best version I have of Shorty George is from the Columbia Legacy early recordings. Once again it blows the version on Smithsonian Folkways Vol 1 out of the water for sheer energy and interest, though it doesn't have that dark quality I love in his sound that developed later, or maybe it was just the improved recording quality brought it out more.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 08:30:45 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2007, 09:38:00 PM »
One thing to keep in mind about Leadbelly is he is discographically complicated.  :D  He recorded so much, and so much is available on different CDs. I should point out that the Wolfe/Lornell biography The Life and Legend of Leadbelly is invaluable for many reasons, not least of all the discography at the back. Highly recommended -- essential for Lead-heads -- and while I'm not sure it's currently available from the publisher, there are some cheap used copies available through Amazon right now.

Armed with that, you will also benefit from Chris Smith's section on Leadbelly in the Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings, in which he does his best to sort through the many Leadbelly recordings currently available and provides valuable info as usual, even if you don't agree with all of his comments. He notes that the Document CDs of the 1935-42 material for the LoC and ARC are generally better than the Rounder LoC discs. Apparently Document copied it from an early tape being prepared for a boxed LP set and the Rounder discs were done later, by which point the original recordings had deteriorated and transfers were iffy. So here's a case where Document clocks in with apparently better sound. Relatively speaking, of course. The book does not deal with the Leadbelly set from JSP that Stuart mentioned and about which I know nothing, discographically speaking. Nor would it deal with the recent release from World Arbiter, obviously, which includes some unreleased radio recordings.

I'll disagree with Rivers (I think) about the version of Where Did You Sleep Last Night on the Folkways Legacy Vol 1. I like it and don't feel like it's a phone-in. But to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the song, so may not be a good judge. The Tradition disc Rivers refers to has now been superseded by a two-disc Tradition set which sounds appealing and gets the thumbs up from Smith in the Penguin Guide - it's the Tradition Masters, TCD 1086.

Since this thread started back in 2004, I've come a long way in my Leadbelly listening. I've even come to appreciate the King of the 12-String Guitar disc, quite a bit in fact, though I agree with Chris that the spoken/shouted bits in this ARC material make it hard to get into some of the time.


Online Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10911
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2007, 10:30:37 PM »
Hi John C.,
I hope you'll consider some of Leadbelly's material played in the F position in standard tuning.  It sits so beautifully on the instrument, and his bass runs are really flattering to the twelve-string.  With his tuning, too, they generally end up being in good singing keys.  I'm not nearly as strong on the discographical ins and outs of Leadbelly as many people here, but if you go to the Keys To The Highway section and check under tunes in F you'll find a good selection of songs from which to choose.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2677
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2007, 11:15:52 PM »
Here's the track list for the JSP set:

 
LaedBelly: Important Recordings 1934-1949

DISC 1: LEADBELLY & THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:

1. Western Cowboy
2. Blind Lemon Blues
3. Midnight Special
4. Irene
5. C.C. Rider
6. Governor O.K. Allen
7. Julie Ann Johnson
8. I'm Sorry Mama
9. Take A Whiff On Me
10. Boll Weevil
11. Titanic, The
12. Green Corn
13. Po' Howard
14. De Kalb Blues
15. Frankie And Albert
16. Queen Mary
17. Hindenburg Disaster Pt. 1
18. Hindenburg Disaster Pt. 2
19. Leaving On The Morning Train Blues
20. Bourgeois Blue, The

DISC 2: LEADBELLY IN THE STUDIO:

1. Roberta Pt. 1
2. Roberta Pt. 2
3. Packin' Trunk Blues
4. C.C. Rider
5. Becky Deem, She Was A Gamblin' Girl
6. Honey, I'm All Out And Down
7. Four Day Worry Blues
8. You Can't Lose Me Charlie
9. New Black Snake Moan
10. Alberta
11. Baby, Don't You Love Me No More
12. Ox Drivin' Blues
13. Death Letter Blues Pt. 1
14. Death Letter Blues Pt. 2
15. Kansas City Papa
16. Red River Blues
17. Fort Worth And Dallas Blues
18. You Don't Know My Mind
19. Daddy I'm Coming Back To You
20. My Friend Blind Lemon
21. Mr. Tom Hughes' Town
22. Shorty George
23. Matchbox Blues
24. Yellow Jacket
25. T.B. Woman Blues

DISC 3: LEADBELLY IN THE STUDIO:

1. Pig Meat Papa
2. Bull Cow
3. My Baby Quit Me
4. Frankie And Albert Pt. 1
5. Frankie And Albert Pt. 2
6. Poor Howard / Green Corn
7. Gallis Pole, The
8. Pick A Bale Of Cotton
9. Whoa Back, Buck
10. Midnight Special
11. Rock Island Line
12. Good Morning Blues
13. T.B. Blues
14. Red Cross Store Blues
15. Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On
16. I'm On My Last Go-Round
17. New York City
18. Grey Goose
19. Stew Ball
20. Take This Hammer
21. Can't You Line 'Em
22. Ham An' Eggs
23. On A Monday
24. John Henry
25. How Long
26. Ain't You Glad

DISC 4: LEADBELLY - THE LAST YEARS:

1. John Hardy
2. Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
3. Pretty Flowers In Your Backyard
4. In New Orleans
5. Outskirts Of Town
6. Mother's Blues (Little Children Blues)
7. In The Evenin' When The Sun Goes Down
8. Jim Crow Blues
9. Mr. Hitler
10. Corn Bread Rough
11. Ella Speed
12. Rock Island Line
13. Tell Me Baby
14. Take This Hammer
15. Irene (Goodnight Irene)
16. On A Christmas Day
17. Backwater Blues
18. Eagle Rock Rag
19. Sweet Mary Blues
20. Grasshoppers In My Pillow
21. Diggin' My Potatoes
22. Defense Blues
23. Easy Rider
24. Pigmeat
25. Howard Hughes
26. Shine On Me

Offline CF

  • Member
  • Posts: 885
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2007, 02:37:50 PM »
Yep Waxwing, I wear my enthusiasm for Leadbelly on my sleeve! Also I was fairly corked on wine when I wrote that . . .!
There is/was an online discography of his recordings but I can't seem to find it right now but those interested might want to check out the Leadbelly Foundation:

http://www.leadbelly.org/index.html

& the Leadbelly Society:

http://www.hlmusic.com/ledblsoc.htm

Columbia's King of the Twelve String was my second Leadbelly record (my first was an LP of his 1944 recordings in Hollywood with a zitherist or, actually, another instrument in which, apparently, these recordings are some of the only ones in existance to feature the instrument  . . . ?) & I've always liked it. I must say I don't understand others' dislike of Leadbelly's rants. My favourite is the introduction to 'Packin' Trunk' which I know by heart:

'This song was made about a man & a woman. This man wanted to marry the woman but she didn't want him. but she married anyhow, for the money that he had. & she thought she got every dollar that he had but she was mistaken. Now she got him pretty well bent, she got him standing with his head hanging down. She walked up to him & she said 'Papa what's the matter with you?' & this is what he told her:
                   
              I'm sitting down here wondering would a matchbox hold my clothes? (x3) [er something like that]

 . . . a great tune all around . . . & a slide number.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2007, 02:47:03 PM »
One thing to keep in mind about Leadbelly is he is discographically complicated.  :D 

Indeed he is, andrew.  ;D I realize that I should not have disagreed with Riv. re. Where Did You Sleep Last Night since he was referring to the In the Pines version that I already said was a lesser version! Sheesh.

Please carry on...  :P

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2007, 02:51:37 PM »
Columbia's King of the Twelve String was my second Leadbelly record (my first was an LP of his 1944 recordings in Hollywood with a zitherist or, actually, another instrument in which, apparently, these recordings are some of the only ones in existance to feature the instrument  . . . ?)

The zitherist is actually a fellow named Paul Mason Howard playing the dolceola, according to the Penguin Guide.

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6944
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Leadbelly
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2007, 04:22:55 PM »
Hey andrew, we agree! I should have been clearer. Very lackluster compared to the '44 piece. Which is interesting in itself. I seem to be saying that a lot recently but it does tell you things about where Lead was at by that stage. Overexposed a little bit, too much strumming, not enough 12 string runs.

Tags: Leadbelly 
 


anything
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal