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Oh my. I feel just like a teddy bear - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Teddy Bear Blues

Author Topic: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths  (Read 20302 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2006, 10:23:33 AM »
Hi all,
Thanks, Stu and Bunker Hill, for tracking down down the information on Pigmeat Pete and Catjuice Charlie.  It's good to have the sense of who they were more fleshed out. 

The record that had "The Gin Done Done It" had another tune by them that fits this thread too, as well as being an excellent number.  "Do It Right" is played out of the F position, capoed to the second fret, and I believe is the only instance I can think of in this music in which a musician chose to capo and play in F to sound in G.  I think it is very unlikely the guitar is simply tuned a whole step high because of the uptown nature of the musicianship.  The progression/form of the song works out as follows.  Assume four beats per bar unless otherwise indicated and the chords are named by position played rather than absolute pitch, which would be one whole step higher.

When the gal gets old, she wants to be alone, you left a little work undone at home
             |    F----C7                     | F--C7          |    F                   | D7/F#        |

Do it right                        Do it right                                      What-
|       G7       |G7- 4 + 2 beats   |        C7          |         C7               |

Ever you're doing, go on, do it right                                        When-
|    F          D7    |  G7    C7   |       F                |     F/A           C7     |

As you can see, the 2-beat pick-ups for the repetition of the phrase "do it" in the second bar of the second line are treated as add-ons to the four beats of the measure.
When this song started out, I thought it might be an advice-giving type of song like Sleepy John Estes's "Clean Up At Home".  It turns out to be a lot more subversive than that.  These guys were really funny and quick, and as with "The Gin Done Done It", it's all in the delivery.

   When the gal gets old, she wants to be alone, you left a little work undone at home
   CHORUS:  Do it right, do it right
   Whatever you're doing, go on, do it right

   Whenever you're doing whatever you should, just do your best to do it good
   CHORUS:

   When you have a fight and you didn't win, buy a shotgun, start over again
   CHORUS:

   If your gal comes home, she's feelin' tight, she wants some lovin' that very night
   CHORUS:

   If you're feelin' bad, 'cause you're on the shelf, get some rope, go hang yourself
   CHORUS:

   If your gal needs money, how bad you feel, get some money if you have to steal
   CHORUS:

   If your wife leaves home every time you do, somebody outside knows more than you
   CHORUS:

   When your pal buys your gal a Coca-Cola, you can bet your life he's playing her Victrola
   CHORUS:

   The elephant said when he swallowed the cat, "Got a mouthful of kitty and it's tight like that."
   CHORUS:  Do it right, he did it right
   Whatever you're doing, go on, do it right

All best,
Johnm

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2006, 01:38:19 AM »
Hi all,
One of the most unusual songs to fall into this category is "Ash Tray Blues", recorded by Papa Charlie Jackson, probably the least played of the great early blues players by present-day musicians.  "Ash Tray Blues" is remarkable for being played by Papa Charlie in the key of E flat in standard tuning (tuned slightly low), without a capo, a position that not even Rev. Davis ventured to play in, at least on recordings.  This song can be found on "Papa Charlie Jackson, Vol. 2", Document CD DOCD-5088.
"Ash Tray Blues" is an early example of the type of "Pop Blues" that Bo Carter would later specialize in, employing a 32-bar AABA structure.  The progression is as follows:
A1:
|      E flat      |      A (E flat) dim 7 |       E flat      |       C7          |
|      F7#9      |      B flat 6            | E flat/E dim7  |  F min/B flat   |
A2:
|      E flat      |      A dim 7           |       E flat      |        C7          |
|      F7#9      |      B flat 6            | E flat7/D7     |E flat7/D7/E flat7|
B:
|      A flat      |      A flat              |      E flat       |        C7          |
|      F7#9      |      F7#9               | B flat6/A6     | B flat 6/A6/B flat 6|
A3:
|      E flat      |      A dim 7           |      E flat       |        C7           |
|      F7#9      |      B flat              |   E flat7/ D7   | E flat 7/D7/E flat 7|

Papa Charlie fingered the less frequently encountered chords included in this song as follows:
   E flat:  X-X-1-3-4-3   A dim7:  X-0-1-2-1-2   F7#9:  1-X-3-2-4-4
   B flat6:  0-1-3-3-3-3  E dim7:  0-0-2-3-2-3   F minor:  X-X-3-1-1-1
   E flat7:  X-X-1-3-2-3  A flat:  X-X-6-5-4-4     A6:  X-0-2-2-2-2
The A diminished 7 chord might more aptly be termed an E flat diminished 7 chord, but Papa Charlie played the open A string and diminished chords are usually named for the lowest pitch voiced in them.  Papa Charlie uses the same rhythmic motif for the last two bars of A2, B and A3--a bar split between a chord and its neighbor a half-step down, followed by a bar in which the chord and its lower neighbor are given a beat apiece followed by the return to the original chord for two beats.  Papa Charlie sounds to be flat-picking or perhaps playing with a thumb pick, though I would vote for the flat pick.  He plays lots of nifty connecting runs between the chords and sounds the consummate professional.
The vocal makes its first entrance at B, and from there on until the end of the form, Papa Charlie simply alternates between B and A3 (though he plays two consecutive A3 parts at the very end of the song).  So it is that in performance the 32-bar form is jettisoned and he ends up rocking back and forth between parts B and A3.  I don't know the significance of the ash tray of the title, though Sam Chatmon used to sing a great "Ash Tray Taxi Blues" ("I want all you women to park your butts over in here").  Here are Papa Charlie's lyrics:

   She's my baby, she's a lady, oh honey bee
   Thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   Ah baby, ah lady, come get me so true
   Because I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   Yes, I'm thinking 'bout the Ash Tray Blues
   Ain't got no time to lose
   Sweet baby, don't leave me with the blues

   SPOKEN:  I ain't talkin' to one, I ain't talkin' to two
   I'm talkin' to the captain and the whole doggone crew
   SUNG:  I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   Deet doh doh dee doh dee doh doh doh
   Dohdle-oh doh doh
   Dohdle-dee doh, doh dee doh doh
   Dee dohdle-oh doh, dee dohdley doh doh do
   Dohdle-oh doh, dohdle oh doh
   Dohdle-oh doh doh
   I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   SPOKEN:  Yes, she smokes a cigarette, throws her ashes in the tray
   She's a good woman, she likes to have her way
   SUNG:  She's still thinking about the Ash Tray Blues

   Oh, baby, Oh, lady, come get your babe
   I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray Blues

   I'm going away, won't be long
   You'll look for me, I'll be gone
   I'm thinking about my little Ash Tray blues

Papa Charlie was really a terrific player, with a very lively touch, and his chordal sophistication, I believe, surpassed that of his contemporaries Blind Blake and Lonnie Johnson.  I think the fact that the great majority of his recordings were acoustically recorded has probably hurt his chances for more recognition from present-day blues fans, along with a preference nowadays for the rougher and more low-down blues sounds over his slicker Pop and Jazz-influenced material.  It's too bad, because he really deserves more recognition.  He was a stellar musician.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: July 02, 2006, 09:24:17 AM by Johnm »

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2006, 03:17:37 PM »
Hi all,
I've been listening a lot recently to Texas Alexander's recording of "Mama, I Heard You Brought It Right Back Home", on which he is accompanied by the sensational pianist Eddie Heywood.  The song has two parts: an unusual raggy 16-bar blues phrase and a "break" section which is 8 bars long.  Eddie Heywood's playing on this song is an exercise in perpetual motion; even in measures where the harmony is holding on one chord he often engineers little walk-ups or walk-downs, achieving a sort of "running-in-place" effect.  The 16-bar section of the song works out so, with only the essential harmony shown.

   |      Eflat      |      Aflat7     |      Eflat      |      Eflat7      |

   |      Aflat7    |      Adim7    | Eflat/Bflat7   |      Eflat7      |

   |      Aflat      |      Eflat      |      G7          | Cmin/Adim7  |

   |      Eflat      |      Bflat7    |  Eflat/Edim7   |Bflat7overF/Bflat7|

The 8-bar break section, for which Heywood switches to stop-time behind the descending bass line, works as follows:

   |      Eflat      |EflatoverDflat |Aflat6overC   |Aflatmin6overCflat|

   | EflatoverBflat|    Bflat7       |     Eflat       |     Bflat7           |

Some of the walk-ups and walk-downs that Heywood uses work as follows:

   *  In the third and fourth bars of the 16-bar section, where the harmony moves from Eflat to Eflat 7, you can use a walk-up with two beats of Eflat, one beat each of Bflat7 over F and Gflat dim7, resolving to Eflat7 over G.  Chordal positions would be as follows:
   E flat:  X-6-8-8-8-X, Bflat7 over F:  X-8-8-7-9-X, Gflat dim7:  X-9-10-8-10-X
   Eflat7 over G:  X-10-11-8-11-X
   *  Similarly in the break section, you can move from Eflat over Bflat in the fifth bar to Bflat7 in the sixth bar via a walk-down, with two beats of Eflat over Bflat, one beat each of Eflat over G and Gflatdim7, resolving to two beats of Bflat7 over F and two beats of Bflat 7 in root position.  The positions:
   Eflat over Bflat:  X-1-X-3-4-3, Eflat over G:  X-X-5-3-4-6, Gflatdim7:  X-X-4-5-4-5,
   Bflat7 over F:  X-X-3-3-3-4, Bflat7:  X-1-3-1-3-X
Other chord positions used in the song, assuming you are playing it in open E flat, are as follows:  E flat:  X-6-5-3-4-X, Aflat7:  4-X-4-5-4-X, Adim7:  5-X-4-5-4-X,
   Bflat7:  6-X-6-3-3-X, Edim7:  X-7-8-6-8-X, Eflat over Dflat:  X-4-5-3-4-X,
   Aflat6 over C:  X-3-3-1-4-X, Aflatmin6 over Cflat:  X-2-3-1-4-X

If you're feeling a little leery about playing in open E flat, the song will transpose relatively easily into C position in standard tuning, and you could capo it to suit your singing.  I think there's a lot to be said for learning how to play out of closed-position keys though, and it definitely makes for a more pianistic sound, if that appeals to you.  In any case, it's a great song and a hell of a lot of fun to play.
All best,
Johnm       
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 03:21:13 PM by Johnm »

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2006, 12:39:10 PM »
Hi all,
I have been listening recently to the JSP Old-Time re-issue, "Appalachian Stomp Down", and have found a real beauty on there performed by Emry Arthur and The Cumberland Mountain Singers, recorded on June 25th, 1928 in Indianapolis.  The song has the unwieldy title, "In The Heart of The City That Has No Heart", and it is not a blues, but it has a really pretty and unusual extended circle-of-fifths progression, so I thought I'd post about it here. 
Emry Arthur is a particular favorite of mine.  Vocally, he bore some resemblance to Kelly Harrell, though perhaps sounding a bit looser.  Like Harrell, his repertoire was all over the map, with a strong dose of parlor songs, as well as some traditional songs and ballads, and Bluesy songs like "Oh Reuben".  He was a good plain guitar player with some excellent accompaniments in low-tuned Spanish and Vestapol, and a degree of sophistication in standard tuning as this song shows.  He also played the harmonica well off of a rack.  He died in 1966 in Indianapolis, and I don't know if any of the Old-time musician/researchers active back then like Mike Seeger, John Cohen or Art Rosenbaum had a chance to visit with him or record him before his death.
"In the Heart Of The City That Has No Heart" comes out of the Parlor Song tradition, and sounds like it was written by some Tin Pan Alley composer of the day, with all of its complex interior rhymes.  Arthur plays it in 3/4 time with a boom-chang-chang accompaniment.  It is exceptionally pretty, both melodically and chordally, and when the harmony singer enters on the chorus, it is great.  There are some real surprises in the chords, too.  Arthur changes them a little from verse to verse and chorus to chorus, and where that happened I have chosen the version that sounds stronger.  I have indicated the chords and bar structure above the first verse and chorus.  I would appreciate any help with the bent bracketed phrase in the chorus; it is hard to hear, and I don't think Arthur and the other singer are singing the same words.  Of course, the sentiment expressed here is a far cry from standard Blues lyrics, but I think we can take it.

         |      E     |      E          |     C7      |    E       |     
   She wanted to roam, so she left the old home, the
   |     F#7     |      B7      |    E    |  E     |       
   Old people's hearts were sore,       She
   |    F#minor   |      B7          |   E         |    E           |   
   Longed for the sights, and the bright city lights, where
   |     G#7      |  G#7  |   B7  |  B7         
   Hundreds has gone before,      She
   |     B7       |   B7        |  E   |  E     |
   Went to the heart of the city,    And
   |      B7       |   B7     |  G#7  | G#7|
   Mingled with strangers there,     But
   | C#7  |     C#7      |F#minor | F# minor |
   Nobody said, "You're being misled", For
   |    F#7       |  F#7     | B7    |   B7   |
   What did the strangers care?

   CHORUS:
           |     E      |    E     |  A     |  F#7   |
   In the heart of a city that has no heart
   |         B7          |      B7    |        E             |    E        |
   That's where they meet, and that's where they part, the
   |   G#7    | G#7     |    E         |    E        |       
   Current of life   has proved too strong, so
   |   F#7    |    F#7   |   B7        | B7   |
   Poor little girlie just drifted along
   |  E     |      E        |   A     | F#7  |
   Nobody cared if she lived or died
   |  B7   |      B7       |     E       |    E          |
   Nobody cared if she laughed or cried, she's
   |     C#7  |    C#7   |F#m   |      Am              |
   Just a lost sister and nobody missed her, in the
   |   E     |   B7   | E     |   E    |   
   City that has no heart

   A year passed by, there's a tear in her eye
   And sorrow is on her brow
   Oh, what would she do if the old people knew?
   She couldn't go back home now
   Her dear mother said when they parted,
   "Remember your good old name."
   Then her Daddy said, "Rather, we'd see you dead
   Than to bring us disgrace and shame."

   CHORUS

Arthur used the following voicings for the less frequently encountered chords he plays in the course of the song.  He voices G#7:  X-X-1-1-1-2, and plays his bass from the fourth string.  Many of you who have played Blind Blake material may be familiar with this voicing from his C tunes, where he particularly liked to use it.  In Blake's context it is designated Aflat7, and it functions as the flat VI chord in C.  For Arthur, it is designated G#7, and it functions as the III7 chord.  Arthur plays his F# minor chord so:  2-X-4-2-2-2, and most often plays his bass from the fourth string, though he strikes the sixth string once or twice.  He voices his F#7 chord: 2-X-4-3-2-0, a great sound, getting the seventh off of the open first string.  This voicing was used by Carl Martin in his versions of "Good Morning, Judge" and "Crow Jane".  I hope you get a chance to hear this song--I have an idea that it's the kind of thing R. Crumb was talking about in his (paraphrased) quote, "One of the few times I have any kind of love for humanity is when I listen to old records."

Edited for correction from banjochris, 12/24

All best,
Johnm           

   
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 04:19:29 PM by Johnm »

Offline banjochris

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2006, 01:29:38 AM »
John, the missing bit of "In the Heart of the City That Has No Heart" is

"The current of life has proved too strong."
Merry Holidays, etc.
Chris

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2006, 04:05:59 PM »
Thanks for the help with the lyrics, Chris.  I figured if you had heard the song you would know the missing line.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2007, 11:05:17 PM »
Hi all,
A tune that fits this category that I've really been enjoying lately is the Mississippi Jook Band's "Skippy Whippy", recorded in 1936 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  The band featured Roosevelt Graves on guitar, his brother Aaron on tambourine and Cooney Vaughan on piano.  Roosevelt is playing out of Spanish tuning, as I believe he did on all of his recordings, pitched at Bflat in this instance.  His playing is just sensational, and is unusual in being very obviously improvisatory.  He pretty much changes what he is playing on the song all the way from the beginning to the conclusion of the rendition.  The song is a nice variant of the 12-bar blues progression, and works as follows:

   |    I    |    I     |     I    |    I    |

   |   IV   |   IV    |     I    |   VI7  |

   |   II    |   V7   |     I    |  I / V7 |

The movement to the VI chord in the eighth bar and the II chord in the ninth bar is really pretty, and is one that was used in almost all of the early Blues recordings by Leecan & Cooksey.  Spanish tuning was not used for raggy material all that much, (Buddy Boy Hawkins's "A Rag" being an exception) but Roosevelt Graves makes you re-think the possibilities that Spanish makes available to the player of raggy blues.  His fingerings for his VI and VI7 chords (E and E7 relative to his tuning/capo placement) are really easy and natural, X-X-2-1-0-2 and X-X-2-1-0-0, respectively.  Similarly, his II chord is simplicity itself:  X-X-2-2-2-2.  In general, use of alternate tunings begins to seem quixotic at the point at which whatever is being played ends up more difficult to play than it would be in standard tuning.  Roosevelt Graves and Buddy Boy Hawkins make me realize that Spanish tuning has a lot of untapped potential for raggy-type material, and with a little exploration, might yield some terrific sounds that would work really well in the style.
Incidentally, the time of the Mississippi Jook Band is stellar, and no small credit for that must go to Aaron Graves, because his tambourine playing is smoking.  "Skippy Whippy" is on the new JSP "Mississippi Blues" set, for those of you who are interested in seeking it out.
All best,
Johnm   
 

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2007, 12:17:24 AM »
Incidentally, the time of the Mississippi Jook Band is stellar, and no small credit for that must go to Aaron Graves, because his tambourine playing is smoking.  "Skippy Whippy" is on the new JSP "Mississippi Blues" set, for those of you who are interested in seeking it out.
I don't know how in depth the notes are to this set but Gayle Dean Wardlow's Blind Roosevelt Graves (1909-1962), in Chasin' That Devil Music (p.191-5) is worthy of attention.

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2008, 09:06:43 AM »
Hi all,
East Coast bluesman Ralph Willis was in the studio in New York City for a rare solo session on October 3, 1951, and recorded two numbers:  "Salty Dog" and "Old Home Blues".  Both tracks are strong, but "Old Home Blues" is really special.  It is a beautiful, relaxed, medium tempo sort of Pop blues, strongly reminiscent of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind".  Willis played the song out of C position in standard tuning, and sets the stage immediately with his intro, in which his touch and tonal control establish a distinctive mood.  The song has a complicated form, which plays out as follows:

   Instrumental Intro:
   |    C   |    E7    |    F    |    F    |   
   |    D7  |   G7    |    C   |    C    |
   Vocal Verse:
   |    C    |   E7    |    F    |    F    |
   |   D7   |   G7    | C--A7 | D7--G7 |    C    |
   Vocal Bridge:
   |   E7    |   E7    |    F    |    F    |
   |   D7    |   D7   |    G7  |    G7  |
   Vocal Verse Out:
   |    C    |    E7   |    F     |    F    |
   |   D7   |    G7   | C--A7  | D7--G7 |    C    |
   Guitar solos on Bridge and Intro Progression:
   Vocal re-enters on one-time segue:
   |   E7   |    E7    |    F    |    F    |
   |   D7   |   G7    | C--A7 | D7--G7 |    C     |
   Vocal sings Bridge and Verse Out, with final resolution from G7 to:
   | C-C7-F-Fm7|    C    |

Here are Ralph Willis's lyrics.  It should be noted that they "sing" better than they "read". 

   Oh yes, darling, I will be standing, way down on that railroad line
   Well, darling, darling, oh my darling,
   I've got the Old Home Blues, yes I mean,
   I really have the Old Home Blues

   Yes, I've got my suitcase packed, and I don't intend to turn back
   No need to grievin', darling, 'cause I told you I was leavin'
   I hear those Home Blues

   You know, when things look like it's swell
   Somethin' come along, make it bad for me, well, well, well, well
   Well, darling, darling, oh my darling
   I've got the Old Home Blues, yes, I mean,
   I really have the Old Home Blues

This song can be found on the JSP set, "Shake That Thing".  Hearing it made me wish that Ralph Willis had done more solo sessions.  A lot of his small ensemble stuff is nice, but his solo work is far more distinctive.
All best,
Johnm     
   
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 09:08:04 AM by Johnm »

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2010, 03:48:04 PM »
Hi all,
I've been meaning to revive this thread for some time and decided to choose "Whiskey And Gin Blues" a song from the South Street Trio, featuring Robert Cooksey on harmonica and vocals, Bobby Leecan on tenor banjo and Alfred Martin on guitar, recorded in Camden, New Jersey on November 22, 1926.  Both takes of the song can be found on "Bobby Leecan & Robert Cooksey, Vol. 1", Document Records DOCD-5279.  I've often wondered if the session information was garbled at the time the information was taken down, for the guitarist sounds so much like Bobby Leecan, and Alfred Martin plays mandolin, which is tuned to the same intervals as tenor banjo, on other cuts with the duo, but in any event, the performance and the tune are both stand-outs.

The group plays three times through a 12-bar blues form before Robert Cooksey enters and sings a couple of verses, and they are a formidably suave instrumental unit.  The banjoist has a smooth tremolo and phrases the melody perfectly locked in with Robert Cooksey's harmonica.  The guitar playing is spectacular.  If Blind Blake was known as the man who played piano-style guitar, Alfred Martin (or Bobby Leecan) goes him one better.  The guitarist bounces notes in the bass much as Blake did, but instead of bouncing between adjacent strings as Blake most often did, the guitarist bounces between the sixth and third string, harmonizing the progression in rolling tenths (an octave-and-a-third) exactly the way pianists of the era would do it.  The flat-picking guitarist is able to move freely between emphasized single notes, damped strumming and syncopated connecting runs, and shows a particular predeliction for voicing chords with notes other than the root in the bass, so as to achieve melodic movement and counterpoint in the bass, much as in Brazilian choros.
Here is the progression for the first two times through the form.  The guitar enters in the third bar for the first pass through the form.  Where the guitarist voices notes other than the root of the chord in the bass, I'll show it as a slash chord, a la D7/F#, or D7 with the F# at the second fret of the sixth string in the bass.

   ||            |            |      D7      |      D7      |

   |    G      | G   Gm  |     D/F#    |     B7      |

   |    E7     |    A7     |  D   A7/E   |  D   A7    ||

   || D7/F#  |   A7/E   |    D7/F#    |    D7      |

   |    G       |     G     |      D/A     |     B7      |

   |E7/G# E7 |   A7     |  D  A7       |  D     A7  ||

After three instrumental passes, Robert Cooksey enters and sings the following two verses.  Right after he sings the words "mess around" the guitarist plays a run that has to be heard to be believed.

   Drink my whiskey, gonna drink tomcat's gin
   Gonna drink my whiskey, drink my tomcat's gin
   Gonna mess around 'til the boats break in

   When you see two women going hand in hand
   When you see two women going hand in hand
   You can bet your bottom dollar, one wants the other one's man

Immediately following the two verses, the band goes into a 18-bar break or trio section, and it's the prettiest part of the song, just beautiful.  The progression for the trio is as follows:

   ||  D    F#   |    B7    |    E7    |    E7    |

    |  A7  E7#5 |   A7     |   E7    |    A7    |

    | D/F#  F#  |   B7     |   E7    |    E7     |

    |  G    Bflat | D   B7  |  E7 A7 | D  B7    |

    |  E7   A7    |    D     ||

On take two, the guitarist goes to F# mistakenly at the end of the 16th bar and has to hustle the turn-around.  After playing through the trio once, the band returns to the blues form for a pass or two more. 
This is such a terrific tune and performance.  And there's no reason to feel that because you don't know someone who can play Robert Cooksey's harmonica part or someone to play the tenor banjo part that the tune must remain off-limits.  The melody could easily be adapted to fiddle, mandolin, banjo-mandolin, or clarinet or cornet, for that matter.  This is wonderful music that merits a listen and would be hugely rewarding to work up in your own version.  Hell, a solo guitar version would be great!
All best,
Johnm

     

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2010, 09:02:09 AM »
Hi  John,
I just read this whole thread.  Slowly.  Some great stuff here, thank you for so generously sharing all you know. 
I'm not at home so I can't look anything up, but a song that comes to mind that I recall as a down home raggy progression is a Mance Lipscomb tune.  I learned it once and played it for you I think  waaaay back when you were teaching classes in a church in NE Seattle - I took some country blues and a intro to American songwriters class.  Jeez, long story short, I don't recall the name of Mance' tune, but recall it having more going on chordally than his typical tunes.  And I've long since forgotten how to play it.

Dave K.

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2010, 10:01:01 AM »
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the message.  I will think about it and try to remember what the Mance tune was.  If I come up with it, I'll post here or give you a shout to corroborate whether it's the right one.
all best,
Johnm

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2010, 05:09:08 PM »
Hi all,
I've been listening to the County "Rural Parlor Guitar" CD, CO-CD-2774, recently, and Estil C. Ball has a couple of cool raggy tunes on there with unusual progressions.  "Waking the Wires" was an original composition of his, and it has a 32-bar, AABA form, like most Pop Songs of the '20s--'50s.  He played it in E, in standard tuning and the progression is like so:

The A parts are all substantially the same, and go:

   |   E   |  E   |  F#7  |  F#7  |   B7  |   B7  |   E   |   E   |

The B part is a III7-VI7--II7--V7 progression, like the bridge of "I Got Rhythm", and it works out so:

   |  G#7  |  G#7  |   C#7   |  C#7  |  F#7   |  F#7  |   B7  |   B7   |

It's great the way that E.C. Ball figured out how to expand his chordal vocabulary by using a few movable shapes, making chords like F#7, G#7 and C#7 accessible.  This would be a fun tune to figure out, and there certainly aren't that many folks playing it at this point.
All best,
Johnm

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2010, 08:30:45 AM »
thanks John,  great great thread.

Mike

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Re: Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths
« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2010, 04:06:53 PM »
Thanks, Mike, and I hope other folks will feel welcome to add songs or tunes to the thread that fit the title, ask questions about progressions, or anything else that gets discussion going and gets people playing the music.
All best,
Johnm

 


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