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Author Topic: motmot putting it out there  (Read 4988 times)

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Offline MotMot

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motmot putting it out there
« on: November 30, 2004, 08:09:56 PM »
In the last couple weeks, I played out as part of a duo or trio at fairly low-pressure gigs: a library, a craft fair, holiday parties.? We played mostly old-time, and I sang and played mostly banjo, because I was the only one who could.*

I did manage to work some CB (or a version of them) into the mix.? When we were a duo, the fiddler was game to try "Wining Boy Blues" to my guitar-playing, and we did two John Hurt tunes ("CC Rider" & "Make me a pallet") as banjo-fiddle duets.? It was so much fun, I decided to try something solo.?

So, next week I'll play two lunch hours (two "lunch 90 minutes," actually) at the student union of the university where I work.? For variety, I plan to mix spread things out between my trusty 00-18, an open-back banjo, and the National EN I just recently bought from my fiddle teacher (and that's kept me from playing much fiddle).

I'm working up a list of stuff to choose from, and having a blast just thinking about it.? Wish me luck!

Tom

* Edited to note that it's debatable whether I can actually "play" the banjo, but neither of the other two had ever even tried . . .
« Last Edit: December 01, 2004, 09:54:34 AM by MotMot »
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline Richard

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2004, 03:04:34 AM »
Go for it, that's a lot more than I can manage, on guitar anyway ;)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 07:16:26 AM »
Hi Tom - best of luck! Sounds like fun. Record some of it and put a tune on the Back Porch! Our first live recording...

Oh yeah, and feel free to post your setlist when you're done. Always fun to see.

Andrew

« Last Edit: December 01, 2004, 07:19:47 AM by uncle bud »

Offline frankie

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2004, 07:23:24 AM »
Good luck with the gig, Tom!

the National EN I just recently bought from my fiddle teacher

Is that Adam's guitar? That was a cool one.  Good for you!

Online Slack

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2004, 07:35:59 AM »
Good luck Tom, sounds like fun!

Offline waxwing

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2004, 07:44:42 AM »
Great, Tom. Have fun. Like UB said, post your set list. We need more CB players puttin' it out there.
All for now.
John C.
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George Bernard Shaw

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Offline MotMot

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2004, 10:06:22 AM »
Thanks, folks.  You all are a big part of the inspiration for the effort. 

As for a potential set list, I've got one that's really, too long at the moment, but I want to have more, rather than less, available to me to fill the three hours over the two days.  What a fun challenge have!

UB: haven't yet been able to beg, borrow or steal a recording device high-tech enough to interface with a computer, but my efforts are ongoing.

frankie: Indeed it was Adam's.  I told him about a Replicon nearby, and he fell in love with it and decided to let go of the EN and move up in the world of Nationals, which allowed me to grab the EN and enter that world for the first time.  Hearing your Delphi at Clifftop is what planted that particular seed in me.  I'm having fun trying to figure what gets played on the EN, and what gets played on the trusty 00-18.  It's great to have more colors on the palette.

Cheers,
Tom
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline Johnm

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2004, 01:06:39 PM »
Best of luck with your sets, Tom, and I really like the variety of sources you plan to touch on in your shows.  I'll just echo everyone else in requesting a final set list.  It'll be neat to see what you end up settling on.
All best,
Johnm

Offline MotMot

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set list
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2004, 04:19:04 PM »
Here's what I played, as best I can reconstruct it, and some quick reactive thoughts.? The order may be off, especially in the middle, but I don't think I've left anything off.? Unless otherwise indicated, I used my battered 00-18.

Great Dream from Heaven (drop D)
Fishin' Blues (Nat'l, drop D)
Hesitation Blues
Ditty Wah Ditty (Nat'l)
True Religion (capo III)
Rove, Riley, Rove (banjo, double C tuning)
Winin' Boy
Cowgirl in the Sand
Blue Coat Blues (Nat'l)
Kokomo Blues (Nat'l, Spanish, capo II)
Come on in my kitchen (Nat'l, Spanish, slide)
Candy Man (banjo, double C)
Nobody's fault but mine (Nat'l, vastapol, slide)
Cross that river of Jordan (Nat'l, vastapol. slide)
Vigilante man (Nat'l, vastapol. slide)
Death don't have no mercy
Police dog blues (Nat'l, vastapol)
Black-eyed susie (banjo, double C)
Delia (Nat'l, drop D)
Great Dream from Heaven (again, drop D)
Comin' in on a wing and a prayer (Nat'l, drop D)

As you can see, I strayed from prewar CBs.?

Good set-up: in the student union at lunch hour, on a stage with good acoustics (no amplification), and people eating lunch and in and out.? About the right amount of "attention" for my comfort level right now.

First lesson: don't start with a complicated fingerpicking number.? I've been playing "GDFH" so long I thought I could play it in my sleep and thus while nervous; I was wrong.? Next time (on Wednesday), I think I'll start by flatpicking a NC Ramblers-style "If I lose, let me lose."

As I look back, I know that I played for a bit longer than 90 minutes, without a break (except to change tunings, etc), but I see I covered 21 numbers ("only" 21 numbers?).? Hmm.? Does that signify anything. (I'm new to this.)?

I did enjoy stretching some of them out. Hesitation Blues pretty much got me over the nerves and into the groove, so I kept it going.? And at the end, I was having too much fun with Delia to let it go too soon.

More later, gotta put some kids to bed.
Tom

(edited to add notes on tunings, capo & slide)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2004, 05:47:11 AM by MotMot »
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Online Slack

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2004, 08:43:38 PM »
Looks like a great set to me Tom, lot's of variety - you're a veritable juke box.... and 90 minutes non stop is impressive!

Cheers,
slack

Offline Johnm

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2004, 09:32:48 PM »
I agree with JohnD, Tom, there's a lot of nice variety to your set.  I like that "Rove, Riley, Rove".  Neat to see the Joseph Spence tunes in there, too.
All best,
Johnm

Offline MotMot

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2004, 06:10:08 AM »
Looks like a great set to me Tom, lot's of variety - you're a veritable juke box.... and 90 minutes non stop is impressive!

I agree with JohnD, Tom, there's a lot of nice variety to your set. I like that "Rove, Riley, Rove". Neat to see the Joseph Spence tunes in there, too.

Thanks, guys.  My self-critical side sees too few sources, and derivative ones at that. Then again, I don't claim to be a purist. I like a lot of different stuff, and when I'm on my own, I play what I like. (Shouldn't we all?)

And 90 minutes may not have been impressive if you'd heard me!  But seriously, I didn't stop because I was afraid that, once I got in the performance groove and stuff was flowing relatively easily, if I took a break, I might not get it back . . . or might not get it soon enough.

Other realizations: that National is LOUD, and very different (and very fun) to sing along with.  But with the current strings and set up, it doesn't work for slide quite as well as my wierd old D&J Serenador -- which cannot be fretted past the second fret. 

I put light strings on it now (and it's still loud), and my first thought for slide would be to replace the higher two strings with slightly heavier gauges, which would probably make it work for slide.  But I'm not sure how those heavier strings would work for non-slide playing.   But what a good (i.e., fun) problem to be wrestling with . . .

Again, thanks for your supportive comments.

Best,
Tom
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline uncle bud

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2004, 07:19:55 AM »
Other realizations: that National is LOUD, and very different (and very fun) to sing along with.  But with the current strings and set up, it doesn't work for slide quite as well as my wierd old D&J Serenador -- which cannot be fretted past the second fret. 

I put light strings on it now (and it's still loud), and my first thought for slide would be to replace the higher two strings with slightly heavier gauges, which would probably make it work for slide.  But I'm not sure how those heavier strings would work for non-slide playing.   But what a good (i.e., fun) problem to be wrestling with . . .

Great set list, Tom, thanks for posting it. I'm very envious of your ability to get up there and do a 90 minute set like that. And think of it this way: even if you sucked, 90 minutes is damned impressive.  :P  (I'm sure you didn't suck! Was kidding!)

As for the lights on the National, replace them. The heavier guage will be just fine for non-slide playing. You'll never go back...

Offline MotMot

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2004, 02:10:10 PM »
As for the lights on the National, replace them. The heavier guage will be just fine for non-slide playing. You'll never go back...

For years I put heavy gauge strings on my 00-18 -- but in those days I played with a thumbpick and three metal fingerpicks, and I felt like THE CLAW.  I don't really want to go back to fingerpicks, but I'll up the gauge on the National.
Cheers,
Tom
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline MotMot

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Second set list
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2004, 02:38:42 PM »
Here's today's list, as best I can reconstruct it.  Again, if not otherwise noted, it was played on the 00-18:

If I lose, let me lose
Stealin' (Nat'l, drop D)
In Christ there is no East or West (John Fahey style) (Nat'l)
Hesitation Blues
Rove, Riley, Rove (banjo)
Hey Hey Daddy Blues (Nat'l)
Black Queen (double drop D)
Make me a pallet on your floor (banjo)
Staggerlee (Nat'l)
Eyes of the World
Dead Flowers (Nat'l, capo at II across 5 strings, w/low E string open)
Can't find my way home (Nat'l, drop D)
Kokomo Blues (Nat'l, open G, capo II)
Bye Bye Baby Blues (Nat'l)
Death don't have no mercy
Georgia bound (Nat'l)
I know you rider
Rockin' in a weary land (banjo)
Comin' in on a wing and a prayer (Nat'l, drop D)

Quick observations: again, I played for a bit longer than 90 minutes, without a break . . . again, because I was struggling to find and keep the groove and my competence/confidence level.  I'm struck again at how different -- and how much more difficult -- it is to perform in front of people than to play for yourself in the comfort and safety of your home.  Especially when performing solo.

On the non-trad numbers: As for two of them, Dead Flowers & Can't Find My Way Home, I had intentionally worked up versions that (to my ears at least) sort of fit. A third, Black Queen, I've always thought of as a great collection of odd but good blues riffs, and it fit.  But I don't really know quite how or why a John Fahey instrumental slipped in there, much less a Grateful Dead space-jam song.  What was I thinking?  (Was I thinking?) Well, I'll be thinking a bit more next time.  Lesson learned: Don't be too impetuous on stage.

Again, the banjo was sort of comforting, relatively easy to get interesting sound out of, and a good source of texture and contrast with the guitars. Boy, that sounds pretentious ...

... and that's a sure sign I need to sign off for now.
Cheers,
Tom
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline a2tom

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2004, 03:16:31 PM »
Tom - sounds great.? It seems you are plenty busy, but any chance of recording and posting some tidbits of this on the Back Porch?? I'd love to hear it.

Tom

Offline uncle bud

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2004, 03:49:34 PM »
As for the lights on the National, replace them. The heavier guage will be just fine for non-slide playing. You'll never go back...

For years I put heavy gauge strings on my 00-18 -- but in those days I played with a thumbpick and three metal fingerpicks, and I felt like THE CLAW.? I don't really want to go back to fingerpicks, but I'll up the gauge on the National.
Cheers,
Tom

I don't think you'll need to go to fingerpicks with medium guages on the National (.013 and .017) if you were only using lights before. With 90 minute sets under your belt your fingers can surely take it!

Offline MotMot

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2004, 06:08:24 AM »
<. . . snip . . . >any chance of recording and posting some tidbits of this on the Back Porch?? I'd love to hear it.

I've been reading with interest about the lessons you and others learn from recording yourselves, and have been thinking I need to start doing that.  After all, if I can break the barrier of performing solo (and thus inflict myself on an audience), I oughtta have the nerve to listen to myself carefully.

Unfortunately, all my recording devices are cassette, which limits my posting capability.  Maybe Santa will bring something other than neckties this year.  (On the other hand, I used up a fair amount of chits wangling this flashy National guitar.)

cheers,
Tom (still sheepish about Eyes of the World: sheesh!)
... but it's a slow consumption, killing me by degrees

Offline uncle bud

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Re: motmot putting it out there
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2004, 06:59:50 AM »
While posting would be great as we'd all love to hear some of those setlists, just recording yourself on plain old cassette and listening back seems to me a good exercise. For me it's a chance to check all sorts of things: oh, I'm singing that flat, I never nail that hammer-on, my slide intonation is off etc. It's always humbling somehow... :P

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