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Nonsense is nonsense. But the history of nonsense is scholarship - Saul Lieberman to an audience at Jewish Theological Seminary, introducing a lecture on the Kabbalah by Gerhard Scholem, sometime in the 1940s. Quoted by Cynthia Ozick, "The Heretic," New Yorker, 9/2/2002, p. 145

Author Topic: 16-Bar Blues  (Read 13936 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: 16-Bar Blues
« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2011, 11:15:16 AM »
Hi all,
Henry "Rufe" Johnson did a really nice 16-bar blues in Vestapol, "Who's Going Home With You", on his Trix album, "Henry Johnson-The Union County Flash!".  The song is essentially a re-working of "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad".  One interesting bit of information from the album's notes is that Johnson recorded the song at the instigation of Peter B. Lowry, who was recording him, and who requested a non-slide piece from Johnson in Vestapol tuning.  Obviously, it wasn't difficult for a musician of Johnson's caliber and experience to respond to that request, but it's telling that Johnson's repertoire was so large that being asked to do something he hadn't necessarily planned on doing for the recording didn't appear to throw him off his game at all.  What a strong musicians he was!
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: 16-Bar Blues
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2012, 09:56:31 AM »
Hi all,
I realized that Mance Lipscomb's version of "Ain't It Hard", from his first Arhoolie album, "Texas Sharecropper and Songster, Vol. 1" is a 16-bar blues with an unusual structure.  It's sort of a different twist on "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean".  Mance played it out of A minor/A major in standard tuning, and the form works so:

   |   A minor   |     E7     |   A minor   |   A minor   |

   |   A             |     A        |     E7        |      E7        |

   |      A          |      A        |     A         |       A         |

   |    A minor   |     E7      |  A minor   |   A minor    |

It's really beautiful the way Mance book-ended the middle eight bars, which are in major, with the outer four-bar phrases, both of which are in minor.  For several verses, when Mance goes to the fifth bar, he goes back and forth between the open fifth string and the fourth fret of the sixth string, a really exciting sound that was also utilized by Tommy Johnson in his version of "Sliding Delta".  "Ain't It Hard" is such a strong track, and Mance is in full acceleration mode in his version; he's really tearing as he approaches the end of the rendition.  It's hard to believe he was 65 or older at the time he made those first recordings.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Johnm

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Re: 16-Bar Blues
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2013, 09:49:45 AM »
Hi all,
In listening to Andrew and Jim Baxter recently, I was reminded that their "K.C. Railroad Blues" is a 16-bar blues, much in the style of "K.C. Moan" or John Jackson's "Steamboat Whistle Blues".
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: 16-Bar Blues
« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2017, 08:57:17 PM »
Hi all,
I was listening to Skoodle Dum Doo and Sheffield's "Tampa Blues" today, and realized that it is an unusual kind of 16-bar blues.  I really love this song and their performance of it.  The guitarist's time is completely funky, and the harmonica player makes some of the coolest use of vocalization while blowing the harmonic that I've heard.  Here is the duo's performance:



The guitarist is working out of A position in standard tuning, and the song's form works out like so:

   |    A    |    A    |   D7    |   D7    |

   |    A    |    A    |   E7    |   E7    |

   |    A    |    A    |   D7    |   D7    |

   | A dim7 | E7   |    A    |     A    |

It's not that it's all that complex, but it is different than what we're accustomed to hearing and as fresh as paint.  I sure wish these guys had recorded more titles.

All best,
Johnm

Offline oddenda

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Re: 16-Bar Blues
« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2017, 10:20:04 PM »
Skoodle Dum Doo = Seth Richard (gtr) [rec Columbia, late 20s]
Sheffield = John Sheffield (hca)

recorded in Newark, NJ ca. late '43
for Regis Records
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 10:23:52 PM by oddenda »