collapse

* Member Info

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

* Like Us on Facebook

We knows nothing much about the blues... we called it blues, we called it breakdowns, we called it blues and some people say it's square dances... We didn't know what it was; the achin'-hearted blues is slow, breakdowns is fast - Percy Thomas, who played in the Son Simms Four with Muddy Waters, interviewed by Paul Oliver, from Blues Off The Record

Author Topic: Pre-war Harmonica Blues  (Read 8340 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11054
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2005, 11:09:40 PM »
Hi all,
I agree the Chuck Darling pieces are pretty great, Phil, although I've always been a bit baffled by their inclusion on the Yazoo "Harmonica Blues" album.  In a certain way, the music seems to come more out of Vaudeville than the Blues tradition.  The guitarist on those cuts, Hervey Hoskins, was ultra-sophisticated, and his back-up really makes the tunes come alive for me.  I figured out "Harmonica Rag" a couple of years ago to play with Joe Filisko, and coming to grips with Hoskins's hyperactive accompaniment was pretty sporting.  "Harmonica Rag" has a quality that my friend John Reischman characterizes as a "college fight song".
I definitely need to hear more Leecan & Cooksey.  I really like what I've heard but it has not been much.  I'm a chump for good straight harp playing
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11054
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2010, 05:11:18 PM »
Hi all,
I was listening to the JSP "Atlanta Blues" set today, the Georgia Browns doing "Who Stole De Lock", at the suggestion of jopoke, and was interested to hear Buddy Moss, who was playing harmonica on the cut, quote "Yankee Doodle" for his next-to-last solo.  There's a long tradition of playing musical quotes in Jazz-- I remember Sonny Rollins quoting "The Campbells Are Coming" and Eric Dolphy quoting "Pop Goes The Weasel", but it seems much rarer to hear quotes on a blues recording (though "Who Stole De Lock" is not a blues and sounds like it might have minstrel origins).  I wondered if folks could think of other blues recordings where soloists quote altogether different tunes?
All best,
Johnm

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2010, 08:20:04 PM »
Hi all,
I was listening to the JSP "Atlanta Blues" set today, the Georgia Browns doing "Who Stole De Lock", at the suggestion of jopoke, and was interested to hear Buddy Moss, who was playing harmonica on the cut, quote "Yankee Doodle" for his next-to-last solo.  There's a long tradition of playing musical quotes in Jazz-- I remember Sonny Rollins quoting "The Campbells Are Coming" and Eric Dolphy quoting "Pop Goes The Weasel", but it seems much rarer to hear quotes on a blues recording (though "Who Stole De Lock" is not a blues and sounds like it might have minstrel origins).  I wondered if folks could think of other blues recordings where soloists quote altogether different tunes?

Hi John - One that comes to mind is the Memphis Jug Band's Bob Lee Junior Blues, where they quote Careless Love, in a tango-esque sort of style, but this is done with mandolin and kazoo as lead instruments and played as a set arrangement, not exactly a quote in a solo as one finds in jazz.

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2116
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2010, 10:16:01 PM »
A lot of times you'll hear taps quoted in tunes -- Big Bill and Georgia Tom do it in stop time in "Hip Shakin' Strut."

Not sure if this counts but Mance Lipscomb throws some other tunes in the middle of what he's playing -- he does it with banjo-type tunes in "If I Miss the Train" and "Willie Poor Boy", and ends "So Different Blues" with a bit of "Mr. Tom".

One of my favorites (not blues, of course) is Vassar Clements playing the "Dragnet" theme in the middle of "Orange Blossom Special" on the "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" album.

Offline LD50

  • Member
  • Posts: 159
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2010, 09:17:24 AM »
My fave prewar harmonica track might be the presumably-white Kyle Wooten's Choking Blues, from Yazoo's 'Harmonica Masters' CD. Completely amazing.

If it's not that, it's the duet on Jaybird Coleman's I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan Some of These Days, Deford Bailey's John Henry or perhaps Ollis Martin's Police and High Sheriff Come Ridin' Down.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 09:18:27 AM by LD50 »

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2655
  • Howdy!
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2010, 09:55:25 AM »
Hi, John.  People seemed to quote Here Comes Peter Cottontail a lot back then.  In my mind's eye, I can hear Robert Lee McCoy sticking that in on some record on which he played harmonica.  Maybe one of Joe McCoy's washboard band records.  Sorry I can't be more definite at the moment.

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 631
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2010, 08:40:50 AM »
A fine list of early harmonica players here:

http://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q18.html


Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11054
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2010, 01:54:45 PM »
Hi all,
I was listening to some Bogus Ben Covington tracks today and yesterday and really enjoyed his harp playing off a rack.  Nothing approaching wizardry, but a great tone and feel to his playing.
All best,
Johnm

Offline BlueInGreen

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2010, 10:29:15 AM »
Great to see this thread. I've been intereste in prewar harp and have been playing in prewar styles for quite some time now. Regarding the discussion of first vs. second position, you can sound bluesy in either one and you can play Oh Susanna in either one. It it more a matter of what bends you have available and where they are in the scale. Here's Oh Susanna in first and then second position:
http://jamq.org/jamqueuemusic/StLoJ18Q09_OhSusanna_ByBlueInGreen-djazznbluzz_KeyAny.m3u


Here are some other prewar style harmonica recordings I've done. I'm into lots of different players. Hope you enjoy them. Do others here play prewar harp or want to do some collab with harp/guitar?


http://jamq.org/jamqueuemusic/StLoJ18Q09_Solo_1_ByBlueInGreen--_Key4.m3u

http://jamq.org/jamqueuemusic/StLoJ18Q09_ShininlikeaNationalGuitar_ByBlueInGreen-BeelzeBob_KeyG2.m3u

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=605335&songID=7534391

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=605335&songID=7534361

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=605335&songID=7534352

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=605335&songID=7534369
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 03:35:31 PM by BlueInGreen »

Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8839
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2010, 12:51:11 PM »
Welcome to WeenieCampbell BlueNGreen!  Nice playing, I'm glad there are some harp players pursuing older styles.  Where are you located, in case there is someone who wants to collaborate?

Offline frankie

  • Member
  • Posts: 2440
    • DoneGone.net
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2010, 04:58:51 AM »
chiming in to include these in here:




Offline BlueInGreen

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2010, 08:54:47 AM »
Oh Yeah. I've seen Joe's stuff on youtube. Really great playing!!

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 11054
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2010, 11:17:46 AM »
Hi all,
In the course of listening to the "Ragtime Blues Guitar" CD on Document, DOCD-5092, I really noticed for the first time the six sides by Chicken Wilson and Skeeter Hinton.  Apparently they are biographical ciphers.  They are unusual for their time, 1928, in that all six of their sides were instrumentals without spoken commentary.  
Wilson played guitar really well, with lots of ideas and chord voicings I've not heard duplicated by other players of the era, and Hinton was an expert harmonica player, in addition to playing washboard, bellboard (?), and doing some pretty spectacular raucous kazoo and mouth trumpet playing.  In terms of his sound, Hinton probably is closest to Robert Cooksey of the harmonica players of that period, but is perhaps a bit more "country" sounding than Cooksey.  On "Chicken Wilson Blues", Skeeter Hinton strongly emphasizes notes you don't normally hear blues harmonica players lean on, like the VI note and the major VII.  The last four tunes the duo did, "Chicken Wilson Blues", "House Snake Blues", "Frog Eye Stomp" and "Station House Rag" would all translate really well into Jug/String band settings, and Hinton's harmonica parts could transfer over nicely to fiddle, mandolin or mandolin-banjo (or stay on the harmonica, if you have a player that expert).  This is great raggy material, and you wouldn't exactly have a lot of competition for it.  People in the audience are definitely not going to be saying, "Oh crap, not "Frog Eye Stomp" again!"
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 05:29:19 PM by Johnm »

Offline Pan

  • Member
  • Posts: 1905
  • Howdy!
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2013, 04:37:14 PM »
Hi all

A bit of trivia; while searching for the music of Clara Smith, I came by this tune, which apparently is the first recorded blues song with a harmonica in it, played by a Herbert Leonard.



http://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q5.html

Cheers

Pan

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: Pre-war Harmonica Blues
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2013, 07:45:33 AM »
A couple of others that certainly deserve mention; For great all out exciting harmonica, it's hard to beat Jed Davenport's "Beale Street Breakdown and another favorite of mine is Chuck Darling's "Blowin' The Blues/Harmonica Rag".
Phil

I just recently heard these Chuck Darling tracks. Yikes, that's some good harp. And the guitar playing by Harvey Hoskins is very snazzy, uptown stuff.

 


anything
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal