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The electric guitar is a fraud; the sound rings because of the electricity, not because of the player - Mance Lipscomb, speaks his mind

Author Topic: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues  (Read 19312 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2004, 11:22:56 AM »
I agree with you about "Woman, Woman", Andrew, it's terrific, and seems to pack more of a punch than many 8-bar blues do.  To call what Ishmon did an "instrumental extension" really doesn't give any idea of the impact that part has.  This one might be my favorite 8-bar blues, though I'm crazy about "Dryland" and "Frank Stokes' Dream", too.  Didn't Charlie Patton do one eight-bar blues, maybe the later discovered and really whupped-sounding "Jim Lee Blues"?  I haven't listened to it for a long time, but I remember being surprised that he did an eight-bar blues the first time I heard it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline frankie

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2004, 11:40:39 AM »
Didn't Charlie Patton do one eight-bar blues, maybe the later discovered and really whupped-sounding "Jim Lee Blues"? I haven't listened to it for a long time, but I remember being surprised that he did an eight-bar blues the first time I heard it.

There's Jim Lee 1 & 2.  I think part 2 is the more recently discovered one - at least I can't recall having heard it and it doesn't appear on the Yazoos I have while part 1 does.  Part 1 is definitely an 8 bar though...

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2004, 08:08:58 AM »
Hi all,
I was thinking the other day that another 8-bar blues that doesn't conform to any of the models we've noted so far is Lemon's "Prison Cell Blues".  I feel like it may be a one-off compositionally; I can't think of any others that conform to its
        | I  |  IV  |  I  |  I  |
        |  I  |  V  |  I  |  I  |
structure. 
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2004, 11:28:12 AM »
Hi all,
I thought of another tune that is an interesting variant of the 8-bar blues structure.  It's one called "Long Steel Rail", and was recorded by a Maryland bluesman residing in Philadelphia named Bill Jackson by Pete Welding for his Testament label.  It is played out of A standard, and has a basic progression of:
   |  I  |  I7  |  IV  |  IV  |
   |  V7  |  V7  |  I  |  I  |
After about three or four verses with that structure,  he switches to an interlude or refrain that has the following progression:
   |  I  |  I  |  V7  |  V7  |
   |  I  |  V7  |  I  |  I  |
Just looking at the chord progression doesn't really give you enough information to feel how different this song sounds from other 8-bar blues.  The melody is not like any other 8-bar blues I've heard.  There is an element I can't quite put my finger on that is really distinctive, perhaps either pre-Blues sounding, or Hillbilly-influenced, with the main strain sort of reminiscent of Bill Monroe's "In the Pines", though that's a waltz.  At this point, it would be next to impossible to find out whether Mr. Jackson got the tune from somewhere else or came up with it on his own.  According to Pete Welding's liner notes, Bill Jackson grew up in an area where there was an active Black string band tradition, as well as a lot of cross-over of Black and White musical influences.  I sure would like to have heard some of the bands he heard growing up.
all best,
Johnm 

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2004, 08:42:52 AM »
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I was screwing around last night, thinking about 8 bar I-V-IV patterned songs, whilst reading the Acoustic Guitar magazine article on Blues Chord substitutions that Mr Front Page mentioned a while back. After a while I hit on this one

I-V7-IV-IV
I(1/2), VI7(1/2)-II7(1/2), V7(1/2)-I-V7

In E
E-B7-A-A
E, C#7-F#7, B7-E-B7

Somehow the last four bars sounded familiar, although I could not place it. Can any of you recall a blues with this progression? Or was I accidently creative (aargh)?

Sensitively,
Alex
« Last Edit: December 15, 2004, 02:15:27 PM by pyrochlore »

Offline frankie

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2004, 09:03:05 AM »
E, C#7-F#7, B7-E-B7

Somehow the last four bars sounded familiar

Change the key to C and you'll see why it's familiar:

C - A7 - D7 - G7 - C - G7

Rags is rags.? Not typically executed in E, but not unthinkable, either.? Carl Martin's Crow Jane uses part of this, but omits the Csharp7.

Edited to add:? I think John Jackson's Red River Blues follows the contours of these chord changes (a 12-bar blues in E...? OT for this thread), but I can't recall if he actually articulates those chords or just sings as if he were playing them...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 05:49:32 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2004, 12:19:30 AM »
Hi all,
I was just wondering, can any of you could think of any Hillbilly 8-bar blues?? I have been trying to think of some and am stuck.? About the closest I could get was Frank Hutchison's "Coney Isle", but it seemed like it would be taking definitional liberties to call that one an 8-bar blues, his phrasing is so jagged and irregular.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 05:58:16 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2004, 12:31:12 AM »
Hi all,
While posting the last message I thought of a really different 8-bar blues, and one which crosses over into the Rag Blues and Circle of 5ths territory:  Freddie Spruell's "Let's Go Riding", which has the following progression--
   |  I  |  III7  |  VI7  |  VI7  |
   |  II7  |  II7  |  V7  |  V7  |
This is really a great tune, and one of the cool things about it is that it goes so far so fast in a harmonic sense--by the first beat of the second bar, you are a long way from home.  To do this and make it back home in such a compact form is really cool.  The original is a great duet number with some nifty flat-picked (I believe) lead guitar.  I recorded it with my friend Russ Barenberg many years ago, too.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2004, 04:32:03 PM »
Hi all,
Since the Key to the Highway thread sort of crept into 8-Bar Blues in the larger sense, seemed like a good idea to merge titles.
all best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2004, 01:05:21 PM »
Hi all,
I thought of another good one--Papa Charlie Jackson's "Coffee Pot Blues", which has a great jumpy accompaniment in E standard and terrific lyrics.  It tells a story, something you don't run into all that often in blues lyrics.  I'll see if I can get the lyrics and post them on Lyrics and Licks.
All best,
Johhnm

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2004, 08:13:57 AM »
Another one: Mance Lipscomb's You Got to Reap What You Sow.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2004, 08:55:05 AM »
Hi all,
I thought of a couple more 8-bar blues that could fit either here or in the circle of fifths thread:  William Moore's "Ragtime Crazy" and "Barbershop Rag".  They are both in F, standard tuning.  "Ragtime Crazy" goes
   |  I  |  I  | II7 | II7 |
   |V7 | V7 |  I  |  I   |
"Barbershop Rag" goes
   |VI  |VI  | II7 | II7 |
   | V7| V7 |  I  |  I   |
It's pretty cool the way that Moore, by playing a ragtime, rather than conventional blues progression, finesses having to play the IV chord, Bflat--he gets out of it altogether.
Moore's song "Tillie Lee" was also played out of F, standard tuning, so that makes 3 out of his 8 titles in F.  I remember Frank commenting on Luke Jordan's predilection for F in standard tuning.  It's almost enough to make you think there was some kind of mini-regional preference in Virginia for playing in F.
All best,
Johnm     

Offline a2tom

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2004, 11:16:16 AM »
That is very interesting about the tunes in F.  I know exactly zero songs in F!  I feel like maybe giving one of these a go - any of these more approachable than another? 

tom

Offline Rivers

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2004, 06:35:48 PM »
Have we mentioned Willie Walker's South Carolina Rag

Offline Johnm

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Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2004, 10:36:39 PM »
I believe you are the first to mention "South Carolina Rag", Mark.  That is certainly a great one.  As for the F tunes of William Moore, Tom, they strike me as being of a similar degree of difficulty.  Both "Ragtime Crazy" and "Barbershop Rag" have a pretty varied use of the right hand, with rolls and runs played with thumb and index finger a la Rev. Davis.  They are cool tunes and should be very accessible for figuring out by ear.
All best,
Johnm

 


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