collapse

* Member Info

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

* Like Us on Facebook

If you don't give me my hat I will blow your brains out - Stack Lee Shelton told Billy Lyons, eyewitness George McFaro's account in Stagolee Shot Billy, Cecil Brown

Author Topic: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues  (Read 19466 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MTJ3

  • Member
  • Posts: 161
  • Howdy!
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2006, 10:29:02 AM »
The reference to Bertha "Chippie" Hill in the "Favorite Singers" thread called to mind her "Some Cold Rainy Day," an 8-bar blues recorded October 13, 1928, with accompaniment by Georgia Tom Dorsey and Tampa Red. 

IV7/IV/I/I/vi/V/I-IV/I-V

IMHO, this may well belong in the "One of a Kind and Great" category.

The lyrics also feature some startling imagery, e.g.: "When your stomach hangs like an empty sack, and you feel it gnawing at your back."

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2006, 11:04:10 PM »
Hi all,
In listening to the music of Gabriel Brown, I found a couple of really nice 8-bar blues,  "Goin' My Way" and "Good-Time Papa".  "Goin' My Way" is played out of dropped-D at a pretty slow tempo, in the "Sitting On Top Of The World" model, and features some terrific runs making fine use of an unwound third string; the inflections that string makes possible are just great.  "Good-Time Papa" is a more freely phrased number played in E, standard tuning.  As with many eight-bar blues performances like "Woman, Woman", "Sliding Delta" and "Dryland Blues", "Goood-Time Papa" is often long at the back end of the form, most often weighing in at 9 bars with a combination "breath-catcher/verse rememberer" bar of strumming appended.  Brown's solos are considerably wilder than his vocal accompaniments, with a tendency to go long at every opportunity.  He starts his first solo with five bars in the I chord, then going to three bars of the IV chord--huh?  He's really playing to his phrase lengths as he is hearing them, and it all sounds coherent, though surprising as you listen to it.  And since there are no issues of having to match up his phrasing with a band or duet partner, it makes no difference anyway.  He knows what he wants to do and he does it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2007, 10:17:13 AM »
Hi all,
I realized yesterday that John Hurt's "Keep A-Knockin'" is an 8-bar blues of a type we've not previously discussed.  He played it out of A position in standard tuning, and alternates between verse accompaniments and solos, with the form slightly altered behind the solos.  In each instance, the form works out so:

   Behind the vocals:
   |    D    |    D   |    D    |    A    |
 
   |    A    |     E   |    D    |    A    |

   Solo passes:
   |    E    |  E / D |    D    |    A    |

   |    A    |    E    |    D    |    A    |

"Keep On Knockin'" has an interesting sort of "mix and match" feel to it.  The D phrase he plays in in the first bar of the vocal accompaniment and the seventh bar of both passes is very much akin to the opening phrase in "Monday Morning Blues", and the E phrase he opens the solo accompaniment with is reminiscent of the solo he played on "Candyman", another A tune in which he begins the solo in E.  "Keep On Knockin'" is a kind of reminder of how many ways it is possible to vary a common Blues form.
All best,
Johnm   

   

Offline Coyote Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 268
    • coyoteslim.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2007, 10:18:20 PM »
So...excuse my ignorant self...the way I think about this is that an 8 bar is one with a chorus in it?  Like "Sittin' on Top of the World" where there is a sung line such as "Goin' to the freight yard, catch me a freight train/ got to leave this town, work done got hard" and the "sittin' on top of the world part."  Kind of like "Sweet Home Chicago" too, huh?  While a 12 bar is in the AAB format?   ???  I guess I don't even know how all those letters and numbers fit together -- does AAB = I IV V = 12 bars?  Damn it, I just like to play the music, I don't want to do no frickin' algebra!
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

Coyote Slim's Youtube Channel

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2007, 12:45:24 AM »
Well, Slim, you are certainly free to stay ignorant as long as you care to, but being able to hear and identify forms is hugely helpful in terms of playing and communicating with other musicians.  If you are interested in finding out what an 8-bar blues is, you can go through the whole thread.  Some chorus blues are eight bar blues, like "Sitting On Top Of The World" and "How Long".  Others, like "Kansas City" and "Sweet Home Chicago" are 12-bar blues.  There's a thread called something like "Blues Forms and Vocal Phrasing" in the Main Forum that gets into most of the commonly encountered forms.  This isn't particularly rarefied, high concept stuff--most of it, as soon as you read it, you will say, "Oh, yeah, so that's what that is."  These are the building blocks of the music and the style.  The problem with ignoring this stuff altogether is two-fold:  It impairs the ability to get up and running with other musicians quickly, and more importantly and detrimentally, it puts you in the position of making the same discoveries over and over again for the first time, every time.
That having been said, if you are happy with your understanding of the music as it currently stands, congratulations, and disregard everything I've said up to this point.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Coyote Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 268
    • coyoteslim.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2007, 11:29:23 AM »
I'm not trying to ignore it.

 I just find the terminology confusing many times.  I enjoyed reading this thread, it's just that I have a hard time with all the numbers, especially because I tend to think of blues as vocal music.  So when I read about bars and the I and V, I can't really connect it with a song unless I know how the vocals fit with it.  When I hear it played I go "Oh, yeah, that way..."

I teach 4th graders science, so I know that one of the struggles in teaching is to both teach the terminology of the subject but also be able to tell it another way -- in the same language but with different words or methods.

 I know the stuff...I just don't know I know the stuff... if that makes sense... :D

So thank you for all your posts...I am learning...slowly....and sometimes painfully.   :)
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

Coyote Slim's Youtube Channel

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2007, 11:37:33 AM »
Hi Slim,
I know exactly what you mean when you say you "know the stuff, but don't know the stuff".  The use of the numerals in the explanations of blues forms involves abstracting the progression from whatever key it was originally played in and describing it in numerical terms, based on what note of the scale each chord in the progression is rooted.  Abstracting the progression this way makes it easy to transpose the same progression into many keys, simply by plugging in the appropriate I, IV and V chords based for whatever key you'd like to play in or try.  So if you think of "How Long" played in E, the progression would work out as follows:

How long    how long      has that evening  train been gone  Well, how lo-   
         | E             |    E7               |      A7               |     A7             |

   -ng          how long         Baby, how long              I can hear the whis-
   |          E          |       B7                  |      E       |    B7                  |

Expressed in the abstract, the progression would be:

   |        I          |       I7       |        IV7       |       IV7       |

   |         I         |       V7      |          I         |        V7       |

Using the abstracted version to transpose to different keys would involve plugging in I, IV, and V for different keys as follows:
   in A, A, D and E
   in C, C, F and G
   in D, D, G and A
   in G, G, C and D
It helps to memorize the I, IV and V chords in all commonly played keys, and that should come pretty quickly.  Knowing this makes moving from one key to another in jamming situations a cinch, and also makes it possible in jamming, to capo to a different fret than everyone else is playing in and play out of a different position, thus opening up some space, so that everybody is not playing right on top of each other. 
Best of luck in working through this stuff and becoming conversant with it.  Since you are an experienced player, you already know most of this stuff, it's just an issue of becoming familiar with the ways things are named and converting that language into a tool to help you assess new songs or musical situations you find yourself in and to respond quickly and on the money.
All best,
Johnm           
                   

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #52 on: March 15, 2007, 01:52:28 PM »
Hi all,
Listening to Blind Boy Fuller today, I encountered yet another variant of the 8-bar form.  It is in "Pistol Slapper Blues", which Fuller played with Sonny Terry.  Fuller is playing out of G position in standard tuning, and uses this progression throughout the song

   |   G (I)   |   D7 (V7)   |   G (I)   |    C7 (IV7)   |

   |   G (I)   |   D7 (V7)   |   G (I)   |    G (I)        |

Fuller plays every G chord with the exception of those in the last two bars using a wrapped-thumb F shape moved up two frets, and uses the C7 shape for both the D7 and C7 chords.  In the last two bars he plays a descending turn-around walking down the fourth string from F to E and then continuing the line from the open D string down the fifth string to C and B, finally resolving to the G note on the sixth string in the bass.  Maybe this is one Fuller got the idea for from Rev. Davis, since Davis much preferred the wrapped-thumb, F-shape, G chord to the open one. 
Fuller's unusual wrinkle here is to return to the I chord in the third bar of the form.  I can't think of another 8-bar blues that does that, right off the bat.

Edited 4/3/07 to add:  Whoops, I just went through the thread and found that frankie mentioned this tune way back at about the third or fourth post on the first page.  Good find, Frank!
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 04:57:01 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #53 on: April 03, 2007, 05:04:33 PM »
Hi all,
I found another 8-bar blues on the JSP Paramount Masters" set:  Edward Thompson's "Up On The Hill Blues".  This one is a beauty, though the 78 it was taken from is in very poor condition.  Thompson gets a beautiful dark sound by using a Bm7 chord, 2-2-0-2-0-X, in the 6th bar of his form (He is playing in E, standard tuning).  I reckon he rocked his second finger back and fourth between the fifth and sixth string as he played this.  Geeshie Wiley utilized this same chord in "Last Kind Words". 
Edward Thompson was really outstanding, and particularly versatile.  This song is worth seeking out, a very strong performance.
All best,
Johnm 

mississippijohnhurt1928

  • Guest
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2007, 09:24:28 AM »
"Crow Jane" Of Course!

Offline waxwing

  • Member
  • Posts: 2526
    • Wax's YouTube Channel
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2007, 11:15:28 AM »
Hey Calvin. Good call, but Alex (Ghostrider) got that one in about the fifth response to this thread.-G- Always a good idea to check and see if someone has already posted the song on these long list threads, eh? You'd also have learned that Carl Martin's version of the song is not an 8 bar!

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline GhostRider

  • Member
  • Posts: 1266
  • That'll never happen no more!
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #56 on: May 20, 2008, 09:55:22 AM »
Hi all:

Although it's not a I/V/IV form, Blind Blakes"You Gonna Quit Me, Baby" is an interesting refrain-style 8 bar blues, which can be considered to have 4-2 bar sections:

You gonna quit me baby
Good as I've been to you, Lawd, Lawd
Good as I've been to you, Lawd, Lawd
Good as I've been to you

It's recorded in C position

C/C/
F/C-C7
F/C-A7
D7-G7/C-G7

I/I
IV/I-I7
IV/I-VI7
II7-V7/I-V7

Sort of like the chord progression for his "Early Morning Blues", shortened to eight bars.

Alex
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 01:24:38 PM by GhostRider »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2008, 10:53:16 AM »
That's a great call, Alex, I believe "You Gonna Quit Me, Baby?" must be a one-off.  It's interesting, too, that it is kind of like a sped-up 16-bar blues, in that it goes to the IV chord twice.  That is one for the books.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 10:54:29 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10606
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #58 on: May 20, 2008, 04:22:04 PM »
Hi all,
Another great 8-bar blues with an unusual structure is Mance Lipscomb's Latin-tinged "Ain't You Sorry", originally issued on "Texas Sharecropper and Songster, Vol. 4".  It is played out of g position in standard tuning and employs the following progression:

   |    E7    |    E7    |    A7    |    A7    |

   |     D    |     D     |     G    |     G    |

Expressed in numerical terms:

   VI7-VI7-II7-II7

   V-V-I-I

The most exciting thing about this rendition is Mance's funky time.  He really hits the ground running and escalates the tempo and tension from there.  Listen to it if you get the opportunity, and if you're looking for a strong song to cover, it would be a good candidate, because nobody plays it.
all best,
Johnm

Offline GhostRider

  • Member
  • Posts: 1266
  • That'll never happen no more!
Re: Key To The Highway/8-Bar Blues
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2008, 02:41:51 PM »
  It's interesting, too, that it is kind of like a sped-up 16-bar blues, in that it goes to the IV chord twice.  All best,
Johnm
Hi all:

John, your comment about this tune resembling a 16-bar blues got me thinkin', what if this is a 16 bar tune, 16 bars of 2/4 time. He does a little thumb-index thing that sounds kind of two steppy.

What do you think? And how does one tell 2/4 from 4/4 without a snare drummer?

Alex
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 08:14:55 AM by GhostRider »

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal