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Author Topic: Tommy Johnson Covers Project  (Read 1667 times)

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Offline CF

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Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« on: July 10, 2012, 08:52:08 AM »
This is my first attempt at this elusive Tommy tune, got the lyrics from a David Evans transcription I found online. Tried following the verse structure of the original but you really have to be paying attention in those instrumental/kazoo sections because there are so many of them & you have to have some ideas floating around or the song seems too long. I'm working towards a project of covering some of the rarer Johnson tunes, especially those from the Paramount sessions & I'll probably share the results here. Apologies for the echo effect, was a bit more than I intended :o

« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 08:17:21 AM by cheapfeet »
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Offline Rivers

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 09:04:28 AM »
Very nice Mike. Great groove, like your voice, kazoo works, good choice of song. I didn't hear too much reverb, sounded pretty natural to me.

Offline 143TallBoy

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 10:21:13 AM »
Great job! One of my all time favourite recordings. The guitar was nicely done and your voice sounds really natural, your personality comes through but you still stay true to the original. Nice job on the kazoo, you really nailed the raggy feel of it all.

Have you tried to play the slow version of Lonesome Home Blues? I call it the 'spooky' version, it's a completely different song from the other two takes. (Track 11 on the complete recorded works DOCD-5001)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 10:30:28 AM by 143TallBoy »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 10:23:01 AM »
Sounds great, Mike. Hard to pull off an extended kazoo intro, I would imagine, but your playing makes it totally work. Singing is real nice, as always. I agree with Rivers, doesn't seem like too much reverb to me. Love the ending.

Offline CF

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 11:30:39 AM »
Thanks guys I guess I'm hearing the 'verb more than others are.

Tallboy I was working on that 'Lonesome Home' earlier today & have been for years. I do have some of the riffs but the intro is a little confusing. I do the other, earlier version & you can hear it at my blog (link in my signature). The other TJs I do or am working on are

Canned Heat
Big Fat Mama
Morning Prayer/Boogaloosa Blues
I Want Someone To Love Me
Slidin' Delta
First AND Second versions of Lonesome Home Blues
 
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Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 12:17:33 PM »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 02:06:37 AM »
I like it - and the excessive reverb has disappeared by the time it gets down the line to southern England.

<<Bob Long does an excellent Boogaloosa woman...>>
I think of this as Bob's signature tune.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 02:08:10 AM by Parlor Picker »
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Offline CF

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Re: I Wonder To Myself, Tommy Johnson Cover
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 05:51:03 AM »
I thought I was the only person who played Boogaloosa woman! Oh well  :) Mine is more true to Tommy's version but Bob does a nice arrangement . . . I've seen him on Youtube playing another one of these TJ tunes, an arrangement as well but can't think of which it is . . .
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Offline CF

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Tommy Johnson Covers Project: Lonesome Home Blues#2
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 01:08:18 PM »
Finally got most of my head around Johnson's second 'Lonesome Home Blues', kind of a moody version of 'Pony Blues' & just a beaut of a tune. In a way not really much to it but a very nice guitar piece & the trick is in the execution. Got the lyrics from the Weenie TJ lyric thread.

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 01:59:10 PM »
That sounds good, Mike.  If you hold onto those fretted notes in the first phrase a bit longer so that they sustain over the open strings, you'll get more of that eerie quality that Tommy Johnson's sound had in that part of the tune.
All best,
Johnm

Offline CF

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Re: Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 09:23:08 PM »
Ah, that's what's missing, thanks John, I knew there was something not quite right there. I'm also finding it really difficult Not singing all the notes in that phrase when it's played under the vocal lines. Tommy just effortlessly sails over them & I can't help but almost 'pick' them with my voice & it's taking me out of the song. A work in progress still but what fun!
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Offline Gumbo

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Re: Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 02:16:57 AM »
Lovely stuff. cheapfeet. That sounds like a really tricky song to sing (even if I could play it) Johnson seems to sing behind the beat somehow

Offline ArthurBlake

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Re: Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 04:52:32 AM »
This is my first attempt at this elusive Tommy tune, got the lyrics from a David Evans transcription I found online. Tried following the verse structure of the original but you really have to be paying attention in those instrumental/kazoo sections because there are so many of them & you have to have some ideas floating around or the song seems too long. I'm working towards a project of covering some of the rarer Johnson tunes, especially those from the Paramount sessions & I'll probably share the results here. Apologies for the echo effect, was a bit more than I intended :o



I love that old recording, pity it's so worn and damaged but it's maybe the most exciting Tommy recording of all. As the original is in bad condition, this song has always needed redoing (faithfully), it reminds me of that incredible Blind Blake song where he played kazoo and guitar, real shame those two guys didn't do a few more with that instrumentation cos they are GREAT. So was this version was also great, bloody fantastic. If you ever come to Australia let me know, I wanna see and hear more.
I met a woman she was a pigmeat some
Big fat mouth, I followed her home
She pulled a gun and broke my jaw
Didnt leave me hard on, I didnt get sore

Offline CF

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Re: Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 08:05:40 AM »
Thanks Arthur! I have no plans to go to Australia but I do hope to have an EP available in the next year of Tommy covers. Since recording several of these demos I've 'corrected' some of the riffs I'm playing. There's a bit more going on on the II chord (I think it is) that I wasn't doing previously . . . it's been a long process of unraveling some of these songs, they are still so rewarding & surprising even after a decade of listening.
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Offline Pan

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Re: Tommy Johnson Covers Project
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2013, 09:12:34 AM »
I do hope to have an EP available in the next year of Tommy covers.

That would be great news! Do keep us posted.
I've somehow missed this thread originally, and wanted just to add my praise to your efforts! Great stuff indeed!

Cheers

Pan

 


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