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Says, I feel just like, mama, throwin' my slop jar in your face - Kokomo Arnold, Slop Jar Blues

Author Topic: Mississippi John Hurt - Nearer, My God, to Thee  (Read 1516 times)

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Offline pdjones

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Mississippi John Hurt - Nearer, My God, to Thee
« on: July 28, 2012, 09:57:54 AM »
I've been anonymously reaping the benefits of this site for many years now, so I figure it's about time to throw my hat in the ring.

This is my attempt at Mississippi John Hurt's 'Nearer, My God, to Thee.' I have a few other MJH covers hidden around, but this is by far my most recent attempt.

Still trying to make progress on playing MJH in D position.. I was almost convinced he only played in C and occasionally G.

Thanks for any and all criticisms!

« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 10:01:48 AM by pdjones »

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: Mississippi John Hurt - Nearer, My God, to Thee
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 01:55:19 PM »
Sounds good -- keep at it. I once saw and heard him play that song, back in the mid-1960s, but I was so enthralled I forgot to pay attention to what key he was playing it in. Maybe I thought that I'd never be able to play like that, anyway. If so, I was right -- I can't.

Lyle

Offline colm kill paul

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Re: Mississippi John Hurt - Nearer, My God, to Thee
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 01:18:11 AM »
Hi pdjones!
 What a great way to arrive.... playing a MJH tune. I enjoyed your performance. I'm still learning to play myself so I'm no expert but I think you have the important aspects of playing MJH correct here. You have a good clean melody line which gives that lovely feel of openess and clarity that I love in MJH's music. So good job. As Lyle says keep at it and with time this tune will be great.

If you check out John Miller's DVDs on MJH you'll see two other tunes played in D position standard tuning "Big Leg Blues" and "See See Rider". There are also tunes in C, A, G and E, in standard and in the open tunings G and D. MJH really knew his instrument and the more I study these tunes the more in awe of him I become.

I like your vocal. If you feel the top note is a little forced try shifting down the capo one fret (if your range allows) to see it works for you.

Hope this is of some help. Well Done!

Colm
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 12:27:30 AM by colm kill paul »

Offline pdjones

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Re: Mississippi John Hurt - Nearer, My God, to Thee
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 06:12:21 PM »
Thank you both for your generous words and advice! I'll work on this and try to put up some more eventually. What I wouldn't give to have seen Mr. Hurt in person..

Offline Lyle Lofgren

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Re: Mississippi John Hurt - Nearer, My God, to Thee
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 08:24:40 PM »
I met him only once, in 1964, but got to spend a fair amount of time with him over a weekend. He was in a concert with the Georgia Sea Island Singers and Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachel & Hammie Nixon. He was definitely not the excitable type, but he was a master at winning over an audience (listen to his "Salty Dog" duet with Mabel Hillery at http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/BrnSnift/SonicAlbum.html).

The day after the concert, we put on a performance workshop (which MJH called a "workbench" -- I couldn't tell if he was making fun of us or not). He played and sang one of his pieces, and the moderator said to the audience, "John played that piece in a special tuning that us guitar players call 'open D.'  " John, apologetically, said, "I usually calls it 'open G.' "  At that point, I definitely knew he was making fun of us. But it was gentle fun. I don't expect to ever meet anyone remotely like him.

Lyle

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