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I've been in bigger jails than you've been in towns - Peg Leg Pete puts younger men present in their place, from Bruce Bastin's "Crying for the Carolines"

Author Topic: Buddy Moss  (Read 12866 times)

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Offline LB

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2006, 10:39:49 PM »
Hi Rivers. I've always been told about that guitar and a coat being given to several Atlanta players for a photo shoot after a recording session. I'd like to try one. I have a line on one that I'll be pursuing this year. There's a slot head version too. I'd like to know more info if someone has it.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2006, 05:20:22 PM »
Hi LB,

It figures, I couldn't imagine Buddy, Curly & Josh all had the same model...
Good luck with your quest, be sure to have a B&W grainy photo taken of yourself with it.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2006, 11:40:11 AM »
I've been thumbing through blues mags of the 70s because I can visualise a published news item about these Mitchell recordings that gave the background to them and where recorded. Am currently drawing a blank but will persevere and report back.
Having got nowhere with this search I emailed someone who might know but they didn't. However this observation was made: 'About twenty years ago you made me a cassette, of a cassette, of those Moss Mitchell recordings'

I did???!!! A search amongst hundreds of boxed up cassetts in my attic revealed the very tape he was referring to. I'm ashamed to say I have no memory of ever having played it. The cassette index reads as follows:

GEO MITCHELL RECS
DATE/LOCATION UNK
BUDDY MOSS & BILL TROIANNI*

GULF COAST BOUND*
NOBODY'S BUSINESS*
HURRY HOME*
BYE BYE BABY
TRICKS AIN'T WORKING NO MORE
WHEN YOU LEFT ME
IN THE EVENING
MAMIE
LAWDY MAMA
BLUE SHADOWS FALLING
UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL
1,000 WOMEN BLUES
STRANGEST WOMAN
EASE YOUR WORRED MIND
THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN NO MORE

I'm afraid I haven't the time nor inclination to listen now but will report back  on the titles not on emusic in due course. Anybody know who Bill Troianni was?

For those interested the other side of the cassette is listed as having:

HOWELL/ALBERT YARBOROUGH: WORRIED BLUES
HOWELL: YO YO BLUES
HOWELL: JELLY ROLL BLUES
HOWELL/YARBOROUGH: SOLID ROAD
HOWELL: TWO WOMEN
HOWELL: BLOOD RED RIVER
HOWELL/YARBOROUGH: HAIR LIKE DROPS OF RAIN
HOWELL/YARBOROUGH: BLOOD RED RIVER
HOWELL/YARBOROUGH: WROTE YOU A LETTER
HOWELL: NOBODY'S BUSINESS IF I DO
ROSA LEE HILL/JAMES SHORTER: COUNT THE DAYS I'M GONE
ROSA LEE HILL/JAMES SHORTER: GOOD MORNING BLUES
ROSA LEE HILL/JAMES SHORTER: LORD I FEEL BETTER
JAMES SHORTER: WALK WITH ME
SHORTER/JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL: LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN

Offline oddenda

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2008, 01:43:29 AM »
Dear Folks -

          Ah, Buddy... my bete noire, the one that got away! I first met him at The Electric Circus  on St. Mark's Place in "the village" (NYC) in 1969 at one of the blues shows there for a couple of months of Wednesdays. Got his phone # and all. That summer, Bruce Bastin and I made our first trip into the SE, mainly looking for 78s (successfully, I might add) and found ourselves in Atlanta on a Sunday with nothing to do. So we called up Buddy and were invited over - bingo! He was affable, still had his LG sized Gibson, and could PLAY; we asked him a lot of questions, as "anoraks" do, and he answered calmly and truthfully. He also gave us leads that were close enough for us to locate Willie Trice, Floyd Council, and Richard Trice on our way back North (and Bruce back to the UK).

          Bruce and I ended up doing a series of articles for BLUES UNLIMITED, really the first serious look in regarding the SE or Piedmont blues performers. We both went back the following year as Bruce had been asked to write a tome on East Coast Blues (CRYING FOR THE CAROLINES)in the new Studio Vista series of monographs. I purchased a couple of guitars and a tape recorder so that I could do more than merely drive the car - thus Trix was begat! An intense month, + of deep research followed and the book was on - I did another series on our travels for BU as well. We were back the following year as Bastin was going to UNC-Chapel Hill (in Folklore). We eventually got to Buddy's one afternoon, later than anticipated - Bruce had sent him a copy of the new book - to be greeted by a drunken Moss. He was fit to be tied by any mention of his departure from recording, saying that the so-called White man got his kicks saying such derogatory stuff about the poor Black man. I must at this point say that NO mention was made of WHY he disappeared in 1935, and reappeared in NC in 1941: Buddy had shot and killed his girl friend on suspicion that she had been fooling around behind his back.


          A SIDE BAR: Buddy Moss was one of the main Piedmont recording artists of his day, after Blind Blake and before Blind Boy Fuller - he shared his status with Josh White. He sold records and his songs still crop up within SE communities. Unfortunately, this was the teeth of The Great Depression and funds for record purchases were thin on the ground. He was paid, I think it was, $15/song at his first session with the fees going up to $35 later on [relying on a not so sharp memory here... I could be wrong, but have no way of checking at the moment]. So he was at the top of the heap by '35, with a long career ahead of him... except... .


          Buddy ranted on and I got sick of it, having come from a nasty experience with an illiterate deputy sheriff in Newton Co. earlier that day (it's why we were late). So I got up and said, "Buddy, I took enough shit from the cracker this morning (another story), I don't have to listen to any more." As I headed for the door, Buddy went to his dresser and got out his pistol and made to come after me with it (according to Bruce, who was still on the couch). Fortunately, his wife Dot outweighed him by at least a factor of three and kept him in the house. Bastin grabbed the offending book and skedaddled out to the van where I was waiting and shouted, "DRIVE." Bruce never saw Buddy again.

          But I did, fool that I was. And he was a MF as a musician! I went by a number of times in my decade's field-work in the SE interviewing, photographing older musicians, recording them if they were still interested and able. I WANTED BUDDY... he was THAT good. One time I went by and he had some Blacks with him, including Jerry Ricks (I think). Buddy spent a lot of time reaming me out and saying all sorts of shit about me and mine. When I left, Jerry left, too, and wondered why I put up with Buddy's essentially racist diatribes, He was THAT good.   

          And I came THAT close. Another time, as more time had gone under the bridge, Buddy agreed... I offered $500.00 for an album, way more than I had been able to afford to pay other musicians (I didn't have a label yet). HE WAS THAT GOOD. He and a bass player (White, by the way) rehearsed at his house andwe made a date to record the next day. I called Buddy before leaving the motel and he said, "I got a call from Excello Records last night." I told Buddy that I could not afford more money, but was ready to record him then and there, and put the cash in his hand. No dice. I now know that I should have recorded the rehearsal, but... . The  Excello ploy was just that; Buddy Moss never recorded again after that - he did a session for Columbia before that, and an LP came out on Biograph of a concert tape. That also was released on CD, along with the Columbia stuff!

          At many points in his life, Buddy Moss was his own worst enemy. It was J.B. Long who got him out of jail in 40/41 (another story), taking him up to NC for ten years (part of his release agreement) which is why he was not in Atlanta in 49 when Regal recorded McTell, Curley, Frank Edwards, David Wylie. And that is why he last appeared on commercial recordings with Brownie & Sonny, and Jordan Webb, Robert Young - Long was looking to replace the recently deceased Blind Boy Fuller (Fulton Allen). Moss not only killed his girl friend, he killed his career and never forgave the world for that. He was worth the travail and I wish that I had been able to get him on tape; i did see him once more at a National Folk Festival at Wolf Trap... probably one of his last hurrahs. At least george Mitchell and Roger Brown were able to "get" him earlier in the 60s.

         Another man done gone, but much was his own doing. It ain't easy being Black, poor, and proud in these United States. Buddy could not roll with the punches and according to Blacks who knew him such as R.L. Lowe (a/k/a Robert "Steamboat" Fulton), Roy Dunn and his brother, Oscar, Buddy was just a difficult man, which race amplified in his dealings with me. Blacks eventually stayed away from him in the main, after prolonged exposure. Sad, but true - BUT HE WAS SO GOOD! Sorry it wouldn't/couldn't work out, Buddy.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2008, 01:37:59 PM »
Thank you for the fascinating information on Buddy Moss! Now I understand why some of Mitchell's recordings of Moss are under two minutes long. Buddy seems to have been a really difficult character to deal with. I'm going to check out Volume 2 of his stuff on Document. I already own the Biograph disc, which is fantastic. It's a shame he wasn't friendlier to whites who wanted to record him, like Josh White and McTell were.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline oddenda

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2008, 07:24:30 PM »
Doc -

          You are spot on there; as I wrote, Buddy was his own worst enemy - all his life, sadly. BUT HE WAS SO DAMN GOOD!

Spike -

          Yup, that's the guitar. I wonder who bought it? Hope it has a good home and is used properly.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2008, 09:20:58 AM »
How much of the guitar playing on "Atlanta Blues Legend" was handled by Mr. Moss, and how much by Jeff Espina (or is he the harmonica player on the album?)? I have my disc at home and I'm at my university now, so I can't check. At any rate, that's one awesome album!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline oddenda

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2008, 12:33:42 AM »
Dear Doc -

          Jeff Espina was/is a harp player... all the guitar on the 60s Columbia session was by Buddy. It probably came about because Buddy went to hear Josh White in Atlanta and White told John Hammond about Buddy (as it was explained to me by Buddy). Interesting that the Moss/White duo was a studio creation only back in the day - they both happened to be recording around the same time, played within the same "tradition" and worked out very nicely, indeed. They only met in NYC and only played together on record! Buddy was a professional when it came to his music - sadly, that didn't slop over in his inter-personal relationships with Blacks and Whites. HE WAS SO DAMN GOOD. And recordings don't tell the half of it, though I wonder if The National Folk Festival has tapes of his performances there. Buddy was "the man" from 1930 - 1935 with regard to sales of Piedmont blues records (along with Josh) - Blind Boy Fuller, the great Piedmont popularizer, listened to Moss' records, as well as White's (copying "So Sweet, So Sweet" from Josh, open tuning and all).

          Josh White is looked down upon by many because of his "folk music" career and White audience later in life, but he was a seriously liked Black music star in the early 30s, VERY influential. Read Elijah Wald's book about him.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2008, 07:48:16 AM »
Thanks for the information. Literally ALL of the guitar on the Biograph cd of Buddy Moss is played by Buddy? In "Betty And Dupree" and "Every Day Seems Like Sunday" I could SWEAR that I hear two guitars.

Yes, I know all about Josh White. I read Elijah Wald's biography of him and cried towards the end. Elijah is a great writer and Josh White was a wonderful human being. He was a credit to humanity and to America. When we look up "American Dream" or "determination" in the dictionary, we should see a picture of Mr. White. I also own "Free And Equal Blues" (the dvd available from www.guitarvideos.com). I don't care what the "Purists" say; White was one of the greatest singers and guitar players this country has ever seen. He was capable of doing everything from "Jelly, Jelly" to "Danny Boy". Simply breathtaking!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Pan

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2008, 08:54:33 AM »
FWIW, looking at my CD liner notes, it appears that tracks 1 - 7 were previously unreleased, and include also a 2nd guitar player who is rather mysteriously called "J.J".

I have hand scribbled to my liner notes "J.J. = John Jackson",  but unfortunately I simply can't remember where I got this information. :(

Lets' hope somebody else here knows.

The tracks are:

1. Hurry Home

2. Red River

3. Pushin' It

4. Comin' Back

5. How I Feel Today

6. That'll Never Happen No More

7. Oh Lawdy Mama

According to the liner notes, the tracks were recorded in the same year, in 1966, if I'm not mistaken.


Pan

Edited to correct the year of the recording, which was 1966, not 1965, as has been already said in this thread by dj on p. #2.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 02:14:39 PM by Pan »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2008, 09:04:34 AM »
I have hand scribbled to my liner notes "J.J. = John Jackson",  but unfortunately I simply can't remember where I got this information. :(

Lets' hope somebody else here knows.

Hi Pan. It may have been here on Weenie. I think we've mentioned this before but could be wrong. I believe the Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings states that J.J. is indeed John Jackson.

Offline dj

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2008, 09:14:56 AM »
Quote
It may have been here on Weenie.

Indeed it was.  See page 2 of this thread.

Offline Pan

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2008, 02:03:38 PM »
Quote
It may have been here on Weenie.

Indeed it was.  See page 2 of this thread.

I suspected that and should have known!  :D And re-read the thread! :P

Thanks guys!

Pan

Offline Stuart

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2008, 05:05:07 PM »

Offline oddenda

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Re: Buddy Moss
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2008, 06:10:56 AM »
To bring it back to subject, Buddy may have been a p.i.t.a. and difficult, but he was an incredible guitarist and singer - would that he had been different, but he wasn't. He was THAT good! Just listen to the recordings, especially the session he did with Josh White. He WAS a contender!

Peter B.

 


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