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This here number was sung way back yonder. My grandmother sung it, my grandmother's mother sung it, my mother's grandmother's mother's mother's grandmother sung it. Way back yonder, 500 years old. - Rev. Gary Davis introduces Children of Zion, From Blues to Gospel

Author Topic: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions  (Read 840 times)

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Offline Stumblin

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Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« on: July 19, 2013, 02:59:04 AM »
Does anyone have any more substantial information about Joe Linthecome than that which a cursory google search can provide? I recently moved, all my stuff is in boxes and I can't find my Godrich & Dixon.
I can only find two titles by him, both on Document's Hokum Blues and Rags.
On both titles, Linthecome plays the ukulele, it sounds to me like one of the larger body sizes and appears to be tuned, unusually, in a low to high tuning (ukes are more usually tuned with a re-entrant high 4th string). I'm fairly sure I can hear the low A in his F chord during Pretty Mama Blues, but the 1st string is also A, so a re-entrant F chord has the same pitch at both ends of the strum in each direction - this is what I'm failing to hear in Linthecome's playing.
So, essentially, I have three questions:
1: Did Linthecome make any more records?
2: Can anyone confirm that my ears are hearing the low-high tuned uke correctly?
3: Are there any other pre-war blues recordings featuring the ukulele?

Offline Pan

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 03:09:38 AM »
1: Did Linthecome make any more records?

According to Godrich & Dixon he only recorded the two songs you mention.

Sorry, but I can't help you with the other two questions.

Cheers

Pan

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 03:18:25 AM »
I've not heard the track, Andy.

However, re: ukulele tuning, some people get freaked by the high string at the "bottom" end or just prefer a low G. When buying sets of strings you can specify high or low G (which can be wound).

Another blues uke player was Lewis "Rabbit" Muse:
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 03:49:45 AM »
Thanks, chaps.
There's some info about Lewis ?Rabbit? Muse here.
I like re-entrant tuning, although it does have certain limitations when trying to find the lower end of a melody line. I always think that instead of playing a low-high uke, why not just play a guitar?
Incidentally, Bo Carter's playing on e.g. Pin in Your Cushion sounds as though he's emulating the, then highly popular, sound of the ukulele on his tricone.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 05:27:03 AM »

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 06:33:29 AM »
I always think that instead of playing a low-high uke, why not just play a guitar?
Incidentally, Bo Carter's playing on e.g. Pin in Your Cushion sounds as though he's emulating the, then highly popular, sound of the ukulele on his tricone.
Capo a guitar at the 5th fret and you've got a 6-string ukulele (sort of).
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Mike Billo

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    • Mike Billo
Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 08:26:50 AM »

 I'm a Uke Player and that High G, on the bottom, is an essential part of what makes a Uke, a Uke.
 I use it as a drone string (Just like the the 5th string on a 5 string banjo) or for melody and soloing, with the lower pitched strings serving as the drone.

  If you're going to use a low G, then what's the point? Why bother? Slap a capo on a Guitar at the 5th fret and it's a Uke with a low G and you've lost all of the qualities of the Ukulele. It lose it's "Ukeness" and becomes "Guitaristic" (a couple of words that probably don't exist used in one sentence! HA!)

  Or, buy one of then new Yamaha 6 string Guiteles (Which is actually a terrific instrument for 100 bucks)   

Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 09:25:20 AM »
I play low G uke. Since I came to it from guitar, it made for loss less headaches. Capoing the guitar isn't the same at all. The feel is way different, as I'm sure you know. Plus, travelling with a uke is much easier than with a guitar. I do most of my uke playing while on vacation. But I am thinking of converting one of my ukes to reentrant, high G tuning.

Dave

Offline Stumblin

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 09:30:06 AM »
But I am thinking of converting one of my ukes to reentrant, high G tuning.

Dave
Do it, you won't regret it. The re-entrant tuning makes all the chord voicings really tight, if you get my meaning. I don't know how else to describe it.

Offline Mike Billo

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Re: Joe Linthecome and Ukuleles; Some Questions
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2013, 10:01:28 AM »
"I play low G uke. Since I came to it from guitar, it made for loss less headaches. Capoing the guitar isn't the same at all. The feel is way different, as I'm sure you know."


  Yes, you're quite right. The feel is entirely different and, coming from Guitar it makes for having your playing up and running a lot sooner.

   I think I may have expressed myself poorly. To my ear (and I may be alone on this one) the low G makes the Uke *sound* exactly like Guitar capoed at the 5th. In which case, why not just play the Guitar.
 
    I agree with Stumbli. Put on the high G and you'll hear and feel a significant difference that's particularly apparent in chord melody-style soloing.

    I might add that, as airlines become increasingly unfriendly to musical instruments, a Uke is "carry on" luggage. You won't have to let it out of your sight, or, pay a penny extra.

 


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