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Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-22-2016, 3:25pm
Hey guys, could some of you please listen to these three takes of Watson't Blues and tell me which one you like best of the three? BTW is it Watson's Blues or Watson Blues?

https://soundcloud.com/jordanriehm/sets/watson-blues

Denny Gies
Sep-22-2016, 4:03pm
With my tin ear I thought the first one was the best. Thanks.

Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-22-2016, 5:08pm
Thanks for listening Danny :) That's what I was thinking too.

HonketyHank
Sep-22-2016, 7:17pm
I liked 1 and 3 better than 2. Can't give a better answer without really critical listening and keeping score. AND, I would be quite pleased with any of the three resulting from my own hands and mandolin. I have liked that tune since the first time I heard it (as background music on a YT infomercial for a particularly nice brand of banjo straps (nfi).

I think you did Doc proud.

Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-23-2016, 1:52am
Thanks Hank, that's some good background music! I can't remember where I first heard it. But I've liked it ever since I've known about it.

almeriastrings
Sep-23-2016, 3:10am
I would say first take too. Sounds great.

Watson Blues, btw.

Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-23-2016, 1:26pm
Ok. Thanks for listening. :)

willkamm
Sep-23-2016, 2:21pm
Did you record those takes in the order they are listed? 1,2,3? Because to me they sounded as if each take, got progressively better. I thought the accents, timing, and note bends, in #3, were the best. #3 also seemed in better sync with the guitar accompaniment. #3, for me, as a real lover of the blues, was the most bluesy sounding. Nice job, all around.

Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-23-2016, 6:46pm
Yeah, I did it in that order. I definitely did more improv the third take too. The first two had a lot of licks I had planned to play with just a little improv. Thanks for listening so critically. I really appreciate it.

willkamm
Sep-24-2016, 1:23am
Yeah, I did it in that order. I definitely did more improv the third take too. The first two had a lot of licks I had planned to play with just a little improv. Thanks for listening so critically. I really appreciate it.

Thanks for your reply. That was another thing I noticed. The improvisation in #3. I loved the spontaneity of it. That is one thing I do myself, when I have exhausted my supply of planned licks. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes not. In your case it really came off very well. ;)

JL277z
Sep-24-2016, 3:53am
I listened in reverse order, #3 first, & *before* I'd read anyone else's reviews because I didn't want my perception to be influenced by others' observations. So... #3 got my attention immediately, :mandosmiley: it was like you were already warmed up & "in the zone", focused yet relaxed, good stuff. :mandosmiley: Then I listened to Take 2 & Take 1, but they didn't hold my interest as much as #3 did. I went back & re-listened to #3, same effect as earlier, like like like. :mandosmiley: :mandosmiley: :mandosmiley:


... I thought the accents, timing, and note bends, in #3, were the best. #3 also seemed in better sync with the guitar accompaniment. #3, for me, as a real lover of the blues, was the most bluesy sounding. Nice job, all around.

Agree on all points. :mandosmiley:

Incidentally, the melody sounds like an oldtime tune I heard somewhere eons ago, they called it "High On The Mountain" ("wind blowing free, wondering where the days of my life have gone", something something... those are the only lyrics I can remember right now), are those related tunes? It was a high pitched singer, either a man singing high or possibly a woman... seems like there was a banjo involved... Never cared much for the lyrics but it sure is a pretty melody. Had not heard of the name Watson Blues though.

Anyway, wherever the tune comes from, great pickin'! :mandosmiley: Take #3 has good toe-tapping rhythm, & great expressiveness too. Very good. :mandosmiley: :)

Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-24-2016, 12:23pm
Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I'll have to look up the tune you are talking about. It's possible Monroe could have consciously or subconsciously borrowed from an old time tune. I couldn't speak on his behalf, but I'll tell you if I think they sound similar.

willkamm
Sep-24-2016, 2:56pm
Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I'll have to look up the tune you are talking about. It's possible Monroe could have consciously or subconsciously borrowed from an old time tune. I couldn't speak on his behalf, but I'll tell you if I think they sound similar.

I believe you can find a version of High on the Mountain, on you tube. Listened to one by Del McCoury. Some of the melody to this also resembles some other Monroe tunes such as Body and Soul and You'll Find Her Name Written There. When I heard this by Monroe/Watson those tunes instantly came to mind.

JL277z
Sep-25-2016, 2:17am
I believe you can find a version of High on the Mountain, on you tube. Listened to one by Del McCoury. Some of the melody to this also resembles some other Monroe tunes such as Body and Soul and You'll Find Her Name Written There. When I heard this by Monroe/Watson those tunes instantly came to mind.

Finally had time today to look up stuff on YouTube, this is the tune I was thinking of, it was written by Ola Belle Reed (http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/traditional-artist-directory/ola-belle-reed), she's playing the banjo and singing here:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ffboRwrgno
(or direct link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ffboRwrgno))

According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ola_Belle_Reed), she was born in 1916 in North Carolina. She was in her first band in the mid-1930s and went from there to doing radio performances etc. Wikipedia has a lot to say but here's a quick snippet:


"Her best-known songs have been recorded by mainstream bluegrass and country artists. High on a Mountain has been recorded by Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, and Marty Stuart."

So, there doesn't seem to be any debate as to her being the author of the *lyrics*, but what about the melody itself? :confused:

Hmm... I couldn't find any mention of the melody specifically, nor *when* she wrote that song, but it might not matter because of all the cross-pollination that goes on with music... People hear a catchy melody somewhere at a dance or on the radio (radio has been around for a long time, at least since the 1920s with fiddlers, banjo pickers, etc on local live performances), and later on someone writes their own words to that tune... My completely unfounded guess is that the songs that sound kind of similar and that start out with those same notes, probably *are* based on some older melody, just reappropriated for a new use.

So... didn't mean to get side-tracked with miscellaneous info :redface: but I think it's always intriguing to find out about commonalities between different tunes in different genres. :)

Anyway, of all the YouTube listening I did today while researching these songs, my clear favorite is the OP's (Bluegrassbboy85) 3rd take :mandosmiley: :mandosmiley: :) - I like it better than any of the other versions I heard, including Bill Monroe's version. :disbelief: :cool:

Philphool
Sep-25-2016, 10:04pm
Take 3 sounds best to me by far.

Bluegrassbboy85
Sep-25-2016, 11:45pm
Awesome. I love her voice. Great tone, enunciation and character. Great pitch too. I had heard Marty Stuart do a version of this on youtube I liked a lot, but I never connected the dots. I guess the rhythmic tremolo disguised the melody a little bit to me. I guess the main difference is the B part of Watson Blues. Thanks for the high praise! I need to dig into Monroe tunes more. I'm kind of a Skaggs and Sam Bush freak.

Earl Gamage
Sep-26-2016, 1:36pm
Nice job on all three. I guess if I had to pick one it would be #2.

I never realized those tunes were the same, good catch JL277g.

GaryTimmons
Sep-28-2016, 10:57am
Nice picking, I wouldn't be able to pull that off. I liked #3 though all 3 sounded great.