View Full Version : East Tennesse Blues

Dave Hicks
Sep-08-2004, 1:50pm
... more like "West Tennessee Blues" or, better, "Hangover Day in the Swamp", though. I had trouble with the connection to project page, so maybe the version here will work better:


Sep-08-2004, 11:21pm
I saved it on my hard drive and it worked great. I thought it was in a different key at first though.

Nice rendition! I like yours better than the Monroe one. Now we are waiting for the electric version, LOL!

My buddy Gary Vessel built a 5 string electric strat copy (calls it "Tiny") that would do well for that style http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Dave Hicks
Sep-10-2004, 7:01am
Thansk for your comments. Your versions of Whiskey came out fine.
I figured that hearing Doc and Bill's version would be too inhibiting, so I made sure not to listen to it until after I had recorded mine.

Luckily, my rhythmic errors help achieve the old-time jug band sound!


Sep-15-2004, 1:24pm
Just uploaded my effort at ETB. I really enjoyed learning this tune and came up with a few different variations but couldn't manage to fit them all in the recording.

I really would like some feedback from you mando guy's and gal's. If you think it sucks please say so, http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif If it does I need to know. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Dave Hicks
Sep-15-2004, 1:58pm
Not bad at all - tempo, timing, arrangement and note choices are all fine. There are some wobbles in the fiddle intonation - but that's a good old-timey flava, too.

D.H. (plantecology04)

Sep-15-2004, 2:35pm
I like your version. Nice with that improvised stuff - I haven't been able to do any variations myself.

Sep-15-2004, 2:42pm

Fiddlegit, I can´t get to hear your upload!
I´ve read a couple of responses on your version, but when I want to hear it I´m told (by the great PC God) that it just won´t do? (It won´t find the file or path, I think).

Tjej and Hicks, how did you manage?


Dave Hicks
Sep-15-2004, 2:50pm
It took a bit of time to get to the page requesting permission to download, but the download itself went quite fast. Failing that, copy it and listen locally like c3h.


Sep-17-2004, 10:07am
Instead of just clicking it, right-click and choose "save target as..", and you'll save it to your hard drive. I usually do this when files won't play, or my pc won't play files.

Sep-20-2004, 7:54am
Susy and Dave, thanks, I did as you suggested, and got to hear Roger´s ETB. Now I know what to do in the future when things jam.

I´ve just posted my version of ETB, and it´s rather traditional I guess.

Although this piece is named East Tennessee BLUES, I don´t find it particularly bluesy or sad, but...
...Dave, I love your version. It´s kinda bluesy to me, and miles away from the Monroe-version posted here. I agree with c3hammer there - I think they play it too fast, and loose the charm of the melody.
Nice to hear a fiddle in this forum, Roger, keep it up. I envy you fiddlers the option of holding a note, when we poor mandopickers gotta shake on.
Ken, as always just great! I am deeply in love with the voice of your mandolin, wonder what kind it is? Nice with the guitar-break too.

I think the ETB-people are way behind the Whiskey-people. Where is everyone?


Sep-20-2004, 8:16am
Great job, Sören!
I know, there aren't many ETB recordings at all. I plan to record it, I've been playing it quite a bit this summer, but not much lately so I need to work it up a bit so that I can do a decent recording. I'd like to record both tunes so we'll see how it goes.

Dave Hicks
Sep-20-2004, 9:14am
Ken and Soren - You certainly put a nice bounce to the tune at the higher tempo, both sound great!

Edited to say that I really like the bluegrass versions, but my nervous system won't accomodate playing at those speeds, so I aimed for something like what the Memphis Jug Band might have played.

uncle ken
Sep-20-2004, 2:45pm
Sjusk, I have been using an oval hole F4 for most of these recordings. I like the plunky old time sound of the oval hole mandos for playing fiddle tunes. This forum provides a great incentive for learning new tunes by making you practice to the point where you can record the tune. Thanks to Craig and all who contribute here.

Sep-20-2004, 3:11pm
Uncle Ken, I must say you treat that plunky oval-hole F4 so well! Your recordings are truly great sources to learn from by listening. I wish I could get every note out clear the way you do it. Tipping my hat!
I´ve got this old flattop Swedish mandolin from my mother, and honestly, it has more sustain and body than the grand old Kalamazoo I play mostly - but!..it´s a bit of a terror, fretwise, compared to the Kalamazoo (which probably is a terror compared to modern mandos), so I don´t play it often. Anyways, your information may just make me grab the old Swede from the wall and get to work - after all, I love the sound of it. (Susanne, if you read this: Yes, it´s made in Gøteborg!)
You´ve got a great style, Ken, lots of bands would want you! I bet you´re out there trice a week doing gigs!


uncle ken
Sep-20-2004, 3:28pm
By all means, get out the old flattop. My guitar was my mother's, she bought it in high school. You can hear it on these recordings. I don't play much in bands anymore though, I have a regular Saturday night performance at our church but that's about it. My family came over from Finland, not too far from you.

Sep-20-2004, 3:57pm
Ken, is that F4 the MANDOLIN in your life?
When I want to do Celtic music, I sometimes use the old flattop, it´s so great for ringing chords to build up the singing, but I´d really have to do some practicing, doing say ETB, on it. (I also need some practicing on the Kalamazoo, I know).
But you really got me inspired there!
A had a friend from USA visiting me this summer, who has been around bluegrass music for 30 years, and he was amazed how the old Swede sounded. "I´ve got friends back there that would kill to get this one!" he said. (In spite it has cracks and dings all over it).
I am lefthanded, (really lefthanded!) which limits my opportunities to try out every mandolin around, and actually forces me to reverse righthands - after I bought them - and then try to get the best out of them.
Maybe my flattop is more of a gem than I have realised?
You´ve got me thinking now - thanks!

Your family origins in Finland? Well, it seems we´re about to turn this group into a Scandinavian forum. (ha!)


uncle ken
Sep-20-2004, 5:08pm
Soren, I also have an F5 that I use for my church music job which is country music and bluegrass. The F5 works better when playing with a group. The oval hole sounds better for classical music though, I used it on Ave Maria recently playing along with my daughter on piano at church. My first mandolin years ago was an old roundback mandolin with a flat top that I borrowed from a friend, probably similar to yours. I remember it being very loud with good tone. It would probably be worth having yours fixed up if you can find someone in the area who is qualified. I also think you can buy lefty mandolins now but it would be easy to convert an A style with a new bridge and nut, you could just remove the pickguard.

uncle ken
Sep-20-2004, 5:34pm
Soren, I found your ETB at the yahoo files. That's a pretty fast version, almost as fast as that Bill Monroe Doc Watson recording. It sounds like you hit all of the notes and on time too, not easy at that speed.

Sep-21-2004, 3:09am
Ken, I recorded the back-up first this time, and when I did the picking part, the speed surprised me a bit. I didn´t mean to play it that fast, it just happened, and since I didn´t make any major blunders, I kept it.
Not sure I´m getting all the notes exactly as I read them in the tab, but then again: tabs are guidelines as I see it, helping us to get the main idea of a tune.

I know that Michael Kelly makes F-lefties, and that they should be of reasonable quality, although manufactured in Korea.
A friend of mine in Ticonderoga conversed the 1940 Kalamazoo for me, before I had it shipped over to Denmark.
It´s a brave old mando!


Sep-21-2004, 10:35pm

i really like your recordings! this song is pretty intimidating, mainly because of the tempo. but, you make it sound simple. great job!



Sep-21-2004, 10:38pm

once again, a nice bluegrass feel from our european dude! don't know how you put this together so quick with such a brisk tempo. very impressive!

thanks for the upload,


Sep-23-2004, 6:40am
#There are some wobbles in the fiddle intonation - but that's a good old-timey flava, too.
D.H. (plantecology04)
Thanks for the input Dave, I know I've still got a lot of work to do on intonation generally, but I do find the key of C particularly troublesome. In the meantime I'll go along with the "good old-timey flava" claim. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Dave Hicks
Sep-23-2004, 7:24am
Roger -

Now, don't take my comments wrong - I think your version works well as an integrated piece of music. #The intonation overall is not bad, and does not seriously detract from that. Edited to add: I listen to a fair amount of archival stuff (e.g. Alan Lomax's recordings), and this is exactly the kind of thing you hear on the genuine old-time stuff.

Everybody faces different challenges in their musical development. #The issues that I chronically have to work on include timing, which clearly is not a problem for you.


Sep-23-2004, 8:02am
Roger, I second Dave here!

I admire you for doing the fiddle. I tried the fiddle years ago, gave up because of a lousy bowing arm, and picked up the mandolin instead.

Stick to the fiddle! I http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif fiddlemusic!!


Sep-23-2004, 9:47am
Dave, I didn't intend to sound like I thought you were being mean about my fiddlin'. I honestly took what you said as constructive, helpful and encouraging comments. I also listen to, and enjoy, a lot of archival recordings of old-time fiddle and feel that if they were "in tune" according to established, formal conventions they would completely lose they're appeal, and I actually like the fact you can play notes on the fiddle that you can't get on mandolin. That said, I still think there were one or two http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif notes in my East Tennessee Blues that could have been better. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Søren, thanks for your encouraging remarks also. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Mike Buesseler
Sep-24-2004, 9:01am
WOW! I just DL'd sjusk and Uncle Ken's versions of ETB. AWESOME!!! (These things take me forever to DL...I do a couple at a sitting). Great timing and drive on both. Great work, you guys! I'll be using both as learning tools....


Sep-27-2004, 7:02am
I finally got my version uploaded. After several failed attempts from home over dial-up I ended up bringing it into work and uploading from here. Anybody know if there's a way to ftp files into the Yahoo groups site?

Sep-27-2004, 7:28am
picksnbits and g_smolt, just had a listen to your recordings, and what a load of good ideas you have with ETB! Styles are different, but if all of your ideas were put together in one arrangement, ETB could go on for 15 minutes - at least!
I really enjoyed your creativity.

MikeB, thanks for your kind words. Just want you to know that I´ll be using your versions of WBB as learning tools. You have a wonderful Celtic approach in your recordings.


Sep-27-2004, 11:31am
Thanks Soren, I really enjoy hearing the different interpretations of the various songs we've done as well.

Whatever creativity I have is usually a result of having a bad memory. I frequently have to re-learn a song because I've erred to far from the original. It's hard to know when your taking artistic license in a good direction and when you're just playing it wrong.

Sep-28-2004, 6:20am
Man alive, I don't know who I'm listening to but I could let this version of ETB loop all day long. The name with the file is Bart Nash. Great job. When it came on, I realized that ETB has got to be a song on Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza. If I'm wrong, it sure sounds like it.