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View Full Version : Country Gentlemen "Matterhorn"



AlanN
Sep-02-2010, 10:50am
Classic. Listen to Jimmy's fern for bark and cut

Gary Hedrick
Sep-02-2010, 11:21am
I think that the Country Gentlemen are one of the greatly under appreciated groups in Bluegrass history. The Duffy and Gaurdreau (sp?) versions produced some of the most interesting music ever......to me.......I still listen to those albums .......

Willie Poole
Sep-02-2010, 11:44am
Gary, The Gents may have been "Under appreciated" in your area but not here on the east coast, and noteably here in the DC, Md. and Va. area they were the glue that has made this area the bluegrass capital of the the US....Many, many pickers used to fill the halls where they played and never saw a bad show as I recall....I am proud to say that most of them were my personal friends, like Duffey, Ed Ferris, Charlie Waller and Bill Yates...I didn`t get to hang with Gaudreau or Lawson or Bill Emerson too much although I did meet them many times at their shows......To my way of thinking they were the best bluegrass band since the original Flatt and Scruggs, true Duffey did change the way a lot of us looked at mandolin playing but it didn`t take long to see that his style would be accepted in bluegrass...I believe that Charlie was the most purest singer that ever walked on a stage and it`s too bad he never got into "Country" music where he could have really been more popular, that is just my opinion, I talked to Charlie about it one time and he did record an album that didn`t have very much banjo playing on it in hopes that some of the songs would catch on in the "country" field, he did play the Grand Ole` Opy a few times with the bluegrass band but never was accepted as a "country" artist....

grassrootphilosopher
Sep-03-2010, 4:01am
This video then must be as late as early ī73. After that it was Doyle Lawson, right? The Fern is really interesting to listen to. As far as I know Jimmy Geaudreau sold it as a downpayment for a house. I got very useful tips from him when he taught me in a workshop once.

Matterhorn is about the only "European" bluegrass song that I know of. And the Country Gentlemen really rock. Bill Monroe, The Country Gentlemen and the Seldom Scene were the big influences for me in the beginning.

Itīs interesting though to find out that the Gents have a totally different rythm thing going compared to the Bluegrass Boys. When I started to learn guitar I could play along with the Bluegrass Boys while playing along with the Gents took years.

Ronny
Sep-03-2010, 5:33am
I don't know if the Country Gentlemen are under appreciated, but the only version of Matterhorn that I know is their version (from one of a the rare bluegrass compilations available in France) - and I like it a lot.

Skip Kelley
Sep-03-2010, 6:06am
Great video! Thanks Alan!

AlanN
Sep-03-2010, 6:26am
I would guess 70 or 71. Jimmy joined the band in 1969, replacing JD. That looks like Ed McGlothlin on bass. If you check the CG 25 Years album jacket, the timeline on there shows band member dates.

I love the CW moves he gets, the little wiggles. He played guitar like nobody else, before or since. The mandolin Jimmy is playing is a 25, bought for him by a local radio station. John Paganoni is the current owner, I think.

ChrisStewart
Sep-03-2010, 11:08am
This is probably my favorite group. I like the way they used contemporary songs.

Willie Poole
Sep-03-2010, 11:10am
Alan....I went to a bar in Northern Va.some time back and Pags was playing Jimmy`s Fern and some of the guys I was with were asked to get up and pick a few songs so I asked Pags if I could play his mandolin and he said, "No, this is Gaudreaus old mandolin" and I told him, "So what, I have probably played it long before you owned it"...I guess he really cherished it and didn`t want anything to happen to it, he didn`t know me from Adam and it was crowded stage area so I can`t blame him....As far as I know he still owns it....

J.Albert
Sep-03-2010, 5:37pm
"under-appreciated"?

John Duffey and Charlie Waller were the greatest singers bluegrass has given us.

Others are barely a step behind, but those two were the best in their respective ranges....

- John

Gary Hedrick
Sep-03-2010, 6:28pm
By under appreciated I mean that they are not held up by many as the shinning light of new influence that I believe they were. To the hard core bluegrass folks of Bean Blossom in the 60's they weren't it. Later Duffy went out of his way to make fun of Bill and others and that wasn't taken well by many of the hardcore folks.

It's hard for me to think of a better line up than Duffy, Waller, Adcock and Gray.......
I got to see them in the very eary 60's at Witenburger Auditorium at Indiana University and it was like a major light bulb went off in my head. I'd always seen Bill, the Stanley Brothers, McCormick Brothers, Flatt and Scruggs etc but these guys were different.....really different. Neil Rosenberg helped sponsor them and Duffy was playing that blond F4 conversion that he had.

So I speak from a certain perspective when I say under appreciated....but even on this board you don't see a lot of Duffy topics brought up......there were a few several months ago but I don't see a lot of folks holding him up a mandolin player to copy yet if you really listen to their music and listen to what he did with them and Seldom Scene.....screen out the clowning around stuff. he really did add a tremendous amount of impact to the music.....great kickoffs.....great fills.....an understanding of what he wanted to contribute to the overall song.....

it was a great loss to the music when he passed......as it was when Charlie Waller did......

300win
Sep-04-2010, 5:04am
Always liked the Gents, still do. I read once that Larry Rice said that Duffey influenced his mandolin playing more than anyone else. He did some strange stuff, but he did some really good stuff too. One of the best mandolin kick-offs ever in my opinion is the one that Duffey did on "Katie Dear".

Philippe Bony
Sep-04-2010, 12:33pm
I would guess 70 or 71. Jimmy joined the band in 1969, replacing JD. That looks like Ed McGlothlin on bass. If you check the CG 25 Years album jacket, the timeline on there shows band member dates.

I love the CW moves he gets, the little wiggles. He played guitar like nobody else, before or since. The mandolin Jimmy is playing is a 25, bought for him by a local radio station. John Paganoni is the current owner, I think.

I thought it was Bill Yates on bass.
??

Willie Poole
Sep-04-2010, 5:31pm
P.B.....I sent Alan an e mail asking him to check and see if it wasn`t in fact Bill Yates on bass, I haven`t heard back from him as yet, he must be out to some festival I guess.....Willie

swampstomper
Sep-05-2010, 3:16am
Great clip. (1) that is indeed Bill Yates, Ed McGlothlin did not last long with the band (he came with Gaudreau from New England and for a while had the stage name "New Englander"); (2) look how they work that one mike!! I wish more bands today would do that. Charlie holds the vi chord, pushes his guitar up to the mike to get some extra oomph; Bill works in and out from the solo to backup, Jimmy and Charlie get it going at one point, and of course the 3-part harmony always sounds better with the voices blending at one mike -- quite a contrast to ear monitors and all-in-a-line bands; (3) Jimmy is at this point still imitating the "on the record" break from Duffy, although he strays a bit from it at the end; his percussive fills are really nice.

Thanks for posting!

AlanN
Sep-05-2010, 9:58am
I guess Yates it is.

Charley wild
Sep-05-2010, 11:32am
Always liked the Gents, still do. I read once that Larry Rice said that Duffey influenced his mandolin playing more than anyone else. He did some strange stuff, but he did some really good stuff too. One of the best mandolin kick-offs ever in my opinion is the one that Duffey did on "Katie Dear".

Absolutely!! Isn't that intro great! I got my first mandolin because I wanted to learn Duffey's solos on "These Men of God". Copies of "The Carnegie Hall" and "Hootenany" albums are always in my car, still two of my favorites! What a great band!

AlanN
Sep-05-2010, 11:42am
Didn't Duffey play some dobro back then too?

Katie Dear is a lovely intro, Grisman noted that out somewhere.

Matteo
Sep-05-2010, 11:52am
That video was recorded at the Renfro Valley Bluegrass Festival. As someone mentioned, the year should be 1971, same as other Mac Wiseman / Shenendoah Cut Ups / Lester Flatt etc... videos I've seen that Ronnie Reno's Man-Do-Lin label is releasing on DVD.
Great band.
Matt.

Willie Poole
Sep-05-2010, 12:52pm
Duffey did play some dobro on recordings, The Gents also had a fellow named Kenny Haddock playing dobro on some early appearences and releases, the last time I saw him he was running his own truckng company out of Va., great dobro player, if there is such a thing.....Willie

Red Henry
Sep-06-2010, 7:34am
Kenny Haddock was a fine dobro player indeed, and we were fortunate to make his acquaintance after we moved here to Virginia. In conversations, Kenny did express some frustration that on the Gentlemen LPs on which he played dobro, the LP cover photos depicted John Duffey with that instrument instead. But that's bluegrass!

Red

swampstomper
Sep-07-2010, 5:31am
Kenny's break on "Two Little Boys" is a real classic -- it's on the CG 25 year compilation from County.

AlanN
Sep-07-2010, 7:12am
I don't see a lot of folks holding him up a mandolin player to copy yet if you really listen to their music and listen to what he did with them and Seldom Scene...he really did add a tremendous amount of impact to the music.....great kickoffs.....great fills.....an understanding of what he wanted to contribute to the overall song.....

Duffey was different, and it took guts to be that way at that time. He used modern chords, great syncopation and note selection, in the early CG days. He had nobody to go by, just made it up as he went, very innovative. Copper Kettle, Make Me a Palette...very un-Monroe, and great. He was a good foil to bring folks into the bg, who maybe were turned off by the whole high lonesome thing. And when he went with the Seldom Scene, the mandolin was really a part of the whole band sound and not a separate voice.

Jimmy must have been a bit like 'Whoa', when he replaced John in the CG in 1969.

Philippe Bony
Sep-07-2010, 8:04am
Excerpt from this memorial site (http://www.charliewaller.net/),


62378

AlanN
Sep-07-2010, 1:50pm
Thanks for the site. The photos link in there does not work for me.

I know this photo has made the rounds over the years, but all this talk of the Duffle-bag made me dig it up once again. O, the look on John's face...

Gary Hedrick
Sep-07-2010, 3:25pm
Alan to say that Duffy was "different" is an understatement indeed....... I still remember the comments he would make....."That isn't the way Bill would do it"........."Acid grass" ..........the whole Muleskinner Blues thing.......He took many a swing at the "Great God Mandolinis" and seem to really enjoy it....... and frankly sometimes the bluegrass police need a swift kick in the shorts......

All that said he still is one of my favorite mandolins players because of what he added to mix of the band....and frankly he and Bill were more alike than different in many ways.....

Willie Poole
Sep-07-2010, 3:52pm
When Dudley was asked to join the Scene, he made a comment something like this, "If John will get serious about his mandolin playing and stage presentation, I would love to be a part of the Scene", on their last album together John was at his serious best on a song "When I gain My Rewards", shortly after that he passed away and I never got to ask John who wrote the song or where it came from, anyone know?

John played bluegrass because he liked to jokeingly mimic some of the stars on the stage and it was done with much admiration for those stars like Monroe and Jimmy Martin, along with Starling he liked to take songs from different kinds of music and show the world that they could and would be appreicated by true bluegrass fans, he told me that he knew that all of them wouldn`t be accepted by all bluegrass fans but as long as some of the fans liked some of the songs that was what he was after....To be real honest with you John never cared if people raved over his mandolin playing all that much as long as they loved his singing, thats what he really took his pride in doing and doing it well, there never was and never will be a tenor/high baritone singer like John Duffey, and on some of the same songs where he sang tenor he could also do the bass part, he had such a great vocal range...He said he was trained by his father who was an opera singer and his mother also sang, a great background to draw from....For all of you that never got the chance to meet or talk to John you missed out on a lot of knowledge about bluegrass singing and playing...I am proud to say that he was my friend.....He was a lot more serious off stage then he was on stage.....Willie

Don Grieser
Sep-09-2010, 8:59am
As many mics as they have on stage in that picture of Duffy looking over Bill's shoulder, there must be a recording of that somewhere. Would love to hear that with the young Pete Rowans on guitar (Bill liked to call him Pete Rowans).