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Ian Brown
May-09-2011, 9:25am
The title pretty much says it all; I just saw that Netflix is streaming highlights from the Flatt and Scruggs TV show.

Amazing musicians, and the sound quality is surprisingly good. I just wish you could see a bit more of the mandolin.

JeffD
May-09-2011, 9:40am
OH mannn....

Matteo
May-09-2011, 2:58pm
I just wish you could see a bit more of the mandolin.
Curly Seckler certainly didn't play much lead mandolin back in the Flatt & Scruggs days.
The group wanted to differ as much as possible from Bill Monroe's sound, so they hired Seckler mainly for his singing abilities. I've often heard tales of how Lester Flatt would say "Curly, I always tought you look good when you held the mandolin".

That said, I find Seckler's work quite interesting.
I'm going to go a bit off topic, but one seldom gets to say something about his style, so I'll just go ahead and do it :)
Examples of his mandolin playing can be found on late 40s Mercury stuff (Baby Blue Eyes, Why Don't You Tell Me So, Boquet In Heaven), in few latter tunes (Foggy Mountain Special and not many more) and on some of the surviving 1950s radio transcripts.
For about every solo he played, Curly used a distinctive double-stop/tremolo pattern.

While in the "Mandolin in the Foggy Mountain Boys" subject, I will mention that Everett Lilly recorded some mighty fine mandolin on several Flatt & Scruggs cuts.
Hope this wasn't too boring :)
Matt.

Willie Poole
May-09-2011, 7:36pm
Matt, any talk about Flatt and Scruggs or Curly Seckler can never be boring....Curly didn`t play many single notes but what he played seemed to fit in, I learned mandolin by playing the tremelo and double stops from Buzz Busby but use very little of it now but when I do the audience seems to like it...

I`d like to hear more stories about F&S....

Willie

swampstomper
May-10-2011, 8:38am
I love Curly's break on "Foggy Mountain Special" -- minimalist double stop chords. It fits right in with Lester's "hot" (not!) solo -- just G-runs and a D7. They let Earl and the fiddler (Benny Martin? not sure) do all the heavy lifting. Every time I play that tune I do Curly's solo as the first break, then try to do a Monroe-like version of Earl's first statement of the theme.

About the F&S shows, I have three of the DvD's, what great music and great shows! Definitely will recommend to my Netflix friends.

AlanN
May-10-2011, 10:03am
And I hear the Curly influence in shades of Larry Rice's picking.

Spencer
May-11-2011, 5:14am
I always liked Curly's break on "Thinking About You". Nate Bray fancied it up a bit, which is one of my all time favorites (Bray Brothers - Prairie Bluegrass on Rounder). I've been at a lot of shows where the crowd really eats up the tremolo breaks, so don't forget them.

Spencer

Matteo
May-11-2011, 1:56pm
I always liked Curly's break on "Thinking About You". Nate Bray fancied it up a bit, which is one of my all time favorites (Bray Brothers - Prairie Bluegrass on Rounder). I've been at a lot of shows where the crowd really eats up the tremolo breaks, so don't forget them.
Spencer really hits the nail on the head! Thinking About You is one of my favorite Seckler breaks, and Nate (another fantastic picker too often overlooked) really did a pretty version of it on that old radio broadcast.
I agree with Willie too, Buzz was another lead exponent in tremolo breaks, really inventive and drawing heavily on country fiddling and steel guitar as far as double stops...and another one of my favorites!

The world definitely NEEDS more doublestops/tremolo solos! I thought I was the only one who still played those...glad to know I'm in good company :)

swampstomper
May-11-2011, 2:01pm
Matteo, very few can play tremelos like you! Looking forward to hearing you again at EWOB. The combination of Italian folk music heritage and bluegrass music is unbeatable!

Spencer
May-11-2011, 3:00pm
I'll be at EWOB too, we need to get together. I am usually wandering around with a gray Pegasus case over my shoulder or else talking with Jeroen.

Spencer

Willie Poole
May-11-2011, 3:51pm
Natteo, Just yesterday I was going through some old reel to reel tapes that I have and found one of myself and my brother playing and having fun and I didn`t think it was me at first because of the tremelo playing, I didn`t realize that I played it all that good...I was also playing my old 1950 F-12 which I have long ago sold and was sorry for doing it...I going to keep listening to those tapes and try to get my hands to do that style once again and include it in our programs a little more often....

Willie

johnny
May-11-2011, 8:21pm
thanks for the heads up, these have been fun to watch. although now I want some martha white self-rising corn flour.

I was really glad to see an oval hole mandolin on the show! I love my oval hole but feel like I get some funny looks sometimes showing up to bluegrass jams. now i can say ' Curly Seckler played one with Flatt & Scruggs'. I also saw a picture of him with a blonde oval hole mandolin.

Matteo
May-12-2011, 4:27am
I love my oval hole but feel like I get some funny looks sometimes showing up to bluegrass jams. now i can say ' Curly Seckler played one with Flatt & Scruggs'.
If someone should ever make remark on you playing bluegrass with an oval hole, you can hand this list of REAL bluegrass mandolin players who played with ovals:

- Curly Seckler (Flatt & Scruggs)
- Everett Lilly (Lilly Brothers & Don Stover)
- Pee Wee Lambert (Stanley Brothers)
- Curly Lambert (Stanley Brothers / Charlie Moore)
- Bill Lowe (Stanley Brothers)
- Red Rector
- Charlie Taylor (with Johnnie Whisnant)
- Charles Bailey (Bailey Brothers)
- Ronnie Prevette (with Jimmy Martin but also Larry Richardson I think)
- Any mandolin player that played with Jimmy Martin (he would hand them his old F2)
- Bill Monroe recorded Gotta Travel On and Monroe's Hornpipe on an F4!!
- Ricky Skaggs (with Ralph Stanley)
- More recently, Ed D'zmura (played an A4 early on with the Johnson Mountain Boys)

Those are the ones on top of my head...there's many more.
Matt.

swampstomper
May-12-2011, 6:42am
...
- Ronnie Prevette (with Jimmy Martin but also Larry Richardson I think)
...
- Bill Monroe recorded Gotta Travel On and Monroe's Hornpipe on an F4!!
...
- Ricky Skaggs (with Ralph Stanley)
Matt.

1. yes, Ronnie recorded with Larry Richardson, that's all available on iTunes

2. no it's Monroe's Hornpipe and Big Mon

3. yes, and you can really hear it on his break to Katy Daley (key of C, "Something Old, Something New" LP), when he hits the open G string on the V chord.

Clement Barrera-Ng
May-12-2011, 9:46am
Thanks to the tip from the OP I watched one of the episodes on Netflix last night. As someone who had never seen the show before, it was a blast. Thanks.

Matteo
May-12-2011, 10:55am
2. no it's Monroe's Hornpipe and Big Mon.
To my knowledge, Bill recorded four sided with that mandolin: Big Mon, No One But My Darlin', Gotta Travel On and Monroe's Hornpipe, so that would include both the ones you listed and the ones I listed :)

BTW those are some very kind remarks you made on my playing, but I doubt you were referring to the right person...I've never been to EWOB.
But thanks anyway, hope we get a chance to meet sometime :)
Matt.

swampstomper
May-12-2011, 12:39pm
BTW those are some very kind remarks you made on my playing, but I doubt you were referring to the right person...I've never been to EWOB.
But thanks anyway, hope we get a chance to meet sometime :)
Matt.

I guess you are right, I was referring to Massimo Gatti (http://www.mandozine.com/resources/CGOW/gatti.php).

About the Monroe F4 cuts, Big Mon and Monroe's Hornpipe were at one session, 01-December-1958. "Gotta Travel On" / "No One But My Darlin' was a Decca single (30809) from 1959, they were recorded just before the other two, I guess at the same session. I just listened to these two again, and indeed it's an oval-hole mando. Especially on "No One..." in the key of G, he uses those typical G-blues licks, the low G and D strings really sustain. I like the F5 a lot better for that kind of picking. Thanks for the correction.

Matteo
May-13-2011, 5:33pm
I guess you are right, I was referring to Massimo Gatti (http://www.mandozine.com/resources/CGOW/gatti.php)
Massimo is a fantastic picker and a very good friend, he currently plays mandolin in a trad bluegrass project with me, where I play banjo and sing.
And YES, he's terrific at tremolo solos!

johnny
May-14-2011, 2:31pm
I loved the episode with little Ricky Skaggs. that was wild. I knew it was him before they said it too. Then was the episode with Earl's kid; I never knew the autoharp was an accepted member in traditional bluegrass.

Earl Gamage
May-15-2011, 1:21pm
Now I know where "Hot Rize" came from.

swampstomper
May-16-2011, 12:32am
Now I know where "Hot Rize" came from.

You can still buy that Martha White (http://www.marthawhite.com/) flour all over the South, and you can still hear the theme song sung by Rhonda Vincent -- she is now sponsored by Martha White Mills. When Kenny Ingram was with her you could close your eyes and imagine Earl at Carnegie Hall wowing the city folks with the theme.