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Thread: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #22

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Blues, Stomps, & Rags #22

    Here's a different approach to ragtime and blues, from the Blue Ridge Ramblers, a "hillbilly" band that featured Charles Hunt on mandolin. I can't find much information on Hunt, nor can I discover much about the Ramblers, except what I found in a Wikipedia article on Charlie Bowman, from Tennessee, a fiddler and bandleader: "Around 1930, Bowman and several family members joined the vaudeville group, the 'Blue Ridge Ramblers', with whom they toured the Loew's vaudeville circuit until 1935." To further complicate matters, a contemporary Charles Hunt is recording mandolin music in Alaska. Furthermore, a group called the Blue Ridge Ramblers, also known as H. M. Barnes Blue Ridge Ramblers, operating during the same era (1920's to 30's), seems to have had completely different musicians, so, unless there was a complete turnover over the years, this was a different band from Hunt and Bowman's Blue Ridge Ramblers.

    I'm adding some additional information that I just discovered, from Dr. Richard Cherry's liner notes to Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps& Blues: "Although they originally hailed from Kentucky, The Blue Ridge Ramblers (aka The Prairie Ramblers) were best known for their regular performances on Chicago's WLS radio station. They accompanied such popular singers as Patsy Montana and Gene Autry and enjoyed several 'hits' with 'cowboy' and pop songs. However on Jug Rag, featuring the mandola of Chick Hurt, we hear them paying tribute to their earliest influences -- the Louisville jug bands of Earl MacDonald and Clifford Hayes." (Googling "Chick Hurt" leads to copious information on injured poultry.

    Here's Charles Hunt coming in and out with his mandola on a lively rag recorded in 1935. You may have to click on the URL for this one (letters and numbers immediately below), but if the links don't work, search YouTube for "Blue Ride Ramblers, Jug Rag".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z0NTZIYhbY




    There's plenty of mandolin in this jumpin' blues piece. I'm assuming that Charles Hunt plays mandolin here as well, though I could be wrong. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Blue Ride Ramblers, D Blues".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYQpKBKjVTw

    Last edited by Ranald; Sep-30-2018 at 10:33am. Reason: video problem, additional info
    "It's just music; you can't break it."

    Buffy Ste-Marie on experimenting with your sound.
    "On Reserve", CBC Radio.

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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #22

    Thanks for posting these, Ranald. These threads often have lots of stuff I haven't heard before, and it's always interesting.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #22

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Here's Charles Hunt coming in and out with his mandola on a lively rag recorded in 1935. You may have to click on the URL for this one (letters and numbers immediately below), but if the links don't work, search YouTube for "Blue Ride Ramblers, Jug Rag".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z0NTZIYhbY

    There's plenty of mandolin in this jumpin' blues piece. I'm assuming that Charles Hunt plays mandolin here as well, though I could be wrong. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Blue Ride Ramblers, D Blues".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYQpKBKjVTw
    Sorry for the typos, folks. That should be "Blue Ridge Ramblers". I hope I didn't send anyone on a wild goose chase.
    Ranald
    "It's just music; you can't break it."

    Buffy Ste-Marie on experimenting with your sound.
    "On Reserve", CBC Radio.

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