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Thread: Cruel Willie

  1. #1

    Default Cruel Willie

    Can anyone help with the tuning used for the guitar and the chords for this tune?
    This version of "Cruel Willie" has some beautiful mandolin work and mando tab would be appreciated but can work from the guitar chords.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPrB2...eature=related
    Much better recording but the mandolin not so prominent in this version by same group:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZmKE...eature=related
    Anne

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cruel Willie

    Quote Originally Posted by AnneMC View Post
    Can anyone help with the tuning used for the guitar and the chords for this tune?
    This version of "Cruel Willie" has some beautiful mandolin work and mando tab would be appreciated but can work from the guitar chords.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPrB2...eature=related
    Much better recording but the mandolin not so prominent in this version by same group:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZmKE...eature=related
    Anne
    Anne --- hello -- this is a really old post! I wonder if you are still on the MandolinCafe site these days? I come around now and then. I've played Cruel Willie, tune only, on the mandolin for quite some time now. A fiddlin' friend wants to learn it. Thanks for these great links. I'm going to ask my mandolin teacher this week what those cool chords are. Kenny and Amanda's band plays it in the Key of F. It looks like maybe the guitar players have capoed up. I can't tell if the mandolin player is using a capo or not. I play it in D. For Part A, I hear straight D G and A, though in slightly surprising places. I think there's a Bm near or at the beginning of Part B. Whatever the other Part B chords are after that, I'm not so sure.
    Last edited by stringalong; Jul-17-2016 at 8:35pm. Reason: add info

  3. #3
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cruel Willie

    Clyde Curly's band does an awesome old-time version of it https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...8YHKqa0DRctpHg

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cruel Willie

    Yes, definitely Clyde Curly! I learned the tune from his album. He's a great mandolinist.

  5. #5
    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cruel Willie

    Quote Originally Posted by stringalong View Post
    Yes, definitely Clyde Curly! I learned the tune from his album. He's a great mandolinist.
    Also check out Howard Rains' soundcloud page where he has a wonderful old-time fiddle version that is absolutely awesome.

    https://soundcloud.com/howard-rains/cruel-willie
    I Pick, Therefore I Grin! ... "Good Music Any OLD-TIME"

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Cruel Willie

    woodwizard and all, Hi. I listened to Howard Rains -- yes, he's really a great fiddler. The fiddler I play with uses the pizzacato, too, like Rains does. I notice that the Rains harmony background uses standard chords. I like the raw sound of a VI m in two places. Second line, Part A, on beat three; Second line, beat two, of Part B. I think those are the correctly described beats --anyway, what I do fits. Check out where you think the VI m fits if I have not described it well here. (In the usual Key of D, VI m is B m. My friends and I play it in the Key of G, for our voices -- we sing the lyrics, also play the lead melody. In the Key of G, the VI m is Em)

  7. #7
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cruel Willie

    Quote Originally Posted by stringalong View Post
    Anne --- hello -- this is a really old post! I wonder if you are still on the MandolinCafe site these days? I come around now and then. I've played Cruel Willie, tune only, on the mandolin for quite some time now. A fiddlin' friend wants to learn it. Thanks for these great links. I'm going to ask my mandolin teacher this week what those cool chords are. Kenny and Amanda's band plays it in the Key of F. It looks like maybe the guitar players have capoed up. I can't tell if the mandolin player is using a capo or not. I play it in D. For Part A, I hear straight D G and A, though in slightly surprising places. I think there's a Bm near or at the beginning of Part B. Whatever the other Part B chords are after that, I'm not so sure.
    OK, so I know I'm replying to an old reply to a really old thread. But in the first video posted by the OP, the chords I hear in the B part are walking from Bm to A to G (vi - V - IV) and back to the root D. That gives it a very modern pseudo-bluegrassy sound to my ear.

    I much prefer a straight old-time version version of this tune with only two chords (I and V), with the fiddle tuned to DDAD. Howdy Forrester got it right:

    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

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