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Thread: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

  1. #1
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    I notice that not much is happening by way of blues here, so I decided to start posting a blues or blues-related tune a week (allowing for "the best-laid plans of mice and men...") for blues mandolin and banjolin (mandolin-banjo or whatever) players and fans. I don't have the skills to include notation or tablature. I just want to share tunes for your enjoyment and inspiration. In order to see how much interest there is in this topic, I'd appreciate if Cafe members who want me to continue doing this could hit "Thanks", not because I want thanks but so I can get an idea of how many people care.

    To start with, here's "The Jackson Stomp" by the Mississippi Mudsteppers, with Charlie McCoy (not the contemporary Nashville Charlie McCoy) on banjolin. This tune, with lyrics, is also known as "The Lonesome Train that Carried My Gal Away." It's available under one or the other title on both of Steve James's "Learn to Play Blues Mandolin" DVD's, and in Rich DelGrosso's book with CD, Mandolin Blues.

    Enjoy.




    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    I would love to learn more about blues and the mandolin. I most recently attended a blues jam in my area with my mandolin. It was a lot of fun trying to figure out how to play the blues. The crowd was very welcoming of me and my mandolin. I'm hoping to learn something so I can contribute in someway . Looking forward to your postings .

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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    I care. Thanks!

    Recently purchased a National RM-1 resophonic mandolin so I am always on the lookout for tunes to add to my band's list. We do swing and Gypsy jazz, but I also like ragtime and the older style, rowdy blues tunes.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    Thanks!

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Teak View Post
    I care. Thanks!

    Recently purchased a National RM-1 resophonic mandolin so I am always on the lookout for tunes to add to my band's list. We do swing and Gypsy jazz, but I also like ragtime and the older style, rowdy blues tunes.
    Thanks, Teak. From what I see on YouTube, that's a nice instrument. Enjoy playing it. If you haven't seen this already, here's Steve James playing a little blues on an RM-1:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAJnUJ97I5I
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    I really like the stuff from Charles "Papa Charlie" McCoy


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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    I really like the stuff from Charles "Papa Charlie" McCoy
    Thanks, David. He's the same Charlie McCoy in the Mississippi Mud Steppers (post 1). I really enjoy him.

    I checked out some of your music by the way, and was thoroughly impressed -- it's much more sophisticated than my mandolin playing ever will be. In my circles, a tune with more than four chords is called "jazz."
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Thanks, David. He's the same Charlie McCoy in the Mississippi Mud Steppers (post 1). I really enjoy him.

    I checked out some of your music by the way, and was thoroughly impressed -- it's much more sophisticated than my mandolin playing ever will be. In my circles, a tune with more than four chords is called "jazz."
    I appreciate your interest, thanks!

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    Charlie and his brother, Joe, also recorded with a studio group in Chicago using the name "Harlem Hamfats"........


    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Charlie and his brother, Joe, also recorded with a studio group in Chicago using the name "Harlem Hamfats"........
    Thanks, Charley, but the video didn't come through for me, so could you please provide the name of the "Harlem Hamfats" tune, so that those of us who didn't get it can find it on YouTube?
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    I have had this problem in the past with my imbedding not showing up for some folks.

    Try this.......

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2heVEC2djCE

    The tune is " oh red".
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    I just noticed that the second video in the first post had disappeared, so I'm reposting it. Here are Charlie McCoy (mandolin) and Bo Carter with"The Lonesome Train That Took My Baby Away."I don't know who is singing. If the links don't work search You Tube for "Charlie McCoy/The Lonesome Train That Took My Baby Away".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4pAARyV7DY

    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1

    It's definitely Charlie McCoy singing. That type of accompaniment on the guitar was a kind of common denominator between the Chatmons and some of the musicians that played with them. Both of the musicians here are playing in B-flat, although the 78 plays back a bit fast. Charlie McCoy also has the two lowest courses of his banjo-mandolin strung in octave pairs, so there's all kinds of weird stuff going on.

    The Chatmons tended to favor flat keys in their ensemble music - they recorded more songs in E-flat than D, for example, and once you factor in songs with other singers (like Texas Alexander), there are nearly as many recordings in B-flat as there are in G. None where they played in A position (weird but true). The rest are split between in F and C and one or two where Walter Vinson may have been using a variant of spanish tuning, but may very well have been playing in standard tuning, G position. There is ONE (just one) where the guitar and fiddle are both playing in the key of E - Dead Wagon Blues - one of the last recordings with Walter Vinson.

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