Bryan, thanks for the positive comments on my playing. Like I said, the whole weekend lit a fire under my tail to pick it up with my practicing. I will be ready next time.
I finally got off my butt and uploaded the videos that I took at the clinic. Unfortunately, the video quality from my phone is far inferior to the quality of the playing, but there is some good stuff.
Yeah, this weekend was awesome. It was good to meet you, Bryan. Everything from the Friday night picking to the Saturday night clinic after party lit a fire under my tail to get back in the woodshed. I had been having a tough time with walking the augmented chord around on the V, but that finally clicked on Saturday afternoon.
I have a video of Tommy doing some whole tone scale stuff over the I and IV then hitting the augmented stuff over the V and then a video of him showing the Tiny Grimes licks from Saturday afternoon. I will try to get that up on youtube tonight. I noticed a couple of guys taking a good bit of video during the clinic, so I was going to see if Lenny could put out a plea to put those videos on youtube when he emails all of the videos and backing tracks. Might be good for him to put a link to this forum in that email too.
Driving back from the beach today, I remembered a Blind Boy Fuller song Step It Up and Go. My friend Tad tried to show me how to play it years ago, but I was not ready to learn it yet. Might not be still, but I am going to find out tonight.
Tad always said that Step It Up and Go should be the North Carolina state anthem because in the old days everybody in NC knew how to play it. While consulting Youtube for the Blind Boy Fuller version, I came across a documentary that looks familiar but I don’t remember seeing the whole thing. Probably means I watched it while drinking beer. Anyway, it has some familiar names, some new names, and one crazy ass spoons player.
Finally, an instructional video from singer Captain Luke about how to drink a beer. Personally, I do not require any additional instruction on the topic, but the video is damn funny. It is however, quite filthy, so hide the children, wives, and bosses before you play it.
I have a 1953 ES-125 and can testify that it is a great guitar. I managed to find it on EBay for around $1200 a few years ago…it even came with the original purchase invoice. Mine is all original, and the only knocks I have on it is that the neck is a little thin for my taste and the frets are pretty low which I think is typical for old Gibsons. It sounds and plays great, though. I think you can still get them for under $1500 in the US, which is pretty absurd for a fifties Gibson.
I have fooled around with the comparable Loar and they are nice guitars as well. The neck on the Loar is a little thicker and the frets are a little taller. Huh, maybe I need to get ahold of one of those too.
I am in the Outer Banks this week with spotty internet connections. I don’t know about Bull City Red other than that he was a washboard player. I will do some more digging and posting on Saturday when I get home.
The drive from Raleigh to the Outer Banks goes through several rural predominantly African American areas. I started to get curious if there is any music history in the eastern part of the state that I need to research.
Man, I always assumed Scrapper Blackwell was from the North Carolina mountains because I knew he was part Cherokee. I looked up Syracuse on google maps and I think I got lost around there trying to get to Myrtle Beach for my brother in law’s batchelor party a few years ago.
My friend Tad Walters, who got me on the right musical path years ago, was also mentored by John Jackson. Tad is worth a look on youtube. He is a killer guitar player, singer, and harmonica player. In fact, if you have ever seen Bob Margolin it is likely that Tad was playing with him.
Tommy mentioned has mentioned you to me as well and was surprised that Charlotte and Raleigh are so far apart. I think we are both scientists too. God only knows what Tommy must think of this state now.
I was driving to work today and remembered Ralph Willis. He started in Alabama then moved to NC in the 30s. There is a whole CD on YouTube. Check out #10, Goin to Chattanooga.
Another good one that I just thought of is Willie Trice. I think he came from Greensboro. Can’t find any good examples of his stuff on youtube.
Last one for now is Hacksaw Harney. Robert Lockwood said he was the best guitar player he had ever heard. I did not know Lockwood had such high praise in him. He came from the Delta, but his style sounds more Piedmont than Delta to me. Insert joke about 80s airlines of the southeast here.
I will definitely be at the clinic in Durham this August.
Don’t forget the good Reverend Gary Davis! He was born in the godforsaken southern version of Carolina, but migrated to Durham in the 20s. Every time I go to Durham, I wonder if I am walking where Blind Boy Fuller and the Reverend Gary Davis once walked.
Ever wonder where those British guys came up with the name Pink Floyd? Well, it is an amalgamation of the names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, both from the Carolinas. Pink Anderson came from South Carolina, and may be the only thing cooler than bootleg fireworks to come from that state.
Floyd Council came from my hometown of Chapel Hill, NC and is one of the only sidemen to ever be recorded with Blind Boy Fuller. Come to think of it, I went to middle and high school with several Council kids. I wonder if they were related?
Good to see a John Dee Holeman video on here. I have been lucky enough to spend some time with Mr. Holeman through my good friend Tad Walters. He lives maybe 4 or 5 miles from the Blue Note Grill where Tommy and Junior Watson were in Durham. Unfortunately, you would be hard pressed to get him to play the Blind Boy Fuller style these days, but he can still tell the crap out of a story or dirty joke. There is a documentary on Youtube called Blues Houseparty with him and John Jackson (from Virginia) that is highly entertaining.
I sold a bunch of CDs that I didn’t need anymore a few weeks ago and now I have a some credit at my local music store. I can use it on special orders, and they should be able to get me almost anything. Any suggestions?
Jason from North Carolina here. Despite Tommy’s best efforts, still a below average guitar player myself.