Tommy Harkenrider Blues & Roots

Academic discussion of Western Swing.

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    A few years ago, that topic title would have scared me off, but now that I’ve been learning more about music, I dig diving in deeper to theory.

    I was goofing around with the song “Who’s Sorry Now” from 1923 and found this academic musical breakdown about Milton Brown’s version. Though I can’t understand all of it, and can’t really read music that well, it’s still fun to read.

    Who’s Sorry Now?


    The part where he discussed “The Pressures of Recording” starting on page 26 was pretty good. A little whiskey to lube things up. He didn’t leave anything out of this. I give him an A+. His rhythm guitar and chord analysis was pretty good too. I had to find the song on youtube as I hadn’t heard this tune before. Thanks for sharing.


    Fantastic!!! I loved the historical background on the player piano, and records. I recommend this as a good read for folks. I thought it was interesting that part of the popularity was a result of having blues and hillbilly music being sold at a discounted price. I liked how sheet music was marketed.


    Hey Tommy,
    This is Maddie Dietrich. I appreciate your interest (as I do the other forum participants)! I’ve never known how to gauge interest (relevance) among the readers of my work–it was kind of aimed at a few disciplines at once, but I never really got a strong enough response to continue the work. I’d really like to expand the idea and do another six or eight transcriptions from that session, or maybe from other Brownies’ sessions (especially the last one with Cliff Bruner), or maybe representatives from different bands altogether. Your interest (and others like you) makes me feel there’s hope to get back to it, so thanks!

    Here’s a video I made for a conference last summer (ARSC, Pittsburgh 2015). It was my first attempt at this kind of thing, but I thought it came out pretty well. A


    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by mizzmaddie.

    Wow! So cool that you found this forum. I would love to see more transcriptions!


    Me too! That video is fantastic thank you very much. Out here in Ca with the exception of the Lucky Stars we really don’t have any western swing bands. I tried my hand at it for awhile but it was hard to keep going the gigs were so sparse it was hard for me to stay sharp in between gigs. Again I’m so happy you found this forum!


    This is gold. Awesome job putting that together! More, oncore! lol


    I was just reading more about Bob Dunn, Milton Brown’s lap steel player. Check out this great tone he gets:

    Taking Off


    Heck Yeah!!!!! killer tone. Reminds me of Juaquin Murphy, really aggressive.

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