Week #552 ~ East Tennessee Blues

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's poll winner is unanimous! East Tennessee Blues! I'm not familiar with it; this is what I've come up with! If whoever suggested this tune, or anyone else, has any other links, that would be great!




  2. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha

    Here's Shaun!
  3. harrywhohaa
    Here's my experiment with backup via loop pedal (double bass and guitar which you can't hear).

    That may go some way to explain the timing issues and my overly serious shoe gazing!

  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    I have taken the liberty of putting your link in directly, Harry.

    Nice picking, by the way!
  5. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Nice one Harry, you got some nice embellishments there too.
    I’m still on Mandolessons trying to get some sort of reasonable tempo, not easy!
    For accompaniment have you tried a stomp box?
  6. Frithjof
    Thanks for your picking, Harry. Nice double stops and slides.
  7. Frankdolin
    Nice job Harry! Here's the original. There's a great bio with this on YT.
  8. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Nice, that original vid sounds more like a jug band Frank.
    And there’s me practicing it for ages as a more staccato, swinged ragtime.

    The band sounds like they’re having a hard time but determined to have fun.
  9. Frankdolin
    So, I had thought I had this tune pretty well learned. Until I found the original that I posted. I think there're very similar, but also very different, rhythum aside. There's a lot of songs out there that are more similar, with different names. Does any one know where the "modern" version came from? Thanks
  10. OldSausage
    Back in 2013, I prepared for this:
  11. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Always the visionary! I remember this and your great sounding mandolin...
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    David, so good to see you here again and posting another gem.
  13. bbcee
    Hello Mr. OS! Long time. Glad to have you back and posting, albeit an eight year old version. A good version to aspire to!
  14. Frithjof
    Thanks for your version, David!

    I myself had fun learning the tune – in slow motion. Thus my recording gear refused to obey.
  15. OldSausage
    You're all very generous, I wish I was able to be a more frequent poster, but I thoroughly enjoy all of your fine work and tenacity.
  16. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    That looks like the Young Sausage. Fine picking, David.
  17. Frankdolin
    Here's my humble attempt at deciphering the original version. I urge you to listen to the original carefully, weed out all the noise. And there lies some of the some amazing highly talented musicians! Not a single mistake could I find. And I listened a couple times. These guys are the reason we have " Hillbilly " music. Something we, the DeLorenzo family, were always proud to say we played. Thanks for Listening !
  18. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great job! Nice backup and great photos. If we can get past the recording quality of the 20s and 30s, I've found there are some truly amazing performances out there.
  19. Frithjof
    Sounds authentic!
  20. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Frank, you certainly capture the vibe of the old-time recording here and get a great ragtime rhythm going right through the tune. Lovely performance.
  21. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Love the Ragtime feeling. Nice pickin', Frank.
  22. Frankdolin
    Thanks! I love this style, that to me is a mix of ragtime, blues, vaudville, minstrel, early jazz, old time.... you name it. That was the extent of their musical knowledge for 1926. We've got 100 years more, and we need to step it up!
  23. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    That's a very cool version, Frank.

    Bruce and I did another collaboration on ET Blues. Sorry about the poor video production, but there's only so much time. Bruce kicks it off and takes the third break. I've got the octave mandolin break and the last mando break. Bruce added a harmony on the ending tag. Having fun with the collaboration.


  24. OldSausage
    Wonderful - I especially enjoyed both of your second breaks. Really good work!
  25. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Wonderful interplay in your version, gents, as well as very fine playing. It is as though you are both in the same room playing off each other's breaks. Great job of mixing the finished collaboration.
  26. bbcee
    Thanks to you both, that means a lot.
  27. bbcee
    If anyone's not able to see the video, see if this link works:

  28. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Amazing, and very different, versions from David, Frank and the Don/Bruce collaboration. I like them all, but my natural instinct would gravitate towards the 1920s ragtime/string band stylings of Frank's version.

    Well outside my comfort zone, so it's unlikely I get a version together myself.

  29. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Same goes for me, I admire every version published here, but I rather leave this kind of music to really talented players.
  30. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Some great versions here, thanks Gents. Me too Christian, I find it difficult to play this one. I don’t know if it’s the rhythm or the fact that I have TAB for it but it doesn’t match the tune I have in my head.
    Well done!
  31. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    I thought I embedded it correctly. Thanks for fixing it, Bruce. I would enjoy hearing what you guys would do with it, Martin, Christian and Simon.

    Thanks David and John! Appreciate your comments.
  32. Frankdolin
    Really fine interplay on this track Bruce and Don! Not only tight, but a really good levels and mix, extra point to who ever put it all together.
  33. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I did try this last night, Don.

    I think the problem I have is that each time I play a certain rhythm then I'm thinking of alternative rhythms at the same time, and the same goes for the melody I'll play one melody part and then think it should've gone differently.

    For me personally, I think I need to hear this tune for a couple of hours with a tab of all sorts of different variations. That way maybe I can feel the tune in groups of three or four measures at a time.

    I really like the way you have done it, And the bluegrass style, but I still don't know how to, For example, improvise scales on a bluegrass tune in G major.
    You know, I, IV, V.
    Would you just play G blues scale and then C blues scale and then D blues scale, in the right places?
  34. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Thanks, Frank, I did the mixing on ET Blues. I tried to play off what Bruce played, and he sent a new track after hearing what I played, so he responded to what I played.

    Simon, there's nothing like getting the melody in your head. Then you can deviate from it rhythmically, and use alternate notes and patterns that are in the chord you are playing over. Bluegrass doesn't rely exclusively on the blues scale, but it does use some flat 3rds and flat 7s for some color/flavor. I tend to use those quite a bit. I try to play in the chord, so C stuff over the C chord, and then make sure the listener hears the chord changes in the lead as well as the rhythm.

    I used a few Jethro Burns ideas, some chromatic things in the octave break, and that open string thing that went to flat 7 in the mando break. So not straight bluegrass. Hope that helps.
  35. Frithjof
    Thanks Bruce and Don for this nice version. It’s a pleasure to listen to.
  36. bbcee
    Thanks Frithjof, Simon, Frank ... nice to hear such different takes on the tune (and it would be great to hear more!).

    @Simon, at the risk of sounding obvious, what helps me rhythmically on these ragtime-type songs is to emphasize the one, which gives it its gallop, especially at tempo. They're a fun change from fiddle tunes.
  37. Jairo Ramos Parra
    Jairo Ramos Parra
    Bruce, Don, ˇmuchachos su dueto es la hostia!
  38. bbcee
    Gracias Jairo, estamos esperando tu version! Tuyas son siempre divertidas y interesantes.
  39. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Ok so I thought I’d join the party. This is the octave mandolin and an ebass ukulele but without the ‘e’…

  40. bbcee
    Welcome to the party! That had a great vibe, good bounce, and I enjoyed your note selection.
  41. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Well done everyone! I've been thinking about the question that Simon asked above about what scales to use over bluegrass changes. Simon wrote:

    but I still don't know how to, For example, improvise scales on a bluegrass tune in G major.
    You know, I, IV, V.
    Would you just play G blues scale and then C blues scale and then D blues scale, in the right places?

    You are almost there Simon. Try instead, the G, C and D major pentatonic scales over the I (G) and IV (C) and V7 (D). And then add in the flat 3rd and flat 7 from each of the chords as you get to them. I've memorized the arpeggios for each of the above chords and then add the flat 3 and flat 7. I think of these as the blue notes and they are almost always played in passing. It does sound way too complicated, but with a little practice it is quite doable.

    Here's a Lessons with Marcel video which explains it better than I ever could. It is for the guitar but the concepts work on a mandolin as well. (You just have to find the notes on the mandolin yourself!).

  42. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Sounds great, Simon! Your octave mandolin and the ukulele bass make for a fine bluegrass duo.
  43. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Beautifully fluid and easy delivery, Simon. I go along with Michael re the scales for improvising. Major pentatonics with passing notes are my sort of go-to phrases when I am trying to improvise.
  44. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Really nice playing, Simon, sounds like you've been playing it all your life. Really great feel as always!
  45. Gelsenbury
    I won't attempt this tune, but I really enjoyed all your recordings. They all work well in their own way. It was good to see new faces, old hands, and even an Old Sausage!
  46. Frankdolin
    And just like that Simon turns a "can't" into a "CAN".
  47. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Well, today I at least tried it...
  48. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Like Simon and Christian, I also couldn't let Don's challenge pass -- here is my attempt. I found Frank's version in the style of the original spoke to me the most, so I went for the ragtime stylings of the 1926 Charlie Bowman recording as well. Fortunately, there is a decent transcription of the original here:


    Listen to Frank to see how mine should sound like -- those triplets should really be slides and need to be more snappy, my overall tempo isn't up to speed, but overall this worked better than I thought it would.

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar

  49. Frankdolin
    Christian I liked your slower take, very different feel. And Martin, nice job. At first I was trying to figure out where the heck you found music, then I saw your link. I'm glad someone knew the importance of that recording. I love the energy this tune brought to the group!
  50. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks for the kind words, Frank. It took me a little while to notice that the PDF I had linked had two separate versions of the tune, with the more interesting one on the second page!

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