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Thread: Blues, Stomps, & Rags #41

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Blues, Stomps, & Rags #41

    R.W. Durden was a mandolin and banjo-mandolin player who recorded in Atlanta in 1931, with two guitar players, calling themselves The Three Stripped Gears. Terry Zwigoff says of their playing, " 'Blackberry Rag' is reminiscent of the Scottsdale String Band's sound although Durden incorporates subtle variations in the first part of the tune almost every time he plays it -- something the Scottsdale mandolinist never did. But both bands recorded around the same time for the same company in the same city and may have influenced each other." Otherwise, I can tell you nothing about Durden, a lively mandolin player. (Information from Zwigoff, Terry. Notes to Early Mandolin Classics, Rounder.)

    Here is one of their 1931 recordings of a popular rag. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Blackberry Rag/Three Stripped Gears".

    And here's another exciting tune. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Three Stripped Gears/Alabama Blues".

    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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