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Thread: recognize this blues song?

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default recognize this blues song?

    Below is "Limetown" as played by Guy Davis. (He recorded another version with T-Bone Wolk on mandolin, but I can't find it on YouTube.) Davis credits the song to Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachell's longtime musical partner, but I can't find any reference to Estes doing Limetown. Does anyone know the song, or tune perhaps, by another name? I'd like to hear Sleepy John's version.

    If the links don't work, search YouTune for "Guy Davis/ Limetown" .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o08SxneI3c

    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 Jean-Pierre WOOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: recognize this blues song?

    It's quite the same melody as "White freight liner blues"...

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: recognize this blues song?

    It’s a “Roll & Tumble” song pattern, the basis of so many tunes, often on slide, Diving Duck, Mystery Train, Wolf’s Meet me in the Bottom, Robert Johnson’s If I had Possession over Judgement Day, & yes, White Freight Liner. Don’t know it as a Sleepy John tune. Learn any Roll & Tumble pattern, then you’ll have it.
    Joe B
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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: recognize this blues song?

    Thanks, men. You led me to lots of good blues on YouTube. I wasn't familiar with the term “Roll & Tumble, nor had I heard "Roll and Tumble Blues" by Hambone Willie Newbern ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOtyJs5SoSE ).

    I get the idea of the basic chord pattern and rhythm. I can play "Limetown" now, except for one troublesome stretch involving my pinky and pointer that the plate in my wrist doesn't give me much flexibilty for. However, I'm also interested in the tune or melody, as sung. While Sleepy John could sing "Divin' Duck" and "The Girl with The Long Curly Hair" to the same tune, he didn't -- in fact, the two songs sound quite different as he delivered them. By the way, I discovered "The Girl with The Long Curly Hair" while reading about "Roll and Tumble." The tune is quite similar to Davis doing "Limetown," especially on Estes's first verse. However, I'm not convinced that Davis is referring to "The Girl with The Long Curly Hair".

    When I'm learning a song, I always like to hear different interpretations of it, and I'm always interesting to know whether the singer/musician has his or her own take on it, as Davis generally does, or whether he's faithfully copying an earlier version, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm curious.

    Here's Sleepy John Estes. If the links don't work, search YouTube for "Sleepy John Estes/The Girl with The Long Curly Hair."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd4A5aZj6cQ

    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: recognize this blues song?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    The tune is quite similar to Davis doing "Limetown," especially on Estes's first verse. However, I'm not convinced that Davis is referring to "The Girl with The Long Curly Hair".
    I don't think you need to be so skeptical... covers of "The Girl I Love" often appear under the title "Brownsville Blues" or "Goin' To Brownsville" - based on the town mention in the opening verse. If the singer replaces Brownsville with another town, well.... there ya go...

    Actually - the recording you linked to above isn't really the one most people think of.... try this one with Yank Rachell on mandolin:


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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: recognize this blues song?

    Hearing Guy Davis' name and voice is always a pleasure. Some years ago, we went to the Common Ground music festival west of DC. Guy Davis "taught" a blues jam. It was fabulous. He was fabulous: patient, kind, understanding and a really nice, nice man. I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know who he was the first time I played with him. I learned quick. And it's a kick to say "I played with Guy Davis," because I did. But we were in different universes of musicianship.
    belbein

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: recognize this blues song?

    frankie: "I don't think you need to be so skeptical... covers of "The Girl I Love" often appear under the title "Brownsville Blues" or "Goin' To Brownsville" - based on the town mention in the opening verse. If the singer replaces Brownsville with another town, well.... there ya go...

    Actually - the recording you linked to above isn't really the one most people think of.... try this one with Yank Rachell on mandolin:"


    Thanks, Frankie. Great to hear Yank again! I think you're right; that's the same melody. I'm aware that many liberties are taken with the blues. Many of those folks were cheated out of their royalties anyway (even if they knew what royalties were), and didn't mind a fellow musician claiming their song, which may have been only partly theirs anyway. For instance, there are a number of "sweet homes" besides Chicago, starting with Kokomo.
    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 Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: recognize this blues song?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Hearing Guy Davis' name and voice is always a pleasure. Some years ago, we went to the Common Ground music festival west of DC. Guy Davis "taught" a blues jam. It was fabulous. He was fabulous: patient, kind, understanding and a really nice, nice man. I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't know who he was the first time I played with him. I learned quick. And it's a kick to say "I played with Guy Davis," because I did. But we were in different universes of musicianship.
    I'm definitely a fan of Guy Davis and greatly enjoy his contemporary take on mostly acoustic blues, firmly rooted in tradition. Furthermore, he plays mandolin, but seldom on his recordings. However, he often has excellent blues mandolin players playing on them. I'm glad to hear about your experience with Guy. It's always a disappointment to hear that someone you admire is unpleasant, snobbish, or whatever.
    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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