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bottle-neck technique

Leadbelly 08 Dec 14 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 08 Dec 14 - 05:07 PM
GUEST 09 Dec 14 - 06:56 AM
PHJim 09 Dec 14 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,# 09 Dec 14 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 09 Dec 14 - 05:20 PM
GUEST 09 Dec 14 - 09:15 PM
JHW 10 Dec 14 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 10 Dec 14 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 10 Dec 14 - 12:48 PM
Leadbelly 10 Dec 14 - 01:34 PM
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Subject: bottle-neck technique
From: Leadbelly
Date: 08 Dec 14 - 04:13 PM

Who invented this kind of playing slide guitar? First record was made by Sylvester Weaver they say so. On the other hand I just listened to "Southern Blues" by Frank Ferera, mostly producing hawaiian kind of music which was recorded somewhat earlier. Others quoted Charlie Patton.

Are there any other "Inventors"?


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 08 Dec 14 - 05:07 PM

Well, I've always understood that the blues players got the idea from Hawaiian players who toured the States particularly in the years following World War One.
However, W. C. Handy says that in - I think - 1904, he came across a black blues slide player in rural Mississippi.


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 14 - 06:56 AM

It was invented in siouthern USA by far workers stretching fence wire across their porch and plying it with a bottle like a BIG slide. The was called a diddly bow. Can anyone authenticate this story?


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Dec 14 - 10:19 AM

GUEST: While I cannot authenticate that the "diddly bow" or "diddy bow" was the original slide guitar, this definitely was practiced in the American South and other regions.


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST,#
Date: 09 Dec 14 - 11:46 AM

The Diddly Bow.


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 09 Dec 14 - 05:20 PM

A la Seasick Steve ?


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 14 - 09:15 PM

Take a look at Ben Harper... for a fine current performer.


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: JHW
Date: 10 Dec 14 - 04:49 AM

Pour the beer very slowly and catch the sediment in the slightly widened part of the neck.


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 10 Dec 14 - 12:28 PM

It's possible that Handy heard the guitarist in Tutwiler in 1906 or 1907. (It's not likely that it was as early as 1903, since he says in _Father of The Blues_ that it was after he had lived in Clarksdale for quite a long time.) Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff have pointed out that 1907 was the first year Handy was listed in the Memphis City Directory, and Handy was a very ambitious professional in his 30s and thus the sort of person who would make sure to have a listing in that directory once he moved from Clarksdale.

There's no reason to doubt that the diddley-bow and Hawaiian guitar both influenced U.S. guitarists. Ferera was born in Honolulu and was a recording star years before Weaver first recorded.

The earliest-born musicians I can think of right now who ever played slide are Henry Thomas ("Ragtime Texas") and Boone Reid (of North Carolina), but I bet there are earlier-born ones.

Hawaiian music particularly had a huge boom of popularity in about 1916 (which accounts for all the damn ukuleles on 1920s "old-time" recordings, for instance). But Hawaiian music was also being played in the 45 States of the Union, e.g. in vaudeville and at fairs, back during 1896-1907.


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 10 Dec 14 - 12:48 PM

P.S. Howard Odum gave plenty of discussion of the knife playing by black guitarists that he encountered during the 1905-1908 period in his 1911 article. Odum happened to collect in Georgia and Mississippi because those were his two homes at the time. The 12-bar "Knife-Song" he described was similar to some of the music recorded during the '20s on by relatively old blues musicians, some of whom were playing before 1909.

For all we know, Odum may have first encountered slide guitar in 1905 or 1906, and Handy in 1906 or 1907.

Note that Handy said he had heard the song "Got No More Home Than A Dog" in about 1895, and note that one of the main differences between "Got No More Home Than A Dog" and the Tutwiler song (neither of which mentioned "blues" in their lyrics as reported by Handy, and both of which were 12-bar AAA) was... that presence of slide guitar itself. Had that singer Handy heard in about 1895 (Handy gave his name, Phil Jones) heard Hawaiian guitar as of about 1895? Likely not.

Here's part of Odum's 1911 discussion:

"Very much like the railroad-song is the knife-song, which has also
been described previously. Sometimes the two are combined; and
with the [imitation of the] blowing of the whistle [and] the ringing of the bell, and the ' talkin' ' of the knife as it goes back and forth over the strings, the ' music physicianer ' has a wonderful production. Many songs are sung to this music. One version of the well-known knife-song has been given. Another, which is sung more generally in the Southern States, follows. The verses consist of either a single line repeated, or a rhyming couplet. Two lines are sung in harmony with the running of the knife over the strings of the negro's guitar; while the refrain, ' Lawd, lawd, lawd! ' wherever found, is sung to the ' talking ' of the knife. The other two lines are sung to the picking of the guitar, as in ordinary cases."

(That use of the same simple refrain such as "Lawd, lawd, lawd" at the end of every stanza or many stanzas in a 12- or 16-bar song was favored by some of the musicians about Leadbelly's age, whether with slide or not.)


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Subject: RE: bottle-neck technique
From: Leadbelly
Date: 10 Dec 14 - 01:34 PM

Very, very interesting information, Joseph. Many thanks!!!


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