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Help: Leadbelly and dobros

DigiTrad:
ALABAMA BOUND
BILL MARTIN AND ELLA SPEED
BRING ME LITTLE WATER, SYLVIE
COTTON FIELDS BACK HOME
DUNCAN AND BRADY
DUNCAN AND BRADY (2)
GOOD NIGHT IRENE
JUMPIN' JUDY
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HER
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
LININ' TRACK
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
ROCK ME ON THE WATER
SKEWBALL
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
SONG TO WOODY
TAKE THIS HAMMER
THE GRAY GOOSE
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)
WE SHALL WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY
WHOA BACK BUCK
YOU DON'T KNOW ME


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dick greenhaus 02 Mar 01 - 05:43 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Mar 01 - 01:31 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 03 Mar 01 - 01:48 AM
GUEST,PJ Curtis.(Ireland) 03 Mar 01 - 04:56 AM
Susan of DT 03 Mar 01 - 10:05 AM
Rick Fielding 03 Mar 01 - 12:10 PM
Stewie 03 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Mar 01 - 06:14 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 03 Mar 01 - 09:32 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Mar 01 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,PJ Curtis. 05 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 06 Mar 01 - 01:52 AM
GUEST,PJ Curtis. 06 Mar 01 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,ralphstanleyfan52@yahoo.com (larry) 09 Aug 04 - 04:42 PM
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Subject: Leadbelly and dobros
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 05:43 PM

Help. I was surprised to see a photo of Leadbelly on a CD in which he was picking a dobro (slide and all). I don't recall ever hearing hip play one, either on record or live. Anyone know of any such?


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 01:31 AM

Wow, Dick, being the ultimate Leadbelly nurd, this is REALLY news to me! I've seen the picture of huddie playing (probably) Bess Lomax's Martin 000, with a commercial slide bar, but a DOBRO !!?! Where's the picture? What album? Can you print it?

He played quite a number of slide pieces on his lap ("Packin' Trunk" is my favourite) and you know, he was original, fast as lightning, and didn't sound like anything I've heard before or since. The differences between his style and others (Like The Black Ace, Cliff Carlisle or Darby and Tarlton) who played lap guitar, are subtle, but they are there.

Maybe he met one of the Hawaiian guitarists like Sol Hoopie during a New York stop. Geez, what I'd give to have seen him live....heck I'd trade Catspaw's right arm for that chance!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 01:48 AM

Yes, I have some records of him playing slide guitar. As usual he is very fluid and fast. Being the perfectionist he was, I suspect he played it on his lap.

The pieces I have heard sound like they were produced with a six-string guitar and a slide as Rick describes.

I like "Packin Trunk Blues" very much and his version of C.C. Rider is superb. I have them on an old cassette Columbia Records/CBS Dac PCT30035. It is just called "Leadbelly"

After Rick gives Spaw's right arm for the chance, I will give the rest of him for my chance.

I guess you know, Rick, that there was some film of him. One is from his wedding with Marthe that was made for a newsreel and the other is some amateur footage that Pete Seeger pasted together. A Vestapol video has them.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: GUEST,PJ Curtis.(Ireland)
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 04:56 AM

Murray above is correct. Leadbelly does play slide on his 'Packin' Trunk Blues'' which he recorded in New York in 1935. PJC


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: Susan of DT
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 10:05 AM

(from dick greenhaus) Thank 'ee much! I'm afraid I committed the faux pas of referring to any guitar played lap style with a steel as a Dobro; I really do know the difference, but I get sloppy. Don't recall Packin' Trunk Blues, but I'll give it aq listen.


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 12:10 PM

Sorry Dick, you know how we nurds are! I thought this was gonna be one of those "Holy Grail" photos of Huddie with an actual Dobro.

After wondering about the identity of the guy who played Dolceola (often mis-identified as a Zither) on Leadbelly's Los Angeles sessions, for about twenty five years, I almost passed out when an actual photograph of Paul Mason Howard (with Huddie) showed up.

Ah, what can I say? Some folks hunt for rare stamps, some for Corvettes, some for proof of Biblical truths.....I search for folk-music minutiae.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: Stewie
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM

Leadbelly played slide also on an unissued ARC recording from 1935 - 'My Friend Blind Lemon'. It was issued, however, on a couple of Columbia LPs and has now been reissued on CD on Leadbelly 'Easy Rider' Catfish KATCD131. At one point, he seeks to imitate the piano on slide: (spoken) 'He told her listen while he played the piano piece for her'. Apart from the spoken intro, the song has little to say about Blind Lemon. The piece seems to be mainly an excuse for Leadbelly to demonstrate his slide playing. He knew Jefferson, but they did not 'run together' for the 'so many years' that he suggested in his introduction. It is odd that he used a slide for a performance ostensibly related to Jefferson - not a style particularly associated with Blind Lemon.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 06:14 PM

Thanks Stewie. Good info.

For a little more minutiae...The "piano" sound was done by playing 12th, 7th, and 5th fret harmonics. Leadbelly played these VERY cleanly.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 03 Mar 01 - 09:32 PM

Leadbelly has a slide version of Blind Lemon's matchbox blues. Perhaps, it that is in the album, it is reason for the title. Leadbelly seemed to like to drop names when it came to Blind Lemon. He makes reference to their association on his "Last Sessions". There he sings a song called "Blind Lemon" which has the same tune and accompanyment, and almost the same words as an earlier song he sings called "Medicine Man".

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Mar 01 - 01:29 PM

Ha, Ha! Leadbelly seemed to name drop quite a bit..just like a lot of others. He refers to Bessie Smith as his "girlfriend" once. From what I've gathered he probably DID hang out with Blind Lemon in the early days...but remember, Lemon was probably the most famous bluesman of all by the late twenties, so a little "embellishment" of their relationship wouldn't have hurt. Lemon was also dead before 1930, so he wouldn't have had the opportunity to deny the close relationship. Sounds a bit like Bobby Dylan's "entertainment stories" when he first came to New York.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: GUEST,PJ Curtis.
Date: 05 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM

One quick Q. to Murrey above. Did Leadbelly record with national steel or Dobro? Just wondering. PJC


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 01:52 AM

PJ, I am inclined to think he recorded with neither, but for his slide work used a standard wooden acoustic guitar.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: GUEST,PJ Curtis.
Date: 06 Mar 01 - 01:12 PM

Murrey, Yes, I'm inclined to agree with you. it was a standard acoustic...as indeed was the guitar used by the amazing Blind Willie Johnson...and he used a penknife as a slide-bar....but I drift from the THREAD! Sorry. PJC


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Subject: RE: Help: Leadbelly and dobros
From: GUEST,ralphstanleyfan52@yahoo.com (larry)
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 04:42 PM

Actually, I can say is that Lead Belly played with a pocketknife on a standard Stella 6er


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