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Lyr Req: Backwater Blues? / Back Water Blues

GUEST,Nina 07 Aug 02 - 09:10 PM
Sorcha 07 Aug 02 - 10:26 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Aug 02 - 10:42 PM
Stewie 07 Aug 02 - 10:57 PM
Stewie 07 Aug 02 - 11:01 PM
Stewie 07 Aug 02 - 11:12 PM
masato sakurai 07 Aug 02 - 11:18 PM
masato sakurai 07 Aug 02 - 11:39 PM
Stewie 08 Aug 02 - 12:12 AM
Stewie 08 Aug 02 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Nina 08 Aug 02 - 03:36 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Aug 02 - 07:29 AM
Stewie 08 Aug 02 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Dale 08 Aug 02 - 09:00 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Aug 02 - 09:40 AM
masato sakurai 08 Aug 02 - 10:24 AM
Stewie 08 Aug 02 - 10:26 AM
Stewie 08 Aug 02 - 10:29 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Aug 02 - 01:59 PM
Stewie 08 Aug 02 - 07:11 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Oct 09 - 09:45 PM
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Subject: BACKWATER BLUES
From: GUEST,Nina
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 09:10 PM

I really would like to find the lyrics to "BACKWATER BLUES" as performed by UNCLE DAVE MACON. If anyone has any information or ideas, it would be greatly appreciated. thanks Nina


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:26 PM

Didn't find Uncle Dave, but I found Big Bill Bronzy lyrics. Found a site that lists all of Uncle Dave's songs and Backwater wasn't listed..........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:42 PM

I believe that Bessie Smith recorded it... definitely not Uncle Dave. Woulda been interesting to hear it on banjo though...:-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:57 PM

Nina, sorry I can't be of much help. It certainly hasn't been reissued on CD and I'm fairly sure it wasn't reissued on LP either. The details of the recording are: 'Back Water Blues' Uncle Dave Macon (vcl, bj) and Sam McGee (gtr), recorded 11 May 1927 in New York City [Vocalion 5164].

The Meade, Spottswood, Meade biblio-discography listing of the Macon recording gives a reference to Bessie Smith's 'Back Water Blues' recorded on 17 February 1927 in New York City. You can find a reissue of this on vol 3 of Sony's complete recordings of Bessie Smith in the Columbia Legacy series. Although about losing a home in a flood, the Smith recording predates the April-May 1927 Mississippi River valley flood that covered an area of 9000 miles.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:01 PM

Hi Jerry, you posted while I was checking my Uncle Dave records. Uncle Dave definitely recorded it, but the recording doesn't seem to have sparked the interest of the reissuing labels.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:12 PM

With minor textual changes the Bessie Smith recording shares the 4 stanzas in the Broonzy link posted by Sorcha above, but has others about being rescued by a little boat.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:18 PM

It's on Uncle Dave Macon: Go Long Mule. Sound clip is HERE.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: masato sakurai
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:39 PM

Also on American Roots: A History of American Folk Music (sound clip is "Disc 1, Track 19").


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 12:12 AM

Masato, I must be going blind. I have all the Macon CDs and thought I had looked carefully. You are perfectly correct; it is on 'Go Long Mule'. It obviously made little impression on me! I will have go at transcribing it later on today - unless you have the lyrics? It has nothing to do with the Bessie Smith record apart from stanzas relating to a flood. So much for 'certainly' and 'definitely' nots - Jerry and I make a good pair! Good job you are around to sort us out. Thanks.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 02:25 AM

Nina,

My apologies for my earlier misinformation about this song not being on CD - I have cleaned my glasses! I have made a transcription of 'Backwater Blues' for you and have posted it to the Uncle Dave Macon lyrics thread as Joe, quite rightly, likes to keep these things tidy and accessible in one place:

Uncle Dave lyrics

Uncle Dave is not easy to transcribe and, as always, any corrections will be much appreciated.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: GUEST,Nina
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 03:36 AM

Stewie, Thanks alot for all your info and the transcription as well. I think it's a great song and it's been driving me nuts (more than I normally am) trying to make it work. Thanks again, Nina


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 07:29 AM

Hi, Stewie: Just in case we ever get puffed (or more accurately, WHEN we get puffed up.), it's good to be reminded that we don't even know our own collections. And thanks, Masato for reminding me of the 4 CD set, American Roots. It's a great collection and ridiculously inexpensive. At the moment, I'm listening to Backwater Blues by Uncle Dave Macon. I must admit that if I had listened to this CD three days ago, I would have insisted that Uncle Dave never recorded Back Water Blues. I know it by Bessie, and Dave's version has nothing to with it. Most of the verses could fit in a dozen other songs that Dave recorded.

Lord, give me a humble heart.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 08:06 AM

Yes, I know, Jerry - it's a worry! Could you check over my transcription for accuracy?

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 09:00 AM

Stewie, I just stopped by and added my cent-and-a-half's worth. I DID refrain from mentioning favourite/favorite though I am mentioning it here as an aside. I really can't say if that would be something that needs fixing. Favorite would be the way it would have been written in the US then and now, but it probably would be classed as quibbling. Anymore I think different spellings are pretty much accepted everywhere ~~ recently I read an article from a Canadian source researching the growing lack of spelling unanimity. Another related topic that we should explore some time ~~ I heard Verity James interviewing Sara Storer, and commenting on the fact that she used Australian pronunciations, rather than the fairly common practice of Australian country music singers of singing their songs with a more or less American accent. Until I heard that, it had never entered my mind that they were not singing "Australian". Sounded like it to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 09:40 AM

Dale: I thought that you spelled "unanimity" correctly.. :-)

Stewie: I'll go back and listen to Uncle Dave and see how I hear the lyrics, and post back here... have to do something else in life besides Mudcat for a few minutes..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: masato sakurai
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 10:24 AM

Bessie Smith's BACK WATER BLUES is in the DT.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 10:26 AM

Dale, great to see that you still come by, albeit . Thanks for the corrections. After spending almost 3 decades as an editor of parliamentary debates before I retired, I suppose I still edit subconsciously. I realise I should have used the American spelling for 'favorite', but I just can't bring myself to do it.

As for the accents, a goodly proportion of our country music singers sound to us like they are trying to be American but, as you say, to Americans they probably still sound very Australian. I heard a Casey Chambers track on the radio the other day and she sounded for all the world like Dolly Parton.

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 10:29 AM

Sorry, the first sentence in my previous posting should have read 'albeit very rarely'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 01:59 PM

Hi, Stewie: Just listened to Uncle Dave and your transcription is right on. Thanks for doing it. I hate listening to records and trying to get all the words down, but it's the only way to learn the song...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: BACKWATER BLUES
From: Stewie
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 07:11 PM

Jerry, thanks for that.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BACK WATER BLUES (Bessie Smith)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 09:45 PM

You can hear this recording by Bessie Smith at The Red Hot Jazz Archive:


BACK WATER BLUES
Bessie Smith, Columbia 14195-D, 2-17-1927.

1. When it rained five days and the skies turned dark as night, (2x)
Then trouble taken place in the lowlands at night.

2. I woke up this mornin', can't even get out of my do'. (2x)
There's enough trouble to make a poor girl wonder where she want to go.

3. Then they rowed a little boat about five miles 'cross the pond. (2x)
I packed all my clo'es, throwed 'em in, an' they rowed me along.

4. When it thunders and lightnin' an' the wind begin to blow, (2x)
There's thousands of poor people ain't got no place to go.

5. Then I went and stood upon some high old lonesome hill, (2x)
Then looked down on the house where I used to live.

6. That's why the blues done caused me to pack my things and go, (2x)
'Cause my house fell down an' I can't live there no mo'.

7. Mm-mm, I can't move no mo'. (2x)
There ain't no place for a poor old girl to go.


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