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where did the blues 12-string go?

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Roger the Skiffler 27 Sep 02 - 04:34 AM
greg stephens 27 Sep 02 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,lurk 27 Sep 02 - 05:21 AM
greg stephens 27 Sep 02 - 05:39 AM
Lanfranc 27 Sep 02 - 07:03 AM
M.Ted 27 Sep 02 - 11:56 AM
Mark Ross 27 Sep 02 - 12:25 PM
Jon W. 27 Sep 02 - 01:38 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Sep 02 - 01:51 PM
wysiwyg 27 Sep 02 - 05:25 PM
M.Ted 27 Sep 02 - 05:51 PM
Murray MacLeod 27 Sep 02 - 06:42 PM
kendall 27 Sep 02 - 07:39 PM
Francy 27 Sep 02 - 10:05 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Sep 02 - 11:27 PM
GUEST 27 Sep 02 - 11:38 PM
Roger the Skiffler 28 Sep 02 - 10:08 AM
Blues=Life 28 Sep 02 - 09:08 PM
Murray MacLeod 29 Sep 02 - 06:18 AM
greg stephens 29 Sep 02 - 06:48 AM
Tweed 29 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM
kendall 29 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM
Steve Parkes 30 Sep 02 - 03:54 AM
Roger the Skiffler 30 Sep 02 - 04:41 AM
Steve Parkes 30 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM
Art Thieme 30 Sep 02 - 01:00 PM
kendall 30 Sep 02 - 07:22 PM
Roger the Skiffler 01 Oct 02 - 04:32 AM
Blues=Life 02 Oct 02 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,van lingle 03 Oct 02 - 04:43 AM
kendall 03 Oct 02 - 05:32 AM
Roger the Skiffler 03 Oct 02 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Foe 03 Oct 02 - 10:13 AM
Steve-o 03 Oct 02 - 02:23 PM
Mark Ross 03 Oct 02 - 03:10 PM
Steve Parkes 04 Oct 02 - 03:50 AM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Oct 02 - 04:09 AM
dwditty 04 Oct 02 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,van lingle 04 Oct 02 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Stefan Wirz 05 Oct 02 - 11:38 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Oct 02 - 12:53 PM
Mark Ross 06 Oct 02 - 12:43 PM
the one 26 Nov 04 - 10:01 AM
chris nightbird childs 29 Nov 04 - 02:53 AM
Roger the Skiffler 29 Nov 04 - 03:40 AM
GUEST 29 Nov 04 - 02:21 PM
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Subject: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 04:34 AM

Love that Leadbelly sound, but none of the current crop of blues bands seem to use them these days, though not all are Clapton clones, lots of resonaters and slide on display as well as plank spankers. I expect to see one when I go to see The Blues Band next week, otherwise in the last 12 months I've only seen two, neither at the blues shows: Steve Parkes at Stoney Stratford and my mate Yorgos in Greece.
RtS (probably barking up the wrong tree again)


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:15 AM

come round to my place in Stoke. We'll get the old Stella out.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST,lurk
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:21 AM

Stella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did someone mention Stella!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:39 AM

As in Artois,or 12-string, whatever.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 07:03 AM

I use 12-strings for blues - a Martin DM12 and a Washburn EA20-12. Both mellower than a Stella, but easier to play - every Stella 12 I have come across has had an action akin to a double bass and intonation that was way out! Perhaps I've been unlucky.

I've owned several 12s over the years, the first was an Eko with an ebony neck, nice to play, but seriously unbalanced when playing standing up. A pal of mine has an old Gibson B45-12 which I covet but from which he will not be parted.

Reaction when I play my interpretation of the Leadbelly version of "House of the Rising Sun", "Black Girl" or "Gallows Pole" is amazingly positive.

Currently working on "Bourgeois Blues", based on the Ry Cooder version.

Alan


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 11:56 AM

The Taylor 12's are fine instruments(especially the Leo Koetke models), but most of the others are either impossible to play up the neck or don't produce much in the way of sound-I think that this is probably the reason that it hasn't been a popular blues instrument lately--


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 12:25 PM

The best 12-string I've EVER played belongs to Rik Palieri,from Hinesburg, Vermont. It's a Bruce Taylor(not the Taylor guitars that are ubiquitous), a copy of Pete Seeger's Stanley Francis, in fact, the 1st 12 that Taylor ever made. With its large body and an unbelievable 28 inch scale, the bass notes on that thing could move mountains! I got to play the instrument this summer on tour with the ROSE TATTOO(see Utah Phillip's page for more info)and with its low tuning(B-E-A-D-F#-B) this guitar rocked. Playing Leadbelly tunes was incredible! With the 6th course tuned down a whole step,to A, It filled out the sound without amplification. with a PA, it was almost too much to handle. Playing it in the hotel room I wasn't allowed to use picks, it drowned everything else out.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 01:38 PM

Blind Willie McTell was the (IMHO) master of the 12-string blues guitar. He played both ragtime and slide as well as alternating bass fingerpicking style, all on 12-string. Most of his stuff has been reissued. I think he played an old Stella - back in the day, they probably were much better guitars than those that came out in the 50's through 70's. My understanding is that those built back in the 20's cut corners on durability rather than on sound so there aren't many if any left. Then they switched philosophies (or maybe someone else started building the Stella label) and the newer ones were sturdy but bears to play and not the greatest sound - though I had one once that one of my friends, who plays mostly Martins and Taylors, was impressed with the sound (for a plywood camping guitar). Of course, I could be all wrong about this (the Stella part, not the McTell part).


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 01:51 PM

Hi Jon. You might have fun at this site (and check out ALL the Stellas that Willie used).

stella

I recently played one of the Del Arte Huddie Leadbetter 12 string reissues....and it's amazing all right. A spot on copy of Huddie's last Stella (the one in The Rock and Roll Hall of fame)...I played a lot of his pieces on it in the store for over an hour, and it was LOUD! A real fantasy thing for me, to play the same notes my hero played, on a guitar that sounded the same as his........BUT....beware of trying anything ELSE on it! Just too tinny, and hard to fret, with a very thick neck.

I've gone through more than a dozen twelves, and next to the 1959 Harmony Sovereign that I had stolen, my current one (a ten year old Tak) works the best for very low tunings. I've seen Ric's guitar, and played several Appolonios...and they are verrrrry powerful instruments.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:25 PM

I think it turned into the electric autoharp (mine).

~S~


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 05:51 PM

The Harmony Sovereign 12 was a great guitar--much better sounding and more playable than the Gibsons that people liked so much--also affordable in a way that is impossible today--


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 06:42 PM

Can't believe this discussion has gone so long without anybody mentioning Paul Geremiah.

IMHO there has never been a better blues guitar player than PG and that goes double when it comes to twelve- string.

Murray


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 07:39 PM

Gordon Bok plays an Apollo 12 tuned down to "C". When he hits that bass, it sounds like to crack of doom. Been thinking of bringing my Apollo 12 to the Getaway. Would anyone care to play it? Mine is tuned down to "D"


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Francy
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 10:05 PM

You beat me to it Murray...Paul Geremia played at our club here in Toledo Oregon 2 years ago and he is great.... One of the most underrated blues pickers of the modern age......Frank of Toledo


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 11:27 PM

You better believe I WOULD Kendall!

Hope you do bring it.

Now when did Gordon Bok start tuning his to "C"? It was all the way down to Bb and even A (!!) at one point. Is his voice getting higher....and not lower, like the rest of us, Ha Ha!

cheers

rick


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 11:38 PM

I've heard Gordon Bok play the 12-string and I'll drive 200 miles to go to a Gordon Bok concert. But Kendall, you gotta know that Gordon don't play the blues.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 10:08 AM

You know when you've waited an hour for a 'bus then 3 turn up at once....I suspect since I brought this up, I'll now find 12-strings round every corner. I just went into scenic Bracknell to pick up my holiday snaps ("Snaps? I don't take snaps- I paint with light" (c)Galton & Simpson) and there was a one-man band busking with drum, cymbal, 12-string (very battered a la Willie Nelson) and harmonica, quite bluesy, more Jesse Fuller than Dusty Bennett and not half bad, especially the harp playing.
Still seems more popular with folkies (and old skifflers like Lonnie D)than bluesmen today.
RtS (but then what do I know?).


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Blues=Life
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 09:08 PM

If you get the chance, try an old '60s Vox electric twelve string. I've got a '67 Ultrasonic 12 semi-hollowbody, double cutaway, made in Italy. What a sweet action. Fun to play Leadbelly, or any other blues. Killer sound on Midnight Special. OK accoustic, great through my Fender Bassman 70 silverface. Not too expensive, and very cool.

Blues


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 06:18 AM

Roger, not to be pedantic or anything, but I assume you meant Duster Bennett ....

Murray


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 06:48 AM

If you find a big bodied 12-string, yellowish wood, big clattery sound, labelled Rossini at the macine head end and something else inside the hole which I forget, it's mine, it was nicked in Cheshire 10 years ago.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Tweed
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 11:04 AM

They're too damn hard to tune, IMHO.
You do sound pedantic, MurrayM.
And did someone mention Gordon Bok fans in here? Where's Spaw? That should set him off if nothing else will;~)


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: kendall
Date: 29 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM

Sorry Guest, but Gordon DOES play blues. It's not his long suit, but, when I first met him 40 odd years ago, he was playing a lot of Leadbelly stuff. Silver City bound is going through my head as I type.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 03:54 AM

I'm still playing my Washburn, bought in Brummagem 16 or 17 years ago. I too tune it to B-E-A-D-F#-B, which makes it easier for an old faker like me to follow most fiddlers and melodeonerists in G/D by playing in C/G I don't run out of notes so often on those descending bass runs. I really must widen the bottom-B-string slot in the nut though; it sits too high and makes tuning a bit of a problem.

Steve

BTW Roger, we never did get that washboard/12-string duet off the ground--you must drop by again!


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 04:41 AM

Murray is right, of course, when I was typing I though "Dusty or Duster?" but didn't check so CRS ruled!
Steve, you brave man, I notice you didn't mention vocals!
RtS


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM

Er ... I assumed you'd be happy for me to do the singing, Roger!


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 01:00 PM

For my money, Michael Cooney (in Friendship, Maine) does the absolute greatest version of Leadbelly's "FANNIN STREET" (sometimes called "Cry For Me") that this old folkie has ever heard. It's second only to de man himself. My friend Michael tells me I'm way off base in that assessment, but I'll stand by it.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: kendall
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 07:22 PM

Personal opinions are never off base.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 04:32 AM

Steve, you're just trying to spare the audience the rush to the door!
RtS ( a face made for radio, a voice made for mime)


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Blues=Life
Date: 02 Oct 02 - 10:52 AM

Roger,

Thank you for the laugh. (a face made for radio, a voice made for mime

It sounds like you and I should be in the same band together.... in a dark room.... WAY in the back!

LOL

Blues


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 04:43 AM

Speaking of 12's, Doc Watson used to play the bejeves out of one on some of those early Vanguard recordings. Check out Rising Sun Blues, Sitting on Top of the World, Train that Carried My Girl from Town, and Beaumont Rag. vl


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: kendall
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 05:32 AM

Glenn Campbell wasn't too shabby on the 12 either.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 09:22 AM

...and Larry (InOBU) Otway's cousin John is brandishing a Tanglewood 12 string (but only strung for 6) in the Arts pages of today's UK Guardian.
RtS


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST,Foe
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 10:13 AM

Alvin Youngblood Hart plays 12 String on his new album, "Down in the Alley"


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Steve-o
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 02:23 PM

On an album called "12-String Dobro" made by Tut Taylor, there is some amazing 12-string FLATPICKING done by Clarence White. Not blues, of course, but sort of "country/bluesish".... BTW, Kendall- "Personal opinions are never off base"????? I don't think Art's are off-base, but there are a bunch of Britney (and other "singers" too numerous to mention) fans whose personal opinions are waaaaay off! Just because somebody likes it, that does not make it music.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 03 Oct 02 - 03:10 PM

Check out Lonnie Johnson's work, he does things on the 12(and on the 6-string too)that cannot be believed! It's almost as if he has 2 hands plucking the strings. I don't think that there is anybody out there these days who plays with that kind of tone, taste & speed.
I've only heard 2 guitar players even try his stuff, Mike Bloomfield and Jon Sholles. They get the tone and the notes but they don't quite have the right hand action, as in playing both lead & rhythym.
Any idesas on how he did it, was he double jointed?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 03:50 AM

I know he used open tunings.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 04:09 AM

Lonnie Johnson is one of my favourites too, I was recently listening again to the recordings he made in Toronto with Jim McHarg's band.
I saw The Blues Band at Camberley last night, great show but no 12-string played,just acoustic and electric 6-ers, dobros, dobro mandolin, lots of slide even washboard (but no kazoo!).
I forgave Dave Kelly his disparaging remarks about washboards as he played a Fred McDowell number.
BTW on a sleeve note to a Diz Disley re-issue there was a quote I may adopt as my motto: "his vocals add atmosphere rather than artistry"!
RtS (still stinkin' up the atmosphere!)


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: dwditty
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 09:07 AM

Be sure to give Paul Geremia a listen....he plays lots and lots of 12 string blues.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 04 Oct 02 - 06:48 PM

You guys are gone to cause me to run out and get another cantankerous 12 string. vl


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST,Stefan Wirz
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 11:38 AM

Fred Gerlach seems to be still active somewhere in the San Diego area: (http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/156/fred_gerlach.html http://stations.mp3s.com/stations/95/12_string_guitar2.html and Fred Gerlach discography)


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 12:53 PM

Hi Mark. Lonnie at times tuned his bass string to "D" and his fifth string to "G". I knew him when he lived here (Toronto) in the sixties, but he would never play any of those old instrumentals. He DID listen to a couple of tunes (with Eddie Lang) on a tape though, and smile. He KNEW he was VERY good.

Rick


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 12:43 PM

Good? He was magnificent!

Mark


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: the one
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 10:01 AM

i have 12 string jj joyce blues guitar sounds superb and the same strings have been on 5 years' yes played every day love pip


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:53 AM

Blind Willie McTell... simply amazing.


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 03:40 AM

I've mentioned on another 12-string thread how Nine below Zero used a 12-string on several numbers in their recent "unplugged" concert in Ascot. Looking at their gig guide (www.ninebelowzero.com) I see there are at least 3 more unplugged dates belore Xmas: 11 Dec Maltings, St Albans; 15th Dec Bein Inn, Glenfarg; Scotland, 18th Town Hall, Ripley, Yorks.

RtS


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Subject: RE: where did the blues 12-string go?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 02:21 PM

The January 2005 issue of Acoustic Guitar has an article on Guy Davis, who does play some 12-string blues, as well as 6-string.

-Greg


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