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The fiddle and the blues?

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The Shambles 05 Oct 02 - 04:02 AM
Leadfingers 05 Oct 02 - 04:08 AM
greg stephens 05 Oct 02 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,the fiddlers elbow 05 Oct 02 - 05:20 AM
The Shambles 05 Oct 02 - 06:23 AM
Tweed 05 Oct 02 - 07:58 AM
greg stephens 05 Oct 02 - 08:05 AM
Tweed 05 Oct 02 - 08:29 AM
The Shambles 05 Oct 02 - 09:16 AM
wysiwyg 05 Oct 02 - 09:20 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Oct 02 - 09:37 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Oct 02 - 09:39 AM
Bobert 05 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 05 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM
Mark Clark 05 Oct 02 - 11:47 AM
Lonesome EJ 05 Oct 02 - 11:53 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Oct 02 - 11:55 AM
Mike Regenstreif 05 Oct 02 - 12:02 PM
BanjoRay 05 Oct 02 - 12:29 PM
greg stephens 05 Oct 02 - 12:30 PM
The Shambles 05 Oct 02 - 02:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Oct 02 - 07:07 PM
The Shambles 05 Oct 02 - 07:20 PM
Banjovey 23 Jan 08 - 09:18 PM
LeTenebreux 23 Jan 08 - 11:54 PM
Fred McCormick 24 Jan 08 - 04:43 AM
The Sandman 24 Jan 08 - 09:13 AM
dwditty 24 Jan 08 - 09:28 AM
Goose Gander 24 Jan 08 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 24 Jan 08 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 24 Jan 08 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 24 Jan 08 - 05:15 PM
PoppaGator 24 Jan 08 - 05:42 PM
michaelr 24 Jan 08 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 24 Jan 08 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 24 Jan 08 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 24 Jan 08 - 09:58 PM
PoppaGator 25 Jan 08 - 12:36 AM
GUEST,petr 25 Jan 08 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice 25 Jan 08 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,petr 25 Jan 08 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 25 Jan 08 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 25 Jan 08 - 05:10 PM
PoppaGator 25 Jan 08 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 25 Jan 08 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 28 Jan 08 - 01:19 PM
TinDor 01 Sep 09 - 05:37 AM
Stringsinger 01 Sep 09 - 12:28 PM
MissouriMud 01 Sep 09 - 03:08 PM
GUEST 01 Sep 09 - 04:12 PM
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Subject: The fiddle and the blues?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 04:02 AM

I am wondering why this instrument is not generally much used or thought of a blues instrument? Was it ever?

It would seem to me that its potential in this field is an untapped and exciting one.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 04:08 AM

Dont get many blues tin whistle players either.I'm the only one I've
ever come across.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 05:07 AM

There's a nice compilation CD called "Violin sing the blues for me"(Old Hat CD1002) that's got a lot of early blues fiddle numbers. The great guitarist Lonnie Johnson recorded a few fiddle tracks as well.You'll have a lot of fun listening to the Memphis Jug Band or the Mobile Strugglers.
   But in the end I doubt if you'll find any blues fiddlers getting within miles of the guitar/singer greats, and the harmonica was always the successful alternative to the guitar,the fiddle never got near. Odd, really, becaues the fidddle would seem to be ideal for the job. Fashion, I suppose. The fiddle was essentially old-fashioned in black musical circles 1920-1940, and just not cool enough to be taken up by the right people. A shame, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,the fiddlers elbow
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 05:20 AM

back in the sixties Big Joe Williams had an album issued on the "Bounty" label of him playing his amazing blues out in the middle of a field,but sadly completely let down by the fiddler and the sound recordist(who sounded like he was recording on a home cassette deck..dreadful sound quality ha ha)....From my experience the fiddlers within the blues culture have lacked the skill to carry it off,though i'm sure a modern day revivalist who came at it from a traditional folk background could do it justice....I suppose that song "The devil came down from georgia" wasnt a million miles off from blues with its appalachian origins and its rather bluesy feel,and utilised the fiddle with excellent effect

Regards

The man with no name ha ha..
http://groups.msn.com/acousticmusiciansandpoetssoundarchive


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 06:23 AM

Thanks everyone and Greg for the CD info. You can hear bits from it on the following link. Although the RA stops usually before the fiddle break comes in........DOH!

http://www.oldhatrecords.com/1002Samples.html


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Tweed
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 07:58 AM

Charlie Daniels and "the Blues" is a stretch for me,GUEST with a fiddlers elbow, but Muddy Waters started off in Clarksdale with a fellow named Henry "Son" Simms who played blues on the fiddle. According to Sandra Tooze'Muddy Waters biography, Son's sister described his sound as coming off like a saw, since he apparently had no use for resin on the bow. He can be heard on the "Complete Plantation Recordings" that was collected by Alan Lomax. There's four cuts on it with the "Son Simms Four" band, which was Muddy's first band. Good rough stuff.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown denies being a blues musician, but can scrape a load of "blue" notes on a fiddle when he wants to. He's been recording for more than fifty years and still tours. Check him out if he's ever in your area.

There's a local artist down here in South Florida called the Amazing Randi. I've never heard her but the people round here say she can burn up some blues on it
.
Like Greg sez up above, there's loads of good fiddle playing in the jugbands. I think when the jugbands lost popularity, the fiddle dropped out of the blues. When the record buying public of the late thirties and forties heard "fiddle strains" they may have automatically identified it with old time jugband music. Big Band and R&B was coming in vogue by that then.
It was time to Shake that Thing!

Tweed


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 08:05 AM

Ah, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.There's a name to conjure with. Anyone familiar with his classic song "A bad week for old fiddlers"? Check it out. A great recording of that song, with Kate Barfield on vocals and amazing old-time blues fiddle, was made by the Boat Band on "Burning the Water" CD. I'm just looking at the insert now, and the guitarist is...wow... Greg Stephens. It's gotta be good.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Tweed
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 08:29 AM

Forgot about Vassar Clements. You guys got me on a fiddle fixation this morning and I've gone hunting. Found this short clip of Vassar's "Texas Blues". If you have free realplayer you can listen in. These darn things never run long enough.....
Texas Blues

Hey Greg, is that Greg Stephens you? One and the same? Iz you a known man?


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 09:16 AM

Yes that Texas Blues (well the bit we can hear) is exactly what I mean about potential.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 09:20 AM

Somewhere around here we have a copy or two of an excellent song/technique book for blues fiddling, that explains how to work with the fiddle in blues. I believe there was a CD with it. I believe it also included a word or two here and there from experienced blues fiddlers. So, someone out there is doing it, and teaching it!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 09:37 AM

Listen to the original Mississippi Sheiks' version of "Sittin' on top of the world" written by Bo Carter (ne-Chatmon) and featuring Sam & Lonnie Chatmon with a fiddle lead.
RtS


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 09:39 AM

Depends on what you think the blues is... what would Mudcat be without an argument of what is and isn't blues? There was a lot of white country blues by string bands or duos that had fiddle. Somewhere I have a cassette as part of a two album sset of country blues... haven't listened to it in a long time, but there were definitely some songs called "blues" with fiddle.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM

Yeah, Tweed, Greg is Greg (Ain't cha, Greg) and he and Kate can burn up a little of their cajun style blues. I know. These are the folks I was talking about on the Tweedsboard a month or so ago.

No, it ain't Delta blues. No, not Chicago or Piedmont... Ahhh, it's cajun blues and it sounds mighty good when Kate gets her fiddle fiddlin' and Greg gets his geetar geetarin'....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM

Anybody besides me remember Papa John Creach?


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 11:47 AM

My understanding is that the fiddle was the original instrument on which blues were played. Fiddles were far more common than guitars. Every household with any musical interest at all had a fiddle and guitars had not yet become common. The fiddle has the advantage of being fretless so it can play all the notes “in the cracks,” necessary for playing the African pentatonic scale and for making the slides one associates with the blues.

Note that much of what we know as white country fiddling today originated with African American fiddlers who played for the local dances. The African fiddlers had at least as much influence on country fiddle styles as did the Scottish and Irish traditions.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 11:53 AM

Of course I remember Papa John Creach! What a character, and bye the bye try this cd on for size.....Violin, sing the blues for me. A variety of artists, from the well known, Peg Leg Howell to the less famous Blue Coat Nelson. Old Hat Enterprises is the label. Enjoy!!
I am not LEJ!!! Just his little known wife, "she's always got the blues"!!!!


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 11:55 AM

I luvvvvv blues fiddle and all those wonderful old records featuring it!

.....But.....if you want to hear the greatest blues fiddler of all (from a 'chops' point of view) listen to JOE VENUTI!

Some of his recordings from the twenties with Eddie Lang, defy description. Yup, he was a white guy AND he started out as a classical violinist, but believe me this guy EARNED the right to play the blues.....he had one hell of an interesting life.....including, playing the most (in) famous practical joke in music history!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 12:02 PM

Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, still going strong in his 90s, is a wonderful blues fiddler (and mandolinist and guitarist). I first saw him back in the 1970s when he was playing with his lifelong partners, the equally wonderful Carl Martin and Ted Bogan.

Carl and Ted have passed on, but Howard's performances are not to be missed. Any of Howard's or Martin, Bogan & Amrmstrong's recordings are highly recommended.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 12:29 PM

Apparently Big Bill Broonzy was also a fiddle player, though I've never heard anything by him. And Stephan Grapelli could turn his hand to it if necessary.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 12:30 PM

Granted Jow Venuti was a supremely great fiddler, and did play a bit of blues, I dont reckong you'ld call him a blues fiddler.More jazz, if anything...really it was just "Joe Venuti music". Papa John Creech I've listened too a lot, but find him hard work.
   In this context Canray Fontenot should be mentioned, the totally wonderful black fiddler and singer from Louisiana. He very rarely played
what you'ld call blues, his repertoire was almost totally Creole/French material: but it was very "bluesy" in approach, and for my money he was an infinitely greater musician than any of the actual "blues" fiddlers I've heard. SadlyI never played with him but I did buy him a whisky once and had a very nice chat just before he died.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 02:02 PM

You can hear RA and MP3 bits of this chap called Ruby Harris on the following site. Sounds pretty good to me.

http://www.rubyharrismusic.com/about.html


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 07:07 PM

"the most (in) famous practical joke in music history!" - tell us about it, Rick. You can't leave it like that.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Oct 02 - 07:20 PM

Joe Venuti's (in) famous practical joke


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Banjovey
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 09:18 PM

Hobart Smith, great musician does a fine job on " Sittin' on Top of the World", on fiddle.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: LeTenebreux
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 11:54 PM

Wasn't it Steve Martin who wrote a "sad banjo song" just to show that it could be done?


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 04:43 AM

"Apparently Big Bill Broonzy was also a fiddle player, though I've never heard anything by him. And Stephan Grapelli could turn his hand to it if necessary." Ray

There's a few records of Big Broonzy playing fiddle on pre-war blues reissues. Check Old Hat CD-1003; Folks He Sure do Play Some Bow, which is the companion to Violin Sing The Blues, mentioned already in this thread. Also RST JPCD-1513-2; State Street Ramblers, Vol 2. Also, check the Document reissues of Big Bill which will certainly include some other records of his fiddle playing.

Incidentally, Lonnie Johnson was another fine blues violinist whose talents on that instrument were overshadowed by his skill on the guitar.

You can hear him playing fiddle on the Old Hat reissues.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 09:13 AM

while I dont consider myself a blues singer,I have also recorded [on concertina]Sitting on top of the World,with jazz violinist Joe Townsend[around the harbour town cd].
http://www.dickmiles.com

sitting on top of the world[bo carter]was first recorded by the Missippi sheiks,who were more like across between blues and jug band,it has also been recorded by country artists.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: dwditty
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 09:28 AM

Sugarcane Harris

Directly From My Heart to You on Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh album can be heard at theabove link.

dw


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 11:32 AM

Charlie Patton recorded with a fiddler, Henry Sims. The fiddle can be heard on other early blues recordings as well, though generally as an accompanist rather than a lead instrument.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 01:44 PM

Three instruments that have a great capability to elicit deep blue feelings are the violin, viola and cello. I'll grant that not too many would fancy toting a cello around, but no other instrument I can think of, save the trombone, can "bend" a blue note quite as well. I have always been curious as to why these strings "need not apply" for the blues, in all but a handful of cases. Maybe we're on to something here...


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 03:18 PM

TJ I think slide guitar does well to find those same tones.

I've had a few bone players sit in with me over the years. My friend Thaddeus Spae is one of the latest. He loves my new one, "It's Not The Size Of Your Slide. It's The Slide Of Your Size." and has jumped in with me on several occasions to play along.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 05:15 PM

Reggie:

Point taken, re: the slide guitar. I happened to listen to an old Jack Teagarden blues recording on my way to work this morning. He was an idol of mine when most kids my age were listening to early rock n' roll. That bone is an instrument I always wanted to play, but never quite got around to. My dad couldn't afford a trombone, so I started with a borrowed school cornet and e-flat horn, tried trumpet and eventually wound up with guitars. A weird way to get to a good place, I reckon.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 05:42 PM

Anyone remember Papa John Creach, who played electric violin with the Jefferson Airplane/Starship? That was psychedelic rock, of course, not strictly blues, but certainly related to blues. John was not a young man and must have had spent many years playing unamplified blues/R&B before falling in with those hippies.

On the subject of the trombone, let me recommend the excellent New Orleans band Bonerama. Very sophisticated blues/jazz/rock, with a front line of a half-dozen trombones (one of them a huge bass trombone), plus sousaphone, drums, and a lone electric guitar. Their recordings are very good, but you have to experience them live to appreciate the full physical impact of all that wind power.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:37 PM

I was going to mention the lata Papa John Creach (disparaging listenerst called him "Papa John Screech"). Didn't he record with Hot Tuna. as well?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 09:41 PM

Hi Kids: Hidden away somewhere in New Jersey...The Killer Blues Band.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFkg5cDXCuc
bob


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 09:46 PM

For those unafraid to Rock. Antonio Pontarelli...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqLZIGQ7OG4
bob


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 09:58 PM

Then there's The Mark Wood Experience...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdHB0AWVQT8

That's it for now... Happy Fiddlin'!
bob


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 12:36 AM

It might've been Hot Tuna that Papa John worked with, and NOT the Airplane, or maybe both. I don't remember. The two bands had mostly overlapping personnel, didn't they? Jorma and Jack for sure, maybe one or two others as well...


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 04:21 PM

the East Texas Serenaders had a number of bluesy tunes as well as the Stripling Brothers. I'd say that Arthur Smith also wrote a number of tunes that are in the 'white blues' category whatever that is.

Hank Bradley - has composed a number of blues fiddle (or blues like) tunes. here

click on American music and Hank Bradleys cd chase the blues


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 04:31 PM

"It might've been Hot Tuna that Papa John worked with, and NOT the Airplane"

Creach worked with both The Airplane and Hot Tuna He can be heard, very effectively, on the Jefferson Airplane record,
Thirty Seconds Over Winterland.

the line up was:

Jack Casady - Bass
Paul Kantner - Vocals / Rhythm Guitar
Jorma Kaukonen - Vocals / Lead Guitar
Grace Slick - Vocals
Papa John Creach - Violin
John Barbata - Drums / Percussion
David Freiberg - Vocals


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 04:36 PM

one other fiddle player who plays some great blues tunes comes to mind is Suzy Thompson.
(she does a great version of Babe which is on the East Texas Serenaders compilation) here
is a link to her recordings - if you click on sounds and select a track.

for that matter I had 'Learn to play the blues fiddle' dvd by Darol
Anger - from the local library - and quite enjoyed it. He plays mostly his own tunes.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:01 PM

Hi Kids: On the blues violin...Anne Akiko Meyers...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiC4qVGoW6A
bob


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:10 PM

And comin' at yas from France with a bit of the blues: Gilles Apap...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wzSjTYOwT4&feature=related
bob


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 05:18 PM

She's more pop/rock/folk-rock than strictly blues, but the very lovely Theresa Andersson certainly deserves a mention.

Scroll down to the last of the three YouTube videos, just above the "Friends Space," and check out her duet with drummer Johnny Vicocovich ~ pretty hot stuff!


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 07:53 PM

For those of you who "don't feel like practising because of this or that" here's somebody who would probably be able to play some blues if he wanted to...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYmqC5XznEw&feature=related
bob


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 01:19 PM

I'm somewhat surprised that no one has mentioned Don'Sugarcane'Harris and the group Don and Dewey. Of course it's not quite folk blues, more doo-wop/blues. Don was a fixture around the LA folk, jazz and rock scene for many years and played for some years with Frank Zappa (not the first fine musician to do so).


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: TinDor
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 05:37 AM

From my understanding, blacks first played bluesy stuff on banjos and fiddles before they go to guitars.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 12:28 PM

Check out "FOLKS, HE SURE DO PULL SOME BOW - Vintage Fiddle Music, 1927-1935

Big Bill Broonzy started out as a fiddler.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 03:08 PM

I thought that when the Delta blues was developing mainly among African Americans in the Mississippi Delta cotton area the fiddle was not a particularly common instrument in those settings. Fiddle was more of a Euro-based eastern and southern mountain instrument. Instruments for early blues would have been mainly aimed at just accompanying the singer, so having an expressive solo instrument wasnt initially a major consideration. Banjo and other more traditional African American instruments of the mid-late 1800s would presumably have predominated in the Delta agricultural workers blues until the end of the century when the steel string guitar (sold in catalogs) came in, and then piano and band instruments once the City based composers got into the act .   Piedmont blues, which developed a little later and much closer to the Appalachians is raggier and may have had more fiddle involvement in its development( like the Pig Ankle Rag perhaps?).   There are certainly some blues which are frequently played on fiddle - and, just to prove generalizations, are dangerous one of the most popular - Carroll County Blues - was "written" by a fiddler from central Mississippi - albeit well after 1900.   It is an instrumental though.


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Subject: RE: The fiddle and the blues?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 04:12 PM

Besides "He sure do pull some bow" there is the companion CD, "Violin Sing the Blues for Me". Both are excellent!
Suzy Thompson


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