A song and a tune

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VikingBlues
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 pm

A song and a tune

Post by VikingBlues »

I've been listening to podcasts by a man called Mike Harding - very involved in folk music in Britain and was part of the British Folk Revival in the 1960s.

He plays folk, roots and acoustic music on the podcasts and Eric Bibb appears several times. One of the songs he performs, "The Drinking Gourd" really got under my skin. I spent a few weeks trying to get myself to play a version of it, but the end result though I would call it acceptable is disappointing to me. But anything I do is disappointing compared to Eric Bibb! His chord voicings are something special on this song, as is his vocal.
So - my attempt - on a Tanglewood all mahogany parlour guitar plus vocal live to a single track on the Zoom H4n portable recorder.

:music1: "The Drinking Gourd" https://app.box.com/s/o7bh4cwt6ma9ljf2xdn91hzk7n1dg4ny

So that's the song. So onto the tune.

I've been trying to follow a Masterclass course on JamPlay by Mike Dawes, a UK fingerstyle player. Mostly it's beyond me or I find the task of the lesson to not enthuse me, but there was early on a cluster of DADGAD lessons finishing with "Getting Creative" lessons. The first of these has a brief bagpipe tune and the object of the lesson is for the pupil to creatively adapt melody, harmony, etc. I sort of overdid the adapting bit and there's not much left of the original tune, but it's where my brain, fingers and guitar wanted me to go.
Vintage VE2000GG cedar/mahogany guitar onto the Zoom H4n portable recorder.

:music1: "Open Doors" https://app.box.com/s/nj4mj05v60hjv57hm1b31mb5jdcjg0q9
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

mjo
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: A song and a tune

Post by mjo »

I quite like both of those, simple, yet compelling.
You have a Mark Knopfler-ish thing going on The Drinking Gourd. Well done !

-best,
Mike

Hellhoundsonme
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:15 am

Re: A song and a tune

Post by Hellhoundsonme »

I agree mjo.

And the songs really "breathe" with great use of space.

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12bar
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Re: A song and a tune

Post by 12bar »

I also agree to what has been said already - both sound great and the use of space is just right. :clap:

Only a few notes and it's clear who's playing, that's the difference to a copycat. :dance:

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Blindboy
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Re: A song and a tune

Post by Blindboy »

Both of these are quite nice. :clap:
12bar wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:02 am
Only a few notes and it's clear who's playing, that's the difference to a copycat.
I agree.
Congratulations on singing while playing... Not an easy task.
I've always liked The Drinking Gourd. I used to play it on fiddle, way back when I played bluegrass and traditional tunes as a kid.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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VikingBlues
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Re: A song and a tune

Post by VikingBlues »

Thanks guys! :D

"Simple", "a few notes", "space" .... sort of sums up my playing! I was never very fast, and I've slowed down even more with age. :shy:

I've only started trying the singing and playing at the same time over the last year, and that does mean the guitar part needs to be really simple!
I still can't manage remembering the words though, and need a cheat sheet.

I've not heard a bluegrass style version of the song Blindboy. There are certainly a lot of variations around on the song. It just happened it was Eric Bibbs version that was the first version of the song I heard that really caught my attention. I must see if I can track down a bluegrass version to get an idea of what you might have done way back.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

fenson
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:18 pm

Re: A song and a tune

Post by fenson »

Hi VB,

Pretty good rendition of the two! :thumbsup: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Congrats for singing :handshake:

Here's a good overview of some different versions of 3the Drinking Gourd"
http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/A ... rdings.htm

:wink: You'll eventually find a Bluegrass version by the "Homestead Pickers" or another by "Hot Tuna" among many ... :cool:
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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VikingBlues
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Re: A song and a tune

Post by VikingBlues »

Thanks for those links Fenson - that's saved me some time that I have difficulty in finding. :thumbsup:
Somehow singing on a recording is tougher to do than playing an instrument. You can't blame the gear for the imperfections.

Fascinating to see the huge variety of styles and approaches to the song, and in a way that makes me a bit less unhappy about the differences between my attempts and Eric Bibb's masterly performance I'd been listening too. Interesting to hear Eric Bibb's father Leon in amongst the slinks - I hadn't realised that his Dad was a singer (great baritone voice) and musician and civil rights activist. A great singing voice runs in the family.

This was the Eric Bibb version that really took my fancy:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjBZEMkmwYA
A master at a relaxed style that also manages to be intense! :pray:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

fenson
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:18 pm

Re: A song and a tune

Post by fenson »

You're right VB, no more to say, just listening :pray:
"Don't be afraid by wrong notes, it doesn't exist" Miles Davis.

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