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Epitome Of "Cool"?

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  • Epitome Of "Cool"?

    Has there ever been anyone that was more the definition of "cool" on an acoustic guitar that really could top Lightnin Hopkins? Maybe a couple that tied and of course it`s all subjective, but I think for many of us acoustic blues guys he was THE one at first...





  • #2

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    • #3
      Lightnin' Hopkins was the guy that threw me off the blues back in the '70s. I had purchased an album by him, and the timing and tuning were so terrible, I never explored it further until much later. I found Robert Johnson, and as repetitious as he could be, was always in time, in tune, and great lyrics. He was the guy I loved. Now I'm exploring BBQ Bob, Willie MACtell, Leadbelly, and those guys, while sometimes un-tuned and primitive, had chops I'm looking to learn.

      I do see now though, that Lightnin' Hopkins was a pretty cool blues guy. But he was the first blues guy I listened to way back, and was totally bummed he was a dud to my young ears.
      http://www.youtube.com/user/MrOddmanout1

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      • #4
        Lightnin' Hopkins was the guy that threw me off the blues back in the '70s. I had purchased an album by him, and the timing and tuning were so terrible, I never explored it further until much later. I found Robert Johnson, and as repetitious as he could be, was always in time, in tune, and great lyrics. He was the guy I loved. Now I'm exploring BBQ Bob, Willie MACtell, Leadbelly, and those guys, while sometimes un-tuned and primitive, had chops I'm looking to learn.

        I do see now though, that Lightnin' Hopkins was a pretty cool blues guy. But he was the first blues guy I listened to way back, and was totally bummed he was a dud to my young ears.


        Understand.. Took me a while to "get" Billy Holiday, but once I did she became the Jazz queen for me... I like Robert Johnson and do a few of his tunes, but he is far from my favorite..I would rather listen to Johnny Shines or a few other Delta guys all day... I had a bandmate ask me once.. "Why do all you white boys like Robert Johnson"..lol... I think because he is easy to emulate/imitate... Lightnin` not so much..

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        • #5
          Y'know, I was listening to McTell on the way down to Illinois tonite, and Johnson on the way back (funeral), I noticed the later Mctell was much better, and the Johnson was extremely repetitive. All good, but Johnson started pretty much every song the same way. Then I got to thinking about the different blues styles, and came home and looked up McTell and read a spot about Piedmont style and it's Eastern influence, blah blah.. but how it was more intricate. Got some guys I should look into regarding that style?

          BTW, the McTell was a 4 CD set going from early to later. Didn't have the '50s last recordings, but the '40s. The last 2 were pretty damn cool. All thru though, he was cool with the timing, and mostly cool with the tuning, though on a couple, you could tell they were from some parlor recordings. Johnson though, was spot on, even though fairly predictable.

          I have a BBQ Bob, Charlie Patton and a Leadbelly set I have to go thru as well. Heck, I have that "Leadbelly" Dell'Arte 12 string, I should probably know what these guys did on it!

          Anyway, Piedmont style, lead me!
          http://www.youtube.com/user/MrOddmanout1

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          • #6
            Y'know, I was listening to McTell on the way down to Illinois tonite, and Johnson on the way back (funeral), I noticed the later Mctell was much better, and the Johnson was extremely repetitive. All good, but Johnson started pretty much every song the same way. Then I got to thinking about the different blues styles, and came home and looked up McTell and read a spot about Piedmont style and it's Eastern influence, blah blah.. but how it was more intricate. Got some guys I should look into regarding that style?

            BTW, the McTell was a 4 CD set going from early to later. Didn't have the '50s last recordings, but the '40s. The last 2 were pretty damn cool. All thru though, he was cool with the timing, and mostly cool with the tuning, though on a couple, you could tell they were from some parlor recordings. Johnson though, was spot on, even though fairly predictable.

            I have a BBQ Bob, Charlie Patton and a Leadbelly set I have to go thru as well. Heck, I have that "Leadbelly" Dell'Arte 12 string, I should probably know what these guys did on it!

            Anyway, Piedmont style, lead me!


            Leadbelly was the one for me... The first time I heard him (13 years old) I couldn`t sleep because that music haunted me...lol..Still does.. Different era bro and you have to regard the **************** he went through... I Mean can you really imagine Clapton working on a chain gang, or a Pea Field?..

            Piedmont blues is what I got really wrapped into and when it all boils down Blind Blake was the man... All the other Piedmont "Greats" like Rev Gary Davis and Blind Boy Fuller, etc were "doing" Blind Blake... Blind Blake can even be heard with Louis Armstrong`s "Hot 5/7 recordings.. Papa Charlie Jackson was another early innovator though he mostly played a 6 string banjo....

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            • #7
              Robert Johnson`s recording were what 1936? Probably 10 years after Willie McTell, Patton, Blind Lemon, Son House, Miss John Hurt, Willie Brown, etc......

              Hell Django was going strong by 1936...

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              • #8
                Poor guy, short life. 29 recordings between 36-37. Wonder what he could have been had he lived to be "discovered" in the '60s.

                I have the 4 set of Leadbelly ready to go, and I will look into Blind Blake. Thanks CC.
                http://www.youtube.com/user/MrOddmanout1

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                • #9
                  Ever check out Brownie McGee?...love his voice and guitar style!





                  God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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                  • #10
                    Blind Blake is buried a stone's throw from me. http://www.sociofocus.com/2011/09/22/finding-arthur-blind-blakes-grave/

                    Gotta go and offer.
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/MrOddmanout1

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                    • #11
                      Some more cool videos you might like...only a bit "blue":







                      God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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                      • #12
                        and let's not forget Skip (not that he's especially 'cool'...I'd choose other adjectives for him..



                        Elmore James and Howlin Wolf (the two that really got me hooked but I'm not sure they belong in the acoutic forum.....although they WERE cool).



                        "You shouldn't make me sound like I'm knocking you....for someone who doesn't know how to play guitar, you play really well..."
                        (Yeah my GF again...)

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                        • #13
                          No doubt Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Elmore, Little Walter, Wolf, etc were cool.. I`ve seen pics of Elmore James playing an amplified acoustic more than once...

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                          • #14
                            Blind Blake is buried a stone's throw from me. http://www.sociofocus.com/2011/09/22/finding-arthur-blind-blakes-grave/

                            Gotta go and offer.


                            Great article! For years and years Blind Blake was a mystery. He just disappeared off the face of the earth and not very much was known about him.. His recordings were mostly in the 1920`s (1926-1932).

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Blake



                            Pink Anderson

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                            • #15
                              Damnit TAH, that Mr SUnshine is too cool...lol.. Gotta learn that one the crowds I play to will love it...

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