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Blues Washtub Bass vids

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:18 am
by gutbucketeer
Hi: I play washtub bass in an acoustic blues band, Snakehead Run, in the Washington DC area, and also with a variety of folks every Saturday at the Archie Edwards Barbershop acoustic blues jam ( We just got around to makeing some videos of the group. So I'm hoping to get some feedback on the bass playing. How's it sound? How can I do it better?

Don't You Want To Know (Sleepy John Estes)
Tear it Down (Cincinnati Jug Band)
Kind Hearted Woman (Robert Johnson)
KC Moan (Memphis Jug Band)

Find out more about the band on our Myspace page:

Jim "Son" Bunch
aka Gutbucketeer
my myspace page is

Re: Blues Washtub Bass vids

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:48 pm
by jeffl
Jim: welcome to BRB. I tapped ya' on a response to another thread ya' hit. I'm another person who Boz swapped music with. I play harp with a jam bunch over on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi. There are tons of players around here into your kind of music; if you're ever in this area around Winona,Mn, LaCrosse,Wis., I can hook you up with some music & a place to play.

Re: Blues Washtub Bass vids

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:21 pm
by gutbucketeer

Wow: Thanks on the offer. I have a travelling suitcase bass that sometimes I take on air trips.

I still can't believe Boz is gone. I met him in Hinton WV at my first CBG event. There are some tunes of me playing with him on my geocities and myspace sites.


Re: Blues Washtub Bass vids

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:37 pm
by jeffl
I swapped recordings with the Boz for a few years, and we'd overdub each other's stuff & send it back. I actually got more enjoyment outa the Boz by callin' him on the phone and laughin' 'til our jaws ached. He wuz a good guy to talk to when you were too hyped up about somethin'. Anyway, I'm used to playin' with musicians like you... I jammed for about a dozen years with a bunch of guys that were really hooked into the old time music scene, even though they really liked to play old Grateful Dead, Steve Earle, Merle & Hank country, and any fossil folk rock, like Gram Parsons & that whole bunch. There's a coupla real good Americana type groups playin' over on the river; I get together with 'em once in a while, and they have some really good musicians, but I prefer blues & old rock & folk rock. I enjoy the gatherings of the acoustic jammers more than jammin' in bars with rock guys though; it's way more laid back.

Re: Blues Washtub Bass vids

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:31 pm
by bosco

Welcome to the BigRoad!

I think your bass playing is right in the pocket. It's perfect for supporting the tunes your trio is doing and you don't overplay. Your mando player, on the other hand, takes up all of the space so there isn't any room for you to do much more anyway. I posted a comment on your YouTube version of KC Moan, but it's directed toward your rambunctious mandolin player who does overplay.

Because your acoustic group doesn't include percussion, he would benefit from a more percussive style of rhythym playing. Just playing the strings on the upstroke every other count would let the music breath, give it a beat, and create some space for the guitar and vocals. He's very technically proficient on his leads but his constant up and down strumming has the effect of cluttering the sound, detracting from the vocals and guitar and pushing the tempo all at the same time. I sing and play harp in a working blues band so comping is one of my fortes. Any harp player can tell you that playing constantly is the fastest way to piss off everybody else on the stage. As the old adage goes- "Less is more."

PS- Boz was a fellow Michigander and we used to swap music and trade phone calls. He is sorely missed around here...


Re: Blues Washtub Bass vids

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:17 pm
by jeffl
Before I started hittin' this forum about 6-7 yrs. ago or whatever, I'm pretty sure I used to overplay in band settings. I had played in alot of duos and trios where I served a number of functions with the harp, and had a little adjustment period when I started playin' with bigger groups. Sometimes you gotta step back and listen to the overall thing and you get a little revelation. I agree with your comments in this case Bosco. That's a fun style of music to play,too! I play with a whole jungle fulla acoustic 6-strings, so there's guys sittin' out all the time, or tossin' in little things. I love it when I'm compin' rhythm and throwin' in some licks and then just sit out a round...I love the way it changes the sound when the harp drops out, and I love to hear the other instruments pickin' up the slack. I also love jus' listenin' to the rest of the band.