drone / north mississippi style

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drone / north mississippi style

Postby farmaz » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:40 pm

i been reading over the last day or 2 about this drone / north mississippi style of blues, i seen a few clips of unknown people on youtube playing in this style.

anyone know more about this style of blues & who is the best recording person who did this style etc


thanks in advance....... :)
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby farmaz » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:42 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLaOY5fkQiA


if people aint sure what im on about, check this link its a quick lesson on the drone/north style & it will make it more clear what im on about
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby Bournio » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:58 pm

Is this Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside?

And I guess we can't mention drones without say John Lee Hooker
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby Les Forgue » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:54 pm

Howling Wolf. of course he recorded lots of I-IV-V too, but his first album contained several hill country type one-chord songs and they are probably my very favorite H W.
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby Les Forgue » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:55 pm

Oh yeaH WHAT ABOUT jESSIE mAE hEMPHILL TOO.
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby Rhambama » Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:42 am

This is what is more commonly referred to as "Hill Country Blues." Here is a little history from Fat Possum Records:

"Emphasis laid upon the regional bules style which is characteristic of the hill country of northern Mississippi. The basis of the style seems to be the music of the fife and drum bands active in the area and whose rhythms are well absorbed by the guitarist and harmonica players. Ranie Burnette from Senatobia was Rule's [R. L. Burnside's] first teacher and still plays in a style close to that of Fred McDowell."
Mississippi Hill Country Blues, liner notes

And:

"Fife and drum bands, consisting of a home cut cane fife and regular marching band snare and bass drums, have been recorded repeated in the area since Alan Lomax first encountered Sid Hemphill's group in 1942. They date back well into the nineteenth century, and the rhythms they play. While perhaps distantly related to the march, are also a link between the "clave" rhythm of Afro-Cuban music, the "shout" Rhythms of the more rocking country churches in the southern U.S. and the characteristic "Bo Diddley" beat that evolved from these sources. In both fife-and-drum music and blues, "songs" are often built up out of extremely short rhythmic-melodic cells, a measure or two in length, and assents are determined by speech rhythms, often echoing the song's title or key refrain. The best north Mississippi drummers, such are former fife-and-drum band musician Calvin Jackson, take as the highest praise the observation that they "make the drums talk." These talking rhythms, whose modular, additive structures provide the rhythmic underpinnings for much of the North Mississippi blues, also shape the phrasing of the area's slide guitarists. Even more so than the Delta, North Mississippi blues is a churning, jamming one chord exercise in stamina and mass hypnosis, founded on fundamental speech-rhythm formulas; often several instruments or voices are "talking" back and forth to each other as part of the overall musical texture.

"...In many songs native to the tradition ("Shake 'Em On Down," "Old Black Mattie," "Going Down South," for example), the leader is expected to string out one-measure riff-patterns end to end until he or she is good and ready to cue the song's next section, a change that usually involves a shift in rhythmic emphasis or complexity rather than a chord change. Different songs are distinguished not so much by harmony or melody as by particular rhythmic sequences, such as the shift from the more steady rocking A-part into the piston push-and-pull of the B-Part in the verses to "Shake 'Em On Down.""
--Too Bad Jim, liner notes

I don't like the name "drone blues" as this genre actually often uses an alternating baseline of two or more base notes.

This genre of blues has become hugely popular with the growing popularity of The Black Keys/Dan Auerbach.

Some notable artists of this genre are:
Mississippi John Hurt
Mississippi Fred McDowell
John Lee Hooker
Junior Kimbrough
R.L. Burnside
Dan Auerbach

You'll find that many of these guys actually taught each other how to play guitar. This and the fact that the North Mississippi Hill Country's tight-knit community have made standard songs an important part of this genre. Songs you'll commonly see are:

"Shake 'Em On Down"
"Cassey Jones"
"Goin' Down South"
"Coal/Poor Black Mattie"
"Meet Me In The City"
"Stack-A-Lee"

Just to name a few.

Electrically, tones can very greatly, but these artists tend to favor humbuckers or P90's with lots of blues distortion and lots of reverb. Slide is common in both acoustic and electric settings, though it isn't always required. Many of these songs are played in open tunings as these are commonly one-chord-songs, the open tuning allows for better use of the drone base strings and slide.

Most electric bands usually only have a guitarist and drummer (The Black Keys, Hillstomp, to a lesser extent: The White Stripes).
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby hooverhasit » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:27 am

while i am a huge fan of the above mentioned artists in this style, i must say i am bowled over by the juke joint duo/2 man wrecking crew combo of lightning malcolm and cedric burnside. cedric is the grandson of r.l. burnside and was his drummer for some time till r.l. died. cedric is the best blues drummer ever and shows the influence of the fife and drum music though he can play any style. here are a couple of vids, the first showing young cedric playing with his grandfather on shake em on down, the archtypical hill country anthem.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V9mb__6yVY
here they are juke joint duo-world of trouble.i had the priveledge to met them at the house of blues and they are such humble and grateful performers. they were thrilled that i was from the delta near them and it was just like old home week, though they had never met me before. they are traveling the world making music and recently won the bma/w.c. handy award as the best newcomers. it is great to see the younger generation carrying on the tradition of this great music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7ER3SzE-4g
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Re: drone / north mississippi style

Postby Rhambama » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:11 pm

Neat video of R.L. talking about McDowell:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrDx5NgTb_A&feature=related[/youtube]
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