Fiddle Blues

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Fiddle Blues

Postby Lo-Fi » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:35 pm

Back in the 1970s I played a bit of fiddle with both an electric (back then you slapped a Barcus Berry pickup on the bridge with something that resembled silly putty) and acoustic blues band.

The bug has again bitten me and now more than 30 years later something came over me and I have started putzing around with a violin. Kinda rough going but despite our foster kiddo's wailing and the neighborhood dogs barking in protest I soldiered on and the feel for the thing is slowly coming back. I am having a blast and have barely touched a guitar in weeks, Spent the better part of the weekend getting a handle on Muddy's "I Can't Be Satisfied" (which is one I used to play). I also have been messing a bit with what else but "Big Road Blues." I found dropping the violin G string down to D helps capture the sound.

For me I think part of it is the need to every now and then leave my comfort zone and venture into something completely different. In the past that brought me to the lap steel and mandolin (which obviously has been a help getting back into the fiddle).

Anybody else ever get this feeling - the need to look for some new spices to toss into your blues stew?

Anyway the fiddle that brought me back is an 1890-1910 "Fancy Violin." A relatively cheap instrument - a German factory violin carried in the Sears, Monket Wards and other catalogs. The old timers used to call these prison fiddles cuz they figured the only person who would have the time to make them that fancy was someone sitting in jail. It has a real old timey sound to it and it sure is purty.

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Re: Fiddle Blues

Postby tinsmith » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:22 am

Very cool...go for it......I luv blues with a fiddle.......you know, like Papa John Creach......I imagine there were dozens before him.
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Re: Fiddle Blues

Postby bottleneckjohn » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:29 pm

Nice fiddle!!!
A violin playin' the blues is a cool thing!!! :D
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Re: Fiddle Blues

Postby Lo-Fi » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:09 am

I saw Papa John Creach a bunch of times with the Airplane and Hot Tuna. I loved it but then again I was practicing a whole lot of better living through chemistry back then.

Lonnie Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy both played fiddle. The guy who really inspired me and got me to pick the thing up in the first place was Howard Armstrong who recorded with Sleepy Joyn Estes in the late 1920s and hit the road with the likes of Memphis Minnie.. One of the good things (and there ain't all that many) about being a geezer is having gotten to have seen guys like Martin, Bogan and Armstrong - the last of the original Mississippi string bands.

These guys were amazing!

http://youtu.be/lVz-umy8QI0

http://youtu.be/sbDDX9Aqxpc
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Re: Fiddle Blues

Postby jellyroll baker » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:17 am

^^ Hey Mark, have you had the pleasure of catching local fiddle player Heather Stewart? Solid stuff. Highly recommended.
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Re: Fiddle Blues

Postby jellyroll baker » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:21 am

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Re: Fiddle Blues

Postby ricbleu » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:18 pm

Nick Pickett plays a very sympathetic fiddle on "Leaving Town Blues" with Peter Green singing and playing solo guitar. I don't know if Peter wrote it. I hadn't heard it before but found it on Youtube. Peace. :D
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