Recordings of solo electric?

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Recordings of solo electric?

Postby benkree » Tue May 23, 2006 11:00 am

I've been looking for recordings of solo electric guitar (i.e. just one guitar, with or without voice or drums, but no second guitar or bass or keyboards). I've got John Lee Hooker "Boogie Chillun" and Magic Sam "Give Me Time", both superb of course; but some questions...

1) I've got a Lightnin Hopkins CD called "Morning Blues" with two great tracks called "Lonesome Dog Blues" and "Last Affair", both just Lightnin and an electric guitar. Where can I find more like this? Are they 1951 recordings?

2) I have T-Model Ford's "Pee Wee Get Your Gun". Reviews say most of it is just T-Model on guitar, and a drummer... but it seems to me that there's generally a bassist in there too. I'm not really sure. Anybody? [For the record, I'm finding this disc a bit tedious: much prefer Junior Kimbrough.]

3) Similarly... I've read that R.L. Burnside recorded solo electric guitar, but as far as I can see all his CDs are with a band. Or not?

Any other tips? Yes, I know about Charles Caldwell but haven't heard him. Also John Fahey "Georgia Stomps...". Don't suppose Robert Pete Williams ever recorded with electric?

Long newbie post, sorry, hope it's a topic of interest :)

- Ben
Last edited by benkree on Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bluesmcgoo » Tue May 23, 2006 2:30 pm

Welcome to the Big Road!

Here's one of my all time favorites...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000 ... nce&n=5174

It's all solo electric guitar with vocal accompaniment (as they used to say).

If you've never heard John Mooney, you're in for a real treat.
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Postby ricochet » Tue May 23, 2006 5:04 pm

Over in the Fat Possum catalog, check out Johnny Farmer and Charles Caldwell.
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Postby boogiechillun85 » Tue May 23, 2006 9:36 pm

Don't just check out Charles Caldwell, go buy the cd right now. It's beyond great.
I have an RL Burnside cd of mostly solo electric with a few band numbers as well.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005 ... nce&n=5174

It's very good.
And that John Mooney cd is definitely very good too!
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Postby telemonkey » Wed May 24, 2006 1:54 pm

All good recomendations so far.
Let me add an instructional book I recently purchased, it's called "Solo Blues Guitar" by Dave Rubin

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0634061917/sr=8-1/qid=1148477807/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8542412-8368808?%5Fencoding=UTF8

It's a pretty nice collection of short blues pieces in various keys. Each is played on an electric, solo, on the enclosed CD. Really some nice little riffs and ideas that are fairly interchangeble, familiar and useful.
Interestingly, he demonstrates each with a flatpick, though finger picking can be used to add quite a bit. Personally, I hybrid pick with electrics most times (flatpick between first finger and thumb while finger picking with ring finger and middle, quite common in rockabilly, country blues type playing) and this collection of "solos' in this book works great for hybrid picking.
Now, I haven't learned/played everything in the book, just skipped around a lot, but I did learn a few neat riffs and ideas.
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Postby jellyroll baker » Wed May 24, 2006 11:01 pm

A lot of Lightnin' Hopkins early '50s stuff was solo-electric primitive rock 'n' roll boogie. The complete Herald Recordings set has a lot of that stuff. If you like R.L. his classic Too Bad Jim contains a fair bit of solo electric. You should also get some stuff by his near-neghbour Mss Fred McDowell. Mss Fred wasn't always electric and he wasn't always solo but he played the same in any situation so any recording will give your ear an idea of what the proper sound is. Early Muddy Waters stuff should give you the sound as well - he's backed by a small combo but the electric delta heart is there for all to see. He would've played the same way solo.
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Postby LoneWolf » Wed May 24, 2006 11:31 pm

The great Johnny Shines have some recordings of what I call "Electric Country Blues".
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Many thanks...

Postby benkree » Fri May 26, 2006 6:31 am

Many thanks for all these recommendations. I'll look into these players. Also, I forgot to mention Robert Belfour "Pushin My Luck", like this disc a lot.

Regarding Rubin's "Solo Electric Guitar", I've got this book, and I'm a little disappointed with it. It's all flatpicking, so it's mainly sort of [couple of bars of bassline] followed by [couple of bars of treble playing], as opposed to more or less continuous bass+rhythm/melody. Plus a lot of it is R&B or jazzy stuff, as opposed to "real" blues. That said, though, it's got a lot of tracks, and several of them are interesting for me (eg 15, 36, 44). I'm very much a beginner, by the way. Which tracks have you found useful, telemonkey?

Thanks again for the recommendations. As suggested I'm going to look into John Mooney, Johnny Farmer, Charles Caldwell, more Lightnin, more Burnside, early Muddy Waters, and Johnny Shines, as well as Fred McDowell. Of the Fat Possum people, I think I'm preferring Kimbrough and Belfour to Caldwell and T-Model.

My project for this week is to try to work out Belfour's "Pushin my luck" (the track, not the whole disc), with a bit of help from GuitarPro :)

- Ben
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Postby telemonkey » Fri May 26, 2006 1:34 pm

Regarding Rubin's "Solo Electric Guitar", I've got this book, and I'm a little disappointed with it. It's all flatpicking, so it's mainly sort of [couple of bars of bassline] followed by [couple of bars of treble playing], as opposed to more or less continuous bass+rhythm/melody. Plus a lot of it is R&B or jazzy stuff, as opposed to "real" blues. That said, though, it's got a lot of tracks, and several of them are interesting for me (eg 15, 36, 44). I'm very much a beginner, by the way. Which tracks have you found useful, telemonkey?


agreed. But like I said, you can finger pick the pieces and more or less keep the bass going. especially the first pieces in E. The stuff in other Keys (especially G) can be done by simply hooking your thumb over the top string and dead thumbing the bass here and there over top the treble.
I don't remember which tracks I found the most "useful", though I did steal a few riffs in the Key of A.
Again, I think as just a collection of riffs/ideas this book is decent as it shows each riff in context. As for it being "R&B" and "Jazzy", I agree. But this is something I personally liked about it, as I don't allready know a lot of riffs in this style.

as for J. Kimbrough and R.L Burnside, check out this dvd if you get a chance, "Deep Blues"
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1572526424/qid=1148650032/sr=8-5/ref=pd_bbs_5/104-6513186-8203960?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=130

there's a real nice piece with R.L Burnside playing solo electric on his front porch. Rent it if you can (or buy it). Also has footage of Kimbrough playing.

also look for an album called 'Electric Lightnin' from Lightning Hopkins. If I remember right, it's mostly solo electric.
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Postby benkree » Fri May 26, 2006 2:54 pm

>> But like I said, you can finger pick the pieces and more or less keep the bass going

Aah, I see what you mean... good idea, will try that.

And thanks for the additional recommendations.

- Ben
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