blues in waltz time

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blues in waltz time

Postby Ben_Sir_Amos » Mon May 21, 2007 2:07 pm

We finished our set last Saturday and we had run just a bit over time so we were not planning on an encore. Then the landlord came up and asked for a "slow waltz".

Well, we only do blues covers - we are a five piece electric band. I've got plenty of numbers in 12/8 and 6/8 but I couldn't think of any blues number in 3/4. I ended up doing "I need your love so bad" as slowly as possible - but I'd really like to have a proper waltz for next time we play there. There must be some - it's just that I can't think what they are.

It's a tiny venue but the crowd is good, the landlord is good, the sound is good.

Come on. Please let me have your suggestions for a blues number in waltz time. I don't really do country or pop so only solid blues suggestions please.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Ben_Sir_Amos on Fri May 25, 2007 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby maxx england » Tue May 22, 2007 1:30 pm

I got a copy of Buddy Guy on a Q The Blues tape doing Early In The Morning in 3/4. It works as a piece of music well enough, it just gives me motion sickness though.
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Postby Ben_Sir_Amos » Wed May 23, 2007 7:13 am

Thanks, Maxx, for the suggestion. I went and found a short clip to get the idea.

I see what you mean about the motion sickness - but it has inspired me. I will see if it suits me more if it's slowed down.
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Postby jellyroll baker » Thu May 24, 2007 4:24 am

Maybe my sense of rhythm has clapped out on me but isn't Joe Cocker's bluesy interpretation of With a Little Help From My Friends in waltz time?
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Postby Ben_Sir_Amos » Thu May 24, 2007 6:42 am

Thanks. You are right, Jellyroll. I should have remembered that because I once copied the approach on a 3/4 blues version of "Yesterday" that had everyone feeling queasy.

I'll give "With a Little Help" another go. IIRC you really need some strong backing singers to do Joe's version, so it might not work for the current line up - which means any other suggestions would still be welcome.
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Postby dcblues » Thu May 24, 2007 12:20 pm

There's always the "Jug Band Waltz" by the Memphis Jug Band. But that's not really a straghtforward blues song.
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Postby Ben_Sir_Amos » Thu May 24, 2007 1:39 pm

Ah-ha. That's not a straightforward blues song - but it could help me to kill two birds with one stone. I've been looking around for instrumentals so that I can give my voice a rest. A harmonica instrumental waltz would give me time to rest (and get to the bar to pick up another pint).

Thanks, dcblues.

(PS Any other suggestions still welcome.)
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Postby texas blues » Thu May 24, 2007 10:25 pm

You could try "Summertime" by Gershwin (I think this one is George's)
Slow oohm pah pah sorta' blues?
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Postby rustyslide » Fri May 25, 2007 1:34 am

I've done Summertime as a blues-y number before, worked well, though I was playing with a sultry-voiced singer which makes everything better.
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Postby Ben_Sir_Amos » Fri May 25, 2007 12:16 pm

I gave "Summertime" a shot - but it's not working for me. I either go so slow that it drags like a dirge or I keep falling into 6/8 and speeding up.

Still, thanks for the suggestion. It made me go and have another look at stuff with a more jazzy feel. I looked for stuff with a 2/4 beat or feel (like the original Beatles version of "With a Little Help") that I could "Cockerise" (if that is a word I can use on this forum) into 3/4.

I can now do a great version of "Nevertheless" in 3/4 - unfortunately, it is not very blues-sounding. Still, it is a great holding song until we find something that the whole band can play. If I need a slow waltz now, I can do "Nevertheless" with just me on vocals and guitar and the drummer tapping along behind.

Thanks everyone
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Postby ricochet » Fri May 25, 2007 1:14 pm

I LOVE Summertime! I tune to Open Gmin (or Amin) and waltz away with it! :D

Think I'll do that in a little bit, come to think of it. 8)
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Postby allanlummox » Fri May 25, 2007 2:53 pm

Back home for a brief moment between flights...


One tune I play in Waltz time is Leadbelly's "In the Pines". Never heard an electric version, but it could work.
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Postby ricochet » Fri May 25, 2007 2:59 pm

One electric version is the misleadingly "Unplugged" version done by Kurt Cobain on the Nirvana MTV "Unplugged In New York" concert album. Very nice.

It's amazing how many people think that song is a bluegrass song. :D

It's titled Where Did You Sleep Last Night on the above CD, I think.
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Postby allanlummox » Fri May 25, 2007 3:39 pm

I have a strange thing with this song;

Several years ago, I got an email from a woman I hadn't heard from in years, she'd been a barmaid at McGlinchey's at the time that I was working the door.

The Email just filled me in on how she was doing (well) and mentioned that she'd looked me up after having a dream that I was playing Leadbelly's "In the Pines".

I don't know that I'd ever played it before that, but I added it to my setlist immediatly.
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Postby ricochet » Fri May 25, 2007 3:46 pm

Sounds like a good idea. :lol:
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