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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Roscoe Holcomb's East Virginia Blues


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/90739

mwc9725e - Posted - 08/14/2007:  07:34:24


I was listening to Roscoe Holcomb's "East Virginia Blues" last night yet again. He plays it using one chord -- I swear he never changes chords. But it's great. How the heck does he wring all of that out of one chord? And what is that "gallopy" sound he gets in "Swanno Mountain"? It isn't bum-ditty. Anyone know how he does it? I slowed it down to 50%, and it doesn't sound like any banjo style I ever heard, it sounds very syncopated in lots of the parts.

Richard - Posted - 08/14/2007:  08:06:52


Holcomb's version is my favourite - unlike others i have heard.
i agree about the chord suff - i think he adds some runs and licks for interest.

Richard

"There is nothing whatsoever that does not become easier with acquaintance" - Santideva

Latitude- Original and Traditional Folk and Blues http://www.geocities.com/bottleneck...atitude.html

myspace - hear some tracks
http://www.myspace.com/latitudefolkmusic

Couchie - Posted - 08/14/2007:  11:20:44


Roscoe Holcomb was a brilliant musician who understood the power and simplicity of this music. He played a very powerful two-finger style. Hopfully more musicians will take up the cause.

Don.

O=='=#


Edited by - Couchie on 08/14/2007 11:22:34

pastorharry - Posted - 08/14/2007:  17:45:09


I love Roscoe Holcomb's raw,powerful music. He seems to never have been influenced by others, at least not to the point of copying anyone.One chord, 2 fingers-there's hope for me!!
God bless, Pastor Harry

Isaiah 38:20

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 08/14/2007:  18:00:04


I do believe it was Roscoe Holcomb that collected "race" records he got from a local train conductor - memory might be a bit off however, or my source might have been full of innacuracies.
I think East Virginia is done in Thumb lead (most of the time) 2 finger, but couldn't swear to it, and right at the moment can't find the cd.

The Whiskey Before Breakfast variations and "F" tuning tabs are now available on the web at: http://home.thegrid.net/~fjbrad/id20.html
There are mp3s of G tunes in F tuning on the web at http://www.box.net/shared/p06kzxt5lv
Rocket Science banjo is on youtube now. Here are the addresses:
Lesson 1 The Basic Stroke
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdRuf4X0X7g
Lesson 2 Drop Thumb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7gmyrlvtS0
Lesson 3 The Big Cluck
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy2iCyrsqr0
Julie Anne Johnson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGonhCTQKfM

ramblin - Posted - 08/14/2007:  18:04:48


The only recording I have of Roscoe Holcomb doing 'East Virginia Blues' is on Mountain Music of Kentucky. He plays it on guitar in a variant of spanish tuning: GGDGBD - the 6th and 5th strings are tuned to the same pitch. He generally uses the same thumb-lead two finger picking on the guitar that he does on the banjo. I don't hear him fingering any chords, but he uses the open tuning to provide the harmonic context and plays the melody with his thumb on the inner strings - mainly 4th and third strings. This could probably be played on the banjo with little or no change to the overall picking.

Swanno Tunnel sounds like it's played in the banjo equivalent of vestapol tuning - F-sharp D F-sharp A D. His actual pitch may be higher or lower than that - no banjo handy. This is also played in a thumb lead, two-finger style.

frankie


--
http://donegone.net

Chris Berry - Posted - 08/16/2007:  02:12:35


Frankie -- nice to see you over here.

Roscoe plays "East Virginia" on banjo on the recent Friends of Old Time Music set from Smithsonian Folkways. It's 3CDs, almost all different from the original FoTM LP, and it's excellent.

His style on the banjo version is exactly the same as the guitar version, and he's in regular G tuning.

Swanno Mountain is indeed in F#DF#AD tuning.
Chris

ramblin - Posted - 08/20/2007:  19:13:58


Thanks for the tip on the FOTM set, Chris. I've downloaded bits and pieces of that set from emusic, but somehow overlooked the material from Roscoe Holcomb. I think I was in a Jesse Fuller mood when I initially ran across it.


--
http://donegone.net

brokenstrings - Posted - 08/20/2007:  23:34:11


Sounds as if that's "Swannanoa Tunnel" you mean, which I have on a recording by Bascom Lamar Lunsford. I'd like to hear Roscoe Holcomb's version.

BTW that galloping effect--it's achieved on "Darlin' Corey" by playing the same two notes over and over, fast. Is that what you mean or am I way off-base?

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!

Ronnie - Posted - 08/20/2007:  23:41:13


speaking of roscoe, I found a 5 string Kay model 52 banjo in a local antique store and almost bought it. i went back for it and it was sold. it had a deep resonator like a vega vox. roscoe removed his resonatorand played his kay as an open back.

http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/rules.asp

www.bobbythompsonbanjo.com


Edited by - Ronnie on 08/20/2007 23:55:55

Chris Berry - Posted - 08/21/2007:  02:17:02


Right Jessy,
essentially that rhythm is an up-pick with the index finger on the open first string, then the thumb (on the low D string in the case of Swanno Mountain) then two quick up-picks with the index on the open first string, then the thumb again; sometimes he throws in a thumb on the fifth string between the two quick up-picks.
Chris

bing - Posted - 08/22/2007:  03:25:01


Those u tube clips of him are very intriguing. Definitely a great blues voice with no inhibitions for a man of such humble origins. He played good rhythm giutar as well.

Bing

mwc9725e - Posted - 08/22/2007:  10:18:11


quote:
Originally posted by brokenstrings

Sounds as if that's "Swannanoa Tunnel" you mean, which I have on a recording by Bascom Lamar Lunsford. I'd like to hear Roscoe Holcomb's version.

BTW that galloping effect--it's achieved on "Darlin' Corey" by playing the same two notes over and over, fast. Is that what you mean or am I way off-base?

Jessy

Frailaway, ladies, frailaway!



It really is Swannanoa Mountai, but Roscoe was a Kaintuckian, and they don't know how to speak North Carolina.

deena - Posted - 08/29/2008:  20:52:52


Actually i don't have any idea.How does it work? If you render more information it would be more helpful to get information.
-------------------------
deena


http://www.alcoholaddiction.org/virginia

deena - Posted - 08/29/2008:  20:54:29


Actually i don't have any idea.How does it work? If you render more information it would be more helpful to get information.
-------------------------
deena

http://www.alcoholaddiction.org/virginia

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