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16 Tons of Inspiration

Posted by SimonSlick on Sunday, October 22, 2017

like this

Youtube is a treasure trove for musical inspiration. Sixteen Tons is an example. It began for me with a perusal of Merle Travis that led to discovering a version by Billy Gibbons with Jeff Beck. I had to try and work it out for myself. The Travis original is good, but the Gibbons / Beck adaptation should inspire everyone to play that tune.


5 comments on “16 Tons of Inspiration”

WayneConrad Says:
Sunday, October 22, 2017 @9:35:57 AM

I've never seen a video of Merle Travis playing before. Wow, what a performer.

Fine playing as always, Simon. I like/envy how easy you make it look.

Boadicea Says:
Sunday, October 22, 2017 @3:17:51 PM

I love seeing what inspires other banjo players, and how they create their own interpretation. Good to hear you today SimonSlick!

pickn5 Says:
Monday, October 23, 2017 @5:33:25 AM

Nice banjo rendition. Very enjoyable.

twayneking Says:
Thursday, October 26, 2017 @11:14:04 AM

The first song I ever learned to sing (I was three years old) was Tennessee Ernie Ford's version of "Sixteen Tons". It kind of set the tenor of my life, though I never went to work in the mines. I actually went to work in education and the nonprofit industry. Now here I am at 63 with bad knees, a disabled wife, no retirement, no savings and Social Security is stalling me so I can't even get that. They don't call 'em nonprofits for nothing.

stratovarious520 Says:
Friday, March 9, 2018 @6:25:44 PM

I’ve heard Merle’s version... it is his song. I’ve heard Tennessee Ernie’s version...he made it popular. Playing rock guitar for decades, I’d never heard Gibbons/Beck. Wow. Without Travis, there’d be no Atkins, no Emmanuel, no Scotty Moore, or Scotty Anderson (if you’re not familiar with him, please look him up). Jerry Reed also very much in this vein. A favorite tune from my early days. I posted kudos to your version a while back. Thanks for enjoyable listening.

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