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The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking

GUEST 17 Aug 04 - 07:55 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 04 - 12:23 AM
Mark Clark 18 Aug 04 - 02:08 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 04 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Aug 04 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 18 Aug 04 - 11:54 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 09 - 02:27 PM
Stringsinger 29 Sep 09 - 02:46 PM
Mark Clark 30 Sep 09 - 01:41 PM
bankley 01 Oct 09 - 11:09 AM
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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 04 - 07:55 PM

Rector was playing a Taylor? Last time I heard him play and talked with him, he was playing a custom made guitar out of Tennessee by a man whose name escapes me now...seems like it started with a "G." ...I just did a google search...Gallagher guitars...(In case the html didn't work, it's www.gallagherguitar.com) ...anyway...

I guess he got tired of it. He said the bass strings were too boomy. I was going to suggest mixing-and-matching string gauges, but...wasn't thinking too fast on my feet. Pat Kirtley or somebody must've talked him into a Taylor. I think Pat is a spokesperson or one of those guys travels around and conducts workshops as part of a promotional thing for Taylor guitars.

(again, http://www.win.net/~mainstring/welcome.html for Pat Kirtley info)


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 12:23 AM

forward slash, back slash...so confusing, who can keep them straight...thanks little mudcat elf for fixing my post....


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: Mark Clark
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 02:08 AM

Oops! My error. I just went back and checked photographs I took at the Thumbpicking Contest and Steve is definately not playing a Taylor. It look as though he is indeed playing a special Gallagher of some sort. It looks like a round-shouldered, single-cutaway, fourteen-fret dreadnought with a slotted peghead. I'ts probably the same one he's pictured holding on his CD. Based on the Gallagher site, it doesn't seem to be a standard model.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 08:25 AM

...Yeah, he told me that he had specified what he wanted on that guitar. I don't remember all that he told me but one of the things he said was that he had wanted an open headstock, for what reason I don't know.


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 11:46 AM


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 18 Aug 04 - 11:54 AM

Have just skipped through this thread admittedly quite quickly but don't seem to have noticed a mention of Eddie Pennington who is still playing this material. I Had the pleasure of hearing him at a festival three years back and then spending about two or three hours with him at a private party where he played non stop. I bought one of his cd's then and recently picked up the new one on Smithsonian Folkways.
If you are into this style of playing I would reccomend that you give him a listen. Eddie is from Kentucky and knew some of the people mentioned in the article.

Be warned though you might want to throw away your guitar after this.


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 02:27 PM

Interesting thread.


Mted wrote:

"Most of the playing styles seem to have fairly shallow roots--not to say they aren't great styles, but they seem to be more favored by revivalists than reflective of the past, and tend to lead back to
early recordings of the above mentioned folks, --old recordings, with the exception of a few blues artists, don't show much guitar, and there isn't much to document how folks used all those instruments that Sears & Roebuck shipped out to the hinterlands--

Blues guitar playing seems to mostly have been modified from old banjo and piano styles, and there doesn't seem to much outside of blues guitar going on--"


I remember reading that the guitar didn't become a regular featured instrument in rural/southern/mountain white areas until like the 1920. I read that many of these whites areas were still playing banjo and fiddle and reported that they first saw guitars when black workers were carrying them around. I believe the Carter Family and Sam Mcgee both confirmed that the guitar was rare in white communities in their neck of the woods.


Guest wrote:

"It could be argued and debated from now 'til doomsday whether the Kentucky thumbpicking style has more in common with jazz or folk. Or both. Or neither one. Or a conglomeration of many styles. Just like in psychology when researchers debate whether such and such behavior is due to biological or environmental causes. Usually the answer everyone somewhat agrees on is, "a combination of the two."

An interesting quote by Chet on the difference between himself and Merle:

Chet Atkins, liner notes to 1996 reissue of the album Walkin' the Strings:

Though Chet Atkins was the most prominent guitarist to be inspired by Merle Travis, the two players' styles were significantly different. As Atkins explained,

"While I play alternate bass strings which sounds more like a stride piano style, Merle played two bass strings simultaneously on the one and three beats, producing a more exciting solo rhythm, in my opinion. It was somewhat reminiscent of the great old black players


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 02:46 PM

There is a possible antecedent. The fingerstyle players from Africa. Zaire in particular.

Early ragtime pieces seem to have been a staple of Piedmont style blues.

Frank


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: Mark Clark
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 01:41 PM

It's sure nice to see this thread pop up again. These were the discussions that I always liked most. Well, these and Art's recollections. Well, those plus Rick's thoughts... and Frank's and M.Ted's and... OK a whole bunch of folks.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
From: bankley
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 11:09 AM

I hope Mudcatter, Jayto comments on this... he used to hang out a lot at Mose Rager's place when he was just starting out... he told me that Mose' daughter, Friz, lent him her daddy's guitar just this past week-end for the Merle Travis Fest in KY... what a treat... anyhow he has some old tapes made at the Rager house and we cleaned one up and put it on CD... 17 minutes, charming snapshot of the man at home, talking, playing and singing...
bless all those thumb pickers... they sure opened up the instrument to a lot of possibilities.... R.


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