Im presently becoming a fan of his again---He is definitely a master of old school--- Dont no when the instrumental of "lowdown" was made? It is a study of playing holes 1-6 old school style, with great mastery. Not boring I've gone to far away from that style-- I wanted to learn the entire harp fluidly ascending and descending from holes 1-10, w/ no break---like going from headvoice to regular voice in singing-playing the harp as an instrument not just a blues harp I miss playing more bluesy old school. I;m breaking “lowdown” down and learning each 12 bar individually Don’t have it front of me –but I think it has 7--- 12 bar—go arounds with really good turnarounds—No quick change –just straight ahead 12 bar The turnarounds are really ‘different ‘ and really good old school
The first turnaround –in the first 12 bar is way different than what I’ve played— The 2nd 12 bar turn around is really cool-it has an ascending draw 1- Dbend 2 and realease—draw bend 3 and release- to D4 maybe a super quick draw release on 4 draw or just draw 4---to draw 5—B6---B5----then super quick down to holes 123 still workin on that part Whats cool is how the quick descend from B6 to holes 1-3 sound so smooth u cant tell he’s doing it-
So far I’ve learned a lot----- I’ve learned I’ve become weak at ‘ good ol fashion’ lowdown ‘old school blues’ --- very weak Im way overplaying ---workin on going back to the stuff I’ve always loved J cotton-Sonnyboys—J reed ---Slim harpo—sonny Terry etc—The stuff I studied first Tools used to learn this stuff 1] Transcribe---“a slowdowner that will tell u tempo as well---u can change keys etc excellent for guitar and harp-=u can isolate and slow down passages- 2] Audacity-- u can record anything on tube or anything u hear---Since I also buy artist cd’s – I don’hate myself I still support these artists –but when I want to learn a song u tube is quick and easy 3] I record all parts I want to learn with audacity –some slow—some normal speed and save them as mp3 4] I Find, or make a backing track similar to what Im learning— since transcribe will tell u tempo—I can make buy or find a midi or audio track- at same tempo or slower or faster etc 5] Then I burn The song----parts of the song----backing tracks to cd---this way I can bounce back and forth from backing track to his lick –IT IS A LOT HARDER TO RE-APPLY A LICK - TO A BACKTRACK- THAN TO SIMPLY MIRROR HIS PLAYING== same thing applies to sing learn it accapalla W/OUT THE ORIGINAL SINGER Anyway gonna try n post a video with slowed down turnaround also original on Ab harp raised harp to A harp Trying to remember how to post
Last Edited by snowman on Nov 18, 2017 12:01 PM
snowman, the other thing that you need in order to practice and master this sort of thing is a good mic and amp. This is very decidedly an AMPLIFIED style, although it's bone dry (to my ears). He gets a very strong sound, and getting that strength into your own playing requires a strong acoustic sound AND a mastery of the hands-clasping-mic interface AND a keen knowledge of how to set the amp controls. All of that is evident here.
Edited to add: with headphones on, I hear a very (!) slight reverberation that is, I think, a function either of natural decay in whatever studio he was recording this (i.e., a tiny slapback off the walls) or of using two mics, not one mic, to capture the sound of the amp from two different distances. I've used this same trick: close miking and room-miking the amp. I think he's used mostly room mic.
Back on the original topic of Lowdown, right at the end of the recording, you can hear a comment made by someone in the studio saying "you got something there, bubba"...I've always thought that part was pretty cool.
Lowdown is probably my favorite KW instrumental (certainly worth learning note-for-note), although I'm also a big fan of Hunch Rhythm and Smokin' Joint, among others. I have not had a chance to see him do a blues gig (T-Birds, yes), but I get the impression that whenever he does one of these instrumentals, it's more of a one-off thing, and he never plays it remotely the same way again. Is this how he does it? However I have seen him do the 10-minute solo harp thing at T-Birds gigs, and a lot of those are pretty similar to each other.
kudzrunner---I agree that --with old school stuff like this------- -tone--- mic ---amp settings etc are super important for the "chicago" sound---octave splits-tongue slaps- backbeat stuff sounds much bluesier-gritty with ‘chicago tone ‘
---sounds kinda dead through pa with regular mic—If Im forced to play through pa with vocal mic I play completely differently---more country style
I have been mostly a rack player --so didn't try for "chicago" tone or worry about it-b cuz when solo I do a lot of songs that don’t sound well dirty-“summertime” Back to the city” [ “Don’t let me be misunderstood-“use D nat minor harp] —I shot sheriff--etc
Now I sometimes play in a band with; 1 guitarist, bass, drums n me--- The guitar player is about my level -good and bluesy on med and slow blues --but not as strong on fast stuff, on guitar that is----So when he plays lead, I try to play low volume background octave splits on the 1 4 n 5----I don’t want u to know its there---but miss it, if it is not there---
At any rate My Chicago sound is now ; bullet with rebuilt cm element—Samson wireless---lone wolf terminator -lone wolf harp shield-Lone wolf delay w/ slapback- -- I keep the Lone Wolf Mojo Pad” on top of amp- so mojo is last in chain b4 amps pre-amp--- the “Mojo pad” works --- basically cuts the strength of the signal coming in-- so amp works harder—pt being u have to turn yr volume up, on the amp to hear it –if u were at 3-4 with volume,b4 using mojo----yr now at 7-9 on volume with more dirt cuz tubes being driven— Then finally in effects loop on amp I use “BBE sonic stomp’ for leads
I bought a fake fender bassman---a Peavy classic 4x10-I go it for guitar as well-new is $600 less than a used bassman -----Peavy has a 2 clean and 2 dirt channels—as well as spring reverb-5 things bassman doesn't have--it also has an effects in and out --bassman effects loop??? Greg Landry said to use the clean channel with his pedals----I found the dirt channel w/ low drive was better---- In my pedal chain I have a lone wolf tone+----lw harp shield---lone wolf harp octave that I use through pa or an overly clean amp , but don’t use with the peavy I love the Chicago tone--- w/slapback and little reverb-
Audacity---u’ll see in the middle 2----drop down box’s the one with the mic is for recording select speakers---it will then record what speakers are playing U may have an internal mic option to record from ‘ only use that for yr talking----use “spesakers” to record u tube—
ps 99 % of the stuff I record I have on a cd-but its in my storage----so when I decide I want to learn “lowdown” I record it on u tube rather than 1] drive to storage—2] lift crates off cd crate—3] go through all my cd’s to find Kim Wilson --on n on thanks
Last Edited by snowman on Nov 20, 2017 3:05 PM
Thanks for embedding the video about enabling the sound card directly to Audacity! I previously had it working on my old XP netbook, but I couldn't figure out how to get it working in my Windows 10 laptop.
Now it works, and I can create MP3s for myself of YouTube videos that are recorded when I play with local groups! ----------
Last Edited by dougharps on Nov 30, 2017 1:06 PM
My guitar player buddy just hipped me to a batch of live performance videos of Dave Myers featuring Kim Wilson from 1997. Very tasty stuff, and look what happens to Kim towards the beginning of this one (I know I've done that a time or two as well):
that has happened to me on many occasions. so i started to tape the connection to prevent that from happening. however everytimei did so i would have some sort of issue, the mic would break the cable would short out, it was always something. so i finally broke down and bought one of these...
Kim Wilson & his Blues All Stars played Malarkeys last night. It was a ripper of a show. Kim played & sang his ass off, and the band, esp. Big Jon Atkinson & Billy Flynn on guitars, were tight. Highlights (for me) were Snatch It Back and Hold It, Get Your Hand out of My Pocket, Scratch My Back, and a really rocking harp-less version of Back In the USA.
Have to point out that the audience skewed older & whiter - the latter maybe not such a surprise in Orange County CA. Other than family of the band, I think my 50 year old wife was one the youngest attendees.
I've noticed how old the crowd has gotten at blues shows like this as well as a blues jam session I checked out in Savannah....white hair crowd reminded me of the old videos of SPAH in the 90's when the camera panned back from a performance of Blackie Shackner to show the audience.
So, maybe blues like this only seems to interest old folk these days....what happens when they all die off?? ---------- The Iceman
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