Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Contrecoeur Québec
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Did Mississippi John Hurt really invent alternating bass thumbpicking?

    I read that years ago that Mississippi John Hurt had made the claim that he basically invented the alternating bass thumbpicking he uses in all of his tunes. Could this be true? or was someone doing this long before he came around (he first recorded in 1928 I believe)

  2. #2
    BluesLover
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, and Cashiers, NC
    Posts
    2,744
    Thanks
    997
    Thanked 364 Times in 298 Posts

    Default

    Blues is folk music; styles & tunes evolved informally across the generations. So it's unlikely any one person invented any one technique.

    You may know this, but many USAmerican Blues musicians are surprised to learn that bottleneck is West African, for example.

  3. #3
    BluesTalker
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Near-ish Philly
    Posts
    459
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 71 Times in 53 Posts

    Default

    There's an old tradition to making this kind of claim .
    Muhammed Ali knew it well.

  4. #4
    BluesLover
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, and Cashiers, NC
    Posts
    2,744
    Thanks
    997
    Thanked 364 Times in 298 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by charlie chitlins View Post
    There's an old tradition to making this kind of claim .
    Muhammed Ali knew it well.
    Cassius Clay was truly the first rapper I ever heard. But I'm white and was raised in Jim Crow culture. And the roots of rap are African. Not sure that's what you meant, Charlie...just my own free association

  5. #5
    BluesTalker
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Near-ish Philly
    Posts
    459
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 71 Times in 53 Posts

    Default

    Signifying...
    Telling folks you're the greatest or invented this or that.
    It's a way of knocking folks down a peg that used to be more good-natured and less offensive than it is now.
    Being a Bluesman was more competitive then...or perceived to be.
    Dave van Ronk had a story about belting out Hoochie Coochie Man at a festival...giving it his all because he knew Muddy was there.
    When he asked Muddy how he liked it, Mud said something like, "That's supposed to be a FUNNY song, son."
    Now...there's an element of hyperbole and bragging in that song, but I SAW Muddy sing it, and there was nothing funny about his performance!
    He bumped Dave down a peg in that way he was accustomed to doing.
    Listen to Little Richard!
    I AM the architect of Rock and Roll! Jimi Hendrix was MY guitar player...."

  6. #6
    BluesLover
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, and Cashiers, NC
    Posts
    2,744
    Thanks
    997
    Thanked 364 Times in 298 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by charlie chitlins View Post
    Signifying...
    Telling folks you're the greatest or invented this or that.
    It's a way of knocking folks down a peg that used to be more good-natured and less offensive than it is now.
    Being a Bluesman was more competitive then...or perceived to be.
    Dave van Ronk had a story about belting out Hoochie Coochie Man at a festival...giving it his all because he knew Muddy was there.
    When he asked Muddy how he liked it, Mud said something like, "That's supposed to be a FUNNY song, son."
    Now...there's an element of hyperbole and bragging in that song, but I SAW Muddy sing it, and there was nothing funny about his performance!
    He bumped Dave down a peg in that way he was accustomed to doing.
    Listen to Little Richard!
    I AM the architect of Rock and Roll! Jimi Hendrix was MY guitar player...."
    Gotcha, Charlie...And Jelly Roll Morton invented jazz...

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Texas
    Age
    47
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    From all I've read and heard, John wasn't a boisterous man. He certainly taught himself to play, and I've seen him quoted as saying he just "played guitar the way he thought a guitar should sound". There are many correlations between the way John and Elizabeth Cotten played, and Libba was self taught as well. Etta Baker played a similar style to Libba and John and she said she learned it from her dad.

    So, all of that is to say that while John probably didn't' "invent" the style, he certainly made it his own, as did Mrs. Cotten, and their influence has reached way outside the blues world (I'd venture a guess and say their influence is felt MORE outside of blues than in). Doc Watson, for instance, was enamored with him.


    It's all subjective, I suppose, but I've never heard any recorded examples of anyone playing anything even close to John Hurt before 1928 when John made his first records. I don't believe he was bragging or engaging in one upmanship, but it is obvious that his style of guitar playing wasn't the norm in Mississippi in the 1920's.



    Sent from my Z815 using Tapatalk

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:16 PM.
vBulletin 4.0 skin by CompleteVB