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Old Blue Records

RURAL PARLOR GUITAR - Recordings from 1967-1971    COUNTY CD-2744
E. C. Ball, Earl Blair, Lena Hughes, Lewis Thomasson

Rural Parlor GuitarRURAL PARLOR GUITAR is the one of the very few commercial recording to focus on this genre, and the only one to include multitude artists from different regions. Each of the four musicians was raised in rural areas in the early 1900s: Lena Hughes in northwest Missouri; Earl Blair in the Arkansas Ozarks; Lewis Thomasson in the open plains of Coryell County, Texas, and E. C. Ball in the southwest mountains of Virginia. They learned to play — without sheet music, radio or recordings – from family and other musicians.

All the defining characteristics of the parlor guitar genre are here: open tunings; the use of three and four fingers, arpeggios, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides and harmonics. Many of the tracks have never been available commercially before; each is an excellent representation of parlor guitar. The tuning for each song is included.

“The guitar styles depicted in this CD are all different, yet very representative of what one might have found in the rural south eighty or more years ago. Only a handful of guitarists in the 1920s, such as Roy Harvey and Leonard Copeland, made commercial recordings in this flavor, making this collection an invaluable resource for parlor-style guitar.” Jeremy Stephens

“19th century parlor guitar was the foundation or an influence for the playing of early rural guitar players as diverse as Elizabeth Cotten and Sam McGee.  Probably even the early blues players.  This CD presents some of the last players of this rarely recorded style.” Mike Seeger

All the recordings, save for E. C. Ball’s two self-recordings, were made by Charlie Faurot on his trips to their homes from 1967 to 1971. The format is a guitar based follow-up to his highly successful Clawhammer Banjo Series, originally released on County LPs. The Clawhammer digital release was equally successful. Produced by Charlie Faurot and Jeremy Stephens, RURAL PARLOR GUITAR was digitally edited by Jeremy Stephens. It was mastered by Dave Glasser, twice a Grammy winner.

TRACK LISTINGS & TUNINGS
Click on the tunes with red dots before their titles to hear MP3 samples. Click the back button (or close the new tab), on your web browser once you've finished listening.

1 TITLE TIME ARTIST TUNING PERFORMANCE KEY ACTUAL PITCH
1
Spanish Fandango (760K)
2:41
Lena Hughes
DGDBD
G
1/2 step high +7ct
2
Dewdrop (612K)
2:19
Earl Blair
lead guitar GCEGCE
2nd guitar probably standard
C
whole step low +34ct
3
Sevastopol (728K)
2:42
Lewis Thomasson
CGCGCE
C
1/2 step high - 40ct
4
1:23
E.C. Ball
EADGBE
E
+ 7.5ct
5
Alone In My Rocking Chair
2:24
Lena Hughes
EADGBE
C
1/2 step high -10ct
6
Midnight Fire Alarm
1:53
Earl Blair
DADF#AD
D
+28ct
7
Arlington
2:52
Lewis Thomasson
DGDGBD
G
1/2 step low + 13ct
8
Cannon Ball Blues
2:20
E. C. Ball
EADGBE
D
capoed on 2nd fret
- 33ct
9
Old Spinning Wheel
2:08
Lena Hughes
EADGBE
C
1/2 step high -10ct
10
Winter's Waltz
3:06
Lewis Thomasson
DGDGBD
G
1-1/2 steps high, possibly capoed, but not likely
11
Mother's In Heaven
2:15
Lena Hughes
EADGBE
C
1/2 step high -10ct
12
Home Sweet Home Waltz
1:41
Earl Blair
GCEGCE
C
whole step low +34ct
13
Virginia Rag
1:47
E. C. Ball
EADGBE
C
+7.5ct
14
Echoes
1:33
Lewis Thomasson
DGDGBD
G
1/2 step low +13ct
15
Lamplighting Time In The Valley
2:10
Lena Hughes
EADGBE
C
1/2 step high -10ct
16
Lewis Thomasson's Schottische
2:04
Lewis Thomasson
DGDGBD
G
1/2 step +23ct
17
Sioux City Sue
2:17
Lena Hughes
EADGBE
C
1/2 step high -10ct
18
Grandfather's Clock
3:23
E. C. Ball
EADGBE
C
-33ct
19
San Saba
1:12
Lewis Thomasson
DGEGBD
G
1/2 step low +13ct
20
Wild Rose Medley
1:44
Earl Blair
DADF#AD
D
+28ct
21
Pearly Dew
2:35
Lena Hughes
CGCGCE
C
1/2 step high +10ct

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