Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

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Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:04 am

Howard Odum, in a 1911 article published in the Journal of American Folklore (Vol. XXIV, No. XCIII), "Folk Song and Folk Poetry as Found in the Secular Songs of the Southern Negroes," describes songs that he calls "knife songs."

"Knife songs" are played by sliding a knife along the strings of a guitar, instead of fingering the string between the frets (I reckon this must have been the back side of the blade, because the strings were all cat gut at the time).

I've seen folks use a closed jack knife for a slide, but never an open knife blade. Shocked

Odum also said that some "musicianers" would use a polished hollow bone for a slide--and that it was also a good luck charm ("black cat bone?").

Blind Willie McTell said that Blind Willie Johnson ("... a personal pal of mine ...") played with a piece of copper pipe.

In my day it was always a green wine bottle neck (that's what Bonnie Raitt and Leo kottke used when I saw them), but all of this stuff works just as good:



Some times you have to go through a lot of wine bottles to get the break just right

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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:27 am

Bonnie Raitt--having been apprenticed at The Whole coffeehouse in Minneapolis--knows how to wield the green bottleneck.

Using the bottleneck on the second finger, instead of the pinkie, allows one to finger notes on either side of the bottleneck:



Last edited by pinhedz on Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:29 am

The Black Ace plays with a flask, Hawaiian style--with the guitar on his lap:

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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:32 pm

The Black Ace got deleted, so here's the White Ace:

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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:35 pm

And the Black Ace returns,

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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:39 am

Lowell George et. alia:

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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:19 am

Here's a lady that I thought had the blues:




But she doesn't have the blues--she's playing a song called "I Love You Life."

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Re: Knives, bottles & steel (and copper and bone)

Post  pinhedz on Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:27 pm

This is how it's done. Cool 

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