"Pick it Norman!"

Mike Fleming

Member
Messages
1,228
Love that record, and the first one too. i used to listen to them both all the time. The salt creek with Doc is great too. I love how Doc always has things to say during the songs he's on.
 
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8,093
Wow! On a forum largely dominated by the man/boy love for Robin Ford and Joe Bananamosta, I would never in my wildest dreams expect to see a post about Norman Blake!!! From Nashville Skyline to Will the Circle..., to John Hartford's band, and David Bromberg's gtr teacher, this hillbilly genius from Milledgeville, Ga. is a true american musical treasure!

I attended the 1977 Winfield Flatpicking festival and between his own sets, guesting on other's, and workshops, saw Norman at least ten times that week. Spiritually fulfilled, I would have gladly accepted death, had it come then!!

And, the cover of that first record with Tony Rice features two of the gnarliest-looking 1930's D-28s you are every going to see together!! Yow!!!
 

bigdaddy

Member
Messages
6,485
Yea, I kinda posted it hoping some of the Slash fanboys could hear what real guitar players sound like...:stir

Do you have the HDS Sessions - it's officailly titled: Norman Blake/Tut Taylor/Sam Bush/Butch Robins/Vassar Clements/David Holland/Jethro Burns - recording? It's freakin' magical and totally obliterates genre boundaries.
 
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8,093
Do you have the HDS Sessions - it's officailly titled: Norman Blake/Tut Taylor/Sam Bush/Butch Robins/Vassar Clements/David Holland/Jethro Burns - recording? It's freakin' magical and totally obliterates genre boundaries.
Oh yeah, and with all the supergroup-ness going on there, Norman's solo "Old Brown Case" is a prime cut!
 

JSeth

Member
Messages
2,438
It's been years since I've heard Norman Blake play...

Thanks for reminding me of the genius of Norman Blake....
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,396
There's a ton of great Norman on Youtube. My favorite steel-stringer!
 

Crowder

Dang Twangler
Messages
19,072
Norman lives hear here, in Rising Fawn, Georgia, and has a lot of local fans, though only real pickers know of his worldwide reputation. A mutual friend made a film about Norman's life that was almost completed when our friend succumbed to cancer. Last year someone put the finishing touches on the film and it was shown for the first time to an enthusiastic crowd. Norman and Nancy are both great storytellers and it was great to hear all their recollections, along with interviews from people like Sam Bush. The movie also has some cool old footage of Norman when he was backing Johnny Cash.

Good stuff if you can find it. I believe it was released on DVD.
 

84Bravo

Member
Messages
11,574
Yeah, it's great to see this here. I was fortunate to have heard Norman and Nancy in a small room, no mics and to have seen and met Tony Rice and Doc Watson on a billing in St Louis with Dr John, what a night. These guys, these are the real players. Thanks for posting. People jabber on all the time here about "tone." Well, it's these guys. Unamplified.
 
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8,093
People jabber on all the time here about "tone." Well, it's these guys. Unamplified.
I would be the last to detract from the "tone is in the fingers" tip in the case of these pickers, but who (besides Tony) has Clarence White's 1934 (first year for Mrtn dreadnaught w/ 14 fret neck) D-28? What do you figure it would go for today on the open market? Prbly a lot more than the collective value of all the gear owned by all who have posted on this thread? Norman has always been a most serious gtr-hound and must have billions of $$$ worth of stringed inst! No shortage of the highest-order of pickin' cred, but yow, what gear!!
 

84Bravo

Member
Messages
11,574
I would be the last to detract from the "tone is in the fingers" tip in the case of these pickers, but who (besides Tony) has Clarence White's 1934 (first year for Mrtn dreadnaught w/ 14 fret neck) D-28? What do you figure it would go for today on the open market? Prbly a lot more than the collective value of all the gear owned by all who have posted on this thread? Norman has always been a most serious gtr-hound and must have billions of $$$ worth of stringed inst! No shortage of the highest-order of pickin' cred, but yow, what gear!!
I heard Tony play the CW guitar, which has a different than stock neck and shorter neck scale--super low action but man, watch that guy's wrist. Doc played his Gallagher; Norman played a 12 fret Martin, vintage. The one thing they all seemed to have in common was a fluid right wrist and cross picking. Nancy played a beautiful little vintage ornate double 0 that also sounded good. I'm sure these guys have some good stuff in the closet but I suspect they could take a Yamaha 180 and make it talk too. Hard to know what the CW would bring. Not as much as a Loyd Loar F5.
 

bigdaddy

Member
Messages
6,485
CW's D-28 is indeed THE holy grail of guitar tone (maybe somebody should try backing ovewr a dumble in a parking lot). On top of that, TR's technique is absolutely amazing. That man has more mojo in that right hand than I can even fathom.

As for Doc, check out the album/history he did with David Holt, Legacy. Doc can make a harmonica sound like an orchestra!
 

cottoneyedjoe

Member
Messages
2,340
There is a reason why Johnny Cash called Norman one of the greatest guitar players of all time.

I had a chance to see Norman about a year ago. He was playing a private party with Nancy (more like a house party....), and I got the chance to sit at his feet while he played an hour long set. (I grinned ear to ear the entire time, while Norman laughed at me....)

He would pull these licks out of nowhere. It was amazing to hear that 0028H of his. A smaller guitar but BIG tone. Later I asked him why he had moved to smaller guitars. He told me got tired of playing "table tops".
:rotflmao


He said the D18 was just uncomfortable to play any longer and the early 0028H conversion models (Hawaiian slide converted for normal play) gave him the most comfort. He later used some of these specs for his signature Martin model.

He also is NO slouch on a mandolin. He used to play fiddle VERY well, but gave that up to play mandolin solely.

He has returned more toward his old time roots, but can still flat out pick the devil out of it. Nancy is a VERY solid rhythm player in her own right as well.

Side note: 58957, Clarence's Martin, was almost lost in a flood at Tony's house in Florida. It was totally rebuilt and repaired by Snuffy Smith, a great luthier in North Carolina. Tony sometimes states that he is worried about the guitar becoming to old to play out, but he just can't give it up. Other pickers that have played it have told me that it is almost unplayable with the action so low. But Tony's touch is so soft and his picking is so soft, that he can get away with it easily.
 






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