Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Who were the other reso-players (in orchestras) besides the popular Oscar Aleman and Lonnie Johnson that used a National guitar in the period between the decline of the banjo and the advent of the electric guitar ? Or did that type of guitar play only a very minor role in the swing era and was only really adapted by the Blues players - and the Hawaiian lap-style players ? Please all you historians, educate me !
    Last edited by gitman; 06-15-2020 at 06:57 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Who were the other reso-players besides the popular Oscar Aleman and Lonnie Johnson that used a National guitar in the period between the decline of the banjo and the advent of the electric guitar ? Or did that type of guitar play only a very minor role in the swing era and was only really adapted by the Blues players ? Please all you historians, educate me !
    I’m not sure that Lonnie played reso. In the duets with Lang he played 12-string. Much later in his career he played 6-string electric. For most of his career he recorded mostly blues but even then I don’t think much if any of it was on reso.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    There's a guy who plays one today with the great New Orleans' stompers, Tuba Skinny - you'll find them on YouTube. He doesn't play on every video, but on some of them you can see and hear him pretty well. Not what you asked for - historical evidence - but worth hearing.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Son House seems to be the most well known exclusive resonator blues player of his generation. The continuum in swing seemed more banjo>tenor guitar than banjo>resonator.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Son House seems to be the most well known exclusive resonator blues player of his generation.
    Most probably only after his "rediscovery" and it has been said that he would've preferred a Stella, the guitar of choice for "blues" players in the twenties.
    It's an old cliche that the blues guitarists of the twenties and thirties mostly played National resonator guitars, only a few actually did as proven by photographs of the period, like Blind Boy Fuller and Tampa Red. Memphis Minnie and her partner Joe McCoy also made a great impression when they both purchased Nationals and brought them back south. There is a photo of Joe McCoy with a tricone model.
    Even the lowest model, the Duolian had a price tag triple that of a good Stella. They also had (and have) some weight to it so not the most practical instrument for a travellin' musician and what about their distribution in the rural south? I doubt that they were easy to come by.
    National made some models for mail order companies that were lower in price and they appear more frequently in photographs of black musicians of the period than tricones or Style O models.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    The jazzy Hawaiian steel guitar players of the era played Nationals - Sol Hoopi'i, Bennie Nawahi, Eddie Bush. I believe there are some early photos of Duke Ellington where his guitar player has a resophonic.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I'm aware of the many Blues artists that quickly adapted the Reso's for their superior volume - I'm particularly interested in those "orchestra" guitarist that switched from a 4/6-string Banjo to the equally loud but less piercing sounding Resonator Guitar ....
    It's quite rare to see 2 (!) guitarists/banjoists in a larger ensemble , in any era so Tuba Skinny is quite the exception these days ! It certainly helps the band's overall sound giving the music a solid harmonic foundation and a strong rhythmic pulse together with the bass drum and washboard.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV
    The jazzy Hawaiian steel guitar players of the era played Nationals - Sol Hoopi'i, Bennie Nawahi, Eddie Bush. I believe there are some early photos of Duke Ellington where his guitar player has a resophonic.
    Oscar Aleman and the Duke knew each other and have also played some concerts together so my guess it was him in that photo you saw.
    The Hawaiian style is great and I love Sol Hoopi'i but it's not the lap-style playing I'm interested in at this moment- thanks anyway !

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    They also had (and have) some weight to it so not the most practical instrument for a travellin' musician ...
    They could be handy in a bar fight, though.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I first heard Stacy Phillips on the CD that came with Paul Howard's book on swing guitar. I love Stacy's playing on that stuff but none of it (AFAIK) is on YouTube.
    Here, a Hawaiian Medley, with Paul Howard on rhythm guitar.


  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    They could be handy in a bar fight, though.
    If you have enough time and room to take a swing that is....

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    If you have enough time and room to take a swing that is....
    Preach, Brother!

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    A little OT, but not far...some tasty reso-rhythm support:

    Last edited by rabbit; 06-15-2020 at 09:53 PM.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    It may be of interest that the Hawaiian groups used National Resonators not exclusively for lap steel playing but as well as rhythm guitars - at least as soon as there were models with spanish nacks available.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit
    A little OT, but not far...some tasty reso-rhythm support:

    That's John Reynolds of LA/Ca, great player !!!! He's using a National Tricone pretty much exclusively and to great effect but for me personally the tone
    of the Tricone is a bit too "reverby" and "rotund" (these descriptions always suck...) , I prefer the shorter sustain and drier
    tone of a steel-body Reso for chomping out the rhythm ....
    Bruce Forman has this project he calls "Junkyard Duo" with him and a drummer/percussionist where he plays a National also, very interesting and
    unique stuff ! He can play whatever he wants and it comes out swingin' HARD !

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    gitman,

    Thanks for the info.

    Gotta enjoy Bruce Forman, too!

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Another modern example, just for the fun of it (& I just stumbled over it.)


  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Same here, have a lot of Lonnie Johnson material and none of it is resonator. And as a top 3 favorite player, it would surprise me if I missed this.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    If you have enough time and room to take a swing that is....
    If you are strong enough to be swinging a resonator guitar in a bar fight you probably will do fine without it!!

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    There is such a thing as a resophonic tenor guitar btw.

    My feeling this is a more popular choice today than it was back then. But I’m not 100%.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There is such a thing as a resophonic tenor guitar btw.

    My feeling this is a more popular choice today than it was back then. But I’m not 100%.
    I had an original pre-war National tenor in Olive Drab that my middle Granddaughter fell in love with. It's hers, now.