In The Pines

July 10, 2015 9:21 AM

I went and bought my first resonator guitar yesterday, a Gretsch Honey Dipper (evidence), and this seemed like a good tune to try and break it in on.

Bill Monroe tends to get the bluegrass credit for the tune, though I've always thought it sounds pretty damned square the way he does it; Nirvana obviously blew the whole thing up years later with their Unplugged performance, which is a hell of a lot rawer and darker in a way that nods appropriately to the pre-Monroe roots of the song as a traditional folk tune and a delta blues song.

This isn't either, but I tried to go for a looser, sparer feel than I often do with my playing, and let the resonator sound a little like itself while I figure out what to do with it.

The action on this thing is higher, and the string gauge heavier, than my normal acoustic, and I left that at home a month ago anyway when I came out to Huntsville, so my calluses are really out of shape and I'm remembering that whole "holy shit my fingers hurt constantly" thing for the first time in a while.

posted by cortex (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

You have excellent harmony with yourself.
posted by zerolives at 9:29 AM on July 10, 2015

Hey congrats! Sounds nice.
That whole Gretsch roots series is pretty great. Nice instruments, pretty decent quality and reasonably affordable.
I bought the 6-string banjo a few years ago and I love it.
posted by chococat at 9:46 AM on July 10, 2015

It's interesting how much this thing sits in the space between an acoustic and a banjo, yeah. The bright end of its timbre really makes me think of banjo, though with all this resonant sustain that the banjo can't manage. Fucker's good and heavy too, with the metal body.
posted by cortex at 10:00 AM on July 10, 2015

Great sounds, voice and guitar.
posted by waviolet at 6:15 PM on July 10, 2015

Hey man, thought I'd swing by here after hearing about the new guitar on Twitter, figuring you probably would have posted something. I'm some kind of detective! Love the sound of it, especially the solo part -- you play that really well! Also, I like your vocal style on this. Well done all around.
posted by edlundart at 9:03 PM on July 10, 2015

Wow, well done, that sounds great. Kept waiting for the bottleneck slide to kick in, though. (and that could be why the action is so high.)
posted by ctmf at 11:15 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Kept waiting for the bottleneck slide to kick in, though.

Oh, for sure. I picked up a new ceramic slide when I bought the guitar, even, so I could fuck around on that front; I ended up not liking anything I came up with at the time, or I'd have had a bit of it in the mix.

Slide's something I've always liked the idea of but never spent serious time working on. And part of that is definitely that my main acoustic's action is low and slinky and so doesn't lend itself too well to that sound, but also, and more primarily, it's just that slide is a new, hard technique to incorporate and I'm usually pretty bad at keeping at something that I'm finding hard. Most of the musical skills I've developed over the years have been things that I was having enough fun with, or had enough of a knack for, that I got through the "wow, I'm terrible at this!" part without dwelling on it too much, but when I'm really self-aware about being new and crappy at a style or technique I can get fed up too easily.

Nice thing about being out of town and this new guitar being The Thing I Have Around is it'll be a little more of a forced incubation situation I think: it's not like I can put it down and go grab something else more familiar the way I might at home.

Which is to say: bottleneck slide hopefully to come as the days and weeks pass. I figure I might just not have a choice. Plus, slide won't hurt my delicate fingers, so that's worth something.
posted by cortex at 5:31 AM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wonderful rendition. Great recording too. Makes me almost wish I could play the guitar.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:59 PM on July 11, 2015

« Older A Dead Man   |   Do You Feel? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments