There’s a new downloadable track from Most Folk Heroes Started Out As Criminals on our music page for your downloading pleasure. It’s called ‘Pick Poor Robin Clean’, an old raggy blues tune that we like a lot. It’s also up on Tangleweed’s MySpace page for your streaming pleasure.
I learned it from an old Luke Jordan record, but Geeshie Wiley also recorded an excellent version of the tune for Paramount Records, which I featured on the blog a while back.
The tune is a fairly straightforward circle of fifths ragtime progression, except that it aborts the progression midway when it repeats, resulting in this:
F#7 | F# 7 | B7 | B7 | E7 | E7 | A | A
F#7 | F# 7 | B7 | B7 | A | E7 | A | A
For the solos, we split the progression in half, with the first soloist taking the front eight bars, the second soloist the back eight bars. There are two mandolin solos on the recording, and they give a pretty good sense of the tone of the resonator mandolin I used on the recording. The resonator tone works well on this kind of tune — it’s louder, fatter, and raunchier than what one gets from a traditional mandolin.
Apropos of nothing, I slipped a gratuitous Ohio reference into the tune, replacing an off-color lyric in the original with a reference to the endemic poisonous nut of my home state.
Visit our music page for a download link.