Dave Harris in 2009, Victoria BC

Monday, August 24, 2009

One Man Band Book

Well, I'm already well under way with this and have a lengthy blog on myspace at www.myspace.com/daveharrisonemanband but it was suggested to me that some people couldn't comment on it, as they weren't myspace members. So I thought I'd start another and this is it! Going to take a few days to get this up, so if you happen on it, bear with me. I'm quite busy right now but I'll put in a few minutes each day adding to it. The general concept is to give some idea of how the book is moving forward, contacts made, comments received, that kind of thing. I think the next time I work on this I'll try to start with a list of everyone slated for inclusion. Back soon!

August 25
Alright, I'm going to tackle this list. This is the culmination of many hours of research on youtube, myspace, Roctober magazine One Man Band Encylopedia, my memory and other people's contributions. If you read this and don't see someone you feel you should, let me know! The order here doesn't really reflect any particular bias but I will attempt to get the earlier and bigger names first.

Jesse Fuller, Joe Hill Louis, Dr Ross, Daddy Stovepipe, Stovepipe #1, Fate Norris, Abner Jay, Wilbert Harrison, Joe Barrick, Driftin' Slim, Duster Bennett, Blind Joe Hill, Juke Boy Bonner, JD Short, Hasil Adkins, John Hammond, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson 11, Willie Nix, Willie Love, Papa Lightfoot, Ray Stubbs, Greeley Robertson, Frank Frost, Hezekiah Early, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Washboard Willie, Homer Henderson, Johnny Lowebow, Paul Oscher, WC Spencer, Satan (Sterling Magee), Adam Gussow, Mike Whellans, Don Partridge, Woody's One Man Band, Blues Boy Jag, Nikolaj Andersen, Frank Plagge, Eric Royer, Robert "one man" Johnson, Big One Man Band, Smokestack & The Foothill Fury, Ben Prestage, Becky Lee & Drunkfoot, Pete Farmer, Molly Gene, Lone Wolf, Buskin' Chris, Gee Gee Kettel, Dave Harris, Bobby Joe Neely, Marc Twymans, Red Mouth, Michael Jerome Browne, Dan The Man The One Man Band, Adolphus Bell, King Louie, Bob Log 111, Paulo Gallo, Right On John, Rollie Tussing, Mike Cooper, Rizorkestra, Nathan James, Chucklefoot, Buddy One Man Band, Christopher of the Wolves, Hubert Kern, Funny Tombow, John Schooley, John Alex-Mason, Des Bader, Reverend Deadeye, Professor Gizmo, Washboard Hank, Phillip Roebuck, Jeff Martin, Jord Peck, Scott Dunbar, David Skunk, Steve White, Band of Ones, Matt Kurz, David Holt, Richard Johnston, Caveman, Jimmy Jimmy, Peter Joseph Paul, Bloodshot Bill, Diane Primeau, Swan Walker, Aaron Watson, The GMan, Andy Kreischer, Leonard Solomon, Sylvain Chaisson, Ben Arnold, Tommy Bankhead, Paul Blackman, Marc Bristol, Clyde Casey, Greg Chapman, Stompin' Tom Connors, Clate Cooper, Mak Dervo, Dr Musikus, Ed Durbrow, Vic Ellis, The Flying Dutchman, Roy Gardner, Lawrence Glaister, Pete Gray, Scott Hall, John Hartford, Patrick Hazell, Larry Horton, Pete Isaacs, Skip Jensen, Charles W J Johnson, Jingles OMB, Keith Walsh Experience, Charles Kelly, Raymond M, Harry Manx, Jeff Maslin, Major McCa, Haskel May, George McAnthony, Gray Montgomery, Bo Mooney, Paul Moore, The Musician Who Played Nine, Mysterious Asthmatic Avenger, Frank Pahl, Jerry Paquette, Pug, Jimmy Lee Robinson, Ron The Piper, Marty Rose, Alan Rowe, Roy The Amazing OMB, Frank Runaud, Rudy The OMB, Chris Smither, Bernard M Snyder, Tampico, Benjamin Tehoval, Tom's OMB, Tom Todd, Bobby Welles, Joe West, WC Williams and John Weston. (OMB = one man band)
Whew! It's getting to be quite a list and some of these names will just get mentioned. If the order seems rather odd it's because I copied what I had in my myspace list, then added the list I just finished gathering out of Roctober magazine. By the way, all of these artists create their sounds manually; that is by "heads, hands and feet" as Ray Stubbs would say. This is my mandate for the book, so you won't see any beat box, electronic (MIDI), backing tracks, looping etc type one man bands. I'll leave that field for someone else! Anyway, it seems that I've got my work cut out for myself with this list! What do you think?

Ok, here's what another afternoon of surfing one man band "friends on myspace" produced (mostly from Johnny Lowebow, he has a lot (!) of OMBs on his site): Pete Yorko, Stacy Puckett, Rocket Craig, Mark Simpson, Skeeter Matthews, Xavier Rudd (still trying to confirm that he works solo), One Man Destruction Show, Bob Bucket, The Fabulous Go Go Boy From Alabama, Tim Scanlan, One Man Hand, Via Vengeance, Claude Hay, Juggernaut Boy, Sheriff Perkins, Legendary Tigerman, Miss Firecracker, Rob The Throb OMB, Guy Roel, Pigmeat's OMB, JJ Culpepper, Thad Sand, Erik Fingers Ray, One Man Army, Amazing OMB, Sebastopol, Only Moses, Chicken Mithyc, Margaret Doll Rod, cdub dine, Spookyman, El Monstro, Matt Mayhem, C W Ayon and I ran out of time. I'm beginning to see that the book can't cover everyone but I'll at least do everyone the courtesy of looking over their sites and video on youtube and everyone listed will at least be mentioned in a relevant place in the book. The bias of the book is towards the roots styles of blues, hillbilly, folk and early R&R. So I may condense all of the hardcore / punk people into a few pages. And as I already said, "If there's a drum machine/looping or a MIDI setup or computer or backing tracks, I won't be including them". That may be a bit harsh in some cases but I feel strongly about everything being simultaneously created by one person. By the way, nice to see a few more women in there; the field does seem very male dominated. Well, I'll be back!

Sept 30
Ok, I know, I kind of let this slide. I've been keeping up to date on the myspace blog, so go there to catch up. I've got almost all of Chapter One written. It goes from the earliest recorded information on the subject up to the early 50's. I've included background on a few odd instruments: stump fiddle, hurdy gurdy, development of the harp rack, and the early innovations. I've also included brief coverage of Henry Thomas, Frank Floyd, Gus Cannon and others that fall on the periphery of the genre. Main artists covered include: "Blind Fiddle & Bells OMB in old London", Fate Norris, Daddy Stovepipe, Stovepipe #1, Bogus Ben Covington and many lesser or lesser known characters. Stay tuned!

Oct 2
Well things are going gang-busters here and I have Chapter 1 done, barring additions and editing. I'm now well into Chapter 2 on Jesse Fuller, easy to get up for this one! Good pieces by Robert "One Man" Johnson and Tim Williams are a big help, with shorter ones from Jesse Cahn and Ian Bennetts still to add. I'm hoping for more from Jesse Cahn and Chris Whiteley. I have tons of notes and messages out to people asking for comments. However, Fuller is a pretty easy chapter, there's so much out there about him. I'm going to do my very best by him, though. If there is a more deserving guy for this than Jesse, I can't think who! He is the epitome of what a OMB should be. His blend of musicality, depth, sensitivity, showmanship, humour and passion is hard to beat! He's my personal inspiration as a OMB.

Oct 8
Well, Jesse's chapter is well under way and hopefully I'll finish the bulk of it in the next day or two. The Straniero, a OMB out of Italy may contribute on the European scene, which would really help! Getting more names (sorry, you have to see the blog on myspace to see them) from Nik Andersen, Billy Hutchinson, Rolf Stensletten, Billy Campin and The Straniero. The list is getting alarmingly long and I'm quickly coming to the realization that I will have to just give some of them mentions. Lots of researching getting done too!

Oct 18
Okay, Jesse Fuller is done except for additions and editing! Good help from Nik Andersen with a nice overview of current N Europe scene. Mark The Straniero is sending stuff, Jimmy Jimmy sent good piece on older Europe and ties to Aussie scene. Really developing nicely, especially Europe. Doro from onemanbands on myspace is doing piece on garage/punk/thrash scene. Ray Stubbs is sending stuff. It's coming!

Nov 4
Sorry, let it slide again. I wonder if anyone is even reading this? Well, I now have Joe Hill Louis, Dr Ross, Drifting Slim and several others lesser known OMBs done, barring additions and editing. Discovered quite a few more but the most exciting one was Albert Nelson (1884-1964) and his incredible creation the Nelsonian, a self operated 32 instrument contraption! I can't believe it took 5 months to find this guy! A book and recordings are on the way. Good help from Alan Balfour, Frank Scott, Mary Katherine Aldin, Blackie Farrell, many people. Let Me Be Your Band is great OMB movie. Bio/CDs/DVDs from Straniero, Lindsay Porteus, Ray Stubbs, it's really coming. Waiting on CDs of Don Partridge and Abner Jay.

3 comments:

  1. Hi, Dave. It's the other Dave. That is quite some list. I had no idea how many one-man-bands there were. I noticed you mentioned Marc Bristol. I actually saw him busking in a combo called The Okie Doke Band on the waterfront in Seattle back in the '80s when I used to go down there quite a bit. I'm actually hoping to contact him and do a story on my blog about the Okie Doke Band. I'll keep watching for more updates.

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  2. Here is an idea for your next book...multiple players on one instrument...for example Walk Off The Earth's, creative cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M

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  3. .Hey great work.. I loved this post..Thanks for sharing this information. Drum damper

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