I Ain’t Gonna Give You None
4
Posted in Honey on 01.24.06

Thanks to the wonderful world of ebay, I picked up Yazoo’s 7 disc set of Kentucky Mountain Music – prewar country recordings from Kentucky/South West Virgina players. I highly recommend the set as a great intro to the region, but like with every Yazoo release the liner notes are far too brief and poorly laid out. As a late Christmas present to myself I picked up One Kiss Can Lead To Another by Rhino which really shoes how a box set should be done – great liner notes, two essay’s about the genre then a half a page to each group. Yazoo’s set has a solid overview essay, but then drops the ball when it comes to recording dates/information about the actual players featured on the disc, c’mon.

Big Boy Teddy Edwards is one of the few pre-war musicians who recorded playing the tiple. A tiple is a 4, 8, 10, or 12 string instrument, smaller than a guitar but bigger than a ukulele that come in all different sorts of body styles. Edwards doesn’t really use the instrument to it’s full potential, as he really plays it so it sounds just like a 12 string guitar, so it’s hard to determine which type of tiple he played. What is more remarkable than his instrument is his voice, so rough and deep, it’s one of those voices you can hear twenty minutes after the song is over. The few years of his recording career he did some small group arrangements with Black Bob on piano, Big Bill Broonzy on guitar and Papa Charlie Jackson on banjo, these recordings are a lot of fun – but i prefer these early recordings with Edwards alone with his tiple.

Big Boy Teddy Edwards – I Ain’t Gonna Give You None
Big Boy Teddy Edwards – Wild Woman Blues

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4 Comments so far
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By karl on 10.11.06 4:34 am

As far as I know, there’s only 10 and 12 string tiples, and I presume Edwards played a 12-stringer.

Four string guitar-shaped instruments are either baritone ukuleles (‘Rabbit’ Muse) or tenor guitars (Eddi Lang, Carl Kress); eight stringers are mandolines or mandolinettos (Yank Rachell, Charly Mccoy and Johnny Young). North American tiples are 10-stringers, Columbian ones are 12-stringers.

There is an excellent article on this strange instrument in the Ukulele Occassional #1. It is after all a kind of 10-string ukulele!


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