zzxh | Iconic guitars (1)


#1 Iconic guitars

In this column: hard rock, nine-string guitar, kalamazoo

HARD ROCK - Bukka White

The 1933 National Duolin resonator guitar "Hard Rock" of Booker T Washington "Bukka" White. Bukka used used this guitar as his main gigging and touring guitar for three decades. He was a founding father of the Delta Blues and an influential, definitive player of the genre. He and Son House really created this genre of music, the Blues slide playing.
The guitar had been given to the photographer Keith Perry (old_English, now living in Texas), who allowed musicians like Mark Knopfler, Eric Bibb, Bill Wyman and others to play it.

Mark Knopfler

Bluesman B.B. King – who was White’s cousin – also played the guitar and dubbed it a “holy relic”. In 2010, American blues singer and guitarist Eric Bibb released an album called Booker’s Guitar – recorded using the instrument.
In 2019 it sold for a fee of £93,000, including buyer's fees, at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham, Wiltshire and returned to the United States with its buyer.

A resonator guitar (hard rock) is an acoustic guitar that produces sound by conducting string vibrations through the bridge to one or more spun metal cones (resonators), instead of to the guitar's sounding board (top). Resonator guitars were originally designed to be louder than regular acoustic guitars.

Aberdeen Mississippi Blues


Big Joe Williams playing his nine-string guitar. He said that when he toke a break, people would mess with his guitar. That's what got him to start puttin' strings on his guitar. They couldn't handle it, and the never messed with his guitar again. He doubled the D-, B- en E-string (strings: 1xE, 1xA, 2xD, 1xG, 2xB, 2xE, all unison).

Nine-string Sovereign


As a guitarist I also know that it is important to have a big and convincing sound. Think of Bukka White and his resonator guitar, Leadbelly and his 12-string guitar, Stevie Ray Vaughan who used extra thick strings and tuned the pitch a semitone down.
Big Joe had two nine-string tunings: an open G (Joe called it "Spanish tuning" with the capo at the second fret) and open G with a 10 cord bass (he lowered the bottom D to a B to make bass runs on it).
If you play with an open tuned guitar, you can accompany yourself better with bass and solo riffs.

KALAMAZOO MODEL KG-14 - Robert Johnson

Robert played many guitars in his travel. One of his favored guitars that would hold up under the rigors of the road was a Stella.

1930s Stella parlour guitar by Oscar Schmidt-International Corp.

In the authentic photo, with a cigarette hanging loosely in the corner of his mouth, he is holding a Kalamazoo Model KG-14 guitar. A Gibson Kalamazoo was a budget brand guitar, during the Great Depression, and cost around $12.50 at the time. It is this guitar that Johnson is thought to have played during his historic, Texas recording sessions in 1936 and 1937.

This Kalamazoo KG-14 has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides and L-0 in size. The mahogany neck is V-shaped with rosewood fingerboard.

Kalamazoo by Gibson

Preachin' Blues _ Robert Johnson; Keb' Mo lipsyncing to Robert Johnson from the docu "Can't You Hear The Wind Howl"

Sources: Thomas Moon: The Verdict Of Big Joe Williams, weeniecampbell.com, BBC news, Talkin' to myself: Blues lyrics, Michael Taft, digitalcitizen.ca, federalcigarjugband.com, pancocojams.blogspot.nl, americanbluesscene.com, YouTube, Wikipedia, Hudson Motors Compagny, Archive Minneapolis, The Cruel Plains, M.H.Price a.o., truewestmagazine.com, The Austin Chronicle, Cambridge Free English Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, TheSaurus.com, dragonjazz.com/grablue/blues_travel, Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, Blues by Paul Breman, Blues by David Harrison, Quora.com, urbandictionary.com, Blogs.loc.gov, The Ballad Hunter by Alan Lomax, Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920th by Daphne Duval Harrison, jopiepopie.blogspot.nl, redhotjazz.com, The Blues Lyrics Formula by Michael Taft, American Ballads and Folk Songs by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax, The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the  Southern Quarterly by Douglas B. Chambers, EarlyBlues.com, railroad-line.com,  Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages , centertruthjustice.org