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o brother where art thouthat one blues song


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#1 bobdingwood

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 10:27 PM

hey im sure alot of you have seen the movie o brother where are thou, i was wondering what that guys name was, the black one who plays guitar, cause hes a really person

also, this guitar playing black guy also plays this one song around the campfire, i have no idea what the song is but i know that the whole thing has been recorded cause ive heard it on some tv show, i would really like to know what the song is called


thank you

#2 mojomaniac

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 12:11 AM

Is it Robert Johnson? I remember in the movie the black guy says he sold his soul at the crossroads, and if it was a real person, Robert Johnson or Robert Jackson or something like that was mentioned to have sold his soul to the devil so he could play guitar really well.

Of course I could be wrong. I think I am. dry.gif
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#3 theagent

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 12:22 AM

loved that movie...actually yeah, it's SUPPOSED to be Robert Johnson....but in the movie his name was Tommy Johnson....don't know who played those guitar parts though.
but I love the soundtrack.

#4 quigs

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 03:51 AM

I think that the group who played the main song "Man of Constant Sorrow" did most of the tracks for the movie. Side note that movie is awesome and has a GREAT soundtrack.
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#5 dadfad

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 04:09 AM

You probably mean the tune "Hard Time Killing Floor", extremely blue sounding. (That was the tune done in the movie by the person they called Tommy Johnson. There was a real Tommy Johnson who recorded in the late '20s, but he didn't play in that style.) It was originally recorded by Skip James, a Mississippi bluesman, in the late 1920'. It's in open-D minor tuning. I've tabbed the tune in the style of Skip James which is very similar to the movie but not exactly. I learned how to play it many years ago from Bowling Green John Cephas, an old Virginia bluesman, who'd learned to play it from Skip himself. Robert Johnson (who claimed to be related to Tommy, but was not) is the bluesman who was said to have sold his soul to the Devil (also the story-line in the movie "Crossroads" with Steve Vai, etc).
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#6 lowden

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 05:10 AM

Hard Time Killing Floor Blues written by Skip James and performed on 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou', by Chris Thomas King and was recorded live on the film set. Chris Thomas King by the way is the actor who played 'Tommy Johnson' in the movie.

#7 bobdingwood

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE (dadfad @ Nov 26 2003, 12:09 PM)
You probably mean the tune "Hard Time Killing Floor", extremely blue sounding. (That was the tune done in the movie by the person they called Tommy Johnson. There was a real Tommy Johnson who recorded in the late '20s, but he didn't play in that style.) It was originally recorded by Skip James, a Mississippi bluesman, in the late 1920'. It's in open-D minor tuning. I've tabbed the tune in the style of Skip James which is very similar to the movie but not exactly. I learned how to play it many years ago from Bowling Green John Cephas, an old Virginia bluesman, who'd learned to play it from Skip himself. Robert Johnson (who claimed to be related to Tommy, but was not) is the bluesman who was said to have sold his soul to the Devil (also the story-line in the movie "Crossroads" with Steve Vai, etc).

thanks dadfad, i expected you to know this one

#8 dadfad

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 11:03 AM

No problem. Yeah, Open-Dm tuning is about as blue as it gets. It's a good tune, and Chris King did a nice job with it too. That movie was no Academy Award Winner for a story-line, but it really had some nice tunes in it.
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#9 firefly66

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 07:20 PM

Robert Johnson died at age 29 after recording only 28 songs. In the depression era.

#10 redharmony

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:52 PM

love "killin floor blues". i actually prefer Chris' version

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#11 dadfad

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 03:45 AM

Skip also recorded the tune several times in the sixties after his original 1931 sessions recordings. I think the best version he ever recorded was for Vanguard (1967 I think) on an LP called "Skip James -Today" which I prefer to his original as well as his others (mostly recorded live... at Newport, other gigs, etc.

His guitar skills had probably actually improved since the thirties and the recording production techniques were far superior to the thirties.

(I think that recording is also on a later Vanguard re-release compilation CD.)
Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

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#12 redharmony

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 11:07 AM

dont believe ive heard any alternates versions from Skip. i will try to find it

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#13 Pentatonic

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 02:13 AM

I know it's an old thread but hopefully this helps.... The guys name I'm real life is Chris king. He is portraying a blues musician named Tommy Johnson who was around before Robert Johnson.



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