Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
tpbiii

1935 Gibson Jumbo demos

Recommended Posts

 

Like many I guess, I am stuck at home with no close human contact.  This may be a bad idea -- if you do like it, however. let me know.  I can do it for a number of iconic old Gibsons.

What I will is to document a particular vintage guitar which I own and post it here.  I have done a lot of basically acoustic recordings of these guitars -- sometimes to document how they sounded, but for a lot of other reasons too.  I like to have friends play them and see how they use them.  I have also used them over the years for practice, etc.  So I generally I have quite a lot of recordings of each guitar.

The first one I will do is a 1935 Jumbo.  I have only had it about a dozen years -- it had been rode hard and put up wet.  It has lots of repaired cracks and even some top restoration.

Oddly to me it is one of the best bluegrass guitars I have.  My 1936 J-35 (Trojan) and 1936 RSSD are much rawer.  I think the work on this guitar has tamed it a bit turning all that rawness into deep power.  It has three unscalloped tone bars -- like a Trojan.  I got interested at first because both Kenny Smith and Tim Stafford both spent hours playing it in Nashville.

f4BiWmN.jpgl0cXIQp.jpg

Here are a couple of straight bluegrass demos from Tony Watt

 

 




Here is a song from my Nova Scotia seaman friend Greg Nickerson.

Here are a couple of flatpicking demos by David Dugas



Here are three songs from a long ago practice session -- there are a lot more.




I know not everyone is interested in stuff like this, so if not just ignore it.  However if you want more like it, say so.  Right now I don't have much else to do.
Best,
-Tom
I
Edited by tpbiii
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Do you have any late 40s ?

Not so many -- most of the well documented stuff is 1925-1945.  I do have these Gibsons

46 LG-2

49 CF-100

49 ES-150 (Does not count I guess)

53 J-45

54 SJ

So I guess I miss your target.  I do have some Martins from that period, but I was thinking people here would not be as interested.

Best,

-Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom, this is really cool - thank you for doing this.  I'd be interested in any that you do, but would love to hear something on the 49 cf-100...  haven't heard much on those, and always been intrigued.

FWIW - I also like A/B comparisons...  A/Bs of true vintage guitars would be special.

Edited by uncle fester

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure I speak for many others here when I say- "Please share your sonic archive with us;and thank you very much!"

What a treat,Tom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom,

There's something about that guitar that says barely contained power. In all cases, it is being pretty lightly flatpicked, and it is straining at the leash a bit.  I would love to hear it in a hard-core bluegrass setting with some aggressive flatpicking. I bet it would hold its own with most pre-war Martin dreads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

FWIW - I also like A/B comparisons...  A/Bs of true vintage guitars would be special.

I am a big fan of that, and as a result I do have a few.

Here is what to me in a very telling demo of the golden era big bang in mahogany and two of my favorite most-used guitars.  One is the 1935 Jumbo being discussed ant the other is a 1935 D-18.  This demo is specially for bluegrass players who drool over the old D-18 (not inappropriate) but probably have never heard a 1935 Jumbo.

 

 
This is another golden era demo -- very short.  1935 Jumbo and 1935 D-28 as rhythm guitars.  There is the heart of history for you.

 
Quote

There's something about that guitar that says barely contained power. In all cases, it is being pretty lightly flatpicked, and it is straining at the leash a bit.  I would love to hear it in a hard-core bluegrass setting with some aggressive flatpicking. I bet it would hold its own with most pre-war Martin dreads.

I totally agree, but I really don't have recordings that show that very well.  The reason is a practical one.  The acoustic recording environment I set up to document the sound a a single vintage guitar -- which I believe it does really well -- is in a room that can be overpowered by a full up bluegrass band.  OTOH, the reason I have so many recordings is because it is so easy use -- thus it only gets bluegrass light.  Real full power traditional bluegrass is very hard to record and to sound reinforce -- neither stage acts or field recordings really do it justice.  You have to be there.

Here is my "standard" demo of the 1935 Jumbo -- I do this for all the instruments.  It is really for geeks -- it is long and limited by my playing skills, but in terms of understanding the tone of the instrument, it is pretty much exactly what I want.  You need a good listening environment to catch the nuances (and the occasional mistake)
Best,
-Tom
 
B
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to choose between the OJ and  '35 D-18 is like trying to choose between Domingo and Pavarotti. The OJ definitely brings something slightly different to the table, in the best possible way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom, I've not made it through all of the recordings yet, but I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on this so far and really dig what I have heard. I can't watch 10 minutes of guitar playing without picking one up to play for 30 minutes. In essence, any one of these videos takes 30-60 minutes to get through. 🙂 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Tom, I've not made it through all of the recordings yet, but I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on this so far and really dig what I have heard. I can't watch 10 minutes of guitar playing without picking one up to play for 30 minutes. In essence, any one of these videos takes 30-60 minutes to get through. 🙂 

Yea -- me too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listened to all these. Very inspirational.  Well, daunting !   This type of 'mountain' music - Scots/Irish immigrants primarily - offers a glimpse of what I assume, other than singing in church, was their primary form of entertainment. No video game brain drain there - you had to be firing on all 8 cylinders to play like that.  Please continue to share these.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fortyearspickn said:

Listened to all these. Very inspirational.  Well, daunting !   This type of 'mountain' music - Scots/Irish immigrants primarily - offers a glimpse of what I assume, other than singing in church, was their primary form of entertainment. No video game brain drain there - you had to be firing on all 8 cylinders to play like that.  Please continue to share these.  

I've heard stories from both parents and some of their siblings about music time in the "parlor" their fathers and uncles played on through the night. I found out later that one side included a lot of brass. Grampa was a trumpet player. They actually did a local vaudeville style show back in the day. Circa 1950? I didn't know that until after he passed. No idea if he even had a trumpet. The other side was more Americana according to the tales. Some home-made percussive devices for the non-players to fill in the cracks and finish the song or otherwise join in.

Neither one of them had zero interest in passing it along. THEY didn't take it up. 16 kids between the two families and only one of them did anything musically. (An Uncle played a flute in a school band.) I've long forgotten the reasoning behind it all, but that's always baffled me how that could happen. Funny thing, was that I didn't hear some these stories until I took up guitar. Strange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, PatriotsBiker said:

I've heard stories from both parents and some of their siblings about music time in the "parlor" their fathers and uncles played on through the night. I found out later that one side included a lot of brass. Grampa was a trumpet player. They actually did a local vaudeville style show back in the day. Circa 1950? I didn't know that until after he passed. No idea if he even had a trumpet. The other side was more Americana according to the tales. Some home-made percussive devices for the non-players to fill in the cracks and finish the song or otherwise join in.

Neither one of them had zero interest in passing it along. THEY didn't take it up. 16 kids between the two families and only one of them did anything musically. (An Uncle played a flute in a school band.) I've long forgotten the reasoning behind it all, but that's always baffled me how that could happen. Funny thing, was that I didn't hear some these stories until I took up guitar. Strange.

 

It is genetic, and I can prove it.

My story is actually similar.  My father was in a string band in the NC mountains (near Asheville) while in HS in the 1930s.  But when he graduated HS, he gave that all up -- I really never knew he could play guitar, harmonica and jew's harp while I was still at home in Florida.  Even though I (tried) played guitar and harmonica at the time -- Buddy Holly and the Kingston Trio -- he never said a word .  I spent most of the 60s in Boston getting educated and I met and married a wonderful "folk singer"  -- think PPM, Joan Baez, etc.  Mountain music was only in my life in its really mild folk revival form.

But then I moved to Atlanta after the folk revival died and was induced to play "bluegrass" by one of my students -- we were terrible.  But my wife and I found our way into the Georgia Mountains and it blew us away!  The folk revival narrative was that traditional music was dying away and college students were saving it.  But it had not gone anywhere -- still hasn't.  And they all spoke in the dialect of my youth -- my kids use to kid me that my accent changed at the entrance to a bluegrass festival.

The wonderful thing about bluegrass is that -- if you can play and you know the rules -- you can walk up to people you never met and make music: sometimes great music.  My wife took up the bass fiddle and high lonesome harmony singing and sort of became a queen of the parking lot -- where most of the music is played.  She is I believe the only woman born in Manhattan ever inducted into the Atlanta Country Hall of Fame.  My fourth cousin -- Larry Barnwell -- plays bluegrass, and he ran the original Gibson mandolin division in Bozeman for years -- before he jumped to M****, where he was sales manager for the western half of the US.  He still lives in Bozeman. And my daughter is part of a high lonesome duo called Dead Girl Songs.

Like I say, it is clearly genetic. 

Here is a video of a jam show (no practice) we did in Nova Scotia in 2011 that includes all the pieces -- the 1935 Gibson Jumbo under discussion, my late wife on bass, jamming, Dead Girl Songs, and both a 1944 Gibson J-45 (banner) and a 1937 D-18.

Like I said -- it must be genetic.

 

 Grandson
11705299_10206872856290526_2019407413596
 
Let's pick,
-Tom
Edited by tpbiii
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read a book about Townes Van Zandt - apparently he often used that song to warm up before performances.   It was one of my favorites - learned from a book I wore out by Alan Lomax   "The Folk Songs of North America"  -  because it was more ...  musical?   than  Tom Dulah.   The Kingston Trio's version  was the song that got me interested in the guitar.   In our family - music may be genetic, but it skips every other generation. 

Great performance.  Good Times !   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...