Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chris DeVoe, Nov 12, 2019.
My good friend Rev Peyton is on the cover of the January issue of Vintage Guitar magazine!
The guitar is a 1949 Harmony H-50.
Apparently the full text of the magazine is available online:
Vintage Guitar magazine
The interview in Vintage Guitar magazine really gets into his tunings:
Another thing is the scales especially when youg back to Charley Patton and Fred McDowell. They are not the pentatonic scale you learned at your local guitar shop. The notes cannot be played chromatically. That's why those guys gravitated to slide, because they were playing a scale that has its roots in West African Tradition. So, the third is always flat - most of the sevenths are flatted, too. There's a lot of playing with the notes between the notes. It's a different language in terms of musicality and not your standard chromatics stuff; sometimes, it's called minor pentatonic, but it's not really. It's a pentatonics where the third is flatted, but it's flatted
closer to the major. Sometimes it's called the "blue note" - the sweet third or whatever. It's technically on a different scale, and that's where a lot of people make mistakes when they're trying to learn this stuff. That part's not going to be on any tablature (laughs).
A few days ago I saw that brief clip of the Rev. playing resonator guitar, burning it up. I thought he was playing slide, but it's just his fingers. Doing a walking bass line with his thumb.
I should get around to reading the article soon.
Unlike many slide players, he puts the slide on his pinky, so he can fret and slide at the same time, or alternate very quickly.
Here's a video I shot a long time ago that shows a close-up of how he's playing:
But you're right he's able to get slide techniques with his fingers alone. He has to do that with the shotgun guitar, because there is no fretboard.
Looks and sounds like he's using a slide to me.
That slide on the pinky finger got right past me. That's a very effective technique. I'd bet that Peyton could do a take on Leo Kottke's "Vaseline Machinegun." At the same tempo as the original. Not right off the bat, of course. Practice would be required. Although he may already know that one, actually.
I'm learning to get slide tones with my fingers too, but my touch isn't nearly as sure. I'm kinda almost there with notes between the 9th and 12th fret, a lot slower. My ears and fingers seem to like that riff Duane Allman does on "The Weight." And Steve Stills, "Down The Road." Riffs like those. That's about as far as I've gotten with it, so far.
yes, but it's also clear that Peyton is doing some fast single-note fretwork down the neck. I didn't notice that the slide was on his little finger.
Jimi Hendrix used rings as slides, sometimes. Not sure how well that would work on a resonator, or a standard acoustic guitar.
Next time we get together, I'll shoot some stuff with my new camera that can do slow motion. If you get to see him in concert, he's always willing to talk techniques with a fellow player.
The middle pick-up appears to be an add-on Kay "speed bump," like the one on my beloved '64 Kay Speed Demon.
A lot of those funky old Harmony and Kay guitars are junk, but when you find a good one, they can be magical.
I'm on the hunt for a good example. I have a Harmony H-162 guitar that has a pretty good sound and action, but I want an F-hole archtop, preferably one with a pickup like that already installed. I'm thinking that real bargains are few and far between- even the good ones usually need a lot of work to get them to intonate properly, and to set up the action reasonably low. At minimum. Not all that easy to find, unless you're ready to pay the price.
That's a nice-looking guitar. I love the good ones.
Subscriber here. This issue kept me company on a long flight last week. Vintage Guitar is one of the remaining (USA) good guitar mags. A quality publication.
I got really lucky. I bought it from a Craig's List ad a year ago for $250. It was in pretty bad shape as far as playability goes, but I could tell that it had the potential to be something special. I immediately loved the shape of the neck, beefy and round with a soft V profile.
I spent maybe another $200 getting it fixed up by a pro, including heat-pressing the neck back to where it belonged. When I went to pick it up from my guitar tech (the excellent Steve Morrill in Boxborough, MA), he remarked that it came out better than anticipated. Indeed, the action is super-low and it plays perfectly up and down the neck. Even with my preferred .011 Thomastik Infield Jazz Swing Series flatwounds, I can do blues bends on the wound G!
It has a surprising strong acoustic voice too, and would probably work well with a mic in front of it for Freddie Green-style rhythm playing. The all-wood bridge and saddle gives it a nice chunky tone with prominent fundamentals and little overtones.
I just love that old geetar!
The very first guitar Rev ever had was a Kay, given to him with a promise that if he got really good on it he'd get an amp later on. He tweeted out that he just got it back years later, and his luthier is fixing it up right now.
He loves guitars made in the Illinois and northern Indiana area. We talked about them occasionally...well, to be honest he talks and I listen, as I know very little about guitars and he's an expert.
One of his current favorites though is a one-of-a-kind all brass National resonator. The thing is ridiculously heavy.
Revs hands are really flexible. From the article:
"I see my playing going hand-in-hand with that flexibility, like yin and yang," he chuckled. “I don't have super-large hands, but can open them super-wide because my fingers stretch in an insane way. I can span eight frets on a 25.5" scale!"
I've seen him do some really freaky things like bending his thumb in impossible ways. I was like "Dude! That's how you earn your living!"
Some bad news. The Big Damn Band is on Delbert McClinton's Music Cruise at the moment, and a door slammed on Rev's hand and he broke his left thumb.
Being the trouper that he is, Rev is still playing the shows - but doing a lot more slide.
Thankfully it wasn't his right thumb!
Rev posted an update:
Best to Rev on his healing Thumb...ouch the x-ray and photo smarts! Then I saw how much flex he usually has! Man that's amazing, and i hope all is good in OPT!
Wow, what tremendous playing! I’m not a guitarist or anything, but I’m gonna have to
get on the Reverend Peyton train starting now! I sampled some stuff and he’s the real deal.
Great discovery for me, thanks for sharing. I will pass his name around.
That's a Jaco-type thumb right there, LOL. My 14 year old daughter (the one in the 10 year photo to the left) is extremely double jointed like that; I keep trying to convince her to play bass or guitar!
They're good people too - Vickie and I have been friends with Rev and Breezy for 12 years, and they work their butts off playing music all over the world.
Separate names with a comma.