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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by blowtorch, Mar 1, 2021.
I vote for the guy who had a picking style named after him
Split ticket here...respect and love for both!
I choose this Merle.
Both Legends, but I gotta go with the Hag.
2 new artists to check out!
I haven't listened to MT much. Just watched this video, really good. I'm going to have to research that guitar, looks like a bigsby headstock.
He's a famous fingerpicker. As in, one finger (plus thumb).
Watch those clips close, and you'll see what i mean
He wrote this one
I rate the Hag 4 1/2 chocolate pies and Mr. Travis, I rate 13.78 pounds of cashews. The range of the scales is undefined and ratings make at least as much sense as the comparison. Enjoy your day.
It's a D-28 with a Bigsby neck. Here's one article:
Love Haggard, but Travis such a great writer and player! I remember trying out for a
country band and they said what kinda country you like; I said Merle... They were
expecting I'd play some Haggard, surprised them with Travis The other guitar player
said my daddy used to play that song. I got the gig it was fun while it lasted they all thought it
was funny having a hippie playing country
Without a doubt!
I taught myself how to fingerpick/fingerstyle using either thumpick and really just one other finger doing this. ( no fingerpick and it can be either index, middle or ring finger- but not all together)
As a 'self-taught' guitar player ( let's not get into that again ) I just kind of picked up what I heard and just picked that way- not knowing till many years later that I would be in good company with Merle Travis as he sort of does this too- though I'm certainly not Merle!
What a guitar talent, and a great, relaxed voice too!
Long before I started using flat picks, somebody showed me something they called "Travis picking". I practiced that for a long time afterward. Funny thing though, nobody who saw me play ever commented on my Travis picking!
I’d vote the Hag on songwriting/singing (and attitude)and Travis on guitar. Too bad they didn’t make a record together. (“Merle Squared”)
My Dad used to sing Dark as a Dungeon during the few times he was home from Vietnam.
He would sing the Johnny Cash version off the Folsom Prison album. And that was pretty heady stuff for a 10 year old....even considering Johnny screwed up the lyrics! Anyway, great song.
And Travis's 9 Pound Hammer...whew! Is there a better song?
I have an old recording of Merle Travis doing 16Tons, at the end he sings:
I owe my soul to Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Guess he finally got some big royalty checks
Thanks for straightening us out on that. Guess there’s no need to continue the thread. Enjoy your day.
Apples and Oranges
It's not a one v. the other for me; I find a lot to be appreciated in either person.
There's a legend that says Merle Travis learned the basics of his picking style from Arnold Shultz (who learned it from his uncle). But then again, he developed his own take so proficiently that folks like Chet and Tommy Emmanuel paid attention. I guess "Arnold Schultz's Uncle's Picking" just doesn't quite roll off the tongue like Travis picking...
I can't remember now, but it was either a hippie bluegrasser or that rich kid that taught me the basics of Travis picking, so I got that going for me.
Both Merle T and Merle H were great songwriters. Both had a great way of writing songs that reached a lot of people.
When it comes to vocals, I don't think it's even close - IMO. Mr. Travis was a fine crooner, but Mr. Haggard is one of a kind genius. I feel sorry for folks who don't hear that.
Mr. Haggard was also a very fine picker, maybe a little more angular than Travis, but did justice to a telecaster.
I genuflect in their general direction on a regular basis.
I vote for Mr. Haggard, the other Merle was a tightwad, and wouldn't pay his HOA fees where he lived with his fancy rhinestone guitar shape pool. They threw him out, and he ended up living in double wide down by the river in the deep dark hills of Kentucky. It is further rumored that Raylan Givens had his eye on him for the entire six years he was involved in Justified. If this information appears a little suspect, I have it on very good authority it's absolutely true, or could be true, or possibly even might be true.