You are correct stating Mr. Shane played it differently in a concert setting; he used a flat pick and usually added a number of flourishes - unnecessary, in my opinion, but it did heighten the showmanship - in his guitar accompaniment. Whichever version is considered, the song has an uncomplicated chordal structure and is easy to play. Aside from delivering a perfect vocal (and not to discount Buzz Wheeler's excellent bass lines), Mr. Shane makes 'Scotch and Soda' interesting entirely through his sense of rhythm and dynamics, all of which served him well irrespective of the song he was playing.
: Hmmm.... This is one of those "Chicken or the Egg" topics. Just my opinion
: of course but IF Bob actually played on the original recording...you'll notice he
: never had that "touch" ever again on a recording. The version of S&S he
: played on stage and all other recordings is a bit simplified from the original. Just
: me observation of course. Leaving me to believe the original recording was not
: played by Bob.
: As music is mathematical and a first cousin to algebra, I've used this "Rocket
: Science" method for over fifty years now to transpose. Use the "E"
: string on your guitar, find the key you're switching to and move all the chords that
: distance, up or down the neck and there ya go...transposed. If you'll use this
: method for S&S...E flat to C and then play along with the original recording, based
: on that sheet music that came to you in E flat, you'll find you are playing the
: original arrangement note for note.
: --Previous Message--
: My two cents, if I may:
: Joe's right; Bob Shane did indeed play accompaniment to his own vocal on 'Scotch and
: Soda'. My own preference has always been the original version, the one on the first
: album, rather than those on subsequent recordings. The original featured Mr. Shane
: strumming with his thumb which gave the song exactly what it requires – an
: understated, smokey intimacy. That quality is all but lost in a concert setting
: where a flat pick was employed for the sake of volume.
: I also agree with Joe that Mr. Shane does not get the credit he deserves as a
: guitarist. Throughout his tenure with the KT, his rhythm playing was varied,
: creative, and consistently spot on. Anyone seeking to master right-hand rhythm
: guitar skills can benefit greatly from listening to Bob Shane.
: I'm in mild disagreement with Joe on one point: I don't think that it's all that
: difficult to determine how skilled a guitarist Dave Guard was. Although the guitar
: work he did with the Trio was not challenging for a reasonably competent player,
: Guard's strengths were his creativity and his taste - his ability to play what
: sounds like exactly the right part for any given song. Listen for example to his
: intro on 'Leave My Woman Alone', or the guitar break in 'Southwind', or even his
: unaccompanied playing on 'Raspberries, Strawberries'. As I said, none of these are
: technically challenging, but each is so well paired to the song that it's hard to
: imagine any lines that could be better suited.
: Nick Reynolds was able to strum very fast patterns on his guitar without a lot of
: effort, at least that's how it appeared during each of the many times I saw him
: perform. His fluid wrist action was complemented by another gift he shared with Bob
: Shane - excellent rhythmic sensibilities. A perfect example, one I've cited before,
: is on 'Hard Travelin' from the Make Way album. Turn up the volume (or better still,
: put on headphones) and listen to the tenor guitar part that accompanies Shane's
: verse. Creative and rhythmically complex, it's a terrific addition to the song.
: Although usually not prominent in the mix (not enough for my taste, anyway), Mr.
: Reynolds frequently added single-string work on songs with the Trio. Some examples
: are quite noticeable, such as 'Blow the Candle Out' and 'Coplas'. Others are more
: subtle, such as 'You're Gonna Miss Me' and 'Speckled Roan'.
: I agree that John Stewart was a solid and innovative guitarist. I don't think,
: however, that his overall skills were the equal of Guard's who could fingerpick,
: Carter-scratch, and use a flatpick, all with authority. I never saw Mr. Stewart use
: a flat pick when he was with the KT.
: Finally, any definitive information on Buckwheat's post-Trio, post-Whiskeyhill
: involvement with Dave Guard is apparently not available, except perhaps from Judy
: Henske, Gretchen Guard, or any of Mr. Wheat's friends who may still be living.
: Unfortunately, it was among the topics that were left unexplored in 'Greenback
: --Previous Message--
: I've been creating a list of questions to ask Bob Shane regarding the group, should
: ever get the chance to talk with him again. One this group might be able to answer
: concerns the technical aspects of Nick's and Bob's playing.
: Until recently, I always thought Dave played "Scotch and Soda" behind
: Bob's singing and strumming. Having read the Bush book several times, I now get the
: idea Buck Wheat played the more sophisticated technical guitar, replaced again by
: John Stewart. This later fell to George Grove. Did Bob pull back from playing the
: individual notes while he sang in front of one of the others?
: How technically strong were Bob and Nick as guitarists during both the Guard and
: Stewart eras? My impression has been they fell back and relied on Buck, Dave, John,
: or George, to support their primary roles, which were to sing and harmonize.
: After joining the Whiskey Hill group, was Buck Wheat ever reconsidered as Kingston
: support persona, or was he too close to Dave to be included?