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19 August 2014

Post 131: 'DALLAS RAG' (TUBA SKINNY)

On Tuba Skinny's latest (6th) CD, which is called Owl Call Blues, they have included the tune Dallas Rag.

Dallas Rag! What a great tune. It's simple enough - a 4-bar introduction followed by two 16-bar themes both using a chord sequence that follows the Sweet Sue Chord Progression and is rounded off with the Sunshine Progression. But it romps along when well played by a great band such as Tuba Skinny (who, by the way, must be credited with the recent revival of this fine old number).

There's also a great video on YouTube of Tuba Skinny in March 2013 playing Dallas Rag in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They take it at a cracking pace and build in all kinds of variety in their treatment of the tune. You can watch the video if you CLICK ON HERE. As often in the past, we must be grateful to the video-maker codenamed digitalalexa for his high-quality filming. The musicians in the video include the great Jonathan Doyle and Ewan Bleach, whereas Craig Flory has replaced them on the latest CD.

For a terrific more recent performance by them (kindly filmed by the videomaker codenamed RaoulDuke504):
CLICK HERE.

Dallas Rag dates from 1927, when it was devised and recorded by The Dallas String Band. It could possibly have been composed by their Coley Jones, the great mandolin player and leader of the group, but nobody knows for sure. If you wish, you can also find that original performance on YouTube.

A correspondent kindly supplied me with a leadsheet.