[Dixielandjazz] One for Brother Gunter

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Tue Nov 7 22:25:36 PST 2006

Dear Ron,
I finally got around to watching that youtube clip with the 'silent' Dutch
washboard player.
Regarding your comment: > Preferences aside, it just seems like the
horizontal position, laying in the lap, would deaden any resonance and just
about totally muffle the sound of a washboard.<
Not the way I play my deep-ripple made-in-Chicago National in a crowded pub!
Although, it does appear that our friend from Holland is stroking the board
rather softly. As so many do.
The washboard is not an accompanying instrument.
Listen to the masters from the 20s. Jimmy Bertrand, Jasper Taylor and Floyd
Casey with Johnny Dodds, Clarence Williams, Jimmy Blythe, Jimmy O'Bryant, et
al. And the early 30s Washboard Rhythm Kings.
[<redhotjazz.com> is a great source for these.]
Like any good drummer, the washboard player is part of the band and it is
his/her job to set the tempo as given, provide the rhythm and keep the time.
You may have noted that Baby Dodds was not included in the above list. A
great drummer, he has been quoted as saying that he did not like playing
washboard. And it shows on the records.
In fact, I know a lot of good drummers who admit that they can't play
On the other hand, I am not a very good drummer, an even worse trombone
player and a failed banjo player. Jazz writing and research was always more
important than practicing.
Kind regards,


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list