[Dixielandjazz] Washboard accessories

Butch Thompson butte1 at mac.com
Tue Nov 14 10:10:22 PST 2006

Bill Haesler asks:

> Why is it that many so-called washboardists insist on attaching unnecessary
> gadgets like mini splash cymbals, cowbells, woodblocks, sirens and other
> heavy, useless, space-inhibiting objects to their washboards?

I had a gig in a church basement once.  I was sitting at an upright piano
with my back to the room.  I launched into The Entertainer and then
practically jumped out of my skin when there was a loud, perfectly timed
explosion at the end of the intro.   I stopped playing (I just wasn't
behaving like a pro that day, for some reason) and spun around.  A guy was
sitting there -- I won't name him, but he is a bandleader -- with his
washboard in his lap and a smoking pistol in his right hand.  He was
shooting blanks, but it was the real item.  Any of you board artists out
there ever used this device?  It's quite effective.

On another note, Bill et al, I actually love Baby Dodds' washboard playing.
I know he thought it was beneath him, and he didn't have a great range of
effects like Jasper Taylor and some of the others, but his TIME was stone
perfect.  I would choose him every time, should he be available and should I
for some reason, however unlikely such an idea seems to me at the present
time,  be looking for a board artist.

Butch Thompson  

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