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198 thoughts on “Guestbook

  1. James Broom

    Hi Bob

    many thanks for your transcription of maple leaf rag – I have a couple of other transcriptions of this but they are hard to learn – yours on the other hand , looks do-able ( with some practice !) .
    The videos were also very good , so if you’ve a mind to transcribe more rags I’d be very interested.
    Thanks again
    James Broom

  2. Albert Them

    I was delighted to receive “4 on 6” and “Dr. Bob’s Acoustic Tonic” cds today. I was a fan of the Kicking Mule assemblage of talent and especially your Fig Leaf/Bethena medley (which I learned from studying your tab, thank you very much!), Harlem Rag, and Sensation – a Rag. Over all the KM albums I thought you and Jim McLennan were the best. (Of course, if you and McLennan are at odds, perhaps because he threw his socks in the sink, then I take that back and assert that you, solely, were the best.) On one of the albums there was an ambiguous misprint that changed the title of your song into “Sensation-A Rag,” as if all other rags not written in the key of A lacked a requisite sensationalism. Fortunately I lacked the skill to play the song, so the effect of the misprint remained academic. I do admire your modesty in declining to take credit for all the wonderful Bob Evans restaurants that dot North America. Why not step from behind the footlights and take credit for all that sausage-y goodness you bring and produce an album that includes the “Wienerschnitzel Waltz” and is titled “The Best and Wurst of Bob Evans.” Seriously, thanks for being one of my guitar heroes for forty years. — Al Them, Pennsylvania, USA

    1. Bob Evans

      Whoa! Kicking Mule goes back a lonnng way. Thanks for remembering me from way back then. It always amazes me at the number of people who come forward talking about the influence of the Kicking Mule records had on them. That was almost half a century ago – ouch. Aside from having had the great opportunity to be featured on a couple of their albums, a number of them also had a big influence on me at the time – especially Ton Van Bergyk and Dave Evans.

      A few years ago I revived the Scott Joplin medley (Fig Leaf/Bethena/Maple Leaf Rag) I had done for Kicking Mule, mixing it up with a couple of other pieces, including Sensation – A Rag. There’s a performance of it on Youtube –

      Whoa x 2! The Best and Wurst of Bob Evans. A man who shares my taste for puns. Well done (coincidentally, also how like my sausages).

      I confess I was disappointed the first time I ate at a Bob Evans restaurant. I went to pay with my credit card hoping to get a hint of recognition and perhaps a discount when they saw my name on the card. Sadly, it was not to be. I remained unrecognized and undiscounted.

      Jim McLennan is still playing. You can find a series on Youtube he calls One Tune Concerts, where he plays a tune and then spends time talking about it – giving tips for playing, history of the tune and other interesting stuff. Just search for “jim mclennan guitar” to get to them.

      Aside from playing guitar, Jim is also a well respected fly fisherman (dunno if that’s the correct title), having authored a number of books on the subject, as well as teaching and leading fishing excursions. He also has Youtube videos on fly fishing, as well, if you are so inclined.

      1. Albert Them

        Thank you for pointing me to your YouTube performance of that marvelous medley you play so smoothly you can fool mortals into thinking it is easy to play. I do sympathize you received no props for sharing the name of the honcho of a restaurant chain, but our hearts also go out to the “other” Thomas Edison who had to pay full price for his light bulbs and to our buddy little Nicky Copernicus who more than once had to shout at attackers that he was more than fine with the sun revolving around Earth. And thanks for pointing me to Jim McLennan’s performances which, like your own, exhibit excellent guitar players who even dared to improve since their astonishing 1980s.

  3. wesley j

    Hello Bob I’m a relatively new fan. I absolutely love your take on Doc Watson’s deep river blues but I do not see it in your transcriptions. If you ever have the chance I would love to have you break it down a little for me I have been working on it but I get really sloppy with the melody around the B cord.

    Keep rocking much love,
    Wesley j

    1. Bob Evans

      Hi Wesley. Thanks so much. Sorry, I don’t have a transcription for Deep River Blues.

      Deep River Blues is a classic that I’ve loved since I started playing fingerstyle guitar back around 1970. I remember the opening changes from E7 to Edim being just about the jazziest thing I had ever heard – true, I was pretty young, but it drew me to the song like a moth to light. 🙂

      My arrangement came after not having played the tune for twenty years or so (after originally playing it like Doc) and wanting to give it something of a personal twist. I still love the song’s groove.

      1. wesley j

        Thanks for the response Bob. I’m sure ill find a way to get through that rough part that I like at some point. The song is very jazzy and I was hooked the first time I heard it. I’m still working on developing my style playing. You are a true inspiration and I’m sure I will learn a lot from you thank you for putting this together for all of us!!

  4. gordongrant

    Bob, was driving to the golf course and your “Noodle Kitchen” popped up on my sound system. Came home (after golfing) and looked up your site. Bought the lesson, as well as Blackbird and Christmas Time is Here. Love Guaraldi. Currently working on Andrew York’s version of Linus and Lucy. Was wondering if you had ever tackled Guaraldi’s “Skating”. If you have, any tips on how to tackle it? Some of the chording seems complex for guitar.
    Rainy season has just started out here on the Island. Hope things are drier in Sask for the upcoming harvest.
    Gord Grant
    Nanoose Bay, BC

    1. Bob Evans

      Hey Gord. That’s very interesting that The Noodle Kitchen could catch your attention on the golf course, given that it’s a bit of an introverted piece for much of it. You obviously must have been having a good game to not be distracted from the music by frustrating shots. 🙂

      Gauraldi’s Skating is another terrific piece, as is so much of that Charlie Brown catalogue he wrote. I’ve never taken a run at it, but I think I could hear that transferring to the guitar – not all piano pieces can. As with all piano transcriptions, the first important step is finding a key that it can lie nicely in on the guitar – usually being different from the key it’s played on the piano. I suspect I’d probably go for an open tuning as well.

      Good on you for tackling Linus and Lucy. It’s is a mittful. Once again, here’s a case where it lies pretty nice in Drop D on the guitar, although the original key on the piano is Ab – where it falls under the hands very naturally. (If I recall, Andrew’s arrangement is in Drop D)

      Have fun with Linus and Lucy. I’m also just getting ready to post my own version of it.

      Keep on golfing. You folks on the Island get to keep going with that longer than we do, I suspect. I just scraped our car windows for the first time yesterday. #frozentears.

  5. julian h

    Bob??? Bob EVANS ???? THAT Bob Evans??? The Canadian guy whose hats occasionally pop off of his head??? I am not yet so delusional as to expect you to remember anyone from years ago, out of the tens of thousands of people you encounter, but I just wanted to send you my best wishes, and hope that you are doing well. I actually bought some of your first released CDs, back in the – uh – 1940s? No, that was Fred Waring – well, anyway, I did immensely enjoy them and although they have long since been purloined, I ran across your page here and could not pass up a chance to wish you well. I hope the years have been kind to you! All the very best to you and yours,
    Julian Harper
    in the cold, flooded swamplands of Alabama

    1. julian h

      PS – just having read the twisted history of the original lyrics to “Merry Little Christmas” – which I would never had known without your guidance – I can only offer the following thought: Good God! That IS dark and depressing – “It may be your last…..” – the kind of song that, on a lonely winter’s night, might as well have a spoken interlude suggesting you find a rope and a sturdy tree, or finish off that bottle of pills and chase it with a fifth of vodka…….. Gee whillikers!!! Bring on Twisted Sister!!!

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