It’s Bad You Know – R L Burnside [..with tab]

She asked me why. I just went on and told her. The engineer blown the whistle, the fireman he rang the bell

I remember seeing R.L. Burnside in Brighton in the late 1990’s. The gig was above a pub (the Flying Pig I think) on Queens Road, just down from the railway station. My enduring memory will always be of Cedric, his grandson, silhouetted behind the drum kit, pumping out ‘tribal’ blues rhythms. There were just the two of them, musicians that is, but it was utterly mesmerising. I’d never experienced blues of this kind before; far removed from standard Chicago 12 bar romps. It took the audience somewhere humid and remote. Down in Mississippi, but back up in the hills.

Who’s blowing the harp?

So who’s responsible for all that raw harpooning on It’s Bad You Know? Only Lester Butler of The Red Devils! I believe recorded scraps were sequenced and engineered by Tom Rothrock and the track was released into the underground dance scene in 1998. Where it flourished. The message was then adopted by the likes of Moby, Little Axe and now Alabama 3. More recently by Son of Dave. If it’s any testament to quality, this track and, of course, Alabama 3’s Woke Up This Morning have been used in the TV series The Sopranos.

Harp tab (C major diatonic, 2nd position)

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D

1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D

1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

2D 3D’ 4B 4D’ 4B 3D’ 2D

2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

Fading

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D’ 2D 2D 3D’ 2D 2D 2D” 1D 2D” 1D…1D’

2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 1D 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D” 2D 2D

7 thoughts on “It’s Bad You Know – R L Burnside [..with tab]

  • January 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm
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    I love thi ssong adn as simple as teh notes are it doesnt seem right to me to go down to 1 draw? Also what does the bold 2D mean please?
    Brilliant site i love it thanks.

    Curly

  • January 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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    Hey this is great but where are all teh comments?? do i have to join something??? wjats the go here please?

  • January 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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    Hi Curly! Thanks for stopping by. The bold 2D is to emphasise the beat mid-way through the phrase. I’ll try to upgrade the tab and add sound files to make it simpler to follow; I also think this will help demonstrate why the 1 Draw and bent 1 Draw are crucial to the piece – sometimes as passing notes and other times to complete the main phrase. Meantime, check it through again very carefully. If you don’t think the 1 Draw is the right note, let me know what you’re hearing.
    Doc

  • January 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm
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    Hello again! No you don’t have to join a group, I just have to find time to approve our incoming comments so they can be posted safely on the site. Did you check out that 1 Draw yet?
    Doc

  • March 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm
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    Thank you for the tabs of this amazing song! Peace 🙂

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:13 am
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    Thanks for the tabs, this is my main driver for starting to play the harp. (This song is absolute proof that this is the Devil’s Music, can’t get this out of my head – It’s Bad You Know!)

    Off to buy the 10 hole beast later today. have booked in for a novices workshop in February.

    Will explore the site some more. Hoping to find Ridin on the L&N (love Nine Below Zero doing their thing) 🙂

    We have a local band called Blue Shaddy who are amazing, the harp player Belly is stunning his brother on guitar is outstanding. One of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.

    Cheers from Perth Australia,

  • January 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm
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    Good luck Mr Flibble. Aim high, but get someone to help you build on solid foundations bro.

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