Sevastopol/Poor Boy demo

Vestapol started life as ‘The Siege of Sevastopol‘, a parlour piece by Henry Worrall that was written using an open D tuning. Both the tune and the tuning (often referred to now as ‘Vestapol tuning’) caught the imagination of blues players and evolved into a simpler piece played by all sorts of people, notably Elizabeth Cotton, but also sprouted words (Poor Boy Blues, Poor Boy a Long Ways From Home) recorded by Mississippi John Hurt, Barbecue Bob, and Bukka White, and also John Fahey. This version is put together from a dim and distant memory of hearing Stefan Grossman play/sing a hybrid version in the 1970s. I don’t know if he ever recorded it.

I rarely play it as a slide piece or song, but sometimes put in a slide break. However, the action on the Taylor I used for this recording is really too low for slide, so I overdubbed some slide on the break in the middle using a Bobcat resonator guitar.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

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