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Nobody learns music, or anything else, all by themselves. We all have other people to thank,
not just for the musical notes they give us, but for the friendship and the good times and the inspiration.
There is always the unheard music behind the music, and the untold stories behind the story:

1. Take Me Back Baby
This is my adaptation of an Archie Edwards version of a John Hurt song, and
a lot of verses go back further than that, to Blind Lemon Jefferson’s Corina Blues. Archie Edwards
was a cab driver, a barber, and a blues musician who was born in Virginia in 1918 and grew up playing the
music of his family and friends and popular blues records of the time. He later moved to Washington
D.C. and in 1959 he opened his barbershop, the Alpha Tonsorial Parlor. On Saturday afternoons he
would put down the scissors and bring out the guitars, and people would wander in, as Archie put it, to
“drink a few beers, play a little music, and tell a few lies.” Archie met John Hurt, one of his musical idols,
when Hurt was living in DC in the 1960's. They became friends, and Archie learned this song from
him. It was one of my favorites, and I used to ask Archie to play it for me when a bunch of us were
hanging around his barbershop on Saturday afternoons. After Archie passed away in 1998, I learned
to play it myself.


2. Diving Duck
The basic arrangement of this Sleepy John Estes song comes from Ron Gordon, and it has always
been big hit with the Archie barbershopcrew. Thanks to a temporary moment of confusion on the part
of N.J. Warren, it’s also sometimesknown as The Drunk Fish. Neal Johnson recorded this version at
the barbershop one afternoon,and it features the incredible bones playing of Richard “Mr. Bones”
Thomas, who was a vital partof the barbershop until his death in 2002. He is still very much a part
of what we do and who we are.
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