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Rl Burnside, Poor Black Mattie Tabs (ver.1)

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Poor Black Mattie Tabs (ver.1)

Rl Burnside Tabs
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                I first heard the North Mississippi Allstars play this as part of a medley with Skinny
Woman. I wanted to learn it because I thought it was simple enough for me to play and
sing at the same time. Your left hand doesn't do much work but the song is  more 
challenging and complex than I thought. The timing is unusual, RL adds a beat to the first measure
of each verse and skips a beat in the last measure of each vocal part. Getting the right 
hand syncopation and upstrokes correct is the only way to get the sound.

The main riff, the verse riff, and the breaks are all based on the same pattern with no
overt chord changes. Some very subtle and clever variations on the song's theme build
tension and reward the listener and player. I found the instrumental interlude within 
the verse unusual. It delays the delivery of the last vocal line and that resolution is even
sweeter when it hits.

-Play with bare fingers, no pick
-Chop/mute the chords like a mandolin player
-Open G tuning

Poor Black Mattie ain't got
Change of clothes
Fool got drunk
Clothes out doors
Ain't got change of clothes
Fool got drunk
Throwed her clothes out doors

Goin' to Memphis see that
Worldly Fair
Reason I'm goin'
Baby's there
Goin' to Memphis
See that Worldly Fair
Reason I'm goin'
Know my baby there

[First break]

Need no heat or fireplace
By my bed
Woman I got
Cherry red
Need no heater
Fireplace by my bed
Woman I got
Keep me cherry red

[Second break]

The short version:
Riff A (main theme), play when you're not singing
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

Riff B, play when you are singing
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

Burnside plays some verse measures 5/4 and others 3/4 to fit around the vocals. I
wouldn't blame you if you just went straight 4/4 to make it quicker to learn.

The verses follow a nearly identical pattern with one exception. The Riff A interlude in
the middle of each verse is a different length each time. First verse he plays it 4
times, second verse 2 times, third verse 3 times!

The full version:

   Intro Riff A x 4
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

5/4 Poor black Mattie ain't got                4/4 Change of clothes
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0--------0---|-----0--------0--------0--------0---|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1--------1---|-----1--------1--------1--------1---|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0-|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0-|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--------0-|-------0--------0--------0--------0-|
G|---0---0----0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0-|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0-|
D|---------------------------------------------|------------------------------------|

   Fool got drunk                        Clothes out doors
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

   Poor black Mattie                   3/4 Ain't got Change of clothes
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

4/4 Interlude Riff A x 4
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

   Fool got drunk                      3/4 Throwed her clothes out doors
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

4/4 Riff A x 4
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

5/4 Goin' to Memphis see that                  4/4 Worldly fair
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0--------0---|-----0--------0--------0--------0---|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1--------1---|-----1--------1--------1--------1---|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0-|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0-|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--------0-|-------0--------0--------0--------0-|
G|---0---0----0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0-|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0-|
D|---------------------------------------------|------------------------------------|

   Reason I'm goin'                      Baby's there
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

   Going to Memphis                    3/4 See that worldly fair
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

4/4 Interlude Riff A x 2
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

   Reason I’m goin'                    3/4 Know my baby's there
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

First break @ 1:08

4/4 First break Riff A x 1               1:11 Riff C x 3
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|-----3----5--------------------------|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|-1/3-------------------0-0------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|-------0--------0------0-0------0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|-------0--------0----3^-------0------|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

   1:17 Riff D x 3                       1:25 Riff E x 5
d|-----3-------------------------------|-----3-------------------------------|
B|-1/3------1p0----------0-0------0-0--|-1/3---------------1p0---------------|
G|-------0--------0------0-0------0-0--|----------0-----------------0--------|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------------------------------------|
G|-------0--------0----3^-------0------|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

   1:37 Riff A x 2 leads back into 3rd verse
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

5/4 Need no heat or fireplace                  4/4 By my bed
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0--------0---|-----0--------0--------0--------0---|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1--------1---|-----1--------1--------1--------1---|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0-|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0-|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--------0-|-------0--------0--------0--------0-|
G|---0---0----0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0-|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0-|
D|---------------------------------------------|------------------------------------|

   Woman I got                           Cherry red
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

   Need no heater                      3/4 Fireplace by my bed
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

4/4 Interlude main theme x 3
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

   Woman I got                         3/4 Keep me cherry red
d|-----0--------0--------0--------0----|-----0--------0--------0----|
B|-----1--------1--------1--------1----|-----1--------1--------1----|
G|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|-0---0-0--0---0-0--0---0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--|
G|---0---0----0---0----3---0----0---0--|---0---0----0---0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|----------------------------|

Second break @ 2:08

4/4 Riff A x 1                           2:10 Riff F x 3
d|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|-----3-------------------------------|
B|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|-1/3------1-1------------------------|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|-------------------3-3------0--------|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------------------------------------|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

   2:17 Riff G x 3
d|-------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------|
G|----------3p0---0----3^-----0--------|
D|--3----0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
D|-------------------------------------|

   2:24 Riff H x 2
d|-----3-3---------------0-0------0-0--|-----3-3------0-0------0-0------0-0--|
B|-1/3---3---------------0-0------0-0--|-1/3---3------1-1------1-1------0-0--|
G|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|-------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|-------0----0---0----3^--0----0---0--|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

  2:33 Riff C x 3                       2:40 Riff D x 2
d|-----3----5--------------------------|-----3-------------------------------|
B|-1/3-------------------0-0------0-0--|-1/3------1p0----------0-0------0-0--|
G|-------0--------0------0-0------0-0--|-------0--0-----0------0-0------0-0--|
D|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|-------0--------0--------0--------0--|
G|-------0--------0----3^-------0------|-------0--------0----3^-------0------|
D|-------------------------------------|-------------------------------------|

  2:44 Outro
d|-----3---------------/5-|
B|-1/3---3--1-------------|
G|-------0-----0-3^-0-----|
D|-------0----------0-----|
G|-------0----------0-----|
D|------------------------|
            
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↑ Back to top | Rl Burnside Tabs for Poor Black Mattie. Lyrics for acoustic guitar and electric guitar. Tablatures and chords are parodies/interpretations of the original songs. You may use it for private study, scholarship, research or language learning purposes only