Here’s a sixteen bar transcription of Leon Rhodes’ solo on “My Window Faces the South,” from the The Ernest Tubb Show. Rhodes was a member of Tubb’s house band, The Texas Troubadours. The band is supporting Willie Nelson, with fiddler Wade Ray and Rhodes splitting solo duties. Rodes’ solo contains pentatonic licks, the G whole tone scale, and bebop-inspired chord running. Rhodes is known for his blending of country and jazz, and was asked about his unique style in an interview with Vintage Guitar magazine in 1998.
All of my background is in country playing of one kind or another. But I loved (and still love) jazz. I tried to play my guitar where my notes sounded a bit different – where the other country guitar players wouldn’t know exactly what I was doing. That way I could get a bit “outside” of the melody and “outside” of other players’ ways of thinking. And more than once I had players ask me “What are you doing?” and “What are you thinking about?”
The opening of the solo is a great gallop-like rhythm (♩ ♪♪ ♩), jumping between the middle and low registers of the guitar. This is followed by a whole tone scale run in measures 6–8 that climbs up to the G note on the high E string. Rhodes uses the whole tone scale melodically as an extension of the opening motive and harmonically as a pull to the IV chord (C). After the IV chord, Rhodes runs eighth-note lines over the E7, A7, and D7 chords (VI, II, V). These lines are dominated by arpeggios, as well as chromatic passing tones and chromatic enclosures that are straight out of the bebop language.