Whiteface calfThis mercurial old-time tune was composed in the 1980s by North Carolina fiddler/luthier Joe Thrift, who named it after a favourite calf. It was first recorded by Joe’s band the Red Hots in 1989, and released on their album Ready to Roll.

A three-part tune, key Em (fiddles in standard tuning). Though it’s usually played fast, it’s not too complicated if you break it down – and it’s such a great tune to play!

Two fiddle videos: first Joe himself (audio plus stills), and then a very clear, slightly slower video of Rachel Eddy (who featured in the previous Fiddletails old-time post).


Joe Thrift (fiddle)


(‘Joe Thrift plays “Whiteface”’ YouTube video, 2.56. Posted by dbadagna, 16 Jun 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whqCepL6IlI)


Rachel Eddy (fiddle)

Note that Rachel has tweaked the C part slightly to break up the repeats.


(‘Rachel Eddy – Whiteface’ YouTube video, 2.17. Posted by Raymond Whiteway-Roberts, 19 Apr 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P8A22xGFv4)


Further help learning Whiteface:

The old-time database Old Time Frederick has a very clear fiddle audio file from Centralia Parlour Pickers, as well as useful multi-instrumental chord suggestions and audio/video links.


joe thrift luthier imageAs well as being a wonderful fiddler, Joe Thrift is an acclaimed luthier working in Dobson, North Carolina. You can see more about his violins here.







racheleddy guitar

Rachel Eddy is a great player and teacher of old-time fiddle, banjo and guitar. Watch out for her various workshops in the UK! Her latest CD is Nothin’ but Corn. (Also featured in Fiddletails post Road to Malvern, 16 Aug 2015.)





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Filed under American old-time, American old-time/modern

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