The haunting Farewell Trion began life as a two-part tune composed by fiddler Joe Blalock (b.1854) on his return home to Mentone, Alabama, after he’d been laid off from the mill in Trion, Georgia. Joe’s great-nephew Mack Blalock (1914-1987) got the tune from him, and passed it on to acclaimed present-day fiddler James Bryan, his neighbour in the Lookout Mountain region of Alabama. In the 1980s, James added the third part that we hear in these two gorgeous renderings.
You can find more background on the tune’s origins and the Trion mill at banjohangout. I’ve been unable to find any way to contact James Bryan; I do hope he won’t mind too much that I’ve Fiddletailed him without permission.
James Bryan (fiddle)
Recorded at MerleFest, 1993, accompanied by Carl Jones and Tom Jackson
(‘James Bryan – Farewell Trion’, YouTube video 1:32. Published Feb 28, 2011, by Barry Brower. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOar4KegZiY)
Tashina Clarridge (fiddle), Jefferson Hamer (guitar)
From a 2011 performance on Bainbridge Island, WA, USA.
(‘Farewell Trion (Fiddle Tune)’, YouTube video 6:23. Published Mar 14, 2011, by realtimesw. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w9LpD-Gnro)
Tashina Clarridge: Facebook The Bee Eaters
Jefferson Hamer: website The Murphy Beds with Eamon O’Leary