Category Archives: American old-time

Christmas Time in the Morning

 

As the northern hemisphere days draw in, there’s the promise of the winter solstice and that first imperceptible swing back towards the light. To celebrate the season, here’s a blithe spirit of a tune from the Civil War era, recorded on a summery backyard deck, and posted in chill December in time to get it down and playable for Christmas.

(I was unable to contact the musicians; I hope they’ll forgive being fiddletailed without permission – it was just too delightful to resist.)

 

Joe Huff (fiddle), John Meade (banjo)

(‘Christmas Time in the Morning’ Civil war era fiddle tune – Joe Huff fiddle & John Meade banjo’, YouTube video 3:57. Published by Graham Meade, Aug 13 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgxxeMebSc8 )

 

 

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Farewell Trion

 

A panoramic view from the top of Lookout Mountain, overlooking Chattanooga, February 1864, by George N Barnard.

 

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

 

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Bacon Rind

 

 

Get your contra dancing shoes on for this deceptively simple ear-worm of a tune from the playing of Kentucky fiddler Everett Kays.

Here are three versions.

Take 1: Everett Kays lays the tune out at dance speed with a stringband for the original 1973 field recording (now in the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives*).

Takes 2 and 3: Seattle-based fiddler Greg Canote plays two slow teaching versions – first a music camp video; second, a slightly more uptempo audio track from the Canote Brothers’ Seattle stringband class.

Key of G, standard tuning on all three recordings. Choose whichever speed suits you best for tunecatching, and for playing along with once you’ve got it down.

 

Everett Kays (fiddle), accompanied by unnamed musicians

Anderson County, Kentucky, 1973

(Tune number B02 on reel BG-R003 in the Bruce Greene Collection SAA90, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives. http://dla.acaweb.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/berea/id/317/rec/2)

 

Greg Canote (fiddle), Candy Goldman (banjo)

Filmed at Walker Creek Music Camp, October 2014

(‘Bacon Rind’, YouTube video, 1:25. Published by Wayne Grabowski, Oct 13, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58B5H-maPc)

 

Greg Canote (fiddle), Candy Goldman (banjo), Jere Canote (guitar)

Recorded at the Seattle Stringband class, April 2014

 

Canote Brotherswebsite  (move the radio dial to search!) and Seattle Stringband class

Maya Whitmont’s compilation of audio tracks and banjo tabs from the Seattle class here

*Digital Library of Appalachia/Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives:  website

 

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Filed under American old-time, American old-time/traditional, American traditional, Uncategorized

Grigsby’s Hornpipe

 

To celebrate Christmas and the slow tip of the Earth from dark to light, here’s a lilting hornpipe that will fill you with a warm glow and dance you through these last days of the Old Year.

eck-robertson

But this is a hornpipe with a difference – a Texas fiddle tune, known from the playing of Alexander ‘Eck’ Robertson, of Amarillo, Texas (1886-1973).

 

First up, Haas, Walsh and Marshall introduce the hornpipe with haunting Indian/world music overtones before whirling into their lyrical arrangement.

Second, icon of American fiddling Bruce Molsky plays a ringing, fast-but-clear rendering that will help musicians catch tune and chords.

You can hear Eck Robertson’s original 1929 recording on Larry Warren’s Slippery Hill here.

 

Cross-tuning

Grigsby’s Hornpipe is generally played with the fiddle tuned AEAC# – known as Calico tuning. Bruce and Brittany are both playing in Calico.

For more information on cross-tuning, see notes under Newt Payne’s Tune, or see Wikipedia’s excellent page here.

For more cross-tuned fiddling here on Fiddletails, search ‘cross-tuning’ in the Search Box.

 

Haas, Walsh and Marshall

Brittany Haas (5-string fiddle), Joe Walsh (mandolin), Owen Marshall (guitar and harmonium)

Filmed at a pre-Christmas house concert in Rhinebeck, NY, December 2013.

(‘Brittany Haas, Joe Walsh, Owen Marshal “Grigsby’s Hornpipe”’, YouTube video 5:31. Published by Owen Marshall on 29 April 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijuu59yS0t4)

 

Bruce Molsky (fiddle)

Bruce plays the hornpipe first in a set with Pickin the Devil’s Eye. Filmed during a live recording at the Magnolia Avenue Studios of KDHX, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2011.

(‘Bruce Molsky “Grigsby’s Hornpipe/Pickin’ the Devil’s Eye” Live at KDHX 3/26/11 (HD)’, YouTube video 4:07. Uploaded by KDHX on 19 Jul 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHupO7fJE_0)

 

For all the information you could ever want, including CDs, videos/recordings, news, gigs, tickets, and social media links, see:

Brittany Haas:  website

Owen Marshall:  website

Joe Walsh:  website

The trio’s EP is available on Bandcamp, here.

Bruce Molsky:  website Sign up here for music and news from Bruce’s fab ‘from the road’ newsletter, including tunes from his great band Molsky’s Mountain Drifters.

 

Wishing tunecatchers everywhere a very Merry Christmas, and a year to come that’s full of light and hope and joy for all. And music, of course!

 

a_christmas_carol_-_mr-_fezziwigs_ball

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The Atlantic Waltz

 

atlantic-sun

 

Bid farewell to sweet October with this beautiful composition by Anna Gustavsson – one half of American/Swedish duo Premo & Gustavsson, whose US tour I featured earlier this week.

It’s also a great chance to hear a nyckelharpa, the iconic Swedish instrument famously played by 18th-19th century master nyckelharpist Carl Ersson Bössa (Byss-Kalle), composer of last week’s Fiddletails post.

 

Premo & Gustavsson

Laurel Premo (fiddle), Anna Gustavsson (nyckelharpa)

(‘The Atlantic Waltz – Premo & Gustavsson’, YouTube video, 4:47. Published by Laurel Premo, 24 Aug 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO8zjMNDfjw)

 

Album alert!

Laurel & Anna’s new album I Walked Abroad is out now – available as download or CD from cdbaby

 

Premo & Gustavsson:  website

Laurel Premo:  website    Red Tail Ring*

Anna Gustavsson:  website

*From time to time, Fiddletails features Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp‘s duo Red Tail Ring – use the Search box to find posts of their acclaimed music.

You can hear another tune by Premo & Gustavsson here, in a wonderful pairing of nyckelharpa and gourd banjo.

 

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Filed under American old-time, American old-time/modern, American traditional, Scandinavian folk, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

Gig Alert!

 

Premo & Gustavsson USA CD-Release Tour

October 19th – 30th, 2016

PG-UD109-prepared

Chicago TODAY!

Then: MI, PA, MD, NY, MA,

and finishing Sunday 30 October in Boston, MA

Details/booking here

A great follow-up to yesterday’s Swedish tune: Anna Gustavsson on nyckelharpa, Laurel Premo on gourd banjo and fiddle, as they launch their new CD I Walked Abroad. This duo is really special – catch their fabulous concerts and workshops wherever you can.

I’ll be featuring a track later this week. In the meantime, here’s a reminder from an earlier Fiddletails post: Sally in the Garden

premo-gustavsson-closeup1Premo & Gustavsson

 

 

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Georgia Row

 

Monday already? So what better way to start the week than with this breezy Old Timey/Ragtimey tune – originally from renowned Uncle Charlie OsborneVirginia fiddler ‘Uncle’ Charlie Osborne (1890-1992), who played left-handed on a conventional right-handed fiddle, and was famous for his fiddling from the age of 15 until his death at the age of 101.

First up, Adam Hurt and Beth Williams Hartness lay out a jaunty, fluid version at dance speed, along with some great banjo ornamentations over subtle fingerstyle guitar. The second video – a slightly slower rendering showcasing the fiddle’s double-stopping and dulcitar/strumstick fingering – is by Danish Old Time afficionados The Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo, who learned the tune from a recording of Uncle Charlie Osborne.

And of course, Georgia Row makes a great pair with a previous Old Time Fiddletails post, Too Many Days in Georgia.

Have a happy week, everyone!

 

Adam Hurt (banjo), Beth Williams Hartness (guitar)

Recorded at the Washington, DC studios of radio station WAMU’s Bluegrass Country.

(‘Adam Hurt & Beth Williams Hartness – Georgia Row [live at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country]’, YouTube video, 3:07. Posted by  WAMU’s Bluegrass Country 105.5, 21 Apr 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N52oZyhOWSg)

 

Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo

Tobias Enevoldsen (fiddle), Jesper Deleuran (strumstick/dulcitar)

(‘Georgia Row’, YouTube video, 4:00. Posted by The Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo, 16 Apr 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keVVoca12U4)

 

For more information on gigs, CDs, videos etc:

Adam Hurt:  website  Facebook

Beth Williams Hartness:  Facebook

Deleuran Enevoldsen Duo:  website  Big Hungry Joe

Jesper Deleuran:  YouTube

 

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Filed under American old-time, American traditional, Uncategorized