Category Archives: American old-time

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

Durang’s Hornpipe

 

DurangHornpipe

The Hornpipe, by John Durang, watercolor from his Memoir, Courtesy of the York County History Center

Meet John Durang (1768-1822), dancer, acrobat, actor and performer with Ricketts’s Circus across the northeastern United States and into Canada. Born in Pennsylvania of German and French parents, he was George Washington’s favourite dancer.

The tune was composed for  Durang in new York in 1785 by Mr. Hoffmaster, his German violin teacher.

Durang's Hornpipe orig

Here are several different versions from North American musical cultures: two teaching videos (American and Canadian); a performance video (traditional African-American string band); and archive reel-to-reel audio of a West Virginia fiddler.

Choose your favourite to learn!

 

 

Katie Henderson (fiddle)

America: teaching video from Katie’s encyclopaedic New Tune A Day Youtube site.

(Durang’s Hornpipe (Old-Time Fiddle Tune) NTAD) YouTube video, 2:11. Uploaded by Katie Davis Henderson, 20 Sep 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMTzACv31Lg)

 

Patti Kusturok, Shamma Sabir (fiddles)

Canada: teaching video from Patti’s YouTube fiddle tunes vlog.

(‘Day 229 – Durang’s Hornpipe – Patti Kusturok’s 365 Days of Fiddle Tunes’ YouTube video, 2:14. Published by Patti Kusturok, 17  Aug 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNDgl5iws5o)

 

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Justin Robinson (fiddle),  Dom Flemons (snare drum), Rhiannon Giddens (flat-footing)

The wonderful African-American stringband performing at Mass MoCA, May 2010.

(‘Carolina Chocolate Drops – Durang’s Hornpipe’ YouTube video, 2:24. Uploaded by Music Maker Relief Foundation, 31 May 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mef_qNAj6o)

 

Frank George (fiddle)

Recording by widely-respected West Virginia fiddler William Franklin ‘Frank’ George at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, 30 October 1976.

FrankGeorge

(From the Digital Library of Appalachia, Berea College http://dla.acaweb.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/berea/id/3104/rec/10)

 

More information:

Katie Henderson:  NTADblogspot  website  YouTube

Patti Kusturok:  website  YouTube

Carolina Chocolate Drops:  website

Frank George: Berea College recordings

John Durang:  http://johndurang.yorkhistorycenter.org/

 

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

Too Many Days in Georgia

 

West Virginia fiddler Rachel Eddy retitled her ‘favourite C tune’ – commonly known as Fourteen (or Sixteen, or Eighteen) Days in Georgia. There are many variations on the tune, so here’s just this one wonderful rendering from a 2016 concert in Peninsula, Ohio.

 

Rachel Eddy (fiddle)

 

 

(‘Rachel Eddy Too many days in Georgia’, YouTube video 3:49. Posted by Casually Fine productions, 19 Apr 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ziq-nCwuCk)

 

Rachel Eddy:  website  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

Rachel is a great teacher of old-time fiddle, banjo and guitar – watch out for workshops in the UK!

To buy CDs Hand on the Plow and Nothin’ but Corncdbaby

She is currently also playing and singing with trio The Early Mays

For more tunes by Rachel, see archived posts Road to Malvern and Whiteface, August 2015.

 

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

Bill Malley’s Barndance

 

An Old Time playing of an Irish tune by fiddler Bill Malley of County Clare, Ireland – first in a set with a stonking rendering of the upbeat E-B-E Reel, composed by Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll.

As well as additional notes on these musicians and tunes, video-poster secondcousincurly writes a fascinating piece here on the importance of fiddle camps to American traditional music.

 

Brittany Haas, Lily Henley, Duncan Winkel, Kellen Zakula (fiddles), Natalie Haas (cello), Rene del Fierro (guitar)

This set was the encore at a private notloB Parlour Concert in Watertown, Massachusetts. Note Brittany Haas’s five-string fiddle!

 

(‘BRITTANY HAAS & FRIENDS: Bill Malley’s Barndance & E-B-E Reel’, YouTube video 6.59. Posted by secondcousincurly, 28 Aug 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMf4IjPoJJY)

 

Brittany Haas  website   Facebook

Natalie Haas  Website   Facebook

Lily Henley  website   Facebook

Duncan Winkel   Facebook  Duo with Lily Henley

Kellen Zakula  Bandcamp   Facebook

Rene del Fierro  Instagram  BandMINE

 

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

Sally In The Garden

 

Originally a bawdy ballad, there are two basic versions of this Appalachian Kentucky tune, some more crooked than others. I love Premo & Gustavsson’s rendering for the hauntingly off-world sounds from their uncommon pairing of indigenous Swedish and American folk instruments.

This version of the melody is usually played in Dm, but here it’s in Am. Fiddlers generally play it cross-tuned*. Laurel Premo says of her gourd banjo: ‘I use a version of the “double c” tuning. The gourd banjo is a few steps lower from the standard banjo tuning, but the relationships on the strings are the same as you’d find in double C.’

The tune has an interesting thread on banjohangout

*For more information on cross-tuning, see post Newt Payne’s Tune, and/or Search ‘cross-tuning’ to find other cross-tuned melodies.

 

Premo & Gustavsson

Laurel Premo (gourd banjo), Anna Gustavsson (nyckelharpa)

 

(‘Sally In The Garden – Premo & Gustavsson’ YouTube video, 4.06. Posted by Laurel Premo, 24 Aug 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PXxOnmAnDg)

 

Album alert!

The duo will be releasing an album this autumn – and I’ll be featuring a tune from it as soon as it’s available.

In the meantime, you can find out more about their many other projects here:

Laurel Premo:  website  (Fiddletails has also featured Laurel’s acclaimed duo Red Tail Ring – use the Search box to find posts of their compelling music.)

Anna Gustavsson:  website

 

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Filed under American old-time, American traditional, Uncategorized

John Stinson’s No.2

 

Originating in the Irish reel known as John Stenson’s No.2*, this lovely tune has made the transition to a new identity in America’s Old Time tradition, where it’s mostly played as a mountain dulcimer tune.

Here are two takes by fiddler Rachel Eddy and friends: video from a yard concert (played first, followed around 5:10 by a stonking rendition of Dance All Night with a Bottle in your Hand); and a rousing audio recording from Rachel’s Stockholm Old Time session.

 

Rachel Eddy (fiddle), Kristian Herner  (banjo),  Bill Fahy (guitar)

 

(‘John Stinsons Number Two – Rachel Eddy, Kristian Herner, and Bill Fahy’ YouTube video, 8.45. Posted by Bill Fahy, 8 Jul 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAvyBV9FFCY)

 

 

Rachel Eddy (fiddle), and the players of the Happy Wednesday Oldtime Jam, Stockholm, Sweden

 

(https://soundcloud.com/bengt-von-andreae/stinsons-number-two?in=user180058408/sets/old-time-fiddle)

 

*The original tune was composed by accordion player John Stenson, of Co. Sligo, Ireland. There’s basic tune audio on The Session here,  along with information (scroll down) on its popularity from acclaimed Irish fiddler Kevin Burke’s album If The Cap Fits.

 

Rachel Eddy:  website  Facebook  YouTube

Kristian Herner:  website  Facebook

Bill Fahy:  website  blog  Facebook

 

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Old Time Billy in the Lowground

 

A great tune that deserves to be more widely known, this quirkily crooked melody was played in Franklin County, Kentucky, in the 19th century, and predates the better-known bluegrass tune that most people know as Billy In The Lowground*. The tag ‘Old Time’ was added to this version to avoid confusion with the later 20th century tune which had ‘borrowed’ the title. The origins of the title are widely debated online, with some relating it to William of Orange, others to Bonaparte or the Devil.

523px-Map_of_Kentucke_(1784)_color

I’m posting two videos by the irrepressible Canote brothers Jere and Greg: a full-on concert performance at speed, followed by a slightly slower version where Greg’s amazing fingering is more visible. Then there’s an old recording of Franklin County, Kentucky fiddler Kelly Gilbert (1895-1991), who learnt the tune from his local mentor Lewis Goins. And to finish off, a slower teaching session audio from the Canotes’ Seattle string band class to help tunecatchers nail the tune.

Played in G, in standard fiddle tuning GDAE. Dots to this version are available on the great website Old Time Fiddle Tunes, and there’s a banjo tab here.

(*For the more common version of the tune, played Old Time style, see my very first Fiddletails post in May 2015 – Anna & Elizabeth’s great video here)

 

Greg Canote (fiddle), Jere Canote (guitar), Brendan Doyle (banjo)

The Canotes take the stage with banjo player Brendan Doyle at a Fiddle Tunes Showcase Concert in 2009.

 

(‘Fiddle Tunes 2009 The Canotes playing “Old Time Billy in the Low Ground”’ YouTube video, 2.29. Posted by Randi Leach, 6 Jul 2009. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBdWeXXzj8Q)

 

Greg Canote (fiddle), Jere Canote (guitar)

Filmed during a teaching workshop at the American Banjo Camp 2009, Fort Flagler, Washington state.

 

(‘Greg & Jere Canote at the American Banjo Camp, 2009’ YouTube video 1.23. Posted by Peter Langston, 30 Sep 2009. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SutKB9NO3i4)

 

Kelly Gilbert (fiddle)

Recorded by John Harrod in June 1978.

Kelly Gilbert

 

(From the Appalachian Center Collection, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives, John Harrod Collection.)

Hear the full Kelly Gilbert recordings here)

 

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

Slower teaching audio file of the Canotes and Candy Goldman playing, made for their Seattle stringband class.

 

 

 

For more tunes taught at the Canotes’ Seattle class, see Maya Whitmont’s astonishing archive of audio files and banjo tabs here

 Greg and Jere Canote: find out more about the Canote Brothers, including albums, gigs, and the Seattle stringband class, on their website

 For even more great tunes, see Peter Langston’s American Banjo Camp and other music videos on his YouTube channel

American Banjo Camp: 9-11 September 2016, near Seattle, Washington State. ‘87 classes, 23 scheduled jams, 2 concerts, 6 meals, 2 late-night snacks, and 2 optional sleep periods, all compressed into 50 hours!’ And it’s not just for banjos!

 

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Filed under American old-time, American traditional, Uncategorized