Category Archives: American traditional

Hamilton Ironworks

 

A surprisingly jaunty melody, for a tune named after the 19th century Ozark Mountains foundry that produced iron for American Civil War canonballs.

Before teaching a fascinating fiddle masterclass, legendary Missouri musician and steamboat pilot John Hartford regales us with tales of Missouri fiddler Roy Wooliver (1896-1964), with whom the tune is identified.

Want to cut straight to the tune? John begins playing at 2.40.

 

John Hartford (fiddle)

Standard tuning GDAE; key of D.

(‘John Hartford Old Time Fiddle Lesson: Hamilton Ironworks’, YouTube video 7.43. Published by VaporBatVideos, Jul 4 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gds8UIP95fo)

 

Roy Wooliver (fiddle) 

Enjoy Roy Wooliver playing Hamilton Ironworks at Larry Warren’s amazing Slippery Hill website here.  (Field recording by John Hartford.)

 

 

 

John Hartford (1937-2001)website

 

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

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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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

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

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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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

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