Category Archives: American traditional

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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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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Ways of the World

 

Andy Fitzgibbon teaches a lively 3-part, crooked Kentucky tune as played by fiddler William Hamilton Stepp in 1937. The fiddle is cross-tuned AEAE, giving that characteristic Old Time ring from the sympathetic drone strings. (More on Bill Stepp and cross-tuning below.)

 

Andy Fitzgibbon (fiddle)

Teaching video for the 2014 Cowan Creek Mountain Music School advanced fiddle class.

 

(‘Bill Stepp’s Ways of the World – Andy FitzGibbon’ YouTube video, 2.31. Posted by Andrew Fitzgibbon, 8 Sep 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm7ckNRuiX0)

 

fhofstepp2William Stepp (fiddle)

‘Fiddler Bill’ Stepp (18451947), of Magoffin County, Kentucky, was the last fiddler to be captured on disc machine by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax during their Kentucky song-collecting expedition. He was a close friend of fiddler John Salyer (see ‘Last of Harris’).

 

 

(From the Appalachian Center Collection, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives. Hear the full Stepp recordings at: http://digital.berea.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/Stepp)

 

Here’s a note on cross-tuning, previously published in ‘Newt Payne’s Tune

 

So you thought you could play violin…

(cross-tunings for those hell-bent on going over to the dark side from Wikipedia’s excellent page on cross-tuning)

FCGD = Cajun Tuning (one whole step down from GDAE)

GDGB = Open G Tuning

GDGD = Sawmill Tuning or “Cross G”

GDAD = “Gee-Dad”

DDAD = Dead Man’s Tuning, or Open D Tuning, or Bonaparte’s Retreat Tuning, or “Dee-Dad”

ADAE = High Bass Tuning, Old-Timey D Tuning

AEAE = Cross Tuning, “Cross A”, “High Bass, High Counter” (or “High Bass, High Tenor”), Cross Chord; similar to Sawmill Tuning

AEAC♯ = Black Mountain Rag Tuning, Calico Tuning, Open A Tuning, or Drunken Hiccups Tuning

AEAD for Old Sledge, Silver Lake

EDAE for Glory in the Meeting House

EEAE for Get up in the Cool

(Reproduced under Creative Commons license)

More hands-on cross-tuning at:

http://www.stringband.mossyroof.com/ (tunes taught at Greg and Jere Canote’s Seattle string band classes

http://slippery-hill.com/M-K/

 

Andy Fitzgibbon plays with the Iron Leg Boys, and co-runs the New Young Fogies project with Anna Roberts-Gevalt (of Anna & Elizabeth: see ‘The Devil’s Nine Questions/Billy in the Lowground’)

 

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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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