Just a few places left on this amazingly good workshop with fiddler/composer/dancer Laurel Swift. Fabulous teaching, playing and walking (and food!) in an unspoilt Lincolnshire village – the kind of weekend where you play your socks off and go home feeling as though you’ve had a week’s holiday.
Don’t forget your walking shoes as well as your instrument/s!
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.
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)
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!
Red Tail Ring fiddler Laurel Premo wrote this beautiful tune about a stretch of the Paint River at Crystal Falls, Michigan. The Michigander duo play it here in a set with 19th century traditional American tune Rueben (Rueben’s Train).
Red Tail Ring
Laurel Premo (fiddle), Michael Beauchamp (guitar)
Video from a performance at the Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 2014
Preview of work from their Creative Artist Residency – based on manuscripts from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library – that explores ‘the unique relationship between music and morris dance, specifically the gravity defying ‘slows’ that allow dancers to showcase their expertise.’
Every couple of weeks or so I feature a tune that's caught my fancy – audio/video clips of brilliant musicians playing great, perhaps uncommon tunes to learn by ear. Most are from the English and American Old-time traditions; some hail from other musical worlds ‒ Scandi, perhaps, or French. But whatever you play ‒ fiddles or frets, free-reeds or fipples ‒ I hope you enjoy catching these wonderful tunes!