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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 04/16/2010 Wild Hog in the Woods


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/176166

bblizard - Posted - 04/16/2010:  04:31:55


This week’s tune is Wild Hog in the Woods. I’ve heard a few versions of this quirky tune in old time circles, and it seems like everybody plays it just a bit differently. The version I am most familiar with is from the Kimble family of Laurel Fork, Virginia, and I first heard their version on a Ray Alden-recorded double album from Heritage records called “Visits”. Upon hearing Taylor Kimble play this tune for the first time I was stunned – this sounded like music from another world! The timing and phrasing was simultaneously primitive, beautiful and complex. That album is out of print and available for download on a blog called “The Times Ain’t Like They Used To Be” – Here is the link: timesaintliketheyusedtobe.blog...d_27.html

The Fuzzy Mountain String band recorded a slightly different version of the tune as well, and sang some old boar hunting ballad lyrics to it. You can hear a sample of that tune here: amazon.com/Fuzzy-Mountain-Stri...0000003NT

Dan Gellert recorded a fantastic variant of this called “Old Bangum” and it can be found on the album “The Young Fogies”, also collected and recorded by Ray Alden.

Alan Jabbour performs this tune on video at this link: youtube.com/watch?v=inTbx7GRhes
He learned it from Taylor Kimble. Alan is also cited in the online tune reference database, The Fiddler’s Companion, as saying “the tune is ‘almost certainly’ an instrumental adaptation of the tune used in the Appalachians for the ballad ‘Bangum and the Boar’ (Child 18) or ‘Old Bangum.’" That ballad is also called “Sir Lionel” and has the following lyrics:

There is a wild boar in these woods,
Dellum down, dellum down,
There is a wild boar in these woods,
He'll eat your meat and suck your blood.
Dellum down, dellum down.

Bangrum drew his wooden knife
Dellum down, dellum down,
And swore he'd take the wild boar's life.
Dellum down, dellum down.

The wild boar came in such a flash,
Dellum down, dellum down,
He broke his way through oak and ash.
Dellum down, dellum down.

These are the same lyrics sung by Dee Hicks without accompaniment as captured on the great record “Five Miles Out of Town: Traditional Music from Cumberland Plateau... Vol.2”

Here is a link to some tabs provided by Banjohangout member “Fortune”: banjohangout.org/tab/browse.as...r&v=39115

And lastly, here is a link to my humble attempt at this tune: banjohangout.org/myhangout/med...archived=

Mark Johnson - Posted - 04/16/2010:  08:08:15


great choice, and great write-up.

I find the tune daunting in a weird way, just because there are so many variations and related tunes etc. As of yet, I don't play it, but maybe this will give me enough to work with...

While he has only a tiny sample of Old Baggum online, I'm a fan of Joel Mabus, and he has a fine version on his album "Six of One":

joelmabus.com/six_of_one.htm

I once had the pleasure of seeing him perform this live, and he really belted out the lyrics, and man can he play. Gave me the goosepimples.

Thanks bblizard, this is a great TOTW,

Mark

arnie - Posted - 04/16/2010:  09:07:10


I just recorded a version with the Albemarle Ramblers - based on the Fuzzy Mountain recording. It's on the cd "Gentleman From Virginia"

bblizard - Posted - 04/17/2010:  04:49:51


Mark,

That Joel Mabus tune was very nice. I had never heard him before - thanks for the link. This song was my son's favorite "bedtime story" for years. He would ask me to sing it over and over. I think the story goes to the "primal place" in a lot of folks.

BTW, can't wait to hear you play it!

Don Borchelt - Posted - 04/17/2010:  05:08:43


Great choice, Bruce. I used to pick and sing this when I was in a Boston area trio called Wry Whiskey, with Brian Clancey on guitar, and Tom Speth on bass. The recording was made twelve years ago, in my living room, I believe. I am playing my semi-fretless Paramount with the regular scale neck, in open D tuning.

Wry Whiskey playing Wild Hog in the Woods


Edited by - Don Borchelt on 04/20/2010 04:56:40

bblizard - Posted - 04/17/2010:  05:38:55


Don,

Thanks for posting that. Love the slides! Nice picking.

banjoike - Posted - 04/17/2010:  06:12:40


Arnie you have a really fine version of this song. and the CD is becoming a favorite of mine. very old time feeling.

gailg64 - Posted - 04/17/2010:  06:54:10


Hi Arnie (and Pete & Dick), Very fine version & super-fine CD! Am enjoying it immensely & hope to hear you all play in person soon.

Wild Hog is so dark & compelling, no wonder many of us have been drawn to it & no wonder it's been recorded so many times.

Three years ago Alice Gerrard, Sharon Poss Sandomirsky & I made a mostly instrumental CD that included this one (though Alice sang on that one.) We got our fiddle & banjo parts from fiddler Ernest Stanley & banjo player Martin Marshall. Both gone now, they were in the same neighborhood as Taylor Kimble & the tune is almost identical. Martin had learned 2-finger banjo from Taylor when he was a boy, though he'd added another finger based on another local style.

Sharon had recorded Wild Hog with the Fuzzies almost 30 years before & never tires of it. She has lived in Austin, TX for almost 20 years. The words Alice sings are ones she got from Nimrod Workman, a spine-tingling singer from Kentucky.
GG

quote:
Originally posted by arnie

I just recorded a version with the Albemarle Ramblers - based on the Fuzzy Mountain recording. It's on the cd "Gentleman From Virginia"

gailg64 - Posted - 04/17/2010:  07:00:59


PS. I uploaded the Herald Angel version of Wild Hog to my Hangout music page. It's down at the bottom with the 'w's".
G

quote:
Originally posted by gailg64

Hi Arnie (and Pete & Dick), Very fine version & super-fine CD! Am enjoying it immensely & hope to hear you all play in person soon.

Wild Hog is so dark & compelling, no wonder many of us have been drawn to it & no wonder it's been recorded so many times.

Three years ago Alice Gerrard, Sharon Poss Sandomirsky & I made a mostly instrumental CD that included this one (though Alice sang on that one.) We got our fiddle & banjo parts from fiddler Ernest Stanley & banjo player Martin Marshall. Both gone now, they were in the same neighborhood as Taylor Kimble & the tune is almost identical. Martin had learned 2-finger banjo from Taylor when he was a boy, though he'd added another finger based on another local style.

Sharon had recorded Wild Hog with the Fuzzies almost 30 years before & never tires of it. She has lived in Austin, TX for almost 20 years. The words Alice sings are ones she got from Nimrod Workman, a spine-tingling singer from Kentucky.
GG

quote:
Originally posted by arnie

I just recorded a version with the Albemarle Ramblers - based on the Fuzzy Mountain recording. It's on the cd "Gentleman From Virginia"



arnie - Posted - 04/17/2010:  07:18:09


Gail - yours is a most wonderful recording of Wild Hog! Beautiful & solid playing and singing. Everybody check it out! I just about wore the needle through my Fuzzy records when I first got them. And here is a clip someone uploaded from his camera youtube.com/watch?v=Ii4FOwd4l9s. Thanks for your comments about the cd, Arnie

arnie - Posted - 04/17/2010:  07:34:36


Now here is an English version "Rackabello" adapted by Martin Carthy & the Watersons who have a fine recording of this song. informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zie...ello.html

gailg64 - Posted - 04/17/2010:  10:16:34


Thanks for the link to Martin Carthy's interesting combined version--you just knew there had to be a complete story in there somewhere!


quote:
Originally posted by arnie

Now here is an English version "Rackabello" adapted by Martin Carthy & the Watersons who have a fine recording of this song. informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zie...ello.html

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 04/17/2010:  11:02:32


If "Bangum The Boar" is not in Child's list of the ancient ballads then he missed one, as it goes back into the mist of the dark ages. Bangum is more Totem than any living boar - like the Derby Ram he is a symbolic holdover from the time when Englishmen painted themselves blue, swilled mead by the bucket and danced around the fire all night before a day of ritual hunting. The Fox Hunt was a vedy vedy civilized version of this ritual, wherein the expensively dressed "hunters" stayed on their horses and simply watched as their dogs tore the totem fox to pieces.

The fox was of course the animal representitive of the "Trickster" - a cagey thief who spent most of his time stealing successfully from the local farmers. The local Upper classes were symbolically doing their lordly duty by the lower classes in hunting this totem down and seeing to it he is destroyed. Of course Oscar Wilde simply called the Fox Hunt "The pursuit of the inedible by the unspeakable" and he was a man with the right turn of phrase for everything.

Kitt - Posted - 04/18/2010:  06:48:26


Due to reading this thread, and upon Arnie's recommendation, and after listening to a few cuts of 'Old Gentlemen From Virginia', I purchased the cd.

Another version of Wild Hog that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned is played by The Reed Island Rounders on their cd Goin' Back. I learned my current banjo rendition from listening to Diane Jones' playing of the tune and also by reading her tablature of her playing of the tune.
reedisland.com/RIR/rounders.htm

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 04/18/2010:  07:15:36


This has to be one of the best Tune of the Week threads ever!

I love the words and the versions uploaded and the links to others. I was not familiar with this tune, but now watch out world as I might be playing it AND singing too!

Any more volunteers for Tune of the Week? I have an more banjo specific email address now. Send your request to volunteer to:banjojudy@gmail.com.

Judy

arnie - Posted - 04/18/2010:  08:32:07


Hey thanks Kitt - hope you enjoy the music, drop me post and let me know. Cheers, Arnie

tomberghan - Posted - 04/18/2010:  10:05:06


Cut him down! Cut him down!

Wow . . . kind of violent!

Reminds me of "Kill da Wabbit!"
youtube.com/watch?v=EJAXJWm8G4A

Marc Nerenberg - Posted - 04/18/2010:  11:54:00


quote:
Originally posted by tomberghan

Cut him down! Cut him down!

Wow . . . kind of violent!

Reminds me of "Kill da Wabbit!"
youtube.com/watch?v=EJAXJWm8G4A



Any tune that links to a classic cartoon is obviously an inspired choice! This tune was an inspired choice even before the cartoon link!

Don Borchelt - Posted - 04/18/2010:  16:24:30


No actual animals were injured during the performance of this folksong.

Kitt - Posted - 04/18/2010:  16:51:37


quote:
Originally posted by Don Borchelt

No actual animals were injured during the performance of this folksong.



I wouldn't be so sure about that. They say that hogs are purdy danged smart. So it could be that they can read and can listen to and understand music lyrics. In which case they'd be feeling kinda hurt about folks sayin' stuff like "cut 'im down, cut 'im down".

srselby - Posted - 04/18/2010:  20:56:00


Just thinking what I'd do if I were asked to sing this song along with my banjo, I'd just play the banjo part of 'Red Haired Boy' and I wouldn't be far off...

Don Borchelt - Posted - 04/20/2010:  04:35:17


srselby wrote: "Just thinking what I'd do if I were asked to sing this song along with my banjo..."

If someone asked me to do it now, I would probably just pick the dang thing, and not try to sing it.

Alan Butterfield - Posted - 04/20/2010:  06:25:17


Jody Stecher recorded an a capella version of this - "Old Bangum" on his album Oh the Wind and the Rain.

It's a more involved version lyrically, and tells the complete tale.

Great album, by the way. Highly recommended if you like mountain-style ballad singing. Also some banjo playing on a few tracks.

jojo25 - Posted - 04/20/2010:  10:33:58


the Madison Society for the Protection of Wild Boars strenuously objects to this tune as an insult to wild boars everywhere

XXXris - Posted - 04/20/2010:  12:09:46


Just noting a couple more versions for your listening pleasure:

* Lonesome Luke and his Farmboys, on the "Kentucky Mountain Music" set
* Eunice Yeattes McAlexander has an a-capella version on the "Ballads from British Traditions" album in the "Virginia Traditions" series.

"yonder's mash" is one of my favorite lyrics....

Ragglegum - Posted - 04/20/2010:  13:08:52


For those people with Spotify accounts, i thought i'd post links to a couple of the versions mentioned above, plus a couple more i came across.

Martin Carthy - Rackabello

open.spotify.com/track/5jci1An...5Pagvg9bE

Jody Stecher - Old Bangum

open.spotify.com/track/38Ip6Fy...mBIIsCSu1

Poverty Line Old Time String band - Wild Hog in the Woods

open.spotify.com/track/3glZ2aJ...4zoOyc4Xe

Robin and Linda Williams - Wild Hog in the Wood

open.spotify.com/track/79uaUZT...NO0ezk7nr

Tobias - Posted - 04/21/2010:  01:20:33


Great thread. I really like that tune. It reminds me of medival folk tales.

Some months ago my friend Jesper and I recorded a version:

youtube.com/watch?v=Cj8cEFEYjiU

/Tobias


Edited by - Tobias on 04/21/2010 05:26:35

mojo_monk - Posted - 04/21/2010:  05:21:42


quote:
Originally posted by Tobias

Great thread. I really like that tune. It reminds me of medival falk tales.

Some months ago my friend Jesper and I recorded a version:

youtube.com/watch?v=Cj8cEFEYjiU

/Tobias



You guys rock. Thanks for sharing.

- Sean
2ftlbanjer.wordpress.com/

banjoike - Posted - 04/21/2010:  13:06:13


This has been a fantastic thread. A great learning experience. Great renditions of the song. And the cartoon brought back so many memories. Thank you BHO members for this experience!!!

banjoike - Posted - 04/21/2010:  13:09:13


This has been a fantastic thread. A great learning experience. Great renditions of the song. And the cartoon brought back so many memories. Thank you BHO members for this experience!!!

BrittDLD1 - Posted - 04/30/2010:  08:06:30


Hi -

Didn't think I be posting anything to this... Even though "Wild Hog"/"Bangum and the Boar"
has been one of my favorite tunes for well over 30 years.

BUT...
I got an email this morning, from Calif. singer/banjoiste Mary McCaslin. She played here,
in Wakefield,MA, at the Linden Tree Coffeehouse, a few months ago. (I've run sound for the
LTC for over 25 years!)

After the show (around midnight), Mary, Joe Crookston, and I sat around doing a few
banjo tunes, relaxing and having some fun. Mary's husband, Greg, video'd it -- and
posted a couple tunes on YouTube, and on Mary's website.

So... here I am, completely by chance... doing Old Bangum -- with Joe and Mary playing
along:
youtube.com/watch?v=6FlCXPMTwhQ


Unfortunately... I had already started it, when I realized I had the capo on --
and the "diddle-oh-down-today" part was too high for my singing range... (So
please pardon the screechy high notes...)

The other tune video'd that nite was Joe Crookston doing "Norwegian Wood" on
banjo. (And Joe's a great player too!)

I was just noodling-around, in the background -- when all of a sudden I make
this painful face... I've been having some serious tendonitis in my hands, for the
past few months. I did a stretch with my ring finger, to hit a high note, and a
piercing pain shot through it... (Ouch!)

Here's Mary's site:
alongtheamericanmusicroad.com/

And Joe Crookston's site:
joecrookston.com/

Best-
Ed Britt


Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 04/30/2010 08:21:06

Mark Johnson - Posted - 04/30/2010:  08:20:14


Very nice Ed! Consider those bends stolen...


Edited by - Mark Johnson on 04/30/2010 08:23:02

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