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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW March 4th/11: Logan County Blues


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/201112

derwood400 - Posted - 03/04/2011:  03:03:37


Tune of the Week: Logan County Blues

Logan County Blues is my contribution to the TOTW series. This tune probably ranks in my top five favourite old time fiddle tunes. When I decided to start researching this tune I didn't realize how little information there was available on it (at least, that I could find). I was introduced to the tune by Dan Levenson at Clawcamp East in 2009. I learned my version of the tune from listening to Dan play it, and using the tab in his Old-Time Festival Tunes book. His incredible version is also available on his CD titled Barenaked Banjos.

The Fiddler's Companion entry on the subject is short and sweet:

“LOGAN COUNTY BLUES. Old-Time, Country Blues. D Major. Standard. AA'BB. Source for notated version: Ruthie Dornfeld (Seattle) [Phillips]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), Vol. 2, 1995; pg. 79. Reed Island Rounders - "Wolves in the Woods" (1997).”

In 1927 legendary West Virginia blues-man, Frank Hutchison recorded a song called Logan County Blues on Okeh records. I've never heard the whole recording, but the small bits of it that I have heard lead me to believe that it is a totally different song.

The July 2010 issue of the Old Time Herald contains an article by Norbert Sarsfield titled “Ray's Dream: The Field Recorders' Collective.” The following is a quote from the article.

“Teaming up with Bobby Patterson of Heritage Records, Ray released a number of his field recordings, including Music from Round Peak, which featured Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham. Music from Round Peak included an example of the lucky happenstance that sometimes occurs with field recordings. “It was a miracle we came across 'Logan County Blues' from Fred. It was just a lucky instance. Verlen Clifton and Ronald Collins came to visit and they reminded Fred about that tune while we were recording; otherwise that tune would have been completely lost.”

Other than this I have been unable to find out much more about the tune. There are a number of Cds available with the tune. Here are a couple of links to videos of my favourite versions:

The Freight Hoppers: youtube.com/watch?v=q-8lQ6Hn41k

Benton Flippen: youtube.com/watch?v=U9P4mr4ScB4

And finally my version: youtube.com/watch?v=9T9H_-JcjTI

I believe the tune is generally played in D, but I played it in C this time.

I'm hoping that some of my fellow Hangout members know some more about the history of this tune, and will contribute to the thread. I'm looking forward to hearing other peoples' versions.



VIDEO: Logan County Blues - Clawhammer Banjo
(click to view)

   

dbrooks - Posted - 03/04/2011:  03:54:43


Great tune -- and well played in your video.

David

janolov - Posted - 03/04/2011:  04:49:30


There is also a nice version by Tommy Jarrell and Kyle Creed on juneberry78s.com/sounds/h10-07.mp3

Frank Hutchison's version is also available at Junebrry: juneberry78s.com/otmsampler/32...Blues.mp3 . It seems to be quit another tune that Jarell&Creede and Levenson are playing. It is related to the guitar tune (also classic banjo tune) Spanish Fandango, which goes in triple time.


Edited by - janolov on 03/04/2011 05:02:26

Marc Nerenberg - Posted - 03/04/2011:  05:26:33


Nice job. I like this tune. I think I'll work out a version of it. Probably not in time to post to this thread...but, we'll see.

derwood400 - Posted - 03/04/2011:  05:35:01


Janolov, thanks for the heads-up on the juneberry site. I've been trying to work my way through that site, but have barely scratched the surface of it.

jamesd - Posted - 03/04/2011:  06:07:13


Derwood, thanks for this tune.. I have been listening to Dans CD for years and I knew right away that your version was right on....

I have a Tradesman and Dans Old Time Tune book also, so I guess this will be the next tune I tackle.

Good playing......thanks for the post....

whitetop_banjo - Posted - 03/04/2011:  06:33:37


Here's a version attached to this post of me and some of my friends. It's Andy Cahan on fiddle, Alan Rutherford (Enoch's grandson) on banjo, myself on guitar, and Bill Sluys on bass. I really like this tune but don't play it on fiddle or banjo. Andy and Alan do as good of job as anyone I've heard on it,though.
I'm 99% sure the Juneberry referenced link ISN'T Tommy Jarrell, but rather the Fred Cockerham version from the Heritage LP by Ray Alden. I don't think Tommy played it on fiddle. I've heard several people in this area say Fred Cockerham wrote the tune, for what it's worth. Someone else might chime in who knows more, but I wouldn't doubt that being the case.



Logan County Blues

   

hendrid - Posted - 03/04/2011:  08:54:17


Excerpt from:
oldweirdamerica.wordpress.com/...utchison/

19 “Stackalee” by Frank Hutchison
By gadaya
Frank Hutchison’s World
-- The other piece of interest is Logan County Blues, a variation on the tune Spanish Fandango; it is played in open tuning and is a Hutchison ‘piece-de-resistance’. His picking makes the listener think it is a simple guitar solo – any would-be guitar player will tell you otherwise!--
Don

janolov - Posted - 03/04/2011:  09:31:35


quote:
Originally posted by whitetop_banjo


I'm 99% sure the Juneberry referenced link ISN'T Tommy Jarrell, but rather the Fred Cockerham version from the Heritage LP by Ray Alden. I don't think Tommy played it on fiddle. I've heard several people in this area say Fred Cockerham wrote the tune, for what it's worth. Someone else might chime in who knows more, but I wouldn't doubt that being the case.



You are right to 100 %. I got that link from a search on Google, where a webpage referred to Jarrell and Creed and linked to Juneberry87 (beemp3.com/download.php?file=1...nty+Blues ). When I searched directly on Juneberry87 (juneberry78s.com/sounds/Listen...uests.htm ) it is labelled as "Fred Cockerham LOGAN COUNTY BLUES."

gailg64 - Posted - 03/04/2011:  10:24:38


Fred listened to a lot of Arthur Smith. Logan County Blues is closely related to Smith's "Dickson County Blues No. 2." You can hear it here: emusic.com/album/Variou...88344.html

G


quote:
Originally posted by derwood400

Tune of the Week: Logan County Blues

Logan County Blues is my contribution to the TOTW series. This tune probably ranks in my top five favourite old time fiddle tunes. When I decided to start researching this tune I didn't realize how little information there was available on it (at least, that I could find). I was introduced to the tune by Dan Levenson at Clawcamp East in 2009. I learned my version of the tune from listening to Dan play it, and using the tab in his Old-Time Festival Tunes book. His incredible version is also available on his CD titled Barenaked Banjos.

The Fiddler's Companion entry on the subject is short and sweet:

“LOGAN COUNTY BLUES. Old-Time, Country Blues. D Major. Standard. AA'BB. Source for notated version: Ruthie Dornfeld (Seattle) [Phillips]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), Vol. 2, 1995; pg. 79. Reed Island Rounders - "Wolves in the Woods" (1997).”

In 1927 legendary West Virginia blues-man, Frank Hutchison recorded a song called Logan County Blues on Okeh records. I've never heard the whole recording, but the small bits of it that I have heard lead me to believe that it is a totally different song.

The July 2010 issue of the Old Time Herald contains an article by Norbert Sarsfield titled “Ray's Dream: The Field Recorders' Collective.” The following is a quote from the article.

“Teaming up with Bobby Patterson of Heritage Records, Ray released a number of his field recordings, including Music from Round Peak, which featured Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham. Music from Round Peak included an example of the lucky happenstance that sometimes occurs with field recordings. “It was a miracle we came across 'Logan County Blues' from Fred. It was just a lucky instance. Verlen Clifton and Ronald Collins came to visit and they reminded Fred about that tune while we were recording; otherwise that tune would have been completely lost.”

Other than this I have been unable to find out much more about the tune. There are a number of Cds available with the tune. Here are a couple of links to videos of my favourite versions:

The Freight Hoppers: youtube.com/watch?v=q-8lQ6Hn41k

Benton Flippen: youtube.com/watch?v=U9P4mr4ScB4

And finally my version: youtube.com/watch?v=9T9H_-JcjTI

I believe the tune is generally played in D, but I played it in C this time.

I'm hoping that some of my fellow Hangout members know some more about the history of this tune, and will contribute to the thread. I'm looking forward to hearing other peoples' versions.

gailg64 - Posted - 03/04/2011:  10:31:30


Nice!
And for something equally cool, there's a really nice cut I've heard (and need to look up a link for) of Arthur Smith fiddling Dickson County with Earl Scruggs playing banjo in a really wonderful old-time flavored style (similar to the McGee Bros.)

quote:
Originally posted by whitetop_banjo

Here's a version attached to this post of me and some of my friends. It's Andy Cahan on fiddle, Alan Rutherford (Enoch's grandson) on banjo, myself on guitar, and Bill Sluys on bass. I really like this tune but don't play it on fiddle or banjo. Andy and Alan do as good of job as anyone I've heard on it,though.
I'm 99% sure the Juneberry referenced link ISN'T Tommy Jarrell, but rather the Fred Cockerham version from the Heritage LP by Ray Alden. I don't think Tommy played it on fiddle. I've heard several people in this area say Fred Cockerham wrote the tune, for what it's worth. Someone else might chime in who knows more, but I wouldn't doubt that being the case.

mojo_monk - Posted - 03/04/2011:  10:38:53


quote:
Originally posted by gailg64

Nice!
And for something equally cool, there's a really nice cut I've heard (and need to look up a link for) of Arthur Smith fiddling Dickson County with Earl Scruggs playing banjo in a really wonderful old-time flavored style (similar to the McGee Bros.)





saggyrecordcabinet.blogspot.co...uggs.html


-Sean

atleson - Posted - 03/04/2011:  13:02:16


terrific tune. I can get most of it, but does anyone have a good tab?

jim

gailg64 - Posted - 03/04/2011:  13:23:04


Hi Sean, Thanks for that link, Jeremy has a lot of wonderful stuff there. I just checked though & I think that's the OTHER Dickson Co. Blues, really nice, but not the one similar to Fred's Logan CO. Blues, which Smith called Dickson County Blues NO. 2. I'll have to run this by the folks over at the Fiddle Hangout to get the origin, but to me that sounds very much like LCB once you get past the first couple of measures. The notes are similar but the timing is different in the introduction.



quote:
Originally posted by mojo_monk

quote:
Originally posted by gailg64

Nice!
And for something equally cool, there's a really nice cut I've heard (and need to look up a link for) of Arthur Smith fiddling Dickson County with Earl Scruggs playing banjo in a really wonderful old-time flavored style (similar to the McGee Bros.)





saggyrecordcabinet.blogspot.co...uggs.html


-Sean

derwood400 - Posted - 03/04/2011:  13:57:34


Hey Whitetop, WOW! you guys really rocked that! Nice job. Jim, I don't know if anyone on here has their own tab or not, but I learned it from Dan Levenson's Festival Tunes for Old Time Banjo book. The tab in Dan's book is really great as it gives you a basic and advanced version along with standard music notation.

Gail, that Dickson County Blues No. 2 does have much the same flavour doesn't it? Very similar indeed.

ramjo - Posted - 03/04/2011:  15:02:52


quote:
Originally posted by hendrid

Excerpt from:
oldweirdamerica.wordpress.com/...utchison/

19 “Stackalee” by Frank Hutchison
By gadaya
Frank Hutchison’s World
-- The other piece of interest is Logan County Blues, a variation on the tune Spanish Fandango; it is played in open tuning and is a Hutchison ‘piece-de-resistance’. His picking makes the listener think it is a simple guitar solo – any would-be guitar player will tell you otherwise!--
Don


Darren. Nice playing! And great choice to put a blues in the totw.

Don,
Thanks for pointing out the connection to the branches on the Stagger Lee tree. I thought this tune sounded like a Mac Benford's (and therefore, Ed Haley's) rendition of Stack on his Half Past Four album. (And isn't Gadaya's site a treasure.)

banjoholic - Posted - 03/04/2011:  15:34:34


Great tune and great playing, Darren. That Enoch doesn't sound too shabby, either :)

Josh

ironworker - Posted - 03/04/2011:  18:51:17


excellent, kilby- ya'll nailed it for sure, and thanks for posting.
nice memory on mr.cockerham, gailg64- time for me to listen to a little Arthur Smith right now.

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