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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 5/20/11: Ed Weaver's Cluck Old Hen


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/207077

J-Walk - Posted - 05/20/2011:  09:30:20



You may recall that Cluck Old Hen was a TOTW last year, presented by Adam Kiesling. This is not a re-run.



This week's selection is a completely different tune that (unfortunately) has the same name as the commonly-played Cluck Old Hen. It's not modal. It's just a straightforward little fiddle tune in G that is easy to get stuck in your brain. 



Background





I first heard this tune last year at an Arthritis Brothers jam. We were playing in G, and a fellow by the name of Roger started playing it on the fiddle. I tried to fake my way through it with moderate success. I really liked the tune, and the next day I ordered a CD (#1, below)  so I could actually learn it. I haven't seen Roger since then, but when we meet up again, I'll be ready.



The Fiddler's Companion calls this tune Cluck Old Hen [6]:




Source for notated version: fiddler Ed Weaver and banjo player Pug Allen (Augusta County, Virginia), via Clare Milliner [Lamancuso]. Mudthumper Music MM-0030, Clare Milliner and Walt Koken – “Just Tunes.” Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Ed Weaver & L.G. “Pug” Allen (et al) – “Far in the Mountains: Volumes 1 & 2” (2002).




Recordings





1. The most accessible version of this tune is on the "Just Tunes" album, by Clare Milliner & Walt Koken. It's not one of those albums that you can buy and download, so you need to find a place the sells it (e.g.,  Elderly),  pay up, and wait for the mailman to bring it to your door. But it's worth the inconvenience.



2. Unless she learned it directly and in-person, Clare's source fo the tune is probably the recording by Weaver and Allen on an album called  "Far in the Mountains". From the liner notes:




(Played on the fiddle by Edward Weaver and the banjo by L.G.'Pug' Allen, at Edward's home in Stuarts Draft, Augusta County, VA.  17.8.80). Ed Weaver played this unusual variant of an otherwise common tune on a beautiful home-made fiddle.  He knew the following three verses:





Cluck old hen, you'd better cluck,

Hawk's gonna eat your chickens up.



Some lays one, some lays two,

Some lays 'nough for the whole darn crew.



Good, old hen, good old hen,

You lay eggs for the railroad men.




Notice that the tune is referred to as an "unusual variant." I guess it's a matter of opinion. I don't see any commonalities at all between this version and the traditional version of Cluck Old Hen -- except the lyrics, of course.



3. Jeff Goehring plays this tune on a  CD released in 2007 (Field Recorder's Collective 601). I haven't heard this version. Mercifully, Jeff calls it "Ed Weaver's Cluck Old Hen."



Downloads





Here's the fiddle music notation in a PDF file



From that Old Time Banjo Tabs site, some banjo tab by Maya Whitmont, and an MP3 recording (I think it's Greg Canote on fiddle).



Solo banjo version by FukudaBanjo (or, direct link to the MP3).  Obviously, he learned it from Clare Milliner's fiddling, since the variations are virtually note-for-note.



I was going to make a recording and post it, but I saw no point in doing so after listening to the FukudaBanjo file. Maybe I'll change my mind and post an MP3 later in the week.



It's possible that other versions exist, but it's impossible to find them. I hereby propose that we follow Jeff Goehring's lead and refer to this tune as "Ed Weaver's Cluck Old Hen." All in favor, say aye.



Learning It





If you want to learn this tune, I'd suggest the recording by Milliner & Koken. It's a two-part tune, played AAABB. Clare plays a different variation for each of three repeats of the A part, and these variations are exactly the same each time through.



This is a good tune to learn by ear. It's fairly simple, and figuring out an efficient way to play the B part up the neck is a good exercise. It's OK as a solo banjo tune, but I think it works best with a fiddler.



The way, the "Far In the Mountains" recording by Weaver & Allen starts on the B part, and the A part is played either three or four times. It ends with a shave and a haircut. But since this is the original source, it's probably more accurate to say that Clare and Walt have the parts reversed on the recording. But who knows? The tune is also listed in The Milliner - Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes book, and the music starts out with the B part -- which may actually be the A part... Ah, never mind. Just play it.



So that's it. Enjoy!



(Thanks to John Beland for valuable assistance with the TOTW)


stevel - Posted - 05/20/2011:  09:47:38



One of the fiddlers at a local jam i attend called this one out recently... i specifically remember the AAABB pattern.... and it was different from the normal Cluck Old Hen that we normally would play in aEADE.



even though I was in gEADE tuning, it wasn't that hard to figure out. 



thx for the history j-walk.



 


vrteach - Posted - 05/20/2011:  10:06:46





I hereby propose that we follow Jeff Goehring's lead and refer to this tune as "Ed Weaver's Cluck Old Hen." All in favor, say aye.




Aye



Pleasant tune, it reminds me of something but I can't think what.


gailg64 - Posted - 05/20/2011:  11:50:00



Great tune & Clare & Walt have really brought out its beauty. If you'd like to hear the original in all its rough hewn glory, I have a copy of the Ed Weaver - Pug Allen recording & will put it on my music page. By the way, the style banjo sounds like 2-finger --not clawhammer.


​G


 


quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk




You may recall that Cluck Old Hen was a TOTW last year, presented by Adam Kiesling. This is not a re-run.



This week's selection is a completely different tune that (unfortunately) has the same name as the commonly-played Cluck Old Hen. It's not modal. It's just a straightforward little fiddle tune in G that is easy to get stuck in your brain. 



Background





I first heard this tune last year at an Arthritis Brothers jam. We were playing in G, and a fellow by the name of Roger started playing it on the fiddle. I tried to fake my way through it with moderate success. I really liked the tune, and the next day I ordered a CD (#1, below)  so I could actually learn it. I haven't seen Roger since then, but when we meet up again, I'll be ready.



The Fiddler's Companion calls this tune Cluck Old Hen [6]:




Source for notated version: fiddler Ed Weaver and banjo player Pug Allen (Augusta County, Virginia), via Clare Milliner [Lamancuso]. Mudthumper Music MM-0030, Clare Milliner and Walt Koken – “Just Tunes.” Musical Traditions MTCD321-2, Ed Weaver & L.G. “Pug” Allen (et al) – “Far in the Mountains: Volumes 1 & 2” (2002).




Recordings





1. The most accessible version of this tune is on the "Just Tunes" album, by Clare Milliner & Walt Koken. It's not one of those albums that you can buy and download, so you need to find a place the sells it (e.g.,  Elderly),  pay up, and wait for the mailman to bring it to your door. But it's worth the inconvenience.



2. Unless she learned it directly and in-person, Clare's source fo the tune is probably the recording by Weaver and Allen on an album called  "Far in the Mountains". From the liner notes:




(Played on the fiddle by Edward Weaver and the banjo by L.G.'Pug' Allen, at Edward's home in Stuarts Draft, Augusta County, VA.  17.8.80). Ed Weaver played this unusual variant of an otherwise common tune on a beautiful home-made fiddle.  He knew the following three verses:





Cluck old hen, you'd better cluck,

Hawk's gonna eat your chickens up.



Some lays one, some lays two,

Some lays 'nough for the whole darn crew.



Good, old hen, good old hen,

You lay eggs for the railroad men.




Notice that the tune is referred to as an "unusual variant." I guess it's a matter of opinion. I don't see any commonalities at all between this version and the traditional version of Cluck Old Hen -- except the lyrics, of course.



3. Jeff Goehring plays this tune on a  CD released in 2007 (Field Recorder's Collective 601). I haven't heard this version. Mercifully, Jeff calls it "Ed Weaver's Cluck Old Hen."



Downloads





Here's the fiddle music notation in a PDF file



From that Old Time Banjo Tabs site, some banjo tab by Maya Whitmont, and an MP3 recording (I think it's Greg Canote on fiddle).



Solo banjo version by FukudaBanjo (or, direct link to the MP3).  Obviously, he learned it from Clare Milliner's fiddling, since the variations are virtually note-for-note.



I was going to make a recording and post it, but I saw no point in doing so after listening to the FukudaBanjo file. Maybe I'll change my mind and post an MP3 later in the week.



It's possible that other versions exist, but it's impossible to find them. I hereby propose that we follow Jeff Goehring's lead and refer to this tune as "Ed Weaver's Cluck Old Hen." All in favor, say aye.



Learning It





If you want to learn this tune, I'd suggest the recording by Milliner & Koken. It's a two-part tune, played AAABB. Clare plays a different variation for each of three repeats of the A part, and these variations are exactly the same each time through.



This is a good tune to learn by ear. It's fairly simple, and figuring out an efficient way to play the B part up the neck is a good exercise. It's OK as a solo banjo tune, but I think it works best with a fiddler.



The way, the "Far In the Mountains" recording by Weaver & Allen starts on the B part, and the A part is played either three or four times. It ends with a shave and a haircut. But since this is the original source, it's probably more accurate to say that Clare and Walt have the parts reversed on the recording. But who knows? The tune is also listed in The Milliner - Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes book, and the music starts out with the B part -- which may actually be the A part... Ah, never mind. Just play it.



So that's it. Enjoy!



(Thanks to John Beland for valuable assistance with the TOTW)






 


Castania - Posted - 05/20/2011:  18:45:28



J-Walk



Thanks for this one; I really like it.  It's not fancy, but it's intricate and very pleasant.



Still, I think I've heard it -- maybe just a snippet of it -- from a tune with another name:  are there any other names/tags floating about?



Ken



 


AZJohnB - Posted - 06/03/2011:  09:22:57



The June 2011 has tabs for 10 renditions fo the other Cluck old Hen.  Or should it be Cluck Old Hen's?   No mention of this one.


AZJohnB - Posted - 06/03/2011:  09:24:01



Oops, Make that   



"the June 2011 Banjo Newsletter "


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