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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 11/18/11 - Peach Bottom Creek


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/220849

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/18/2011:  12:39:44



 


Today's Tune of the Week is Peach Bottom Creek, a short tune in D that comes to us from Wade Ward.  I first ran across it in a tablature collection (I can't recall which one) while searching for tunes to play in Open D tuning (f#DF#AD).  It caught my attention in part because of its eight-bar structure - as a relative beginner I often found that I could more easily get into the old-time rhythmic groove while playing shorter tunes like Cluck Old Hen, Cripple Creek, Shaking Down the Acorns, etc., than I could with longer tunes. After listening to some recordings and deciding that I liked it, I put Peach Bottom Creek on my "to learn" list.  It spent some time there and then on my "know it" list, but is currently on my "to refresh" list, since once learning it I didn't play it very often, mostly because, not playing any other tunes in Open D, I rarely re-tune to that tuning.  But when I do get around to it, I always enjoy playing Peach Bottom Creek.


 


As far as I can determine, all current versions of the tune can be traced back to Wade Ward. He was the first to record it, and the tune was closely associated with him during his lifetime.  Indeed, it was sometimes called Wade's Special.  He is occasionally referred to as the tune's author, but according to most sources Peach Bottom Creek is a traditional tune that Wade learned in his youth from his older brother Crockett.  Wade can claim credit for the title, however, which he took from the name of the creek that flowed through his farm just outside the town of Independence, in Grayson County, Virginia.  I don't know what name or names the tune might have had before Wade christened it Peach Bottom Creek, nor whether he forgot, never learned, or simply didn't like the earlier name.  Wade evidently thought the tune was of African-American heritage, but other than that bit of speculation little seems to be known of the tune before it entered Wade's repertoire.


 


Unlike much of the current old-time banjo repertoire, Peach Bottom Creek is considered to be a "pure banjo tune", not a fiddle tune adapted to the banjo.  It is not included in the online "Fiddler's Companion", nor in the handful of other fiddle tune collections I consulted.  I could find no fiddle-only versions online (YouTube, Hangout Archives, etc.), and only one banjo/fiddle duet version.  Nor have I yet come across a full band version of the tune, not even on the one CD released by the Colorado string band Peachbottom Creek, who took their name from the tune.


 


As far as I know, the first commercial recording of Peach Bottom Creek came in 1962, on the Folkways album "The Music of Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward" (folkways.si.edu/albumdetails.a...temid=210).  It was also included on the 1973 Folkways album "Uncle Wade", released as tribute two years after his death.  An earlier version, recorded in Wade's living room in 1958 by Peter Hoover, can be found on the 2007 Field Recorders Collective release "Wade Ward".


 


 


I know of only a few recent recording of the tune.



R.D. Lunceford included it on his 2001 "Drop Thumb" album:  elderly.com/recordings/items/CBM82498.htm


 


Mary Z. Cox and Lo Gordon play a banjo duet version on Mary's 2008 "Florida Banjo" album: maryzcox.com/music2.html .  According to Mary, she learned the tune from Lo, and he provided the tablature in the album's accompanying tab book.  A video of Lo performing the tune can be found on Mary's BanjoQuest blog site: banjoquest.blogspot.com/2008/1...oday.html


 


Allen Hart recorded a version with bones accompaniment, which can be found on his recent "Old Time Banjo" album: voyagerrecords.com/LN368.htm


 


 


There are three sound files of Peach Bottom Creek in the BHO music archives, including this two-finger style version by Chip Arnold: banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...#comments


 




I found four videos of the tune on YouTube; three solo banjo performances (for instance: youtube.com/watch?v=Gyb9V6xwFNQ) and one featuring banjo and guitar (youtube.com/watch?v=npsIKhyRMFE).


 


 


As noted above, the tune is named after Peach Bottom Creek in Grayson County, Virginia.  Photos of the creek itself (pbase.com/fuzzyone/image/3722741) and the surrounding landscape can be found in an online photo album at pbase.com/fuzzyone/sony_virgin...;page=all.




 


 


 


 


 


 


Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 11/18/2011 12:53:58

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 11/18/2011:  13:18:11



I first learned the tune as "Crockett's Favourite" from my brother-in-law who first showed me clawhammer. He played it both in D tuning as above and he also played it in A Major tuning (in the key of A) in a medley with another tune. Over time I stopped playing the D version because I didn't know any fiddlers who knew the tune and I'm lazy about re-tuning to do banjo solo tunes.



Try it in A sometime - it has a wonderful PING!! ! that really wakes up your ears.



I still don't know any fiddlers who play it. I'm thinking about moving it to G to see if I can get any bites.


blockader - Posted - 11/18/2011:  13:23:48



nice, thorough job!



-justin


jamesd - Posted - 11/18/2011:  16:24:37



Great selection.  I really like the sound of this tune and am now going to try playing it  myself.  I like Mary's playing of the tune..  Good tune of the week.


blanham - Posted - 11/18/2011:  16:50:15



Great choice, and excellent write-up!  I love the photo of the bridge over Peachbottom Creek; makes want to sit there and pick a tune.  Chip Arnold's beautiful version is my favorite one so far.  I'll practice up and post one myself soon.


carlb - Posted - 11/19/2011:  05:52:37



quote:


Originally posted by EggerRidgeBoy


Unlike much of the current old-time banjo repertoire, Peach Bottom Creek is considered to be a "pure banjo tune", not a fiddle tune adapted to the banjo.  It is not included in the online "Fiddler's Companion", nor in the handful of other fiddle tune collections I consulted.  I could find no fiddle-only versions online (YouTube, Hangout Archives, etc.), and only one banjo/fiddle duet version.





 Another fiddle-banjo duet version (Carl Baron and Bob Graffe) can be found at the very end of the WNRV archived file:



wnrvbluegrassradio.com/mp3/mms...62910.mp3


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/21/2011:  08:26:52



quote:


Originally posted by oldwoodchuckb




I first learned the tune as "Crockett's Favourite" from my brother-in-law who first showed me clawhammer. He played it both in D tuning as above and he also played it in A Major tuning (in the key of A) in a medley with another tune. Over time I stopped playing the D version because I didn't know any fiddlers who knew the tune and I'm lazy about re-tuning to do banjo solo tunes.



Try it in A sometime - it has a wonderful PING!! ! that really wakes up your ears.



I still don't know any fiddlers who play it. I'm thinking about moving it to G to see if I can get any bites.






 



That's interesting that you knew the tune as "Crockett's Favourite".   The fact that I could find no name for what is thought to be a traditional tune other than ones associated with Wade - "Wades's Special", "Peach Bottom Creek" and now "Crockett's Favourite" - might lead me to suspect that it was actually "written" by Crockett (who was 20 years older than Wade), if it weren't for that bit about Wade thinking it was of African-American heritage.



I'll have to try it in A - thanks for the suggestion.



 


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/21/2011:  08:44:14



quote:


Originally posted by carlb




quote:


Originally posted by EggerRidgeBoy



Unlike much of the current old-time banjo repertoire, Peach Bottom Creek is considered to be a "pure banjo tune", not a fiddle tune adapted to the banjo.  It is not included in the online "Fiddler's Companion", nor in the handful of other fiddle tune collections I consulted.  I could find no fiddle-only versions online (YouTube, Hangout Archives, etc.), and only one banjo/fiddle duet version.





 Another fiddle-banjo duet version (Carl Baron and Bob Graffe) can be found at the very end of the WNRV archived file:



wnrvbluegrassradio.com/mp3/mms...62910.mp3








Thanks for that link.  Is that the same performance as the one in the BHO archives ( banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...#comments )?  I'm on a very slow internet connection at the moment and can't download the whole WNRV file.  At any rate, I like your duet with Bob very much.



Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 11/21/2011 08:47:23

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/21/2011:  08:49:39



Thanks to all who replied.  I'm glad you enjoyed the tune.



I, too, like those photos of the creek and surrounding area - seems like a perfect place to play some old-time banjo.


blanham - Posted - 11/21/2011:  14:30:01



Wait a minute --- this TOTW ain't over 'til it's over.


jamesd - Posted - 11/21/2011:  14:36:33



Your  playing of Peachbottom is very fine sounding.   Great addition.


carlb - Posted - 11/21/2011:  15:40:17



quote:


Originally posted by EggerRidgeBoy



Thanks for that link.  Is that the same performance as the one in the BHO archives ( banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...#comments )?  I'm on a very slow internet connection at the moment and can't download the whole WNRV file.  At any rate, I like your duet with Bob very much.




 Yes, that's it.


J-Walk - Posted - 11/21/2011:  16:00:41



Hey blanham, great job.  



Do you play fretless too? If not, you should. You've got all of the moves.


blanham - Posted - 11/21/2011:  17:42:41



Hey, thanks James and J-Walk!  I tried a fretless once or twice, and they really are fun, and not too hard to get used to; but I don't actually own one (yet).


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/22/2011:  09:00:59



quote:


Originally posted by blanham




Wait a minute --- this TOTW ain't over 'til it's over.






Didn't mean to imply that it was over -  it's just that once I had responded to one post I wanted to respond to them all. 



Thanks for your addition to the "Peach Bottom Creek" library; I enjoyed it very much.



Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 11/22/2011 09:09:33

RG - Posted - 11/22/2011:  13:44:50



Haven't played this one in a while, Blanham's great version got it in my head again and it just fell into a natural 2 finger index lead style...although it still needs a lot of work!  Great TOTW pick, thanks for this one...




Peach Bottom Creek

   

Clawdan - Posted - 11/23/2011:  07:37:33



Yes, it is a great tune. It is included in my shortly to be released book "Wade Ward Clawhammer Banjo Master" (Mel Bay 22243) which I just completed along with co-author Bob Carlin. We saw the last proof last week and it should be out by month's end. I hope to get a pre-order form up as soon as we get a better release date.



Play Nice,

Dan

Clawdan.com

 


banjo bill-e - Posted - 11/23/2011:  11:01:06


Great TOTW, good job ERB. The version by blanham has inspired me to learn this one, this is my kind of banjo tune.

neillconnor - Posted - 11/24/2011:  01:02:44


Is there a claw hammer tab anywhere?

neillconnor - Posted - 11/24/2011:  01:10:39


Is there a claw hammer tab anywhere?

blanham - Posted - 11/24/2011:  03:31:12



Here is a tab I made, based on the recording on "The Music of Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward."  The little 3-4 slide (the first note in each of the first 3 measures) was optional for Wade Ward; I've heard other recordings where he just plays the 4th fret without sliding into it ... and if you can play it 10 times faster than I did, you'll begin to sound like Wade Ward. smiley



Edited by - blanham on 11/24/2011 03:33:42



Peachbottom Creek Tab

   

jamesd - Posted - 11/24/2011:  05:05:56



Blanham, thanks for the tab, this is the second tune I have gotten from you, many thanks.....................James


neillconnor - Posted - 11/24/2011:  09:07:24


Cheers blanham for putting the tab up, I'll have a go at that

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/25/2011:  12:54:13



Thanks to all for the responses, new recordings, and tabs!


BAZ - Posted - 12/01/2011:  09:36:23



I know this is a late reply, but I absolutely love this tune! I learned it from Mary's tab book after watching Lo play in a video on Mary's web site. Once I learned it, I couldn't stop! Unfortunately, it's the only one I know in that tuning so I don't get around to it very often. Today seems like good day to pick it up again! Great choice for TOTW!


cmic - Posted - 12/01/2011:  09:55:49



@BAZ 



In the same tuning f#DF#AD, you could play "In the pines".

This what I've just done before this TOTW pops up.



Cheers


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