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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tune of the Week 12/23/11: Waiting For Nancy


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/223839

J-Walk - Posted - 12/25/2011:  16:57:31



Another TOTW no-show, so I'm doing a quick and dirty TOTW post. It's a fun "new old-time" tune called Waiting For Nancy. Written by Curt Bouterse  (who also wrote the equally popular Nixon's Farewell)



It's a catchy tune, key of D, fairly easy to play. 



Here's Curt's recording at CD Baby: cdbaby.com/cd/boutersewebb



There are lots of YouTube videos of this tune, plus four at the Banjo Hangout. I couldn't find any tabs, but put your banjo in Double D tuning, start at the 5th fret on the first string, and figure out it from there.


Clawdan - Posted - 12/25/2011:  17:14:38



Great pick JW. Interestin story from Curt when I (and others) have asked over the years why he didn't record it earlier, he said he didn't want to be seen as playing it a "right" way when so many others (including my Boiled Buzzards) had recorded it as they felt it over the years. Glad he finally put it down and nope, that won't stop me from my interpretation of the tune.



Play Nice this Christmas Day,

Dan

Clawdan.com


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 12/25/2011:  17:24:41



A good tune that I always enjoy playing.



A few years ago, when I was often babysitting the two young sons of my good friend Nancy, I would sometimes pull out my banjo to distract them when they got restless and eager for her to return home.  The first time I did so I played "Waiting for Nancy", and after telling them the title I asked them if they knew why I was playing it- they were young enough that the connection didn't quite register until I renamed it "Waiting for Mommy".  That name still sometimes pops into my head when I play the tune. 



I think I learned it from Ken Perlman's "Clawhammer Style Banjo".  At that time its authorship wasn't as widely known - the player whose version appears in Ken's book (whose name I can't recall at the moment) mentioned that it came from somewhere in southern California, and asked "will the guilty party please stand up?"  I didn't realize for awhile that Curt - who I knew of from the Hangout - had written it.



 



Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 12/25/2011 17:29:11

UncleClawhammer - Posted - 12/25/2011:  17:45:19


I'm so sorry I forgot.

Bisbonian - Posted - 12/25/2011:  18:09:22



Skeeter and the Skidmarks apparently give credit to Bob Carlin.


J-Walk - Posted - 12/25/2011:  18:42:40



No problemo, UncleClawhammer. There's always next time!


blanham - Posted - 12/25/2011:  21:16:56



Nice choice, and interesting background information.  What year did Curt write "Waiting for Nancy"?   I wonder if the tune's name was influenced by "Waiting for Vassar", by David Grisman?



I really like Donald Zepp's playing on it:



zeppmusic.com/MP3/waiting_for_...e_080.mp3


Clawdan - Posted - 12/26/2011:  05:49:21



Actually, Egger, I believe the tab was in Bob Carlin's book (not kp's) "Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo" which is again available. Bob played it on "Where Did You Get That Hat" (currently out of print) in a duet with Tony Trishka if memory serves. 



Somewhere around here I have a copy of Curt's original book (courtesy of Curt) and if I can find it I'll let you know when he published it. 'course, he may do that himself.



Remember to ask him for a copy of it John!



Play nice,

Dan

Clawdan.com


janolov - Posted - 12/26/2011:  06:43:02



I think J-Walk makes excellent choices of TOTW, when he puts in these extra TOTWs when people forget their undertakings. 



I think Waiting for Nancy is a really good choice. Curt Bouterse  plays an up-picking style so I wonder how he plays it. I must absolutely by the CD. Curt is a member of BHO so I hope he will post some own comments about the tune.



The tab in Ken Perlman's book was an arrangement by Molly Tennenbaum. Interesting is that Ken never mention that it is a composition of Curt Bouterse, he only tells it's an arrangement by Molly T. I think a lot of people think it is a traditional tune and never thinks it was composed less than 40 years ago. But that is a problem with all Curt's tunes - they just sound so traditional.



Tom Joad has posted a tab on his site: homepage.ntlworld.com/drcce200...ytab.html . It may help  to learn the tune.



 


hweinberg - Posted - 12/26/2011:  07:25:16


A great tune that feels like it's got such deep roots that Curt often doesn't get the credit. Another example of that irony is Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar where I have found that European players often assume that it's an old tune. Any other examples? Howard

J-Walk - Posted - 12/26/2011:  09:49:15



At Curt's web site, he has a list of recordings of Waiting for Nancy (plus Nixon's Farewell):



home.earthlink.net/~curt_bouterse/id5.html


oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 12/26/2011:  12:01:24



Waiting For Nancy Almost ended up in my 1980 book "10 Cents a Dance". I had collected it from the same source as Ken Perlman had - Molly Tennenbaum. I had it transcribed as Molly's Tune because I had failed to even get a title from her. When I found out Ken was publishing the same tune under the title Waiting For Nancy  I quickly substituted another tune I had transcribed from Molly - a Round Peaky version of Sally Anne. I don't think any of us (Molly, Ken, and definitely not me) were aware of Curt Bouterse at the time. Molly simply described it to me as a popular tune on the west coast. It was a few years later when my friend Alan Julich acquired it as a Curt Bouterse tune and re-taught it to me.



I also removed Ray Andrews Meadowlands from my book because it was in Ken's Clawhammer Style Banjo but I didn't find out we had both done Rick Good's Tomorrow Is Another Day until after both books were published.


J-Walk - Posted - 12/26/2011:  12:28:41



I've always played this tune in Double D tuning, but today I tried it on my Bowlin, tuned dADF#A. It's still in the key of D, but this tuning has the same intervals as standard G tuning. It works out very well in this tuning. It's hardly audible, but I'm playing along with ZEPP's recording (pitch-shifted to put it in D, and slowed down a tad).



 




VIDEO: Waiting For Nancy
(click to view)

   

cbcarlisle - Posted - 12/26/2011:  13:05:02



I suppose it would be rude, or falsely modest, for me to ignore this thread, under the circumstances. Firstly, I am honored, and a little surprised, as I always am when I hear people playing this tune. Secondly, I Still don't want my 'druthers to stifle anyone else's exercise of the folk process.



To answer some of the questions which always arise: this tune was put together in about half an hour while actually waiting for a Nancy to show up for an appointment. She Said her car broke down - and I never had reason to doubt her - even though things didn't pan out the way I hoped. It was made, and played long enough for a distant group to have learned it, sans name, before I published my booklet "in the year of the independence of these United States, the 203rd." And I never heard of Waiting for Vassar. Coincidence, or conspiracy? You be the judge. [Actually, thanks to Google, there is a Waiting for Nancy by the guitarist, David Hodge. Whole 'nother thing.]



While I'm at it (in for a penny, in for a pound) I may as well proffer my thoughts on the tune's journey. In the earliest variations the strains were reversed so the low part ("Coarse") came first; this predilection is regional and common, though recently I haven't heard it played this way. More interesting to me is the change in the melody and, hence, the harmony. I play the opening of the "Fine" strain melody: 65,65,65,1-, etc., whereas the common, modern sequence is: 65,65,65,2-, which implies different chords. [Of course, in my original, Old-Time conception of the tune, there Are No Chords.] And my original "B" part (low, coarse) began: low5, flat7,1, 2-, 2-, etc., which has been replaced by: flat7, 2, 3, 43, 2-, etc. Thus, the subtonic (flat7th) chord, which seems most characteristic of the tune in its modern guise, has been introduced by the Folk. I suspect it was under the influence of contra-dancing, where it is a frequent choice. To me, it sounds much more "modern" than the original [but not authoritative, I hasten to add] version. So, we have, in the span of thirty-odd years, two separate traditions which may, in the course of time evolve into two different tunes.



Curt Bouterse



[I do still have copies of my booklet, "Nixon's Farewell & Ten Other Newly Made Old Time Banjer Tunes in Traditional Style..." if you contact me offline.]



 


hweinberg - Posted - 12/26/2011:  15:40:22


quote:
Originally posted by J-Walk


I've always played this tune in Double D tuning, but today I tried it on my Bowlin, tuned dADF#A. It's still in the key of D, but this tuning has the same intervals as standard G tuning. It works out very well in this tuning. It's hardly audible, but I'm playing along with ZEPP's recording (pitch-shifted to put it in D, and slowed down a tad).



 




hweinberg - Posted - 12/26/2011:  15:44:30


Nice with lower D-tuning. Moves the minor down to low strings. Easy to do solo in G or A that way to include in a G or A medley. Thanks JWalk. Howard

J-Walk - Posted - 12/26/2011:  15:50:54



Speaking of medleys, I found at least four recordings that include "Waiting For Nancy" in a medley with "Sadie At The Backdoor". Those two go very well together.


BANJOJUDY - Posted - 12/26/2011:  16:29:19



We usually play Waiting For Nancy as a medley with Sadie at the Backdoor in ABQ, J-Walk.  Anyone in other parts of the USA doing that medley, too?



A few days ago we had a visit from a banjo player from southern New Mexico, about 3 hours from Albuquerque.  We were playing a lot of tunes and he suggested Waiting For Nancy.  I hadn't played it in a long time, and then, after he left, I couldn't stop playing it.  



Funny how things go in spurts for me.  First he played it, then I couldn't stop playing it, and now here it is as a TOTW, complete with the history.  Great job, John and the rest of you.  



Judy



 


ZEPP - Posted - 12/26/2011:  16:47:30



Not necessarily as a medley, but the one tune often leads to the other, hereabouts...



Cheers,

ZEPP


J-Walk - Posted - 12/26/2011:  16:50:41



Curt, thanks for checking in on this tune. I have no idea what that " 65,65,65,2-" stuff means, but maybe you'll explain it when you're in Tucson.



And please bring a booklet for me. I'll trade you an Excel book. Mine has a lot more pages, but it's boring as hell.


ZEPP - Posted - 12/26/2011:  17:08:49



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk




put your banjo in Double D tuning, start at the 5th fret on the first string, and figure out it from there.






Funny you should mention that, J-Walk, but this is the first tune I usually use when trying to wean folks off tab.  I play it, have them play it, and  then repeat the process.  Most folks are amazed that they can learn a tune "by ear"!



Cheers,

ZEPP


LooavulBanjo - Posted - 12/27/2011:  15:20:46



This is a question for Curt (if he's still lurking) or anyone else that may know...



How do you correctly pronounce Curt's last name?



I've dinged up some people's names in the past and I want to make sure to get it right. enlightened



Edited by - LooavulBanjo on 12/27/2011 15:22:39

Clawdan - Posted - 12/28/2011:  08:06:50



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk




Curt, thanks for checking in on this tune. I have no idea what that " 65,65,65,2-" stuff means, but maybe you'll explain it when you're in Tucson.



And please bring a booklet for me. I'll trade you an Excel book. Mine has a lot more pages, but it's boring as hell.






Note of the scale. 1 is key tonic, 6 would be the 6th note of that scale, 5 the 5th. Number notation is a way of writing music in the Chinese tradition (for one) which allows you to play a tune in any key without having to "transpose" written music. Hence in double D 65 would be B A which with the first string tuned to E would be 7 5  for the fret tab.



Hi Curt!



Play nice,

Dan

Clawdan.com



ps, as to the Nancy - Sadie medley, I know it was a regular transition we did with my Boiled Buzzards band and we did record it that way on Early Bird Special back in 1993 and had been playing at the dances since around 88. According to many other sources over the years, our cds were influential to many current musicians.

 



Edited by - Clawdan on 12/28/2011 08:12:56

janolov - Posted - 12/28/2011:  08:22:40



quote:


Originally posted by LooavulBanjo




This is a question for Curt (if he's still lurking) or anyone else that may know...



How do you correctly pronounce Curt's last name?



I've dinged up some people's names in the past and I want to make sure to get it right. bɑutərsəenlightened






 Until Curt shows up I will give my interpretation. Bouterse is a Dutch name and in Holland it would be pronunced like: "bɑutərsə", I think.


J-Walk - Posted - 12/28/2011:  10:02:04



bɑutərsə



Would that be baw-ter-suh, with the accent on the second syllable?


vrteach - Posted - 12/28/2011:  16:02:02



I've played along with this tune a few times but never solo.



But here I am "waiting for Margie" and I have banjo, computer, and microphone so I recorded a version.



Edited by - vrteach on 12/28/2011 16:07:22



Waiting for Nancy

   

cbcarlisle - Posted - 12/28/2011:  17:05:06





 



bɑutərsə



Would that be baw-ter-suh, with the accent on the second syllable?   



________________________________________________________



Pretty much ,only usually accented on the first. (There's a lengthy discussion on my site somewhere.) Short version: the last syllable got lost crossing the Atlantic. My father always said, "bout as in boxing" and "terse." [There are branches of the family who accent the second syllable, as well as those who gave in to the common perception of it being a French name and pronounce it "boo-Terz."]


LooavulBanjo - Posted - 12/28/2011:  17:39:50


Thanks for the reply...and the interesting history.

ELWOOD - Posted - 12/28/2011:  19:39:46


I like the tune,and the Author is an excellent speller. Literacy and banjo playing is a fine set of skills. (smile)

ZEPP - Posted - 12/28/2011:  20:17:47



quote:


Originally posted by J-Walk




Curt, thanks for checking in on this tune. I have no idea what that " 65,65,65,2-" stuff means






As Curt has not chimed in, I'll point out that his "65, 65, " etc. refers to the melody by steps of the major scale, while the commas delineate measures in 2/4.  Curt has dropped the usual pickup note (5, which would be an A in the key of D or an F# in the key of B where Curt recorded it), so it could be written 5,65,65,65, etc.



Having read your comments, Curt, I went back and listened to your version (sorry, I learned the tune from local friends, and had no idea  that I had stolen it, much less that it had mutated); I'll be sure to add your notes to my playing, henceforth.



Oh, BTW, I would hasten to add that when I discovered some time ago that I had unwittingly pilfered the tune from him, Curt most graciously gave me after-the-fact permission to leave my version posted on my website and on YouTube.  Thanks again, Curt.



Cheers,

ZEPP


cbcarlisle - Posted - 12/29/2011:  08:35:38



Now, Zepp. This is just what I was trying to avoid. This tune has been on its own for 35 years and is old enough to vote and raise a family.  Being aware of another version (of Any tune) doesn't mean you have to play it other than Your way.


ZEPP - Posted - 12/29/2011:  09:20:06



Not to worry, Curt, I certainly wouldn't stop playing what I already know; I've just added a few more variations, is all.  Hell, I already can't play anything  the same way twice, and I surely don't try to play anything note-for-note.  



While I generally try not to incorporate other players' stuff into my own consciously (how does one avoid the subconscious?),  I do like to acknowledge a nice phase or lick now and again!



Cheers,

ZEPP


Don Borchelt - Posted - 12/29/2011:  20:00:59



Well, it's a fine tune.


LEUllman - Posted - 12/29/2011:  21:02:03



quote:


Originally posted by BANJOJUDY




We usually play Waiting For Nancy as a medley with Sadie at the Backdoor in ABQ, J-Walk.  Anyone in other parts of the USA doing that medley, too?



A few days ago we had a visit from a banjo player from southern New Mexico, about 3 hours from Albuquerque.  We were playing a lot of tunes and he suggested Waiting For Nancy.  I hadn't played it in a long time, and then, after he left, I couldn't stop playing it.  



Funny how things go in spurts for me.  First he played it, then I couldn't stop playing it, and now here it is as a TOTW, complete with the history.  Great job, John and the rest of you.  



Judy



 






 



At last night's jam in Santa Barbara, Waiting for Nancy led to another great new-oldtime tune, Valley Forge. Did Curt write that one, too?


J-Walk - Posted - 01/01/2012:  16:39:21



From the horse's mouth.



 




VIDEO: Curt Bouterse Name Pronunciation
(click to view)

   

LooavulBanjo - Posted - 01/01/2012:  16:53:06


Haha...That is great! Thanks for sharing.

wormpicker - Posted - 01/01/2012:  18:33:26



Great fun jamming with Curt today at Casa del J-Walk!  We even played Waiting for Nancy.  Then Curt played his version, solo, on his fretless.  But he got it all wrong--I don't know who he must've learned it from!



Paul


J-Walk - Posted - 01/01/2012:  19:46:20



Sometimes we (or at least I) forget that there are lots of different styles of banjo experts. Curt, of course, qualifies as one. But he's not an old time jammer. He certainly held his own while we played our tunes, but that's not his forte.



He played a few solo tunes on his primitive banjos, and they were great. But the highlight of the day was as they were leaving. He and his sister sang a goodbye song, acapella. Some shape note thing (which I know nothing about). But it sent shivers up my spine. Absolutely awesome.



It was a perfectly splendid 4 hours, and I'm really pleased (amazed, actually) that he took the time to look me up and stop by.  



He had some great stories, and revealed that he's learning Chinese. So I traded him an Excel book (in Chinese) for a copy of his little "Nixon's Farewell" booklet. 




J-Walk - Posted - 01/01/2012:  20:09:10



Some banjos on the couch, waiting to be played.



 




J-Walk - Posted - 01/01/2012:  20:10:45



And some more:



 




Bisbonian - Posted - 01/01/2012:  20:29:43



Finally, the definitive pronunciation!



 



I'd sure like to peruse that booklet on Friday.  Oh, and give you back your bridge (it was in my gig bag today!)



Edited by - Bisbonian on 01/01/2012 20:30:53

cbcarlisle - Posted - 01/01/2012:  22:55:23



Thanks to all! Lots of fun.



Curt


cbcarlisle - Posted - 01/03/2012:  10:52:39



For those who expressed interest in the booklet, send $20 (US, Canadian, or genuine Confederate) to PO Box 84025, San Diego CA 92138.


ELWOOD - Posted - 01/04/2012:  07:50:43



Most interesting tune of the week. This Curt Bouterse is a real original banjo tune author ,who has jumped the void into Banjo Standard History.

I can only hope I've spelled every thing properly,standing in the face of this huge presence!

I like that Pony Tail.



Edited by - ELWOOD on 01/04/2012 07:52:38



   

strokestyle - Posted - 01/04/2012:  08:51:30



Some banjos on the couch, waiting to be played.



 





 



 



I hope "Nuts" looks in on this photo. He got me out of bed the other night saying I needed to look at something. When I approached he was looking at the couch full of banjo's and one in a laundry basket on the coffee table. Asked me if we had an infestation. Now I can say no, just a normal outlay of banjo's waiting to be played.


cbcarlisle - Posted - 01/04/2012:  17:26:45



Waiting for Nancy led to another great new-oldtime tune, Valley Forge. Did Curt write that one, too?



 



Come on, guys. I can't be blamed for ALL the new old-time tunes... Hank Bradley started before I did.


ZEPP - Posted - 01/06/2012:  14:20:04



As threatened, I did a little mixing and matching of WfN as I learned it from local friends and from Curt's recording of it (and did a bit of experimenting--in consequence,  I did also get colossally lost at least three times, but what the hey?).



For those who might care, it's an Ome Flora with a 12-inch wooden tone rim, tuned aCGCD and capoed 2 to be aDADE.  More can be seen at zeppmusic.com/Ome/Flora_9l1118...11802.htm



Cheers,

ZEPP 




VIDEO: Waiting for Nancy on an Ome Flora
(click to view)

   

Nuts - Posted - 01/09/2012:  08:47:48



quote:


Originally posted by strokestyle




Some banjos on the couch, waiting to be played.



 





 



 



I hope "Nuts" looks in on this photo. He got me out of bed the other night saying I needed to look at something. When I approached he was looking at the couch full of banjo's and one in a laundry basket on the coffee table. Asked me if we had an infestation. Now I can say no, just a normal outlay of banjo's waiting to be played.






 



Hmmm, if there is one under the couch, it could be an infestation. Check in the bedroom to be sure, they can spread quickly!


ELWOOD - Posted - 01/15/2012:  16:25:05


I can not be held to the fire on this , But I hear that Curt( Some times spelled Kurt) Did author "Valley Forge" and supplied the beer to the author of "Ashocan Farewell"
This resulted in yet an other(sic) modern classic that propelled Ken Burns into PBS Fame.

I am just astounded. ............................................ELWOOD

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