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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 3/16/2012 - Shootin' Creek

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J-Walk - Posted - 03/16/2012:  08:47:42

This is another one of those last-minute tune of the weeks. The scheduled contributor is under the weather, and we'll reschedule him later.

The tune I chose is "Shootin' Creek." It's a great little tune that's pretty easy to play. It's a short one, two parts, and four measures per part.

From Alan Jabour's notes that accompany the Henry Reed Collection at the Library of Congress:

Shooting Creek rises at the Blue Ridge, along the Floyd County-Franklin County line, and flows down the eastern flank of the mountain into Franklin County in the Virginia Piedmont. The hollow along Shooting Creek had a reputation for moonshining in the earlier twentieth century. Another tune entitled "Shooting Creek" has been recorded along the creek itself and in other locales in Virginia and West Virginia. Both strains of this tune end on the fifth degree; see Person, "A Collection of Popular Airs" (1889), p. 15, "Walk Around"; J. W. (Peg) Hatcher, Ferrum, Virginia, AFS 2740a2; Oscar Wright, Princeton, West Virginia, AFS 13034b19. Henry Reed's "Shooting Creek" is similar enough to be compared to the other tune, but different enough that it cannot be flatly called a variant. His two sets of "Shooting Creek" vary between themselves; this one ends by descending to a low D on the D-string in the second strain, while the other (AFS 13037b01) ends the second strain on a D on the A-string, an octave higher. The tune is of that simpler variety, lending itself to performance on the banjo, that seems especially popular with musicians along the Blue Ridge.

Some notable recordings:

  • Dwight Diller (on "Just Banjo '99)

  • Mark Traynham & Shay Garriock (on "Turkey in the Mountain") Video here.

  • Hollow Rock String Band (on "Hollow Rock Legacy")

  • Asha Slater (on "Old Time Banjo")

  • Pine Tree String Band (on "Country Mountain Favorites") I think this might actually be the Foghorn Stringband.

I found some tab at David Payne's site. It's so short, I just snagged it. I use some different fingerings, but get pretty much the same notes.


I'll try to post my own recording later.

Here's a great video of Bill Schmidt, playing it 3-finger style as it was tabbed in the January 2012 issue of Banjo Newsletter.



Edited by - J-Walk on 03/16/2012 08:56:50

VIDEO: Shootin' Creek
(click to view)


csbdr - Posted - 03/16/2012:  09:44:05

I like that one ! Do you have the lyrics I heard in the Traynham/Garriock video?

csbdr - Posted - 03/16/2012:  10:18:04

did find this... 


nice resource for old time music I hadn't run across before.

Edited by - csbdr on 03/16/2012 10:21:39

J-Walk - Posted - 03/16/2012:  10:32:02

I can't make out the lyrics in that video, but here are lyrics sung on Charlie Poole's recording of Shootin' Creek -- which is actually Cripple Creek, I think. Listen to it here:

Buy me a horse and make me a sled -
Nobody rides with Ida Red.
Ida Red she lives in town,
She weighs four hundred and forty pounds.

Going up Shootin’ Creek, going in a run,
Going up Shootin’ Creek, have a little fun.
Ida Red she’s a darned old fool -

She tried to put a saddle on a humpbacked mule.
Up the road and across the creek -
Can’t get a letter but once a week.

Going up Shootin’ Creek, going in a run,
Going up Shootin’ Creek, have a little fun.

Going up Shootin’ Creek, going in a run,
Take my razor and a Gatling gun.

Going up Shootin’ Creek, going in a run,
Going up Shootin’ Creek, have a little fun.


hendrid - Posted - 03/16/2012:  11:06:22

Thanks John interesting and nice selection.

Henry Reed has two versions. In the first one of his MP3s he starts off, stops almost half way through the tune and then plays one version then has a second MP3 version. Fiddlers companion has 3 versions and yes Cripple Creek seems to be in there also:

SHOOTIN' CREEK [1]. Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA; West Virginia, southwestern Virginia. D Major. ADae or Standard tunings. AB (Krassen, Silberberg): AABB (Brody): AA'BB' (Phillips). A popular and common tune in the Franklin/Floyd County area of southwestern Va. Alan Jabbour identifies Shooting Creek as a quick-flowing stream that rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Floyd/Franklin County line, and flows down eastwardly through Franklin County in the Virginia Piedmont. The hollow along the creek had a reputation as a locale for moonshining in the early 20th century; it was much favored by bootleggers and became notorious during Prohibition. See also note for "Cripple Creek." Joel Shimberg points out that Kentucky fiddler Manon Campbell’s “Coal Creek” is a close relative of this tune. Sources for notated versions: Oscar Wright (Princeton, Mercer County, West Virginia) [Krassen]; Bruce Reid [Silberberg]. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; pg. 255. Kaufman (Beginning Old Time Fiddle), 1977; pgs. 84‑85. Krassen (Masters of Old Time Fiddling), 1983; pg. 119. Person (A Collection of Popular Airs), 1889; pg. 15 (appears as “Walk Around”). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), Vol. 1, 1994; pg. 220. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; pg. 144. Flying Fish FF260, Jabbour, Thompson, and Bradley‑ "Sandy's Fancy." Library of Congress (AFS2740-A-2), 1939, J.W. Thatcher/Hatcher (Franklin County, Va.). Library of Congress (AFS 13034b19), Oscar Wright. Rounder 0010, "Fuzzy Mountain String Band" (1972. Learned from Oscar Wright, Princeton, W.Va.). Rounder 0057, Sam Connor (Copper Hill, Floyd County, Va.) ‑ "Old Originals, Vol. 1" (1978).

SHOOTIN' CREEK [2]. Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA, southwestern Virginia. D Major. Standard tuning. Alan Jabbour feels this version of the tune, from the playing of Henry Reed, “is similar enough to be compared to (Shooting Creek [1]), but different enough that it cannot be flatly called a variant.” He says it is of the simpler variety of tune popular with Blue Ridge area musicians, lending itself to performance on the banjo. Library of Congress (AFS 13037b01), Henry Reed.

SHOOTIN' CREEK [3]. Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA, North Carolina. Musically version #2 is not related to version #1, however, the title refers to the same Franklin County, Va., bootlegging area. Members of the famous string band Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers spent a good deal of time in the area between 1924 and 1931 and recorded a tune under the title. Joel Shimberg points out the the Ramblers’ “Shootin’ Creek” is really a version of “Cripple Creek.” Columbia 15286‑D (78 RPM), Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers (1928).

Edited by - hendrid on 03/16/2012 11:10:56

trapdoor2 - Posted - 03/16/2012:  11:31:18

About 4-5 weeks ago, I requested Shootin' Creek from a local fiddler (we were at our Tue jam) and he ripped right into it. Very enjoyable tune to jam on. After the jam, I thought, "I need to submit that one for TOTW on BHO".

Too late! big

mworden - Posted - 03/16/2012:  11:34:17

Nice tune.  Anyone recognize that little banjo Bill Schmidt is playing?  Sounds great.

vrteach - Posted - 03/16/2012:  11:59:16

ERRG! I don't have my banjo at work today!

Rollicking tune, makes my fingers itch.

trapdoor2 - Posted - 03/16/2012:  11:59:34


Originally posted by mworden

Nice tune.  Anyone recognize that little banjo Bill Schmidt is playing?  Sounds great.

 Looks like a Dobson to me...

RWJones1970 - Posted - 03/16/2012:  12:28:44

Sweet tune! I particularly love Dwight Diller's version on his JUST BANJO 99 album.

atleson - Posted - 03/16/2012:  12:32:00

in the video, Bill Schmidt is playing a special, limited Enoch Dobson.  Lovely playing and fine banjo.



RWJones1970 - Posted - 03/16/2012:  15:42:44

Bill's playing and his banjo.....both real sweet.

Julian44_4 - Posted - 03/17/2012:  03:05:19

Stephan Ward plays it on Dancing Home, also it is in Steve Parker's Clawhammer Banjo String Band Favorites.

Dent Wimmer and Sam Connor play it on Old Originals Vol 1.;v=18324

Tab by Gregg Shadel learned from Dwight Diller


Edited by - Julian44_4 on 03/17/2012 03:07:38

Shooting Creek


Helix - Posted - 03/17/2012:  03:18:14

I started studying Charlie Poole. I learned a lot in this thread. Keep going.

Beachbum Scott - Posted - 03/17/2012:  07:55:58

It's the "tune of the week" in the lessons I am taking!

The version we got is a little different but you can tell it's the same song, I'll have to share the lyrics with the class we didn't get those.

blockader - Posted - 03/17/2012:  08:05:33

haven't encountered this one before but i sure do like it! especially the Mark Traynham & Shay Garriock version above.


JanetB - Posted - 03/17/2012:  21:12:45

I like it, especially the Bill Schmidt video and will look it up in Banjo Newsletter.  It was joyful seeing Mac Traynham pick on the video.  We got to jam with him at Floyd, VA (actually the highlight of our Crooked Road trip).  He's a super luthier, too. 

Nice and interesting post, John.  You're getting me thinking about contributing something here one day.....

Don Borchelt - Posted - 03/18/2012:  18:15:55

I also thought Bill Schmidt's video was really great.  It looks like he is in double D tuning. Bill is playing Oscar Wright's Shooting Creek, which is also the tune that J-walk has tabbed above.  I got inspired to tinker with this when I got up this morning.  I have attached a video of what I worked out.  I went back to the recording of Wright that has been posted on the Slippery Hill website in order to work on it.  The banjo is tuned in open D (aDF#AD). I am playing this time without picks.  The Henry Reed tune called Shootin' Creek is significantly different.  You can compare the two:

Oscar Wright fiddling his Shootin' Creek

Henry Reed fiddling his Shootin' Creek

It sounds to me like Wright is actually fiddling this in the key of C, but it could be that he has his fiddle tuned down.

- Don Borchelt

VIDEO: Shootin' Creek
(click to view)


plunknplinkntwang - Posted - 03/19/2012:  15:30:13


Originally posted by Julian44_4

Dent Wimmer and Sam Connor play it on Old Originals Vol 1.;v=18324

Tab by Gregg Shadel learned from Dwight Diller


Dent Wimmers playing is a fascinating sound, it's a pity there isn't more available  as it provides a lovely contrast & compare between the West Virginia vs. North Caroliona styles .  But if you don't have that LP it's here

Once again many thanks to a BHO member in this case Gadaya [nous sommes endettés à vous] has sought out old LP's and shared what has become a lost resource



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