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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 9/28/12 -- Texas/New Castle


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/245990

mworden - Posted - 09/28/2012:  07:19:29



 



For this week’s tune I’ve chosen the tune Texas also known as New Castle.  This spare, crooked, and beautifully haunting melody comes to us from the fiddling of Henry Reedhenryreed.org/"> henryreed.org/.





Henry Reed apparently learned the tune from someone named Drummond or Drummonds.



 



The Fiddler’s Companion website provides this information:



TEXAS. AKA – “New Castle.” Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA; Virginia, West Virginia. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning. AB (Silberberg): AABB (Phillips). A ‘crooked’ tune (the first strain always has 17 beats, the second has 13) from fiddler Henry Reed, of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Alan Jabbour dubbed it “Texas” because Reed told him he had no name for it but learned it from ‘a fellow either going to Texas or from Texas’. At some point Reed told Jabbour the man who played the tune was a Mr. Drummond(s). The tune was popularized under the title “Texas” by Jabbour through his playing with the Hollow Rock String Band. However, when the folklorist later visited Reed the old fiddler said “with certainty” that the correct title was "New Castle," referring to the county seat of Craig County, Virginia (it should also be noted that it is said that New Castle is the seat of a county in Texas). Jabbour believes he may have misheard or misunderstood the “Texas” title. Fiddler Bertram Levy played the tune as “The Road to Texas,” perhaps after Jabbour’s title. See also West Virginia fiddler Melvin Wine’s distanced but recognizable variant “Charleston Girls.” Another West Virginia version is an untitled variant learned by fiddler and bagpiper Frank George from his grandfather. Folklorist Gerald Milnes says West Virginia variants were played only along the southern border and in the south central portion of the state. Most versions are in mixolydian or sometimes dorian: Reed himself played it with a natural 7th note (G) and with a third falling between the natural and sharp. Versions exist that are ‘folk processed’ and distanced from the Henry Reed version. Some of these altered versions stem from the Sweets Mill, California, old time musicians who reworked (intentionally or not) the tune from a Henry Reed tape brought back in the early 1970’s (Jack Aldrich).




There are two of Alan Jabbour’s original field recordings of this tune available on the Library of Congress website




memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h...ed:@field(NUMBER+@band(afcreed+13035b08))



 



memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r...ed:@field(NUMBER+@band(afcreed+13705b15))



 



 



 



There are some nice versions of this tune on the hangout.  Here are a few but do a search for several more:



 


Ed Britt and Don Borchelt: banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...cid=3377#



Dan (hangnail) Wood: banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...cid=5430#



Linda (ZenPickin): banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...id=21435#">banjohangout.org/myhangout/mus...id=21435#



 



Some videos by 



Strumelia: youtu.be/LsC5eiVpBOM



Laurence Diehl: youtu.be/OiOebzYOPfE



Tom Robarts: youtu.be/HJw0y0to8ao



 



 



Tim Eriksen has a meditative solo banjo version timeriksen.bandcamp.com/track/texas on his album Banjo, Fiddle and Voice



timeriksen.bandcamp.com/track/texas



 


The Mossy Roof site has a banjo tab available here: banjo tab



 



It is usually played in A modal tuning but sometimes in G modal.  The tune is known as Texas around here, though someone (sometimes me) will often volunteer at the jam that New Castle is the “correct” name.  As you can hear from the Jabour recordings, Reed played this tune fairly fast.  Many people like to slow this tune way down but I like to play it just a bit faster with a little bit of pulse.  Not as fast as Reed played it though.  Here’s how I have been playing it lately. 



 



--Mike



 



 





 



 



Texas/New Castle

   

SCclawman - Posted - 09/28/2012:  08:40:15



Mike,



What a great tune. I love your version. I have loved Tim Eriksen's version since he put it on bandcamp. I had kind of forgotten about it lately. I started learning it, but gave up on it. Thanks for encouraging me to try it again. I really really love your version and I am going to spend some time with it.



Great write up, and a great tune. Thanks for sharing your version with us.


orangikan - Posted - 09/28/2012:  09:04:52



Thanks for a great write-up of one of my favorite tunes. It strikes me as an especially well-timed TOTW, since Texas has, to me, a cool autumnal feel. I typically play this one slow and meditative, but I'm really taken with your bouncy, funky version, Mike.



Also worthy of mention are Dwight Diller's versions on Jericho Road and O Death. He also teaches the tune on his Modal Clawhammer DVD. Here's a tab for one of Diller's versions, played out of Double-C:



dwightdiller.com/tab/texas.html


J-Walk - Posted - 09/28/2012:  11:49:33



That's also one of my favorite tunes. Here's a video I made last year, playing along with a Dan Levenson recording on his "Traveling Home" CD.



 



 




VIDEO: Texas (AKA Newcastle)
(click to view)

   

RWJones1970 - Posted - 09/28/2012:  15:04:52



One of my favorites too ! I first heard about it through Dwight Diller and learned it from his tab book.



I recorded this on my Reiter WL



hangoutstorage.com/jukebox.asp...ID%3D8580



 



Edited by - RWJones1970 on 09/28/2012 15:07:52

handsup8 - Posted - 09/28/2012:  16:45:27



Yes indeed, a fine tune and one that medleys well. I'll post a medley with "Pretty Little Dog" but I'm also playing it alot  with Abe's Retreat. Great choice.




Texas/Pretty Little Dog

   

Slick Salmon - Posted - 09/28/2012:  17:03:03



quote:


Originally posted by orangikan




Thanks for a great write-up of one of my favorite tunes. It strikes me as an especially well-timed TOTW, since Texas has, to me, a cool autumnal feel. I typically play this one slow and meditative, but I'm really taken with your bouncy, funky version, Mike.



Also worthy of mention are Dwight Diller's versions on Jericho Road and O Death. He also teaches the tune on his Modal Clawhammer DVD. Here's a tab for one of Diller's versions, played out of Double-C:



dwightdiller.com/tab/texas.html






Thanks for sharing the tab.  I love playing this tune.



 


handsup8 - Posted - 09/28/2012:  17:41:04



Sorry not to have said it right off, but I really like your take on Texas, Mike. I actually play it a lot slower than my recording, more like yours, which helps to bring out the slink of it! Well done, Ted


RWJones1970 - Posted - 09/28/2012:  19:27:23



No........ it wasn't from Dwight's "Obscure Underground Clawhammer Banjo From Mysterious Central West Virginia"  tab book that I learned this tune...it was, infact, from his Modal DVD. Just to set the record straight big

 



Edited by - RWJones1970 on 09/28/2012 19:28:18

tom robarts - Posted - 09/29/2012:  01:06:07


Thanks for all the info on this tune. My playing of it is in the original post and love the slow almost melancholy feel to it.

JanetB - Posted - 09/29/2012:  13:50:43



I'm still listening and enjoying these many resources and links.   I listened to Henry Reed's and tried getting some of those "blue" notes on the fretless gourd.



Edited by - JanetB on 09/29/2012 13:52:44



Texas

   

Tamarack - Posted - 09/30/2012:  07:13:29


Another great tune -- perhaps top of the heap of the crooked tunes. I have a mandolin version stuck in my head, it's good to replace it with banjo/fiddle versions.

jamesd - Posted - 10/01/2012:  10:24:13



Good choice for TOTW.  I have listened to all the recordings   and watched the Texas videos and really like this tune.  Thanks for the Diller tab.  This tune was not that difficult for me to get the hang of playing because of all  the help supplied here.   Thanks to all who recorded this tune and the help these recordings add to the learning of a tune.


mworden - Posted - 10/01/2012:  10:51:55




I want to say thanks to everyone who has been participating in this thread.  This was my first TOTW and it has been very rewarding.  I appreciate the nice feedback and I have been really enjoying listening and listenting again to all of the excellent versions of this fine tune.  My own version is already starting to morph as I internalize some of the many different melodic and rhythmic ideas that you have set out.  Cheers! --Mike



 

SCclawman - Posted - 10/01/2012:  12:39:01



Janet,



Your banjo always finds a way to bring me much musical happiness. Great playing on that fretless. Inspiring!


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