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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 10/12/12 Quail is a Pretty Bird


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/246934

stevel - Posted - 10/12/2012:  09:06:36



Hello everyone- up this week is Quail is a Pretty Bird.  When I first chose this tune, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a real “old-time” tune.  It appears to have been written by John Hartford.  I’ve done some digging, but I can’t really find much information on it, so I can’t give a nice lengthy history like some of the folks on here put together.  I think ClawhammerMike mentioned on his blog that it has similarities to Sandy Boys.  If anyone else knows more about this tune, feel free to speak up.



But this was a tune one of the fiddlers pulled out of his back pocket a while back, and I just really liked the melody.  I haven’t been able to attend those jams as of late, so this song brings back some nice memories.  I’m having trouble transferring my audio files, so I probably won’t be able to get one up until this evening.  So, in the meantime, here’s a few renditions:



John Hartford (I believe)



youtube.com/watch?v=xMHqd_gQvSY



A band I’ve never heard of  =)



youtube.com/watch?v=9etJjtuLKn0



a contestant at clifftop:



youtube.com/watch?v=BeUxSJrcfK4



 



Here's a quick and dirty take on my Ovilla with Minstrel Nylgut Strings, fCFAC



 



direct.hangoutstorage.com/banj...02012.mp3



 



Here is a melodic tab I put together, although I rarely play it through the same way twice, and sometimes simplify it depending upon my mood.



direct.hangoutstorage.com/banj...02012.jpg



 



 



Quail is a Pretty Bird Tab



Edited by - stevel on 10/15/2012 10:05:09



Quail is a Pretty Bird

   

grackle - Posted - 10/12/2012:  09:52:04



Here's more info:



QUAIL IS A PRETTY BIRD, THE. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Missouri. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning. AA’BB’. A version of the tune Edden Hammon’s called “Sandy Boys” (and much associated with him), from Missouri fiddler Gene Goforth (1921-2002), who had the tune from his father Richard “Dink” Goforth. The “Sandy Boys” title is common around Kentucky and West Virginia. Source for notated version: Gene Goforth [Beisswenger & McCann]. Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; pg. 47. Rounder Records RO-0388, Gene Goforth – “Eminence Breakdown” (1997) Rounder 0042, John Hartford – “Hamilton Ironworks” (2001).  (ibiblio.org/fiddlers/Q.htm)



That Gene Goforth album is tops! I love John Hartford's back-up playing. It's a great recording.



 


blockader - Posted - 10/12/2012:  10:28:54


Definately sounds pretty close to edden hammon's sandy boys to me.

Justin

Clawdan - Posted - 10/12/2012:  11:05:51



It appears as Quail from the 1850 Briggs Banjo Tutor and is a very old tune. Yes, virtually the same tune as Edden Hammons Sandy Boys. It is included in my Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (Mel Bay) and I recorded it on my Light of the Moon as a fiddle verson. I know I've tabbed it out and done it several times for Banjo Newsletter so I'll see if I can post a tab of it later this weekend. Might be able to locate a Youtube vid of me demo-ing it for a student. I'll look.



Play Nice,

Dan

Clawdan.com



Edited by - Clawdan on 10/12/2012 11:12:11

bd - Posted - 10/12/2012:  12:19:31



quote:


Originally posted by Clawdan




It appears as Quail from the 1850 Briggs Banjo Tutor and is a very old tune. Yes, virtually the same tune as Edden Hammons Sandy Boys. It is included in my Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (Mel Bay) and I recorded it on my Light of the Moon as a fiddle verson. I know I've tabbed it out and done it several times for Banjo Newsletter so I'll see if I can post a tab of it later this weekend. Might be able to locate a Youtube vid of me demo-ing it for a student. I'll look.



Play Nice,

Dan

Clawdan.co






I'm not trying to nitpick, but I don't find the song in my pdf version of Briggs. Does it go by a different name in it?

stevel - Posted - 10/12/2012:  15:37:47



quote:


Originally posted by grackle




Here's more info:



QUAIL IS A PRETTY BIRD, THE. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Missouri. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning. AA’BB’. A version of the tune Edden Hammon’s called “Sandy Boys” (and much associated with him), from Missouri fiddler Gene Goforth (1921-2002), who had the tune from his father Richard “Dink” Goforth. The “Sandy Boys” title is common around Kentucky and West Virginia. Source for notated version: Gene Goforth [Beisswenger & McCann]. Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; pg. 47. Rounder Records RO-0388, Gene Goforth – “Eminence Breakdown” (1997) Rounder 0042, John Hartford – “Hamilton Ironworks” (2001).  (ibiblio.org/fiddlers/Q.htm)



That Gene Goforth album is tops! I love John Hartford's back-up playing. It's a great recording.



 






Holy crap... how'd i miss that?  i seriously wasn't getting anything good in my search results... just links to mp3s....


Ukeridge - Posted - 10/12/2012:  17:13:47


I just got obsessed with this beautiful tune myself not long ago. It doesn't sound much like Sandy Boys to me. I've figured out a three-finger version. Could post it if anyone's interested.

janolov - Posted - 10/13/2012:  00:12:41



Here is a link to Edden Hammons Sandy Boys. I think they sound similar.


cbcarlisle - Posted - 10/13/2012:  07:27:22



I had never heard either before. They are the "same" except for a resolution in the B part. ("Same" in the Old-Timey sense of near abouts.)


Clawdan - Posted - 10/13/2012:  17:25:11



quote:


Originally posted by bd




quote:


Originally posted by Clawdan





It appears as Quail from the 1850 Briggs Banjo Tutor and is a very old tune. Yes, virtually the same tune as Edden Hammons Sandy Boys. It is included in my Old Time Festival Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (Mel Bay) and I recorded it on my Light of the Moon as a fiddle verson. I know I've tabbed it out and done it several times for Banjo Newsletter so I'll see if I can post a tab of it later this weekend. Might be able to locate a Youtube vid of me demo-ing it for a student. I'll look.



Play Nice,

Dan

Clawdan.co






I'm not trying to nitpick, but I don't find the song in my pdf version of Briggs. Does it go by a different name in it?





I'll check again. Not the first time I will have confused my sources. Probably why I'm just an old time musician and not an historian. I was told this back in the late 90's and can't seem to remember who it was that told me that. I do see the references to Goforth and the mention of it as the Ozark variant of Sandy Boys but guess I'm going to have to dig further for the older references.



BTW, one of the best versions in my mind is Dan Gellart's. His is not to be missed. Recorded under the Sandy Boys title.



Play Nice,

Dan



Edited by - Clawdan on 10/13/2012 17:39:25

JanetB - Posted - 10/14/2012:  07:51:06



I'm glad Quail is a Pretty Bird was chosen, as we have had it on repeat in the car the last two weekends.  And I'm glad it goes back to Edden Hammon's Sandy Boys, as I like learning about the Hammons family.  And further, I'm glad it was a minstrel song, too, as that gives it more history.  Sometimes I think I'm hearing it with bagpipes.



I found it in The Early Minstrel Banjo Book by Joe Weidlich as "Sandy Boy."  His cross-referenced source is Correct Method for Banjo (1858) (page 50) by Phil Rice.  I played it and it resembles the TOTW.



Between Steve's tab above, Dan's tab in his Festival Tunes book, and listening to John Hartford and Edden Hammons, I think I'll be able to learn it this week.  Thanks for this one, Steve!


bd - Posted - 10/14/2012:  19:14:31



quote:


Originally posted by JanetB




I'm glad Quail is a Pretty Bird was chosen, as we have had it on repeat in the car the last two weekends.  And I'm glad it goes back to Edden Hammon's Sandy Boys, as I like learning about the Hammons family.  And further, I'm glad it was a minstrel song, too, as that gives it more history.  Sometimes I think I'm hearing it with bagpipes.



I found it in The Early Minstrel Banjo Book by Joe Weidlich as "Sandy Boy."  His cross-referenced source is Correct Method for Banjo (1858) (page 50) by Phil Rice.  I played it and it resembles the TOTW.



Between Steve's tab above, Dan's tab in his Festival Tunes book, and listening to John Hartford and Edden Hammons, I think I'll be able to learn it this week.  Thanks for this one, Steve!








Thanks for the detective work Janet! I'll to dig up the Rice version.


janolov - Posted - 10/14/2012:  23:27:53



Here is the notation of Sandy Boy from Rice's Banjo Instructor.



 




Sandy Boy from Rice's Banjo Instructor 1858

   

JanetB - Posted - 10/15/2012:  06:04:28



Thanks, Jan.  Here is the matching tab for the 1858 Phil Rice Sandy Boy, as tabbed in The Early Minstrel Banjo.  I think the tuning is DBGC.




Minstrel book Sandy Boy


Page 2 Sandy Boy

Clawdan - Posted - 10/15/2012:  06:12:42



Thanks Janet! Knew it was out there somewhere!



Dan


stevel - Posted - 10/15/2012:  07:12:01


Hi folks- i do have those tab books, but didn't know the rules around posting other folks written material.

also, had i known this tune was so close to sandy boys which i see was done last year, i probably would have chosen a different tune.

hendrid - Posted - 10/15/2012:  08:41:56



abcnotation.com has a couple version of Sandy Boys.  Don



abcnotation.com/searchTunes?q=...a&s=0


banjo bill-e - Posted - 10/15/2012:  09:00:27


Steve, well I for one enjoyed this TOTW. Even though I am very familiar with Sandy Boys and play it, this one does has it's own variations and I always enjoy learning about how tunes twist and turn through the years and follow different traditions and acquire different names. So, good job, and I also very much enjoyed your "quick and dirty version", it was fun.
Bill

strokestyle - Posted - 10/15/2012:  09:16:20



Here is another Sandy Boys. Maybe Janet can tell if this sounds close to one of the music pieces she posted above. Sounds to me like the A parts are all similar, it is the B parts that go in different directions.  Thanks everyone!




Sandy Boys #3

   

JanetB - Posted - 10/15/2012:  19:32:15



Here's my take on John Hartford's tune as he learned it from Missouri fiddler Gene Goforth (1921 - 2002).  In his recording of Quail is a Pretty Bird in his "Hamilton Ironworks" CD Hartford says that Gene's mother said to her son with regard to this song, "Don't you play like that around me.  You play just like your daddy did.  And that makes me real sad."



 



Edited by - JanetB on 10/15/2012 19:33:16



Quail is a Pretty Bird

   

JanetB - Posted - 10/15/2012:  19:36:09



quote:


Originally posted by stevel



had i known this tune was so close to sandy boys which i see was done last year, i probably would have chosen a different tune.




 Well, Steve, I'm glad you chose it because I wouldn't have learned it otherwise, or learned about Sandy Boys either.  And now maybe I can get my husband to learn it on the mandolin since he's the one who put it on repeat for so long.


stevel - Posted - 10/16/2012:  06:12:33


thanks for sharing Christine and Janet.

my more melodic recording is the one i can't get to upload, but it sounds similar to yours Janet.

i'll try to re-record it this weekend if i have the time.

steve j. - Posted - 10/16/2012:  07:08:49


I love this tune, it may be a bit different than sandy boys,, but close to how I learned sandy boys from Jay Moschella vid. yall all sound great ,

janolov - Posted - 10/16/2012:  12:00:33



I think we are talking about a group of tunes that are related:




  1. The first known version seems to be Sandy Boy (without "s") as published by Phil Rice in 1858. R.D. Lunceford played a version of this in his Cotton Blossom album.


  2. Then there is a Sandy Boys (with "s") that are related to, but not identical to the first. I think I have heard version by for example Dwight Diller and R.D. Lunceford (on his Drop thumb album).


  3. We also have the Sandy Boys (with "s") by Edden Hammons. For the moment I can't decide if it is closest to 1. or 2. or if it is an own tune.


  4. Finally there is the "Quail Is A Pretty Bird" which I think is mostly based on the 3. (Edden Hammons).


  5. The earlier TOTW with "Sandy Boys" where based on Edden Hammons' version, but also the Rice versionwere mentioned (with a link to a youtube version by Tim Twiss alias "banjosnapper").



It would be interesting to hear other people's opinon about these versions and how they are connected. Sometimes I think they are more or less the same tune, sometimes I think they are quit different from each other.



 


banjo bill-e - Posted - 10/16/2012:  12:19:46


And Jan, all of the above are somewhat related to Lonesome John and/or Clinch Mountain Backstep. Or perhaps I shoud say, some people playing some versions of any of these, might sound a lot like the way some other people play any other of these----at least some of the time!
Bill

hoverflytheo - Posted - 10/16/2012:  16:24:36



quote:


Originally posted by banjo bill-e




And Jan, all of the above are somewhat related to Lonesome John and/or Clinch Mountain Backstep. Or perhaps I shoud say, some people playing some versions of any of these, might sound a lot like the way some other people play any other of these----at least some of the time!

Bill






Odd, I never associated it with Lonesome John.  Mind you, I think of Lonesome John / CMB as Dorian and Sandy Boys / Quail as Mixolydian.  Whereas, on a fiddle or fretless banjo, they could both occupy a hinterland between major and minor 3rds, at which point I can see similarities.



I first heard Sandy Boys from the Carolina Chocolate drops, whose version is definitely sliding closer to major than Mixolydian...



Interesting!


Clawdan - Posted - 10/18/2012:  07:29:57



Okay, sorry this took so long. Sandy Boys on a Doc banjo. clawdan.com/index.php?/listen/...cs_banjo/



Great tune whichever name you like.



Play Nice,

Dan

Clawdan.com


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