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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW - 3/8/13: Granddad's Favorite


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/257909

mworden - Posted - 03/08/2013:  11:24:15



This week's Tune of the Week is Granddad's Favorite and comes to us from West Virginia fiddler Ernie Carpenter and to him from his grandfather, "Squirrelly Bill" Carpenter.  Like many of the tunes in Ernie's repertoire this was a family tune handed down from generation to generation and the original name of the tune was lost after the older generation passed so it just came to be called "Granddad's favorite tune."  I'm a Yank but I have some WV heritage so I make sure to always use the correct pronunciation "Fav-or-ite".  It's a relatively obscure tune in that it hasn't been recorded very often and there are no other recordings on the hangout.  You can hear Ernie playing it, along with Gerry Milnes playing banjo on this recording from Berea, on which Ernie also tells a great story about his grandfather and the work he used to do: 



cdm15131.contentdm.oclc.org/cd...114/rec/4



Ernie plays a solo fiddle version on the excellent album Ernie Carpenter: Old-time Fiddle Tunes from the Elk River available here:



augustaheritagecenter.org/stor...enter-cd/



A more modern recording that I like is on Michael and Carrie Kline's album Eye's of a Painter



cdbaby.com/cd/mckline3



Over on the Fiddle Hangout, member Carolyn has a nice version here:



fiddlehangout.com/myhangout/mu...icid=7410



The tune is usually played in A but often comes up and sounds just as good in G.  It has a straightforward AABB structure but sometimes when Ernie Carpenter played it unaccompanied, as on the Elk River recording, he would put in an excellent single extra beat between the A and B parts.  I don't know what it is about that extra beat but I LOVE it.  It makes the tune for me.   Play the extra beat!!!



It's a great jam tune but also works nicely as a solo banjo or solo fiddle piece.  Here is a quick recording I did that's a little rough around the edges.  I typically play it just a bit faster when I'm playing it by myself but I recorded this to use as a backup track to learn the tune on the fiddle so I slowed it down a little.  I can't bring myself to subject you to my beginner fiddle playing yet.  This has become one of my favorite tunes and I hope you will enjoy it too.  I'm looking forward to hearing what you come up with!  Enjoy.



Cheers, Mike



 




Granddad's Favorite

   

janolov - Posted - 03/08/2013:  12:34:11



It is a nice tune! I am sitting with my new Mountain Banjo and I think Granddad may a good start for it .



By the way, here is another link to Ernie Carpenter's version: slippery-hill.com/M-K/AEAE/Gra...orite.mp3 (from the Koken-Milliner collection).


mworden - Posted - 03/08/2013:  12:45:38



quote:


Originally posted by janolov




It is a nice tune! I am sitting with my new Mountain Banjo and I think Granddad may a good start for it .



By the way, here is another link to Ernie Carpenter's version: slippery-hill.com/M-K/AEAE/Gra...orite.mp3 (from the Koken-Milliner collection).






Thanks so much for finding the Slippery Hill link.  That one's got the extra beat!


oldtimer - Posted - 03/08/2013:  13:07:26



Good choice...it's a great tune and I like your banjo version.



stay tooned...



Glenn Godsey


camcumberland - Posted - 03/08/2013:  14:34:07


Hey folk's, this is a great tune, thought I'd take a stab at it this week.



VIDEO: Granddad's Favorite
(click to view)

   

MileStretch - Posted - 03/08/2013:  15:09:22



Fantastic tune!



Here's my attempt. After listening, I realized I didn't really get the feel of the extra beat. I'll have to keep working on that (as well as cleaning up other trouble spots).




Granddad's Favorite

   

J-Walk - Posted - 03/08/2013:  16:38:58



I like this tune. The first few times I was exposed to it at a jam, I couldn't quite get it. But that was years ago. Since then, I've figure it out and now I really like it.



Here's a good fiddle/banjo version at  YouTube. Lousy video, but half-way decent audio: 




 


ScottK - Posted - 03/08/2013:  17:06:24



Great choice, Mike!   Great picking and great write-up, too!



This one bumped up higher on my "To Learn" tune list recently after I dug Pleasant Hill out of the stacks to listen to in the car on my daily commute.  Joel Bernstein plays it on harmonica there with Andrea Cooper on banjo and Dave Marshall on fiddle.



I listened to that recording of Granddad's Favorite on Michael and Carrie Kline's Eyes of a Painter that you mentioned and noticed that the guest fiddler on that track is Scott Prouty.  I discovered him on J-Walk's BHO thread "Best Old Time Albums of 2010".  I picked up Prouty's Puncheon Floor CD and it has become a real favorite of mine.



Recently a buddy told me I needed to pick up a copy of the Hell Benders CD reissued on the Field Recorders' Collective, so I did.  Great CD!  Any time I order from one of the smaller labels I figure I might as well order more than one to amortize the shipping cost smiley, so I ordered a couple more including Ernie Carpenter's performance at the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention in 1987.  It's really good and includes Granddad's Favorite.



A few years ago Sammy Lind and Nadine Landry from Foghorn Stringband put out a CD together.  They thought highly enough of Granddad's Favorite to make it the title of the CD:



Nadine Landry & Stephen "Sammy" Lind | Granddad's Favorite



Cheers, Scott


mworden - Posted - 03/08/2013:  17:41:15



quote:


Originally posted by MileStretch




Fantastic tune!



Here's my attempt. After listening, I realized I didn't really get the feel of the extra beat. I'll have to keep working on that (as well as cleaning up other trouble spots).






Nice job.  You totally got the extra beat!


frailfellow - Posted - 03/09/2013:  19:36:33



Is there a tab available for this tune?


LyleK - Posted - 03/10/2013:  09:54:45



quote:


Originally posted by frailfellow




Is there a tab available for this tune?






No, I don't think there was, so I've added it to my page o' tabs (see lylewk.home.comcast.net/).  


JanetB - Posted - 03/11/2013:  06:24:09



Fun tune, Mike.  I listened to Ernie Carpenter's version and yours to get the slides and the smoothness on the B part.  I also learned that Granddad has three "d's."  Hmmm.




Granddad's Favorite

   

mworden - Posted - 03/11/2013:  08:04:46



quote:


Originally posted by JanetB




Fun tune, Mike.  I listened to Ernie Carpenter's version and yours to get the slides and the smoothness on the B part.  I also learned that Granddad has three "d's."  Hmmm.






Nice one, Janet.  



Are you scolding me for my spelling?  You wouldn't be the first 1st Grade teacher to do so.  I've seen it spelled both ways (Grandad and Granddad).  The extra d in the middle corresponds to the extra beat between the A and B parts.




 

Don Borchelt - Posted - 03/11/2013:  10:40:19



A great pick for tune of the week, Mike, and fine picking by you, Cam, Ryan and Janet.  It's good to see that Janet is as meticulous in her spelling as she is in her picking!  wink  Ernie Carpenter is a member of a large West Virginia fiddling family, cousins to the Hammons, and descended from West Virginia's earliest settlers.  French Carpenter is Ernie's first cousin, once-removed.   Ernie Carpenter wrote the tune Elk River Blues, to commemorate the river in Braxton County that was the center of his family's life for generations, before the state came and built the dam that inundated the town where he was born and raised.





Ernie Carpenter (1907-1997)



I worked this up over the weekend, and woe to me, I didn't include the extra beat between parts.  But I did include Mike's extra "d"!  I am playing my semi-fretless Paramount in open A tuning (aEAC#E).



Edited by - Don Borchelt on 03/11/2013 10:45:45



VIDEO: Granddad's Favorite
(click to view)

   

mworden - Posted - 03/11/2013:  10:50:24




Nice one, Don.  Sounds great way up the neck like that.



 

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