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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 5/17/2013 Bacon Rind

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:

Mtngoat - Posted - 05/17/2013:  15:03:53

I’ve chosen a tune from Kentucky fiddler Everett Kays for this TOTW.  Mr. Kays called the tune “Bacon Rind” but others might know it as “Sal’s Got a Meatskin”.   The lyrics are slightly suggestive and it may be that Mr. Kays’ sensitivity to such matters led him to change the title.   In the Ozark region the tune is sometimes known as  “Sal’s Got a Wooden Leg”.

I had difficulty navigating the normally very reliable and informative Fiddler’s Companion and of necessity turned to other sources for a history of the tune.

According to the Folksongs of the Southern Highlands web site at Traditional Music UK  the earliest reference to the song appears to be in American Negro Folk Songs, published in 1926, followed closely by a reference in American Mountain Songs in 1927.  This web page also lists an Avery County, North Carolina source from 1930.  John Harrod, in notes to the Kays recording above, refers to a 1934 recording by the Carlisle Brothers.  The New Lost City Ramblers recorded a version in 1961.

An internet search returned three hits for Bacon Rind.

A snippet of the original Kays field recording can be found here:  Kays

Hangout member Fretlessin Texas posted a stringband version of Bacon Rind here:  Fretless

Clawhammer Mike posted Bacon Rind to his Clawhammer Tune of the Day blog here: Clawhammer Mike

A couple of other performances were found under the title Sal’s Got a Meatskin.

Jackie Helton and Jesse Well perform Sal’s Got a Meatskin at the 2012 Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music here:  Jackie and Jesse

And a vocal rendition of Sal’s Got a Meatskin from ESTU Magic City is here:  Magic City

I was unable to find a tab for Bacon Rind but the tune is simple enough in open G or A tuning that most folks should be able to pick out the melody after hearing it a time or two.

This one practically cries out for Member input so I encourage you to post your musical interpretations and tabs.

Edited by - Mtngoat on 05/17/2013 16:22:02

J-Walk - Posted - 05/17/2013:  16:33:19

Good one, Goat!  I love these simple little easy-to-pick-up tunes. That's what this music is all about, IMHO. Some fiddler starts playing a melody, then every one else gradually gets it. Before you know it, it sounds like it was well-rehearsed!

The  Evertt Kays recording, plus one by The Prairie Ramblers are available at this great site:


mojo_monk - Posted - 05/18/2013:  05:20:03

I've always liked this melody. Great for a jam.

HERE are some lyrics from the quintessential book of dirty lyrics "Roll Me in Your Arms".



Chadbanjo - Posted - 05/18/2013:  15:56:05

"This one practically cries out for Member input so I encourage you to post your musical interpretations and tabs."

Okay, i've listened to the fiddle versions, not to often I cough up somthing from a fiddle version...I need more practice at doing heres an attempt.

Sal’s Got a Meatskin ....or around about. smiley

Sal's Got a Meat Skin


Mtngoat - Posted - 05/18/2013:  16:55:59

J-Walk, thanks for the link.  There's some great material there.

Moho Monk's research indicates that the bacon rind reference was a common attempt to sanitize the tune and not particular to Mr. Kays or Kentucky. There's got to be some other good material in that book.

And thanks to Chadbanjo for priming the performance pump. He uses the old technique of promising less and delivering more.  You're much too modest Chad; that's a great rendition.

Edited by - Mtngoat on 05/18/2013 16:59:36

camcumberland - Posted - 05/18/2013:  19:02:12

Thanks for getting the ball rolling Chadbanjo, here's my attempt.

VIDEO: Bacon Rind
(click to view)


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 05/19/2013:  09:54:48

Good choice, Mtngoat.

Here’s my stab at it:

Maggie and Roxie “sitting in…”

I was hoping they’d break into their usual “flat paw” dance.

(It was very hard to keep a straight face with Maggie in the mix.)

Play hard,


JanetB - Posted - 05/19/2013:  14:02:17

Maggie waited patiently for the bacon, Lew.  I bet she was slightly disappointed.

Here's one more for the frying pan.  I'm glad you picked one from this collection of Kentucky tunes, Travis.  It does make for instant success, yet it's uniquely upbeat.  I listened to Mr. Kays' fiddling, then simplified it.

Bacon Rind


banjoannie - Posted - 05/20/2013:  09:32:59

My go of it.

VIDEO: Bacon Rind clawhammer banjo
(click to view)


Chadbanjo - Posted - 05/20/2013:  10:26:57

Good stuff there people.

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 05/20/2013:  12:20:57

Nice tune to pick up by ear.

Thanks for sharing your versions.





Mtngoat - Posted - 05/20/2013:  15:35:19

Thanks camcumberland, Brooklynbanjoboy, JanetB, and banjoannie for your contributions.

BTW Brooklynbanjoboy  I used to know a fine Brooklyn banjo player who, in an effort to fit into the rural southern OTM scene, always said he came from King's County, NY.  Most  country folks just accepted his word and never got the joke.

Edited by - Mtngoat on 05/20/2013 15:36:02

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 05/21/2013:  03:07:24

I first encountered OTM, and clawhammer banjo, in the early 1970s on the campus of Brooklyn College, where the Wretched Refuse band came together. Mike Seeger, David Bromberg, and others used to visit the Student Union Building for concerts -- as did Eubie Blake. Tony Triska and Andy Cahan recorded with the Wretched Refuse band. I remember Rich Shulberg's fiddle playing, and Rob Jone's guitar picking. I have a vague recollection of Marty Cutler's banjo playing. But by that time I had "discovered" Earl Scruggs and didn't return to the embrace of clawhammer banjo until some years later. I do remember people at concerts and such saying "I'm from Brooklyn County." Diller called me Brooklyn for a while. I had a cap with "Brooklyn" emblazoned on that I wore to Clifftop. That's how I met Roger Sprung, also from Brooklyn.

Play hard,


JanetB - Posted - 05/24/2013:  06:31:14

Here's a tab.

Bacon Rind tab


Mtngoat - Posted - 05/26/2013:  18:58:36

Thanks Janet.

Your tabs are great.  You always capture the essence of a tune at a level that is accessible to everyone.  You are a natural born teacher.

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