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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 10/11/13: Rusty Gun


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/272033

stigandr5 - Posted - 10/11/2013:  05:01:49


Rusty Gun – (Art Stamper)



The only recording I can find of this tune is by Art Stamper on his album “Goodbye Girls, I’m Going to Boston.” This tune either came directly from Art or from his father, Hiram Stamper.



A note on Hiram Stamper: Berea College calls him “the last known living representative of what might be called a ‘classic’ eastern Kentucky style of fiddling.” (community.berea.edu/hutchinsli...amper.asp) His tunes employed a highly personalized sense of melody and rhythm that reflect an era when the fiddle was primarily a solo instrument in Appalachia.



Art Stamper undoubtedly gained a lot of his own style from the playing of his father. What’s especially interesting about Art is that there are recordings of him playing the banjo as well:



youtube.com/watch?v=pQ9uIV1NUa0



Although I can’t make out all the dialogue of the video, what’s evident is that Art’s style is pretty idiosyncratic in nature. So what’s the takeaway? Both the Stampers played music in a very personal way that is reflective of the uniqueness of the individual.



“Rusty Gun” is a prime example of this. The tune is played out of GDAD on the fiddle and swings between the keys of G and D. I like this tune for the way it caused me to do a double-take the first time I heard it. It almost sounds like two distinct tunes mashed together.



The Fiddler’s Companion is fairly silent on this one besides the tuning and the record it appeared on.



I hope this tune feels as fresh to you all as it did to me the first time I heard it. Below, please find a video of me playing the tune on my Masterclone (tuned a bit low). Looking forward to hearing other people’s versions. Enjoy!



-Nathan



 




LyleK - Posted - 10/11/2013:  05:53:08


Nice one, and well played!



slippery-hill.com/GDAD/RustyGun.mp3  for the original


stigandr5 - Posted - 10/11/2013:  12:36:12


Here's a quick 'n' dirty TAB to get anyone off the ground running.




Rusty Gun TAB

   

J-Walk - Posted - 10/11/2013:  17:28:55


I just realized that "Rusty Gun" is the tune that Erynn Marshall plays after "Uncle Henry" on her Calico album (it's a 2-tune medley). I've played that track 50 times (at least). But I always stop it when "Uncle Henry" ends. Thanks to you, Nathan, I'll check out the other half of that track. 



If you don't have that album, listen to the track here (Rusty Gun starts about 1:35):



myspace.com/erynnmarshallatarg...-77259494



But I still like "Uncle Henry" a lot more than "Rusty Gun." Probably because I've heard it at least 50 times.


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 10/12/2013:  09:09:09


Nice choice, Nathan, and fine playing on your part.



(Interestingly, when searching on Google for other versions of "Rusty Gun," I did not find any music but sure got some fine tips on how to remove rust spots from metal parts.)



This is as close as I can get to the tune on my little A scale on this rainy Saturday morning:



 





 



Play hard, Lew



Edited by - Brooklynbanjoboy on 10/12/2013 09:16:42

JanetB - Posted - 10/12/2013:  16:52:23


Great choice, Nathan.  Art Stamper's CD you mentioned, "Goodbye Girls, I'm Going to Boston" has been a long-time favorite.  John Herrmann's tuning is an unusual open G with the 5th string lowered to a D, so I tried it.  Here's an interesting piece of the liner notes with Paul Brown interviewing Art about this song:



"My dad played it and there was a woman by the name of Aunt Weeny Fugate.  We called everyone aunt (he pronounces it in the old-time way of aint) and uncle back in those days.  It was out of respect they had for the elderly.  Now I remember going down there, and the little old thing...she was real old...in her 70's then.  I was just a little bitty boy and she'd play that tune.  She'd raise that whole leg up when she'd pat her foot...at least six inches up and down.  She'd play that and catch her bow about middle-ways...them little short licks on the fiddle and she really whacked it off!  I believe that's the first time I remember hearing that tune.  My Dad, he played it too.  I learned it from that source."




The Rusty Gun

   

jojo25 - Posted - 10/13/2013:  11:59:02


nice...so many great tunes...I will never, ever, run out of fun tunes to learn


stigandr5 - Posted - 10/14/2013:  05:15:40


Janet, thanks for the excerpt from the liner notes! I was looking for them online but to no avail. That clears up the source question.


 


quote:


Originally posted by JanetB

 

Great choice, Nathan.  Art Stamper's CD you mentioned, "Goodbye Girls, I'm Going to Boston" has been a long-time favorite.  John Herrmann's tuning is an unusual open G with the 5th string lowered to a D, so I tried it.  Here's an interesting piece of the liner notes with Paul Brown interviewing Art about this song:




"My dad played it and there was a woman by the name of Aunt Weeny Fugate.  We called everyone aunt (he pronounces it in the old-time way of aint) and uncle back in those days.  It was out of respect they had for the elderly.  Now I remember going down there, and the little old thing...she was real old...in her 70's then.  I was just a little bitty boy and she'd play that tune.  She'd raise that whole leg up when she'd pat her foot...at least six inches up and down.  She'd play that and catch her bow about middle-ways...them little short licks on the fiddle and she really whacked it off!  I believe that's the first time I remember hearing that tune.  My Dad, he played it too.  I learned it from that source."







 


YorkshireWannabeOldTimer - Posted - 10/14/2013:  13:40:43


Great tune: one to provoke a double-take indeed. Thanks for all the background info on it - the tale of Aunt Weeney Fugate summons up vivid images. Here's another version, played using DDADa and vclosely based on the original Stamper recording linked above but not played at the same breakneck speed.



Edited by - YorkshireWannabeOldTimer on 10/14/2013 13:42:06



Rusty Gun

   

stigandr5 - Posted - 10/14/2013:  13:47:07


What a nice rendition! I'll have to try it myself in that tuning. I really like the atmosphere that creates. Thanks for posting.



-Nathan 



 


quote:


Originally posted by YorkshireWannabeOldTimer

 

Great tune: one to provoke a double-take indeed. Thanks for all the background info on it - the tale of Aunt Weeney Fugate summons up vivid images. Here's another version, played using DDADa and vclosely based on the original Stamper recording linked above but not played at the same breakneck speed.







 


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 10/14/2013:  13:53:40


That was unique, and very pleasant to hear.



Which one of your very respectable banjos was your weapon of choice in playing this tune? 



 



 


YorkshireWannabeOldTimer - Posted - 10/14/2013:  14:44:23


Thanks chaps: your own versions are very fine. My trusty Jason Burns took the floor there :) 



Dominic



Edited by - YorkshireWannabeOldTimer on 10/14/2013 14:45:20

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