Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

277
Banjo Lovers Online


Discussion Forum

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Sound Off! (MP3/Video Posts)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Yellow Barber


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/280903

JanetB - Posted - 03/05/2014:  19:29:24


This is a study of a tune I've enjoyed listening to on Kentucky fiddler Buddy Thomas' Kitty Puss CD.  Mine is a clawhammer banjo arrangement from Nick Hornbuckle's 2-finger version.  Here's a link to the thread Nick posted with a good video of his beautiful picking style:  banjohangout.org/topic/279507  I've worked on a few other tunes from this CD and am always amazed at the challenge in playing any Buddy Thomas tune.



Nick used what he called "open F tuning," what I call Cumberland Gap tuning (aka Sandy River Belle tuning), fDGCD, a tuning I've used much in my Skype lessons with Adam Hurt.  I believe it's his favorite tuning.  I'm playing a Mac Traynham Whyte Laydie.



If you know what the title refers to, I'd like to know.  It was also played under the title "Arthur Berry," an Indiana fiddler.



I've included the other Buddy Thomas tunes I've worked on.  The one called "Tucker's Barn" is called "Kitty Puss" on his CD, and I learned that one listening to Doc Watson.



 




Buddy Thomas


VIDEO: Yellow Barber
(click to view)


Tucker's Barn


Georgia Row


Possum Up a Simmon Tree

   

Stevesrustyone - Posted - 03/05/2014:  20:00:39


I think Morris Allen and old time fiddle player named "Kitty Puss". He was my next door neighbor. He sold me my first fiddle for $25.00. It didn't last long it flew apart on me. He used to play his fiddle on the front porch for me and would ask me what there names were. A few I still remember, at the time they all sounded the same to me LOL.. Yellow Barber, Brown Button Shoes, Apple Blossom and Pumpkin Vine.. are a few that come to mind.
He got me started on my fiddle journey in life..

JanetB - Posted - 03/05/2014:  20:56:07


quote:

Originally posted by Stevesrustyone

I think Morris Allen and old time fiddle player named "Kitty Puss". He was my next door neighbor. He sold me my first fiddle for $25.00. It didn't last long it flew apart on me. He used to play his fiddle on the front porch for me and would ask me what there names were. A few I still remember, at the time they all sounded the same to me LOL.. Yellow Barber, Brown Button Shoes, Apple Blossom and Pumpkin Vine.. are a few that come to mind.

He got me started on my fiddle journey in life..







According to the liner notes on the Kitty Puss CD it was Morris Allen who taught Buddy Thomas this tune.  He taught him several tunes, a few of which are in Jeff Titon's book Old Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes.  How interesting that you've lived this part of old-time fiddle history!



 Morris Allen


Stevesrustyone - Posted - 03/06/2014:  00:35:42


That's him in all his glory.

Jimmy Sutton - Posted - 03/06/2014:  02:15:17


No criticism of your musicianship here but I am unable to relate this performance to the great fiddle number "Yellow Barber" as played by Buddy Thomas. The banjo and slow pace changes the whole feel and makes it a different piece.

I have a colleague who ruins another great fiddle tune J P Fraley's "Wild Rose of the Mountain" when he plays it as a banjo piece. To my ear it just doesn't work. The short sustain of the banjo interrupts the flow of the tune. However when he takes a break on "Yellow Barber" three finger style it works.

Not a put down just an opinion.

Nick Hornbuckle - Posted - 03/06/2014:  05:17:06


Hi Janet,



 Really nice! I think it can be interesting to put tunes into different settings...scratch below the surface, so to speak. Nick


JanetB - Posted - 03/06/2014:  05:54:57


Thanks for listening in, Nick.  Your video awed me!  I've played my clawhammer version of it along with Buddy Thomas' and it is different, but it plays beautifully right along with it, slowed down for me to keep up with Buddy's incredible fiddling. 



I understand what Jimmy Sutton is saying.  I've also worked on a clawhammer arrangement directly from Buddy's playing, but have yet to record it.  It, too, is very new to me and will be a slowed down recording, but I'll work on it. 


JanetB - Posted - 03/06/2014:  06:42:31


When I slow down Buddy Thomas' Yellow Barber, here's what I get for his first take.  He plays it differently every time through--an amazingly skillful fiddler who died young.  If you read in his own words, his life was full of hard work, poverty, and good times with fiddling friends hunting, drinking, and fiddling. 




Yellow Barber

   

Paul Roberts - Posted - 03/06/2014:  12:41:30


You romp some fine terrain.



All of these are beautiful and intriguing melodies.



Played expertly and meaningfully.



Thanks for the generous and tasty treat. 


Laurence Diehl - Posted - 03/06/2014:  13:22:15


A fine tune and well played Janet!



Personally, I think that although informed by old-time fiddle, these tunes become a thing in their own right when transferred over to the banjo and it is rather fruitless to compare the two.


tomberghan - Posted - 03/06/2014:  13:54:02


These are great Janet.  I especially liked Georgia Row.  What a pretty tune!  Best Wishes, Tom


Marc Nerenberg - Posted - 03/06/2014:  14:43:37


These are terrific.



Complaining that it doesn't sound like the fiddle is, in my opinion, a fairly pointless complaint. I don't know why anyone would want the banjo to sound like the fiddle. That's the fiddle's job!



Edited by - Marc Nerenberg on 03/06/2014 14:44:36

rickhayes - Posted - 03/06/2014:  16:29:52


I enjoyed all of your postings above Janet.  Something about "Possum" that hits me.  I think I like it the best of a very good bunch.


JanetB - Posted - 03/06/2014:  18:42:14


Thanks for the support!  I've been one who studies the fiddled source and attempts to arrange the tune in either clawhammer or 3-finger picking to best represent what I hear.  I've never been able to put in words exactly what it is about a fiddle tune  that intrigues me to the point that I've just got to play it on banjo.  It began in the 70's when I played with the Santa Barbara Old Time Fiddlers Association--the music took ahold and hasn't let go.  I'm just amazed at the new discoveries I continue to make while exploring old-time fiddle tunes and the older fiddlers who recorded them.



I read more about Morris Allen in the liner notes from Kitty Puss.  Here's a sample quote from Buddy Thomas regarding Morris Allen:  "I first met him when I was out fox hunting.  Morris had lost some dogs and he had his fiddle with him.  And then I got to hearing him and different good fiddlers around Portsmouth and the fiddle sounded so pretty that I just had to get into it and learn those tunes."


Jimmy Sutton - Posted - 03/07/2014:  03:15:17


I guess that Mr Nerenberg above is referring to my previous post. If so please read it again slowly. Nowhere did I complain that the banjo didn't sound like a fiddle. In fact I did not complain at all, I simply made an observation.

tomberghan - Posted - 03/08/2014:  11:08:09


Hey, I missed Possum up a tree (it was hiding).  What a GREAT tune!  (and you play it so well!)  Thanks Janet!


JanetB - Posted - 03/08/2014:  13:14:08


And thank you, Tom.  I'm fond of possum songs and the new Tune of the Week is Possum in the Well:  banjohangout.org/topic/281037.  Better for him to be up in a tree than down in a well, unless it's hounds who put him in a tree.  Buddy Thomas probably treed several if he was hound-hunting with his fiddling buddies.



Here's my personal link to possums--adoption of an orphan possum my son called "Meister."




Ben's possum

   

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125