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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Dwight Diller House Concert, CD Project

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Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 11/01/2015:  18:12:08

I just came back from a house concert that Gene Bowlen of BeARcade Music Productions in Port Republic, VA, hosted for Dwight Diller and Terry Richardson. 


Gene organized this house concert around a day of taping activities featuring Dwight and Terry, a guitarist from Marlinton.  This was Dwight’s first venture back to the business of recording music, producing CDs in a long time. 


He played more than two hours worth of banjo and fiddle pieces with his long-time friend Terry providing guitar backup.  Terry has the right touch.  He really rides those bass strings. 


As Gene put it, Dwight asked to play in front of a few people who appreciate old-time music so Gene decided to open up the recording session – which was videotaped as part of the project. 


Dwight played all the memorable pieces that are the hallmarks of his music making, told some Hammons family stories, recollected the tunes he learned from Lee, ammons from his earliest days of visiting and talked about his fiddling – and the help he got from Ralph Roberts, a Hammons family relative, in trying to get at the old fiddling ways. 


Let’s see, some of the tunes Dwight and Terry played: Abe’s Retreat, Walking in the Parlour, Angeline, Keep Your Hand On The Plow, Frosty Morn – and many more.


I’m sure Gene will be explaining his plans and intentions regarding this taping effort, and the CD that will come out of it in short order in a way that will be accessible to BHO folks. 


I’m exhausted from listening to some profoundly good old time music from two profoundly good old time musicians.





JanetB - Posted - 11/01/2015:  18:47:08

That's an exciting prospect, Lew.  I'm glad you got to be there and I thank you for sharing the news of an upcoming CD.  I've been playing Dwight's Yew Piney Mountain all week!

mdthib - Posted - 11/01/2015:  19:49:22

There's hardly been any way to support Dwight in some time, as everything he has done seems out of print and unavailable. This is some nice news, indeed, and thanks for sharing it. 

Bill Rogers - Posted - 11/01/2015:  23:38:58

Thanks for the info, Lew.  I'll await the availability of Dwight's material.  

5Stringtrout - Posted - 11/02/2015:  04:29:16

The vibe I got from listening to these two great musicians was that they were very relaxed and enjoyed playing in such an intimate setting.  It was like they were playing in the living room for friends.  Thanks also to Lew for the part he played in this too.

greenbrooms - Posted - 11/02/2015:  07:17:50

very cool! i missed DD at the augusta fest in elkins, so i'm looking forward to (hopefully) hearing this recent session. keep us posted, thanks lew

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 11/02/2015:  07:31:17

Thanks for posting.

Really looking forward to it

Dwight is amazing.

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 11/02/2015:  07:47:35

Andrew, Nice of you to say that, but really all I did was carefully convince Dwight that there is an appetite, a strong and continuing interest, in his recordings - an interest in his old, out of print stuff, and a lingering interest in hearing him play now. 

This morning I was thinking a bit more about the repertoire the two musicians ran through yesterday.  They began with "Boil Them Tater Down," an important teaching tune for Dwight - I always insisted on calling it "Boil Those Potatoes Down," and that invariably provoked a lesson on West Virginia grammar. 

I think they followed up with Cripple Creek.  I've always liked Dwight's spare, trimmed down, bare bones approach to that tune that frequently gets pyrotechnic treatment in other contexts - perhaps at Bluegrass concerts.

Dwight played Cranberry Rock and Shelvin Rock, Waynesboro and Calloway - any others who were present yesterday care to help my faulty recollection of the tune list they deployed? 



R. Blakeslee Gilpin - Posted - 11/02/2015:  08:03:04

Can't wait.

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 11/02/2015:  08:18:48

By the way, if anyone is interested in learning more about Gene Bowlen's recording/production/sound services company, check out his website:


BeARcade - Posted - 11/02/2015:  09:18:43

I'm glad to see that folks are as excited about this project as I am. We plan to get funding through a Kickstarter campaign to complete the audio and video with support options for the cd, a high-def video and some of Dwight's back catalog depending on what we can unearth in his back rooms. I don't have any more detail at this point except that I have listened to almost all of the session and the audio quality is great - hopefully a match to some great playing by Dwight and Terry.

frailin - Posted - 11/02/2015:  10:00:49



ceemonster - Posted - 11/02/2015:  17:27:22

this is wonderful. i'm oh-so-envious of those who got to listen in person. thank you so much for sharing, and will be watching for the recording. Absolutely right there is interest out here in DD and this music . . .

5Stringtrout - Posted - 11/03/2015:  13:34:23

To the best of my memory here is a list of the tunes Dwight played last Sunday:

Waynesboro, Shelvin' Rock, Keep Your Hand On the Plow, Walkin' In the Parlor, Abe's Retreat, Come Back Boys Lets Feed the Horses, Callaway (Lee's), Sail Away Ladies, Cluck Old Hen, Cripple Creek, God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign, Shakin' Down the Acorns, Frosty Morn, Angeline, Sandy Boys, John Brown's March, Old Mother Flanagan, Boil Them Taters Down, Cranberry Rock.  

Gene could probably correct this if I missed any.


mdthib - Posted - 11/05/2015:  22:58:34

As long as you seem to have Dwight's ear, if he owns the rights to his recordings he could put them up on CD Baby, too. I think there would be a small but consistent interest in his stuff. I know I spent a few days emailing around to buy his CDs (without luck) and would have done it. Maybe it's not worth it from a monetary standpoint, in which case he could be one of those guys who lets someone post his whole albums to YouTube (shudder? Or maybe not?). His music is great and I do want more! 

OldPappy - Posted - 11/06/2015:  05:24:22

Not wanting to hijack the thread, but since there are some folks expressing interest in Dwight's music, I thought I should mention something on the status of a project I told about on BHO earlier this year.

We have been working on a small scale project for re-releasing some of his older material.

I was up at Dwight's the weekend before Gene's recording session to attend the Fiddler's Reunion in Elkins. Dwight gave me three CDs he had assembled to listen to on my drive back to Tennessee.

One was a collection of the best of the Gospel tunes he has done on several previous releases, the other was a collection of older "field recordings" including Dwight along with several other great musicians, most of which have never been released, and some of which have not been heard by anyone in decades. The third was a collection of tunes with some of the kid oriented selections like those on the previously released "Red Rooster" album. 

Funding for this project is somewhat limited at this time, so when, and if, this happens, it will likely be a very small release.   

darylcrisp - Posted - 11/07/2015:  01:11:10

all this is great news-like many others, I love to hear and watch Dwight play. there's something very special going on during those moments.

can't wait to have access to any of these.


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 11/07/2015:  01:51:25


What can we do to see that the limited funding for your project becomes less limited?


OldPappy - Posted - 11/10/2015:  07:13:22


I want to check with Dwight, and maybe Cindy Harris, but my first thought was that donations could be made to the non profit site set up for funding such projects, however there is out of date information on that site about finished products being available at Morning Star Folk Music, which has been out of business for years, so before anyone starts sending money to that site we need to verify it is still operational.  

Clawed - Posted - 11/12/2015:  22:00:10

I've always loved Dwight's playing but it's been disappointing not being able to find any of his recordings. I wrote him several months ago and he said he was working on trying to reissue some of his stuff but I never heard anything until now. Thanks so much for helping him and I look forward to hearing this soon. If you get a chance could you give him a nudge to re-release his instructional material too. His style looks so simple but I just can't seem to get the hang of how he does that chunky rhythm and would love to have those dvd's. I did find this tab book from his website which is pretty cool and has some some good historical info too.

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 11/13/2015:  02:12:06

That's a good idea  -  one that is being looked into now on the margins of some of these other efforts.  

OldPappy - Posted - 11/17/2015:  06:45:23

I spoke to Dwight about making contributions to the non-proffit organization. He said the site is out of date, and some changes are currently being looked at which he expects will be implemented before the end of the year.

We currently have funding for a release of one CD, and he is working on having more ready for early 2016.   

A rough draft play list of the first of these is below. As said this is a rough draft, and may change;

                 ALL OLD SONGS

for young and old and middle youngins

1 Sally Ann

2 Old joe clark

3 Groundhog

4  God gave Noah the Rainbow Sign

5 Buffalo gals

6 Sourwood mountain

7 Comin around tha mountain

8 Kickin mule

9 Jerusalem to Jericho

10 Yellow rose of texas

11 Cluck old hen

12 Froggy went ah courtin

13 Old Dan Tucker

14 Sandy boys

15 Little black train

16 Hold on

17 Mole in the ground

18 Fly around my pretty little miss

19 Walkin in the parlor/John Lover's gone/Callaway (Medley)



frailin - Posted - 11/20/2015:  06:06:46

Oh my!  What a warm, wonderful effort this has become!  

Thank you, all!  These joint contributions, based on love and respect for Dwight make his work timeless.  Thank you for that!!

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