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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 11/06/15 - Michigan Pioneer


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/310964

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/06/2015:  22:02:59


There has again been a bit of a hiccup in the Tune of the Week schedule, so I will post a quick emergency back-up tune.



That tune is Michigan Pioneer, which I came across recently on Ken Torke's "TaterJoe's" old-time music site (taterjoes.com/).  The tune caught my eye before it did my ear due to its title, given my interest in the old-time music of the Midwest/Great Lakes region.  I rather naturally assumed it was a Michigan tune, but after doing a bit of research discovered that it is instead probably from Arkansas.  That piqued my interest even more, since I couldn't help but wonder how an Arkansas fiddle tune came to be given that title.  To my (far-from-expert) knowledge, there wasn't a lot of migration from the upper Midwest to Arkansas at any point in our country's history. There was of course a massive migration of southerners in search of factory work to the north throughout the 20th-century, but that seems to be a bit too late and too urban to justify the term "pioneer", at least in this context. Anyway, if I come across any more information that might shed light on the origin of the title, I'll post it.



The only recorded version I have come across so far is on the CD "Ride an Old Paint", by the Arizona-based old-time band The Arthritis Brothers.  The album's liner notes say of the tune: "We got this tune from a Californian who got it from a Missouri family that moved from Oklahoma to California. It is said to be an Arkansas tune, hence the title "Michigan Pioneer". Tom Sauber reports finding the melody in South America.  We learned it from a field recording of Tom Sauber at the Turquoise Valley Old-Time Festival in 2007, and also from a cassette recording by Roscoe and Ossie White." (arthritisbrothers.com/).



The tune is in D.  Banjo tab by Ken Torke (based on a version by northern California fiddler Al Lubanes) can be found on TaterJoe's: taterjoes.com/banjo/MichiganPioneer.pdf



 



(As noted above, I found "Michigan Pioneer" on the TaterJoe's website, which makes it the fourth (?) time I have mined that resource of a Tune of the Week.  It is a great site, and I always find interesting, unknown-to-me tunes there, along with Ken's fine banjo tabs. So thanks, Ken, for all the work you put into the site.)



Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 11/06/2015 22:27:58

Kernel - Posted - 11/07/2015:  00:01:44


Our friend Al Lubanes LOVES the dorky tunes. It's become somewhat of a challenge to see who can come up with the prize for the next time we meet. He would love nothing more than to know that a few more people picked up the tune.



Here is a rough recording from when Al was teaching us the tune. (I promise it got better as the week went on) taterjoes.com/fiddle/_recordin...oneer.mp3. And, here is a transcription of the fiddle part. taterjoes.com/fiddle/MichiganPioneer.pdf. Al doesn't seem to pay too much attention to where he got the tune or where it came from so I don't have any more than that. 


JanetB - Posted - 11/10/2015:  08:02:12


You're appreciated, Brett, for always covering this regular discussion thread for us BHOers.  I picked up this "dorky" tune and had a lot of fun imagining it as a polka danced in Michigan.  Thanks to Ken's tab and recording -- and by adding an up-the-neck B part -- it's an enjoyable tune, but it sure has a roughshod history -- Arkansas to Missouri to Oklahoma to California.  Where did that title ever come from?




Michigan Pioneer (TOTW)


Michigan Pioneer (CH) tab

Paul Meredith - Posted - 11/12/2015:  19:52:49


thanks for filling in for TOTW (again) Brett.  And thanks for the heads up on the taterjoes site!


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/12/2015:  21:55:23


quote:

Originally posted by Kernel

 

Our friend Al Lubanes LOVES the dorky tunes. It's become somewhat of a challenge to see who can come up with the prize for the next time we meet. He would love nothing more than to know that a few more people picked up the tune.




Here is a rough recording from when Al was teaching us the tune. (I promise it got better as the week went on) taterjoes.com/fiddle/_recordin...oneer.mp3. And, here is a transcription of the fiddle part. taterjoes.com/fiddle/MichiganPioneer.pdf. Al doesn't seem to pay too much attention to where he got the tune or where it came from so I don't have any more than that. 







Thanks for the recording, Ken.  And thanks to Al for the "dorky" tunes!


EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/12/2015:  21:56:22


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

 

You're appreciated, Brett, for always covering this regular discussion thread for us BHOers.  I picked up this "dorky" tune and had a lot of fun imagining it as a polka danced in Michigan.  Thanks to Ken's tab and recording -- and by adding an up-the-neck B part -- it's an enjoyable tune, but it sure has a roughshod history -- Arkansas to Missouri to Oklahoma to California.  Where did that title ever come from?







Thanks, as always, for contributing your recording and tab, Janet - it is much appreciated.  Glad you found it to be an enjoyable tune.



 



Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 11/12/2015 21:56:58

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 11/12/2015:  21:58:22


quote:

Originally posted by Paul Meredith

 

thanks for filling in for TOTW (again) Brett.  And thanks for the heads up on the taterjoes site!







Happy to do it, Paul.  Glad you are enjoying the TaterJoe's site - I hope you find a lot of good tunes there.


lubanes - Posted - 04/06/2016:  19:23:41


Just remember, dorky rhymes with Torke. Al Lubanes smiley


bhniko - Posted - 04/07/2016:  14:55:45


Nice job Janet...as a pretty good polka dancer I can doubly appreciate the tune.



Edited by - bhniko on 04/07/2016 14:56:10

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