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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 1/1/2016 Citico

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Mtngoat - Posted - 01/01/2016:  08:24:27

Citico TOTW 1/1/16

I’ve chosen Citico for this installment of TOTW.  

Here’s the excerpt from the Traditional Tune Archive:

“ CITACO. AKA - "Citigo," "Citico." AKA and see "Down to the Wildwood to Shoot the Buffalo." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; north Georgia, Tennessee. GDad or AEae tuning (fiddle). Citaco is an area north and east of the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The melody is known as a north Georgia tune. It was, for example, in the repertoire of north Georgia fiddler Lowe Stokes (1898-1983, who played with the Skillet Lickers as well as other bands) who learned it under the title "Down to the Wildwood to Shoot the Buffalo." However, when Stokes recorded the tune in 1930 on his Brunswick Records 78 with his band Lowe Stokes' Swamp Rooters, it was titled "Citaco" (played in GDad tuning). Some versions sound similar to versions of "Cotton Eyed Joe," as, for example, played John Dykes (of the Dykes Magic City String Band) GDad tuning, and as recorded by Marion Thede in her Fiddle Book. North Carolina fiddler Marcus Martin's version of "Citaco" (recorded in 1942 in the field by Artus Moser) is similar to the Kentucky tune "Calico."

“Martin sang this verse to the tune:

Way down in the old Citaco,

The girls they plow and the boys they hoe;

That’s the way they do in the old Citaco,

That’s the way they do in the old Citaco”.

Citico is an actual location with a long history.  Here’s the Wikipedia link for those with an interest in such things.  Wikipedia Citico Entry

In the 1970’s Ron Williams collected a version of Citico from the Barbee Brothers of Soddy, Tennessee.  The late Charles Wolfe, writing in the liner notes for Williams’ Pine Breeze field recordings release, had this to say:  “CITICO was named after a creek in Monroe County, right on the Tennessee-North Carolina line, just a few miles from the borders of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It was a favorite of Lowe Stokes, one of the greatest of southern fiddlers in the 20s, who performed and recorded with the famed band The Skillet Lickers.  Stokes lived for a time in the Chattanooga area, and in 1930 put together a studio band called The Swamp Rooters to make the first record of CITICO”.

The Barbee Brothers can be heard playing Citico at the 1978 National Folk Festival in Washington D.C.  here:  Barbee Brothers Citico

Here’s another Barbee recording from the Hangout Media Archive: Barbee # 2

Stokes’ 1930 commercial recording is here:  Stokes' Citaco

Bert Layne, who played with Stokes in several different bands, including on occasion, the Skillet Lickers provided this remembrance of the Citaco recording session in a 1976 interview. Bert Layne Citaco Interview .  Stokes was evidently a bit of a rounder with a penchant for whiskey, married women, and rough bars.  Layne recounts stories from their days on the road together here: Stokes' Stories

Here are string band renditions by the Red Hots , Triple Chicken Foot , and the Chicken Chokers .

A banjo/fiddle duet by Dean and Judy Robinson is here:   Dean and Judy Robinson

And here’s a fine post by Dean Barber, my go-to guy on the Hangout music archive: Citico by Barber, Townsend, and Overby

I was unable to find a tab for Citico but Ron Williams has a video lesson for the Barbee version here: Ron Williams Citico Video Lesson

Viewers are encouraged to post observations, opinions, performances and tabs contributing to this thread.

A happy 2016 to all.

Edited by - Mtngoat on 01/01/2016 08:40:50

dbrooks - Posted - 01/01/2016:  12:41:08

Good choice for TOTW. Here's some tab based on Ron William's lesson on YouTube. Be sure to check out Ron's video to hear the tune and to learn about the Barbee Brothers. Here's a link:

The tab does not try to capture some of the variation that Ron slips in.

David Brooks

Clawhammer tab eBooks for Kindle from $.99



JanetB - Posted - 01/02/2016:  11:42:50

Anything Marcus Martin (1881 - 1974) recorded is worth learning, so thanks for this one, Mtngoat.  I read in the liner notes of his CD, "When I Get My New House Done, Western North Carolina Fiddle Tunes and Songs" that his father, Rowan Martin, also played the tune.

David, I looked at your tab links on amazon -- lots of them for an amazingly low price.  Your above tab is simple to read and fun to play.



Citico (TOTW)

Citico (CH) tab

dbrooks - Posted - 01/02/2016:  17:36:00

Nice playing and singing, Janet. And your tab looks right on.

Not to hijack this thread, but thanks for the comments on my Kindle books. I did them in an effort to learn about ebooks and to provide tabs to help early learners add tunes and grow their playing. I also wanted to make them easy to try, so the low prices serve that purpose. Since Amazon handles all of the fulfillment, it is a win for the buyer and for me. The only downside is that I seldom know who buys and ebook (they are Amazon's customers, not mine, technically), so I don't get much feedback on how to improve them.


Edited by - dbrooks on 01/02/2016 17:37:09

llrevis - Posted - 01/02/2016:  19:19:44

A great big thank you to David and Janet for all the great tabs. Now if I could just find the time to learn them all. With all the tabs from you two folks and those from Josh Turknett, I have a big backlog. 

deanocraft - Posted - 01/03/2016:  07:24:32

That is a great tune, Mtngoat! It is an easy one to learn and it was the first tune I drop thumbed on.  Thanks for the mention!


Mtngoat - Posted - 01/03/2016:  08:08:27

Thanks for all the responses.

David, your quick work posting tab for the Williams' Barbee video was phenomenally helpful.

Janet, your posts always strengthen my otherwise weak TOTW efforts.  Thank you.  I know we're all looking forward to your tab book.  

I favor the Barbee version but find myself badly outnumbered at jams by those playing the Marcus version.  

Dean,  it was an easy choice to use your video since the banjo was so clear.  I wanted to know more about the instrument so I checked out your web page.  You've got some good looking banjos there.

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