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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 01/22/16 - Old Horse & Buggy

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:

greenbrooms - Posted - 01/21/2016:  17:38:20

Happy almost-Friday, BHO-ers! I'm going to cut to the chase on this one and post it a night early because tomorrow is going to be a little hectic before the BIG EAST COAST STORM OF THE CENTURY kicks into high gear. TOTW is one of my favorite, relatively simple, happy-go-lucky tunes, Old Horse & Buggy.

I posted an old(er) recording in the Sound Off! forum a few weeks ago and folks seemed to get a kick out of it, so I figured it'd get a little more visibility here. I don't really have any background on this tune at all, save for the alternate title Horse & Buggy-O. Below are a few audio links to the tune, along with a newer (steel string + hat) and the older (nylon + no hat) recording of my own attached at the very bottom.

To all you in the Mid-Atlantic, stay safe this weekend! Hopefully you can brighten up your cabin fever-stricken housemates with this jolly ol' banjo tune big

Art Stamper feat. John Herrmann on banjo (from the recording Goodbye Girls, I'm Going To Boston):


Hiram Stamper (performing it titled Horse & Buggy-O, via


Edited by - greenbrooms on 01/21/2016 17:39:30

VIDEO: TOTW 01/22/16 -- Old Horse and Buggy
(click to view)

VIDEO: Old Horse and Buggy (nylgut)
(click to view)

jack_beuthin - Posted - 01/21/2016:  19:06:49

Good one Kevin! Hope the lights and heat stay on through the storm.  We ended up on the south side of the Jet Stream in Colorado and dodged this one.

JanetB - Posted - 01/21/2016:  21:40:05

Art Stamper is always a delight to hear.  Both your banjos sound great, Kevin. Here's a recording on my small scale Robert Browder gourd banjo.

Horse and Buggy-O, gourd banjo

Horse and Buggy-O (CH) tab

ScottK - Posted - 01/22/2016:  11:22:38

Great choice and great picking, Kevin!

That Art Stamper Goodbye Girls, I'm Going to Boston album is popular here in the Pacific Northwest.  Lots of tunes from it show up in local jams, including this one.

I finally got to meet and hear John Herrmann for the first time last week.  He was in town for the Portland Old Time Music Gathering and played the Every Sunday Square Dance along with Bosco, Heja, Isaac Enloe, and Jamie Herrmann.  Great fun!

Cheers, Scott

mbuk06 - Posted - 01/23/2016:  02:25:59

Kevin, wonderful tune choice.

Here's me enjoying this Art Stamper buggy ride this morning:



mojo_monk - Posted - 01/23/2016:  03:15:20

Good call and great picking, Kevin. We do this in one the stringbands I'm a member of. We do it closer to the late Ozark fiddler Fred Stoneking's version which is a bit different in that he throws in some G natural notes towards the end of each part. He apparently picked it up from a fiddler in Atlanta. I don't have any solo banjo recordings of this one, but I'll try to get one going and post it.




Edited by - mojo_monk on 01/23/2016 03:16:26

mojo_monk - Posted - 01/23/2016:  03:49:42

BTW, Hiram Stamper's fiddling has always captivated me. The timing and shape of his tunes harken back to a time when the fiddle was played without accompanist; with perhaps the only exception being the human voice. I've spent some serious time his with fiddling over the years and my horizons have been broadened as a result.

The contrast between his playing and that of his sons Art and Charlie is rather stark, IMHO. I guess it makes sense given the fact that Art cut his teeth playing with some of the biggest names in Bluegrass (the Stanley Bros. and Bill Monroe to name a few) and his older bother Charlie was most certainly influenced by other E. Kentucky fiddlers of the 30s & 40s (i.e. Kenny Baker and the "Fiddle King of the South" Marion Sumner). Sorry for the thread drift but this stuff keeps me up late at night (or early in the morning, as it were).

 If you're not one who is used to listening to field recordings of older fiddlers, then Hiram Stamper may not be the best place to start. Or maybe it is exactly the best place to start. I'm too far gone to make that call. Either way, I urge anyone is unfamiliar with his playing to spend some time with him and see what wonderful fiddler he was.

Hiram Stamper at the Berea College Special Collections & Achives 



Don Borchelt - Posted - 01/25/2016:  09:53:09

A fine choice for TOTW, I really like this tune, too.  Three great versions so far, from Kevin, Janet and Mike.  I first learned this form my friend and fellow BHO member Dean Barber (FretlessinTexas), at Clifftop some years ago.   I have posted two versions below, the first is a recording made on the last night of the Clifftop festival in August, 2012. BHO member Don Couchie and I sat down to pick some tunes with Ralph Roberts, an old time West Virginia fiddler from Frametown, West Virginia. Ralph's grandfather, John Roberts, was a cousin of the great Edden Hammons. I am playing three finger style banjo, keeping up as best I can, and Don is playing rhythm guitar.  The video I just made today, picking my semi-fretless, short scale Paramount, in A variant tuning (aEABE). 

- Don Borchelt

                   Ralph Roberts

Old Horse and Buggy from Clifftop 2012

VIDEO: Old Horse and Buggy
(click to view)

vrteach - Posted - 01/25/2016:  11:00:40

I got confused, because I had seen and commented on greenbrooms' earlier posting in "Sound Off". When this TOTW came along, I mixed it up with the earlier posting. This morning I had a vague idea that there had not been a TOTW post, and now I realize that I had ignored this post because I thought it was from a few weeks ago!

Well. This is one of my favorite tunes. I generally play it on the fiddle, and in A because that's how I learned it from Billy Mathews. I'll include a version I double-tracked of myself in 2009. I'm playing both fiddle & banjo. I did banjo first, so the fiddle sounds like an intermediate fiddler trying to follow a banjo player (who is playing as slow as he can).

To be honest, I'm not sure I've played it on banjo since then. I hope I've gotten better on the fiddle.

Horse and Buggy


Zischkale - Posted - 01/25/2016:  21:31:22

Thanks for posting, Kevin, and good timing--just started getting into Art (been listening to his Lost Fiddler album). Need to hear more of he and John Herrmann! Great playing, really like the sound of the brushes in that steel-string video (even though I usually can't get enough of that growly gut stuff). Stay warm, buddy.


Sean -- thanks for the heads up on Berea's Hiram Stamper site!

hayesdt - Posted - 01/27/2016:  10:45:11

A multitrack fiddle and banjo rendition of the TOTW, Art Stamper's "Old Horse and Buggy."  

Old Horse and Buggy


vrteach - Posted - 01/27/2016:  16:35:07

Well, I was just waiting for folks to show up for the jam, so I recorded a banjo-only version.

Horse and Buggy


greenbrooms - Posted - 01/28/2016:  07:26:54

man this is great! i haven't checked the post since last friday - i'm glad it caught some traction! absolutely loving everyone's personal touches for both versions of the tune. time to go incorporate all your ideas into my own playing smiley

Feo - Posted - 02/09/2016:  13:03:36

I know everyone does this tune in key A .... Well , I don't know .... today I picked up my banjo and just started playing this tune in key of C

I play in an old-time 2-finger style banjo .... I guess sort of like Don , but not smooooth as he is ... lol

When I got done , I realized ...I didn't do it in the right key ... so darn , had to quick-like make up a key-C fiddle part to go with it ...

I played for awhile because I'm trying to make online "jams " for folks to join in with .... now for something different ... Horse and Buggy-O keyC

Feo - Posted - 02/11/2016:  19:19:16


I'm just trying to update my music file .. Jeff and I have been working on this , building it up with our fiddles and such ...   we even got a slap bass in there now :-)

Wasn't sure how to edit my own post ??

Edited by - Feo on 02/11/2016 19:30:48

Horse and Buggy -O


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