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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW (OT) 29 July 2016: Little Whiskey


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/321062

Zischkale - Posted - 07/28/2016:  21:35:14


Here's a Missouri tune called Little Whiskey. Not sure if it's a suggestive reference, like, "hey, how 'bout a little whiskey?" Or literally a diminutive whiskey, much like those small tacky containers you can get at liquor store checkouts. 



What I do know is it's a fun tune with a nice twist to it. The A-part is relatively straightforward, sticking to the root in the key of A. The B-part lands hard on a G chord, then to a D chord, then flies up the neck for a high B note. I'm playing fiddle again here, but swear my next TOTW will be on banjo! Little Whiskey makes a good banjo tune as well - I've linked below to a great tutorial by Hilarie Burhans.



I picked this one up from the Phillips Collection of American Fiddle Tunes, on loan to me from a Missouri fiddler. Book says it's from the ILL-MO Boys (great name), who seem to have recorded it for an early 90's cassette. You can hear a sample of their version here. Original source was a Missouri fiddler named Nile Wilson (b.1912), who learned it from his great uncle. It's a tie-hacker tune -- made it out to the Mid-West with the railroad (see Traditional Tune Archive entry here, Fiddler's Companion entry here). Hear samples of Nile's playing here and here.



Some great examples of the tune:



The Volo Bogtrotters unleash it at about 5:30 in this video, the last call of a whiskey medley (there happens to be a tab specific to their version, see Ken Torke's work here.)



youtu.be/3i8RFfRtiNA



 



Outdone by a child - I hope this kid is over on FiddleHangout, posting some good tunes:



youtu.be/4xIOH0Ks_k0



 



Speaking of FHO - here's an interesting mandolin version of the tune. 

 



Great jam with Hilarie Burhans...



youtu.be/XTK6QziDgW0



 



...and a little tutorial video where she slows her playing down:



youtu.be/C5vQsVUmREo



 



Finally, here's my take on it:





youtu.be/-9p7wYCdez0



 



Would love to hear y'all's renditions!


hendrid - Posted - 07/29/2016:  06:40:39




abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=tun...-ext/0001



 From ibiblio.org, Fiddlers Companion.  “tie-hacker” tune.  Railroad workers who cut railroad ties during building of railroads.



LITTLE WHISKEY. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Missouri. A Major ('A' part) & A Mixolydian ('B' part). AEae tuning. AABB. The tune is known as a “tie-hacker” tune, one that was carried to the Mid-West by railroad workers. In the case of “Little Whiskey” the source was Nile Wilson of Bucklin, Missouri, whose people were ‘tie-hackers’ from Illinois. Source for notated version: Geoff Seitz with the Ill-Mo Boys [Phillips]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. I, 1994; pg. 144. Marimac 9054, The Ill-Mo Boys - "Fine As Frog Hair" (1995). MSOTFA 202-CD, Nile Wilson - “The Tie-Hacker Hoedown.” MSOTFA, "Now That's a Good Tune: Masters of Traditional Missouri Fiddling.”



Edited by - hendrid on 07/29/2016 06:44:53

JanetB - Posted - 07/29/2016:  16:30:34


You always pick an interesting tune, Aaron.  I like the double-stops in your fiddling.  Here's a true fact:  Nile Wilson (1912 - 2008), the source fiddler from New Boston, Linn County, Missouri, was in a farming accident at age 18 that injured his left hand fingers.  He no longer felt comfortable playing the "double-notes" involved in waltzes, and became better known for his hornpipes and hoedowns.



I listened to the source recording of Nile Wilson which I have in a book with a double CD set called Now That's a Good Tune, Masters of Traditional Missouri Fiddling.  The article on Wilson describes the tie-hackers.  In Little Whiskey I can sure hear somebody pleading for a little whiskey!



JanetB - Posted - 07/30/2016:  09:26:19


Yesterday I forgot to post the source recording from Nile Wilson.  It's in two places on the Slippery Hill website -- both in the Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes and in Now That's a Good Tune:  Masters of Traditional Missouri Fiddling.  slippery-hill.com/recording/little-whiskey 



In the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes (your source, Aaron) there are also chords.  I'm still puzzled about the B part and that funny B note.  If you were chording along, I haven't found the chord that sounds right, unless it's the 7th chord played up an octave.  In the Missouri book the Tune Annotation notes say the cross-tuning used (AEAE) makes the tune sound discordant and "primitive."  



In Hilarie's jam it all sound good and quite natural.  I've found her teaching tutorials to be very clear.


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 07/30/2016:  15:52:49


Hilarie just plays everything with such strength and definition.  And JB always brings a touch of class - a serious touch of class - to these tunes.  Here's my quick and dirty version:



youtube.com/watch?v=0I96TuIvYv...oad_owner



 



 



Have a great Banjo Filled Sunday,



Lew


jenorma1 - Posted - 07/30/2016:  17:19:28


This tune has been coming up at my local (MI) jam in the last year and I love it - great pick for tune of the week and I love the versions you've all posted so far!



Here's my version (played in A modal) - enjoy!



soundcloud.com/user-167784217/...ff-norman



Edited by - jenorma1 on 07/30/2016 17:20:48

heroldra - Posted - 08/01/2016:  09:32:22


What's the tune they start with before they get to Little Whiskey?

Kernel - Posted - 08/01/2016:  10:24:17


Great tune! I've always loved the "dramatic" B part . (It 's a flatted 7th chord). 



As Aaron mentioned, I have a tab based on the Volo's version for Little Whiskey. I took a look at it and and I play it a bit different now so I updated it and added the chords. (you may want to look again if you got it earlier).



We've had some luck in a getting enough people to know all three tunes in the Volo Bogtrotter's Whiskey Medley to be able to carry it off at jam. It is a lot of fun but it's a little tough on the folks who don't know the tunes already. If anybody is interested here are fairly simple versions of Little Whiskey and the other two tunes from the medley (it goes Cindy, Old Kentucky Whiskey, Little Whiskey) as well as the fiddle transcriptions for your fiddling pals. The banjo version for Old Kentucky Whiskey is based on the Indian Creek Delta Boys' version more than the Volo's version but they are very similar. 



taterjoes.com/banjo/CindyA.pdf

taterjoes.com/banjo/OldKentuckyWhiskey.pdf

taterjoes.com/banjo/LittleWhiskey.pdf



taterjoes.com/fiddle/CindyAMW.pdf

taterjoes.com/fiddle/OldKentuc...keyMW.pdf

taterjoes.com/fiddle/LittleWhiskeyMW.pdf



Cheers!


Zischkale - Posted - 08/02/2016:  07:11:16


Appreciate y'all posting your renditions!



Janet - I like the arrangement, the up-the-neck bit in the second measure of part B is a nice melodic touch. And you're getting that 7th fret note with an AS hammer-on? It sure does ring clear! Not sure about what chord backup is best for the dreaded high B - I'd logically think E or E7, but I'm not with an instrument right now and it sounds a little early in the B part for that chord. I wonder what chord the guitar is playing over in the Nile recording. The MO Fiddle book looks great, like that photo too! 



Lew - really liking the sticky tone you're getting out of that 'jo, and a nice steady Diller groove there.



Jeff - good choice of A modal tuning, and you're really doing some clean noting there, nice playing! Need to keep a closer eye on your posts - really liked the modes study you did on Coleman's March.



Ken - thanks for posting! Really liked the Possum tab you shared from the last TOTW. You've built up a hell of a library on your site, didn't realize you were doing fiddle transcriptions too! Thanks for lining up the Volo medley as well, will have to learn this one. 



 


jenorma1 - Posted - 08/09/2016:  07:14:56


quote:

Originally posted by Zischkale

 

Appreciate y'all posting your renditions!




Janet - I like the arrangement, the up-the-neck bit in the second measure of part B is a nice melodic touch. And you're getting that 7th fret note with an AS hammer-on? It sure does ring clear! Not sure about what chord backup is best for the dreaded high B - I'd logically think E or E7, but I'm not with an instrument right now and it sounds a little early in the B part for that chord. I wonder what chord the guitar is playing over in the Nile recording. The MO Fiddle book looks great, like that photo too! 




Lew - really liking the sticky tone you're getting out of that 'jo, and a nice steady Diller groove there.




Jeff - good choice of A modal tuning, and you're really doing some clean noting there, nice playing! Need to keep a closer eye on your posts - really liked the modes study you did on Coleman's March.




Ken - thanks for posting! Really liked the Possum tab you shared from the last TOTW. You've built up a hell of a library on your site, didn't realize you were doing fiddle transcriptions too! Thanks for lining up the Volo medley as well, will have to learn this one. 




 







Thanks Aaron - just saw your response after getting back from clifftop : ) Got to play this tune a couple of times down there - I think it was making the rounds this year (though "Little Billy Wilson" took over the banjo contest and "five miles from town" was also a pretty hefty jam staple)


Zischkale - Posted - 08/12/2016:  07:15:48


Jeff - hope Clifftop was great, I'm hoping to make it out there within the next few years. Little Whiskey's just so much fun to saw at. Hadn't heard Little Billy Wilson, but if Five Miles from Town is the crooked one I'm thinking of, I really like that one. 


jenorma1 - Posted - 08/12/2016:  08:38:21


Indeed five miles from town is that crooked D tune - I must have played it in 7 different jams over the week (and I didnt even call it!). Just a fantastic tune!!



This was my first year at clifftop and I had a lot of "first timer" questions - I put a couple of answers on my banjo blog if you're curious:



jeffnormanbanjo.com/weekly-ban...npr-cameo



Hope we can play a couple tunes there together some time : )


Zischkale - Posted - 08/16/2016:  06:17:42


quote:

Originally posted by jenorma1

 

Indeed five miles from town is that crooked D tune - I must have played it in 7 different jams over the week (and I didnt even call it!). Just a fantastic tune!!




This was my first year at clifftop and I had a lot of "first timer" questions - I put a couple of answers on my banjo blog if you're curious:




jeffnormanbanjo.com/weekly-ban...npr-cameo




Hope we can play a couple tunes there together some time : )







Sounds like a plan! Only really heard a few details from the veteran players, it's good to hear a newbie's perspective. I'm hoping one of our locals made it over to the Texas tent -- wondering if Spencer and Rains make it out there on occasion. Congrats on the 15 minutes of NPR fame!


BrendanD - Posted - 08/16/2016:  18:51:52


quote:

Originally posted by Zischkale




Sounds like a plan! Only really heard a few details from the veteran players, it's good to hear a newbie's perspective. I'm hoping one of our locals made it over to the Texas tent -- wondering if Spencer and Rains make it out there on occasion. Congrats on the 15 minutes of NPR fame!



Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains were indeed there, as they are most every year. We were camping with them, and they played almost constantly, with us and many others. We even got to work up a few new tunes for our Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention set next month!


Cyndy - Posted - 08/21/2016:  07:24:36


Aaron--I'll bet you had no idea when you posted this tune that an old lady in Southern California would still be having a great time working on it almost a month later. :) Here's my just-beginning-to-come-together take on it. Thanks for choosing such a fun one!




Zischkale - Posted - 08/23/2016:  06:22:39


quote:

Originally posted by Cyndy

 

Aaron--I'll bet you had no idea when you posted this tune that an old lady in Southern California would still be having a great time working on it almost a month later. :) Here's my just-beginning-to-come-together take on it. Thanks for choosing such a fun one!







Tone sounds good, and I like your choice of sliding into the first note of the A part. I'm glad you're enjoying the tune, I am as well! I've already added a bit more melody when I play it on fiddle, to try and get closer to Nile's version. 


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