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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 7/7/17 - Lazy Kate

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:

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 07/08/2017:  20:37:40

OK, this isn't an emergency back-up tune, since I am the official volunteer for the week. But I may have overestimated the amount of free time I would have in my one day turnaround from one out-of-town trip to another, and thus was not able to do a fully researched write-up.  So here is a quick post of a tune, which I will try to add to in the coming days.

The tune is Lazy Kate, which comes to us from the Leake County Revelers.

I wrote about the Leake County Revelers in last year's TOTW #405, Monkey on a Dogcart; I found most of that information on the Mississippi Music Country Trail website:  Here is their version of Lazy Kate, recorded in 1930:

Old-Time fiddler Lisa Ornstein chose Lazy Kate as one of her "Tunes of the Month" back in 2013, and included two versions of it on her website, including a slow 'learning' version:

Here is the Traditional Tune Archive's entry:

Banjo tab can be found on the TaterJoe's site:


The origin of the title is unknown, but it may refer to a knitting tool. In spinning, a lazy kate is a device used to hold one or more spools or bobbins in place while the yarn on them is wound off from the side of the bobbin

 photo a1b2b7f2acecdf5ab4a62ff63acbe5cf.jpg


Note: There seem to be two separate tunes by this name, the Deep South/Mississippi tune discussed here, and a Missouri/Ozark tune associated with Bob Walters and found in R. P. Christeson's 'Old Time Fiddlers Repertory'.

Edited by - EggerRidgeBoy on 07/27/2017 16:02:26

JanetB - Posted - 07/09/2017:  12:42:41

Thanks for coming through, Bret.  Hopefully there's more information about this Mississippi string band.

I tried double D tuning and found Ken Torke's tab right on the melody while keeping the rhythm.  But my little finger had to stretch to reach the 5th fret, and I thought I'd make it easier for me by trying another tuning (I'm under 5' and my hands aren't all that big).  Funny, but when I played cello in orchestra it wasn't hard to use all my four fingers back then. Perhaps the vertical position of the cello made an easier pinky reach.  I thought I'd try a cello banjo arrangement in what's equivalent to open G tuning (dADF#A) to eliminate using the fifth fret.  Here's what I came up with:

EggerRidgeBoy - Posted - 07/27/2017:  16:00:10

Thanks very much for posting your version, Janet.

I edited the original post to include the website where I found the info on the Leake County Revelers that I included in last year's Monkey on a Dogcart TOTW.

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