This weeks TOTW is a unique 3 part version of Cripple Creek first published in Marion Thede’s Fiddle Book from the late 60’s. The tunes in that collection are ones she collected personally dating back to the 30’s from fiddle players in the region that included Oklahoma, Missouri, and parts of Texas. Long out of print, copies can still be found through Amazon, eBay, and Abe’s Books.
There are no notes about this version in the Thede book other than it is attributed to fiddler J.S. Price. Price was a left handed fiddler from Potawattomie, County, OK. He was born in Mississippi in 1876 and moved to Oklahoma sometime before marrying Miss Hester Stringer, in Delhi, OK, in 1912. Mr. Price is listed in the 1940 Census as being a music teacher WPA. He died in El Reno, OK in 1962, aged 85. Many thanks to my friend and genealogist John Kurt Entsminger for the biographical information on J.S. Price.
The tune is normally played in calico tuning on fiddle which is AEAC#. For banjo that would just be open G tuning capoed up to A. We like to play things a little lower in G, so the MP3 from a Black Creek Festival and the video with Paul Kirk on fiddle, yours truly on banjo, and Bill Braun on guitar are all in G for banjo. Hope you Enjoy.
The Canote brothers als recorded this version which can be found over at Slippery Hill. Canote Brothers
You certainly picked a pleasant surprise to work on this week, Stephen. Your band's performance is delightful -- I like it even better than the unforgettable and lovable Canote Brothers!
My arrangement is so similar to yours that I assume you also used Marion There's notation. It's rare to get to use her book as a reference and also a challenge to go from fiddle notation to clawhammer banjo. I have several such fiddle tune books that I treasure, but don't use them real often, so thanks for the opportunity. Is it your fiddler, Paul, that discovers tunes from The Fiddle Book in your band?
I have a copy of Marion Thede's Fiddle Book, but tend to only consult it when I'm really unsure of a particular note or phrase. Mostly I learn them by ear from Paul's playing. Paul Kirk, the fiddler in our band has been gleaning tunes from there for some time and I've been gathering whatever info about them in support as well. Fiddler's Companion and the Tunearch site reference Thede as another source for a lot of commonly named tunes, but the Thede settings are usually very unique and were collected before most of the popular festival versions took hold. Many of these she transcribed on the spot back in the 1930's. I've heard Tom Sauber once created a recording (Cassette tape?) of many if not all of the tunes in the book. Tom also spent a lot of time with Earl Collins who is represented in Thede's book and recorded an album with him.