I haven't been able to find a ton of information about the tune so I'm curious if anyone knows more about it. Some people have pointed out some similarities to Big Scioty (particularly in the B part). Jabbour did some research to try to figure out whether the "Winder" refers to something specific or just the windy-ness of the tune and the jury appears to still be out on that one.
The specific crookedness of the tune comes from a dropped beat at the end of the first A part and then a dropped beat at the end of *each* pass through the B part. This gives the tune this really weird (but really fun) feeling of always kind of skipping ahead every time it comes back to the top.
I will post a tab this weekend but here's a video of my take on it:
Good choice, Adam. Several years ago, I thought I would try to tab the tunes in Jeff Todd Titon's book, "Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes." I worked at a company with a descendant of John Salyer and began with his tunes. Attached is my tab for "Kentucky Winder" based on the notation in Titon's book. (I normally write tab in 4/4 times, but I wrote many of Salyer's tabs in 2/4 time to match Titon's notation and to cope with the crooked tunes.) By the way, Titon says that a wilder is a dance.
By the way, I am a huge fan of the Stairwell Sisters, who have importunately gone their separate ways. Evie Ladin, their banjo player, continues to produce excellent CDs, including her latest, "Riding the Rooster." This CD contains 17 tunes with Evie playing banjo with 17 different fiddlers.
Thank you for presenting another John Salyer tune and your lively version, Adam. Kentucky music is so appealing and beautiful. I've listened today to some of my all-time favorite fiddlers -- Rayna Gellert, Bruce Greene, Tatiana Hargreaves, plus the others that have been linked. Kentucky Winder is a great tune whether played quickly or more slowly. You can hear Rayna's version on her site which she uses for students, but is happy to share with us: Rayna Gellert's Fiddle Tune Videos.
I chose to play the high part first, though the original recording actually starts in the middle of it. Sometimes the lower part is longer than other times. I see the fine part first in the Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes. But in Jeff Titon's Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes it's in the opposite order. So we can take our choice.