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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 3/20/2020 Matokie Slaughter's "Big Eyed Rabbit" in F


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/362211

Gentleman From VA - Posted - 03/20/2020:  04:53:37


This week I bring to you a tune with a familiar title but hopefully a bit different sound.This is Matokie Slaughter's version of "Big Eyed Rabbit" in the key of F

I don't believe this tune has any relation to the song most of us typically play so I won't waste anyone's time trying to wax poetically about how tunes and songs can evolve and change over time (I believe they do but I seriously consider this just a separate tune by the same name)



I found this version years ago on the Legends of Old Time Music compilation album. You can find this on Spotify and likely on youtube as well. Her style struck me instantly and I knew I really dug it. She does a mixture of upstrokes and traditional clawhammer strokes and plays in some stranger tunings as well, which is just so refreshing to hear sometimes.



I had a friend of mine peer review the video before I posted and he made the very appropriate comment "Now this, is a Banjo Tune. This has to ring out and other instruments may dilute that old feeling"



Tuning is fFGCD



Her version is here...





My Take on it is here...





and Tom Collins Does a great Breakdown on his banjo quest series He's also written a third part to add to the original.

Start it here...





I find this post more about the performer herself than the tune, even though I get lost in this tune for far too long sometimes, strolling around my house just continuing on and on and on... Do yourselves a favor and find a copy of her album, I think there are CD versions available from a recording she did in the late 1980's or early 90's

But, if you are distancing or self quarantining or just doing whatever you can, do some research on Matokie, I'll even post the first part of her wiki



"Matokie Worrell Slaughter (December 21, 1919[1] – December 31, 1999), sometimes known as "Tokie" Slaughter, was an American clawhammer banjo player.

Born in Pulaski, Virginia, to a large musical family, Slaughter performed regularly with her family on local radio in the 1940s. She and her sister Virgie (later Virgie Worrel Richardson) also appeared regularly at local fiddler's conventions. She was discovered by the larger old-time music community when some of her recordings appeared on Charles Faurot's clawhammer banjo anthologies during the 1960s. Later, she made many appearances at folk music festivals and workshops throughout the US and formed a band called Matokie Slaughter & The Back Creek Buddies with her sister Virgie and old-time music revivalist Alice Gerrard. The band issued a cassette-only release, Saro, in 1990.[2][3][4]



Slaughter is known for her unique, driving style of clawhammer banjo playing, with complex noting and double-noting and featuring both uppicking and downpicking.[2] She also occasionally played fiddle.



During the 1990s, San Francisco artist Margaret Kilgallen began drawing freight-train graffiti using the name "Matokie Slaughter" as an homage to the original Matokie Slaughter. A fictionalized version of Matokie Slaughter also figured prominently in many of Kilgallen's non-graffiti artworks.[5]"







I can't wait to hear what ya'll come up with and be a part of the general conversation this should bring up.



-Joshua (Gentleman From Virginia)


Edited by - Gentleman From VA on 03/20/2020 06:02:37

RG - Posted - 03/20/2020:  12:44:20


Great pick! This tune has been a longtime favorite of mine since I first heard it in the early 70's on the County CH record, and Matokie Slaughter is one of my banjo heroes for sure, her playing is amazing. Your version is great Joshua, you got that rhythm going that is so important in her style of playing, well done sir...

Gentleman From VA - Posted - 03/20/2020:  12:58:52


@rg



I appreciate the compliments!

The rhythmic nature is truly what gets me going on these.



Gonna give it a try?


Edited by - Gentleman From VA on 03/20/2020 12:59:11

carlb - Posted - 03/20/2020:  16:25:45


Sure sounds like the Samantha Bumgarner tune of the same name.

youtube.com/watch?v=-oBZ9iKQ0ck



Bill Dillof did the tune under the name  "Are You Gettin' There Rabbit", probably to keep from confusing it with the Tommy Jarrell tune of the same name. Great tune. My take from 12 years ago


Jimmy Sutton - Posted - 03/21/2020:  03:58:38


I agree with Carl Baron,

I first heard this sung by Steve Ledford of Rock Creek North Carolina, on the Rounder album of the Ledford String Band as "Big Eyed Rabbit. I next heard it by Wayne Ledford his youngest brother in session at Red Wilson's house. He sang "Are you in there rabbit are you in there now, yes my lord I'm getting there now".
I also have a nice audio vocal and banjo recording by Amy Michels at a Mount Airy festival, she said of the tune "you know this don't you? it's like a version of "Shortnin' Bread". It's long been a favourite of mine.

RG - Posted - 03/21/2020:  20:38:12


quote:

Originally posted by Jimmy Sutton

I agree with Carl Baron,



I first heard this sung by Steve Ledford of Rock Creek North Carolina, on the Rounder album of the Ledford String Band as "Big Eyed Rabbit. I next heard it by Wayne Ledford his youngest brother in session at Red Wilson's house. He sang "Are you in there rabbit are you in there now, yes my lord I'm getting there now".

I also have a nice audio vocal and banjo recording by Amy Michels at a Mount Airy festival, she said of the tune "you know this don't you? it's like a version of "Shortnin' Bread". It's long been a favourite of mine.






That Ledford String Band album is a great one! Had totally forgotten about it and dug it out and played it, used to have a bunch of Steve Ledford 78's before I sold them all a while back, he was a great fiddler...

JanetB - Posted - 03/22/2020:  15:11:54


A fun tune to explore and your nicely paced version is helpful for learning, Joshua. I like how you kept your finger on the first string so constantly.  I used Matokie's recordings, but slowed down greatly. My, she was fast! She would have been 100 years old right now and I'm grateful for you to point the way to learn more about her. No, not all Big Eyed Rabbits are the same, like the one from Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham, but the others, like Carl's, are related to Matokie's.  I used the tuning that Anita Kermode calls a variant G tuning, listing this very song first in her description:  Anita Kermode tuning description of fFGCD.  I feel like a big-eyed rabbit these days, watching carefully for danger and trying to be prepared.


Gentleman From VA - Posted - 03/23/2020:  06:06:07


quote:

Originally posted by carlb

Sure sounds like the Samantha Bumgarner tune of the same name.

youtube.com/watch?v=-oBZ9iKQ0ck



Bill Dillof did the tune under the name  "Are You Gettin' There Rabbit", probably to keep from confusing it with the Tommy Jarrell tune of the same name. Great tune. My take from 12 years ago






Oh man! 



Thank you for providing this! I've never heard anyone else do it and its very much the same tune. Good ear and thank you for your info!

Gentleman From VA - Posted - 03/23/2020:  06:07:31


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

A fun tune to explore and your nicely paced version is helpful for learning, Joshua. I like how you kept your finger on the first string so constantly.  I used Matokie's recordings, but slowed down greatly. My, she was fast! She would have been 100 years old right now and I'm grateful for you to point the way to learn more about her. No, not all Big Eyed Rabbits are the same, like the one from Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham, but the others, like Carl's, are related to Matokie's.  I used the tuning that Anita Kermode calls a variant G tuning, listing this very song first in her description:  Anita Kermode tuning description of fFGCD.  I feel like a big-eyed rabbit these days, watching carefully for danger and trying to be prepared.






Yep, that's the tuning I'm using. Great work Janet as always! 



 

cmic - Posted - 03/23/2020:  10:58:19


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

....

tuning that Anita Kermode calls a variant G tuning, listing this very song first in her description:  Anita Kermode tuning description of fFGCD.  I feel like a big-eyed rabbit these days, watching carefully for danger and trying to be prepared.






Sorry to say, but your video seems to be "on error" when I click on the video.

Youtube error or your upload error ?



 

JanetB - Posted - 03/23/2020:  11:17:17


 

"Sorry to say, but your video seems to be "on error" when I click on the video.

Youtube error or your upload error ? "



Try this link to youtube: JanetB’s Big Eyed Rabbit



 






 

BrooksMT - Posted - 03/23/2020:  18:15:04


cmic

I had problems with another upload on BHO a few hours ago. But it has cleared up (and I just accessed JanetB's video ok).

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