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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: TOTW 10/23/2020 ~ Coyote Howl


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/369668

Noah Cline - Posted - 10/23/2020:  05:34:14


Here’s a fun tune I learned at a Cabin jam a few years ago. “Coyote Howl” is a fairly modern Old Time fiddle tune composed by Joe Herrmann, who I’ve had the pleasure of playing some tunes with and believe I learned the tune directly from him at a jam session or at another session that it came up in when he didn’t attend. It’s in D mixolydian (Key of D with a C involved). I play it in double D tuning (aDADE). There’s quite a few D mixolydian fiddle tunes, including “Over the Waterfall,” “Staten Island Hornpipe,” “Snake River Reel,” “Valley Forge,” and “Cuckoo’s Nest” to name a couple, so this tune fits in nicely, being of a fairly newer vintage even though it sounds much older. 



Here’s Joe playing his tune at the beginning of a medley: youtu.be/JLKafhCXNNo



And another take by Dakota Karper, who I’ve also played some tunes with as well as her dad, Pete Hobbie: youtu.be/2rfdT598nL0



Finally, here’s my take with a high A and B-part variation: youtu.be/6dcykAwrX6w



You can read more about Joe and his group, Critton Hollow String Band, here: crittonhollow.com/ch.html



And here: wvfolklife.org/2016/08/10/fiel...herrmann/


Edited by - Noah Cline on 10/23/2020 06:56:10


lapsteel - Posted - 10/23/2020:  06:26:59


I enjoyed listening to and reading about “Coyote Howl”. Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it!!

Noah Cline - Posted - 10/23/2020:  07:00:39


quote:

Originally posted by lapsteel

I enjoyed listening to and reading about “Coyote Howl”. Thanks for doing this. I appreciate it!!






Thanks! Sadly, I never thought to ask Joe in person the inspiration for the tune, but I figure a maybe it's something to do with the coyote population here in the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Usually hear them in the evenings and nights in pursuit of something. 

Badweld Banjo - Posted - 10/23/2020:  07:08:24


Noah, I play Scruggs style, but that really sounded good. Liked it a bunch.

Noah Cline - Posted - 10/23/2020:  10:09:43


quote:

Originally posted by Badweld Banjo

Noah, I play Scruggs style, but that really sounded good. Liked it a bunch.






It's a catchy tune. Thanks!

dornan - Posted - 10/23/2020:  18:48:46


I enjoyed that so much!!!!

JanetB - Posted - 10/23/2020:  22:53:14


You sound great, as always, Noah!  As you say, it's indeed a catchy tune.  What tuning did you choose?  I'm in sawmill.



In checking out your links, there was contact information for Joe Herrmann and he replied promptly.  The story behind the tune is a true, but sad story, solved by the adoption of a special sheepdog.  Here's what Joe responded:



"We keep a small flock of sheep to supply wool for Sam's fiber business, 'Samspun'.



One morning in November of 2010 as I approached the barn I saw 5 of our 10 sheep standing, untypically, shoulder to shoulder (an instinctively defensive posture). I then noticed that there was a sheep lying near them. Dead, and butchered. I eventually discovered that 5 sheep had been massacred. 2 of them were still alive. With the help of a friend who is a veterinarian we were able to nurse one of them back. We knew that the marauders were coyotes. They travel the hills around here and we hear them often.



I did not purposefully go about to make up a tune about this terrible event but sometime not too long after, I was driving home from visiting friends in Baltimore. I had this tune developing in my head. At one point, up ahead, I saw a tractor trailer with the word "Coyote" written on it. (Or at least that's what I thought it said. As I got closer I saw that it was something else. Don't recall what.) The tune, the word, and the occurrence became bound together.



We now have a dog that lives in the pasture with the sheep. The Coyotes want nothing to do with her. The breed is Karakachan, bred for the purpose of guarding sheep. Problem solved.



Thanks for featuring the tune. I'm pleased that there is an interest. 



Let me know if you have any more questions."



That's what I've always liked about old-time music -- the most respected and admired musicians of this genre kindly wish to help us, teach us, and befriend us.  And tune titles do mean a lot, although there may be a twist to the story....


Hay-on-Wye - Posted - 10/23/2020:  23:30:43


Cool tune and it’s been buzzing around my head all night. I’ve heard it before or something similar.....Jawbone? But backwards???

carlb - Posted - 10/24/2020:  05:12:34


quote:

Originally posted by Hay-on-Wye

Cool tune and it’s been buzzing around my head all night. I’ve heard it before or something similar.....Jawbone? But backwards???






I hear a little bit of "Cluck Old Hen" in it.

Noah Cline - Posted - 10/24/2020:  06:45:22


quote:

Originally posted by JanetB

You sound great, as always, Noah!  As you say, it's indeed a catchy tune.  What tuning did you choose?  I'm in sawmill.



 






I play it in double D (aDADE). The other banjo players I know do as well I believe. 

 



Sometimes I've had similar occurrences with coming up with tunes and titles for them. Usually it's a melody I come up with while noodling around, and then some time later, a name pops in my head and think, "Yeah, that would sound like a fitting title." At least that's the way it was for the "Mountain Staircase" as I had developed the melody a couple years before officially naming it.



 


Edited by - Noah Cline on 10/24/2020 06:48:00

ndlxs - Posted - 10/25/2020:  05:16:43


Yes, that tune done got drilled into my brain after just 2 listening...I'd better learn it. 

banjo_brad - Posted - 10/25/2020:  14:05:51


Catchy! I am old, so I catch a bit of "Free Widdle Fishies" in it, plus one more that I can't find again, I need to play it a couple of times.



Thanks, Janet, for the tab - I really need to learn this one.



 



Carl - That's the other tune I hear, Cluck Old Hen!  Thanks.


Edited by - banjo_brad on 10/25/2020 14:09:18

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