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8th of January with Ed Britt

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 3078

Size: 1,443kb, uploaded 1/7/2010 5:14:41 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Ed Britt and I recorded this a couple of nights ago, after a long hiatus, so that I could post it for this week's Tune of the Week. My tubaphone is sounding a little punky, but as a famous American once said, you go to war with the weapons you got, not the weapons you want. I'm in Open D, Ed is in Double C up 2.

9 comments

Angeline the Baker from Clifftop 2010

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 2384

Size: 4,500kb, uploaded 8/9/2010 2:31:45 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Made this recording at Clifftop, 2010, with my pals Don Couchie and Jim Reed. They are two phenomenal pickers. Jim is playing his 1925 ball-bearing Mastertone, Don is playing Chip Arnold's 1969 Baldwin. I'm using my 1964 Ode. Jim and I are playing three-finger style, while Don is playing clawhammer style.

11 comments

Angeline the Baker with Ed Britt

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 5555

Size: 4,241kb, uploaded 2/25/2007 10:26:21 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This was my first attempt with my new Tascam US-122 USB audio interface, and I'm still learning how to use the software and all. The clawhammer picker is my long time buddy Ed Britt. He and I always wander around on this one. I'm picking three finger style in open D tuning, Ed is playing clawhammer style in double C, up 2.

24 comments

Angeline the Baker with Wry Whiskey

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 2983

Size: 4,366kb, uploaded 5/16/2009 5:47:13 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another recording with Brian Clancey and Tom Speth, made about ten or twelve years ago. We experimented a lot with blending three-finger style banjo with finger style guitar picking, all pretty spontaneous interweaving of the two sounds. Brian had his guitar in an open tuning, as I recall, really sweet.

9 comments

Arkansas Traveler with Marty Lebenson

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 1345

Size: 1,758kb, uploaded 7/20/2011 4:05:23 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another tune from my jam with mouth harp player Marty Lebenson, from the 2010 Harry Smith Frolic, an old time gathering in Greenfield, out in the hill country of western Massachusetts. Marty really rips it up on this one. I'm playing my Fairbanks Whyte Laydie in open D tuning, without picks.

3 comments

Ashoken Farewell with Wry Whiskey

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 4112

Size: 3,865kb, uploaded 6/13/2009 10:00:59 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

This is another recording of the Wry Whiskey amalgamation with Richie Chaisson on resophonic guitar and the late Gene Ketelhohn on guitar, recorded in early 1999. I am playing my semi-fretless Paramount in open D tuning.

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Barlowe Knife from Clifftop 2009

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 2050

Size: 1,301kb, uploaded 9/7/2009 8:19:10 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another recording from Clifftop 2009, with my BHO pal Don Couchie. Don is picking banjo on this one, clawhammer style, and I am picking my tubaphone in Open D tuning, three finger style.

9 comments

Barlowe Knife from Lake Genero 2011

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 357

Size: 1,393kb, uploaded 9/5/2011 11:41:58 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I recorded this with fiddler Matt McConeghy, from Providence, Rhode Island, and clawhammer picker Pete Comply, from Springfield, Pennsylvania, at the Fiddlin' Bear Old-Time Musicians' Gathering at Lake Genero Park, in Hamlin, Pennsylvania, this Labor Day weekend. We picked a few tunes together on Sunday afternoon, just before the rain moved in, and we all packed up for home.

4 comments

Beaumont Rag

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 272

Size: 2,461kb, uploaded 6/3/2012 7:12:40 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

The recording was made around 1975, at a concert at the First Unitarian Church in Harvard Square. We called ourselves the Beaumont String Band. The mandolin player was Rose Zak, a young lady from Buffalo who had learned mandolin, guitar, and classic banjo from an old Vaudeville circuit string man. The guitar player was Merrill "Mickey" Levine, who now lives out on the West Coast and plays keyboard. The lap steel player was the late Robert Gear, who could play like Sol Hoopi, and was also a great country blues guitar player.

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Big Hoedown from Clifftop 2011

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 273

Size: 1,712kb, uploaded 8/23/2011 8:18:03 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is another recording from the relaxed jam session with Don Couchie the last morning of Clifftop, 2011. This intricate tune comes from the repertoire of famed West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons. Don, I believe, is fiddling in cross tuning; I am using my short-scale, semi-fretless Paramount, tuned aEABE.

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Big Scioty with Don Couchie

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 731

Size: 1,626kb, uploaded 6/4/2011 1:46:11 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I ran across this recording on my hard drive a couple of days ago, forgot I had it. Don Couchie came to Boston for a visit back in March, 2010, and this is one of the tunes we played in my living room, recorded on my hand-held Tascam DR-1. This tune comes originally from the repertoire of West Virginia fiddler Burl Hammons. Apparently, every time Hammons recorded it, he varied the melody a bit, which helps explain all the variations floating around. Don is on fiddle; I'm playing three-finger style banjo, key of G, banjo tuned gDGAD.

5 comments

Billy in the Lowground with Jim Murphy

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 1985

Size: 2,387kb, uploaded 7/14/2009 3:41:30 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

This is a tape I made back in the mid-80s. The guitar player is Jim Murphy, who at the time was a graduate student at MIT. I've lost touch with Jim, last I heard he was working at Hannaford. The banjo is tuned in double C, gCGCD.

6 comments

Black Eyed Suzie

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 557

Size: 876kb, uploaded 5/24/2011 6:50:12 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is the only recording I can recall from my brief days as a clawhammer picker. This is from the album produced for the Seventh Annual Banjo Contest, held in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, in 1974. I didn't win the contest, but at least I made it onto the album. I think this was basically Art Rosenbaum's setting from his Oak publication.

6 comments

Black Mountain Rag with Wry Whiskey

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 3311

Size: 1,409kb, uploaded 5/8/2009 4:05:51 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

This is a practice tape from a decade ago, made with my friends Brian Clancey and Tom Speth; we called ourselves Wry Whiskey. Brian now performs with fiddler Robin Warren as Spirit Fiddle. The banjo is tuned in open D, aDF#AD.

16 comments

Bonaparte's March

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 260

Size: 1,323kb, uploaded 2/11/2013 7:26:33 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This tune comes from fiddler Harvey "Pappy" Taylor (1894-1987), of Effingham, Illinois, collected by the late Gary Harrison. I made this practice tape in 2011, playing my 1964 Ode Model 42, in a G variant tuning (gDGAD), capoed on the 2nd fret.

2 comments

Bonaparte's Retreat from Clifftop 2012

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- Play count: 1629

Size: 3,395kb, uploaded 8/10/2012 5:18:33 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another tune from my first jam Don Couchie, sitting around our campsite one quiet morning at Clifftop, up on Geezer Hill. This is the classic western version of the tune which inspired Pee Wee King's 1950 C&W hit, complete with the third part, often called the "Little Egypt" part, that is sort of frowned upon in some old time circles. Don is playing the fiddle with those deep, gut wrenching drones, I am three finger picking on my semi-fretless Tubaphone, in open D tuning (aDF#AD).

7 comments

Bonaparte's Retreat with Wry Whiskey

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 1693

Size: 2,556kb, uploaded 12/19/2009 7:08:24 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

After hearing Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo1930) play a terrific version of this the other night on the Chat, I remembered I had a Wry Whiskey recording of this around somewhere. This was recorded in 1998, with Brian Clancey on guitar. The banjo is tuned to open D (aDF#AD). I liked Gabe's version better, but I still like this one, too.

8 comments

Booth Shot Lincoln from Clifftop 2011

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 1954

Size: 1,912kb, uploaded 8/8/2011 4:31:40 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I look forward all year to Clifftop, to be able to pick with my Banjo Hell friends and campmates Jim Reed and Don Couchie. This is a recording Don and I made on Sunday morning, after we had eaten the last of the biscuits and gravy at the Lodge, and packed up to head out in our separate directions. Don is playing some real lonesome fiddle, and I am playing three-finger style banjo, on my semi-fretless short scale Paramount.

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Boys, Them Buzzards Are Flyin' from Clifftop 2011

Posted by Don Borchelt, written by Gary Harrison

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- Play count: 350

Size: 1,362kb, uploaded 8/8/2011 4:18:12 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I had a nice jam session early on at Clifftop this year with my good friend Tim Rowell (clawhammertim here on the Hangout and on YouTube). Tim has established and now runs the Traditional Music Program at the Real School of Music in Burlington, Massachusetts. We see each other a lot at jams around the Boston area, but had to travel 800 miles to West Virginia to find some quiet time to do play some nice double banjo togrther, clawhammer and three-finger style. This is our take on Gary Harrison's fine twisty fiddle tune.

6 comments

Brushy Fork of John's Creek from Clifftop 2011

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 1458

Size: 1,962kb, uploaded 8/19/2011 6:23:55 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is the last of three recordings I made with my friend Tim Rowell at Clifftop 2011. The tune comes from Art Stamper, who learned it from his father. His father reportedly learned it from a Civil War veteran, who said that it was composed at the end of the war to commemorate one of the last engagements, in Pike County, Kentucky. So to borrow on of my mother's favorite expressions, this tune is "old, old, old. Tim is playing clawhammer style, I am picking behind him in three-finger style.

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