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Snowdrop

Posted by JanetB, written by Kirk McGee

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- Play count: 436

Size: 997kb, uploaded 10/16/2011 7:48:30 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

First recorded in Sam and Kirk McGee's home by Mike Seeger in the early 60's and by Bob Flesher in 1992. It's written that the McGee brothers played it in the Grand Old Opry in the 30's and Kirk is generally given credit for writing it.

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Soldiers Joy--cello banjo

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 152

Size: 1,172kb, uploaded 10/2/2012 6:12:50 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

For Don Borchelt's joy-a-thon.

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Song for Leon

Written/Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 800

Size: 1,675kb, uploaded 8/5/2013 9:43:58 AM
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I wrote this song, calling it Journey's End, but then realized it was a perfect song for a friend who had passed on, Leon Uris. The rhythm is a mystery to me, but Leon had this unique rhythm and he was always an audience favorite.

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Songs for Kids

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 242

Size: 1,765kb, uploaded 8/4/2011 8:14:34 AM
Genre: Traditional / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Five songs: Buffalo Gals, Froggie Went A-Courting, Groundhog, The Fox, Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas

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Sour Apple Pie (TOTW)

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 274

Size: 957kb, uploaded 5/21/2016 12:20:55 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This Tune of the Week, 5/19/20, is from the fiddling of West Virginian's Scott Prouty via Harvey Sampson's earlier recording with the Big Possum String Band. My playing's probably not too sour and it's actually a rather pretty tune if played slowly. It has a tense driving rhythm which I think comes from its syncopation.

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Southern Flavor

Posted by JanetB, written by Bill Monroe

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- Play count: 322

Size: 807kb, uploaded 7/5/2011 8:16:23 AM
Genre: Bluegrass / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

Bill Monroe said he wrote tunes out of the air because he heard them first! He was an incredible composer. I've come to appreciate the South more lately and this tune brings it to my mind.

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Speed the Plough

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 1396

Size: 1,998kb, uploaded 1/1/2013 2:59:56 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

A title with a good wish for the new year, also known as God Speed the Plough.

10 comments

Spider Bit the Baby

Posted by JanetB, written by Kenny Baker

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- Play count: 109

Size: 1,436kb, uploaded 4/8/2017 9:31:23 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Favorite fiddler of mine from Kentucky (and of course Bill Monroe's best fiddling Blue Grass Boy ever), Kenny Baker, wrote this tune but stated that the title was just a title and didn't have meaning. The CD cover of Kenny's fiddling, however, called Spider Bit the Baby, sure showed a scary painting! A shout-out to Don Huber for introducing me to the song and to Linda Gunderson who -- quite coincidentally -- loaned me that very CD at the same time. It's the first tune I've learned from it and continue to joyfully pursue Kenny Baker's many musical offerings.

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Spotted Pony

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 380

Size: 3,441kb, uploaded 6/15/2011 5:13:57 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

A happy song, fun to play, with images of little Appaloosas kicking up their heels. Mine was named Cookie. When I sold her, I was able to buy my Bart Reiter Whyte Laydie, so my banjo is named Cookie, too. Honestly.

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Spring Creek Gal

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 574

Size: 857kb, uploaded 7/20/2011 7:49:22 AM
Genre: Traditional / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Per request, you'll hear 3 different banjos--2 resonators (Gibson RB250 and Deering Calico) and 1 open back (Bart Reiter Whyte Ladye). Can you tell? Which one do you like best?

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Squire Wood's Lamentation

Posted by JanetB, written by Turlough O'Carolan

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- Play count: 189

Size: 2,286kb, uploaded 7/6/2015 11:37:37 AM
Genre: Fiddle/Celtic/Irish / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is the 213th and last tune of O'Carolan notated in his lengthy biography Carolan, The Life, Times, and Music of an Irish Harper. I keep coming back to this great book. However, I learned the music from the wonderful playing of Joemy Wilson, who plays hammer dulcimer -- highly recommended for good listening. She also wrote a story about young Turlough, equally enjoyable listening on a CD with accompanying music. Squire Wood had a copper mine and was contracted to mint copper coins for Ireland. The merchants and public refused to use his coins, so the lamentation title is tongue-in-cheek. But the composition is beautiful, as is so much of O'Carolan's work and I keep wanting to learn more of them.

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Squirrel Hunters

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 502

Size: 1,364kb, uploaded 10/22/2012 5:33:59 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

John Hartford credits this to Samuel Bayard. I'm playing the small scale white oak fretless gourd made by Robert Crowder.

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Squirrel Hunters--gourd

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 320

Size: 717kb, uploaded 10/24/2012 6:06:17 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is the better recording I made after playing around with the Zoom 4Hn recorder. The first post was the thumpy one whose sound wasn't optimal.

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Star of the East (Brighter and Best) (TOTW)

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 117

Size: 1,342kb, uploaded 12/21/2018 8:16:42 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

For the old-time Tune of the Week, 12/21/18, this 1800's hymn from William Walker's Southern Harmony book (first published in 1835) has beautiful lyrics that makes it perfect for Christmas. I tuned down the 5th string to an "e" note and played Star of the East in Am.

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Steam Powered Aereo-Plain

Posted by JanetB, written by John Hartford

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- Play count: 1914

Size: 683kb, uploaded 4/17/2014 9:40:59 AM
Genre: Other / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

A clawhammered, chordal approach to this light-hearted song John claimed in his lyrics that he dreamt about. I've heard this on BHO several times and am a great fan of John Hartford, though I have much, much more to learn about his music. I think the genre is considered Newgrass, but you can correct me.

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Steamboat Around the Bend

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 201

Size: 1,484kb, uploaded 6/23/2013 7:42:07 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

For the Tune of the Week 6/23/13. This arrangement is based on Alabama fiddler James Bryan who recorded it on his 1986 solo album Lookout Blues. It has differences from Bob Walter's fiddled version, sited as one of the original sources for the TOTW, and I'm not quite sure how James came to interpret it the way he did, with more Em sounds. Still, James Bryan being a favorite fiddler of mine, I thought it was a good exercise to attempt it.

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Stear's Quadrille (TOTW)

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 189

Size: 1,260kb, uploaded 2/29/2020 12:20:22 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Any time I can learn another tune from the immense Samuel Bayard collection, that's a good day. This jig, recorded in 1948 by fiddler Albert Stear, is a challenge. Clawhammering in 6/8 time is another genre in itself.

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Step Around Johnny (TOTW)

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 250

Size: 1,316kb, uploaded 9/1/2017 4:13:16 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

For the old-time Tune of the Week, 9-1-17, from the mandolin playing of Alabaman Sam Taylor. I played this a bit differently than usual, avoiding extra notes and bass notes that seemed to slap, and also used more slides than I usually do. Johnny was laid-back, I guess, probably due to overworking in the excessive heat.

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Step Up Susie

Posted by JanetB

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- Play count: 199

Size: 1,448kb, uploaded 8/22/2015 2:02:01 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

From the fiddling of Nebraskan fiddler Bob Walters and the current old-time Tune of the Week for 8/21/15. This make a great dance tune. You can hear and read more at: http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/307971.

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Stephen

Posted by JanetB, written by Tony Ellis

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- Play count: 81

Size: 1,723kb, uploaded 1/3/2018 7:22:12 PM
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

Tony Ellis and Stephen Wade are good friends, with Stephen having produced at least one of Tony's CDs. The tune "Stephen" I understand was written for him by Tony. It's another beauty. It uses syncopation in the last parts, which is something I understand Tony learned about from Earl Scruggs. I hope to learn more from Tony himself about these tunes and am researching one for a future old-time Tune of the Week. The tuning I used isn't the one Tony composed with, as I hear a higher 5th string than I'm using. Soon I'll have Tony's tab book and perhaps will see first hand how he arranged Stephen, as well as several others I've worked on. I think it's okay to adapt a tune in an inventive way and it's more fun than memorizing somebody else's playing. Do you agree?

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