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Soldier's Joy from Clifftop 2010

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- Play count: 734

Size: 1,794kb, uploaded 8/17/2010 9:18:20 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another recording on my Tascam DR-1 from Banjo Hell Road, Geezer Hill, Clifftop, West Virginia, with Don Couchie and Jim Reed. This recording really features Don Couchie, who is clawhammering the heck out of Chip Arnold's 69 Baldwin at breakneck speed. I didn't think this was humanly possible. Awesome playing, Don. Jim and I are playing three-finger style; Jim is on that tremendous 25 ball-bearing of his, and I'm picking my demure little 64 Ode.

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Soldiers Joy from Clifftop 2008

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 336

Size: 4,328kb, uploaded 2/27/2010 5:14:49 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

I've uploaded this as part of my contribution to the TOTW for 2/26/10. This is a recording from an outdoor jam session at the 2008 Clifftop festival, made with my little hand held Tascam DR-1. Please forgive the wind noise and static, and the fact that the banjo is just slightly out of tune. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can and jump in with what you got. Ed Britt and I were jamming with Jimmy Costa, who is just an all around terrific musician, and a truly authentic Uncle Dave interpreter. I was playing my Fairbanks Whyte Laydie in Open D tuning.

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Soldiers Joy- C Tuning

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 345

Size: 1,220kb, uploaded 2/27/2010 5:09:50 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

I've uploaded this also as part of my contribution to the TOTW for 2/26/10. This is a tape I made around 1985, one of my first experiments in overdubbing. Back then, I played the tune in Standard C tuning (gCGBD), and capoed on the 2nd fret when I wanted to play with a fiddler.

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Sourwood Mountain from Clifftop 2009

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- Play count: 1555

Size: 2,735kb, uploaded 8/7/2009 3:34:57 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another tune from my Clifftop picking with BHO member Don Couchie, who plays just the kind of fiddle playing I like to hear. This was just plain great fun. The Paramount semi-fretless banjo is tuned to open A tuning (aEAC#E).

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Stoney Point/Cumberland Gap

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 219

Size: 1,517kb, uploaded 8/27/2011 5:41:25 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I've uploaded this as my contribution for the TOTW for 8/26/11. This is a practice recording I made back in the early-80s, playing both the three-finger lead and the frailing style back-up. This was my first experiment with three-finger/clawhammer duets, even before I got together with Ed Britt.

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Sugar Hill from Clifftop 2012

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- Play count: 226

Size: 1,728kb, uploaded 9/24/2012 10:59:18 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is another unusual tune from our Geezer Hill jam with Ralph Roberts. Ralph called this tune Sugar Hill, but it doesn't bear any resemblance to the tune I know by that name. It's a sprightly, bouncing little tune that sounds more like a distant cousin to Cripple Creek, one that Ralph fiddles with a lot of playfulness. Don Couchie is playing rhythm guitar, and I am three finger picking in open G tuning.

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Sugar Hill with Ed Britt

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- Play count: 2766

Size: 1,787kb, uploaded 3/29/2013 10:55:07 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Ed Britt and I recorded this in my living room back in January, 2009. I had just worked this up after listening to a fine version by West Virginia fiddler Jack Krack. Ed is playing clawhammer stytle on his Ome, in double C tuning, capoed on the 2nd fret, I'm three-finger picking on my semi-fretless Vega Tubaphone, in open D tuning.

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Sugar in the Gourd from Clifftop 2009

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Size: 2,161kb, uploaded 10/28/2011 8:33:17 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is my contribution to the Old Time Tune of the Week for October 28, 2011. This is a recording I made at Clifftop with my pal Don Couchie. Don is on fiddle, leaning on those double stops just the way I like it; I am three-finger picking on my short scale, semi-fretless Paramount, in open A tuning.

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Sweet Ellen

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 913

Size: 1,293kb, uploaded 11/4/2013 9:25:44 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I just learned this tune a few months ago from Boston area old time musicians Linda Henry and Jerry Dallal. It comes originally from Samuel P. Bayard's 1994 collection, Hill Country Tunes, Instrumental Folk Music from Southwestern Pennsylvania. I am three-finger picking in open D tuning (aDF#AD).

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Sweet Marie with Marty Lebenson

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- Play count: 1102

Size: 1,952kb, uploaded 7/11/2011 2:24:20 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

A tune preserved from a magical early morning jam I had with Marty Lebenson of Jamaica, New York, at the 2011 Harry Smith Frollic, an old time festival held in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Marty is a master of the harmonica, I've never heard old-time music played on the mouth fiddle with more skill and spirit.

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The Possum's Tail is Bare from Clifftop 2012

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- Play count: 282

Size: 4,562kb, uploaded 8/6/2012 6:18:16 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This great old Melvin Wine tune has some fine nonsense in the chorus, "The old coon’s tail has rings all around, but the possum’s tail is bare." My friend Tim Rowell joined Don Couchie and I for some tunes near the end of Clifftop 2012, and this is one we played. Don is playing fiddle, Tim is clawhammering, and I am picking three finger style.

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Waiting for Nancy with Ed Britt

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 2590

Size: 3,740kb, uploaded 9/26/2008 5:34:00 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This old time tune was composed by California clawhammer picker Curt Bouterse. I learned it from Ed, who is playing his Ome. capoed up 2 in double C tuning. I am using my new Ode, in open D.

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Ways of the World

Posted by Don Borchelt

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- Play count: 1190

Size: 2,243kb, uploaded 7/2/2010 6:56:41 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is my contribution to the TOTW for 6/26/10, just a week late. I am playing my 64 Ode, without fingerpicks. This is the Bill Stepp tune in A mixolydian, not the Luther Strong tune in D of the same name. The banjo is tuned gDGAD, capoed on the second fret. I just learned this a few weeks ago from Stephen Bland, a fine fiddle and banjo player from Rochester, New York, at the Black Creek Fiddler's Reunion. I recorded it on my Tascam DR-1.

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Ways of the World from Clifftop 2012

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- Play count: 688

Size: 1,840kb, uploaded 2/27/2015 11:46:35 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Recorded with my friend Don Couchie on fiddle. Uploaded for the Tune of the Week, February 27, 2015. I am picking my semi-fretless Tubaphone, in open D tuning (aDF#AD).

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West Fork Girls from Lake Genero 2011

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- Play count: 1131

Size: 1,869kb, uploaded 9/7/2011 10:04:17 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This is another tune I recorded with fiddler Matt McConeghy, from Providence, Rhode Island, at the Fiddlin' Bear Old-Time Musicians' Gathering at Lake Genero Park, in Hamlin, Pennsylvania over Labor Day weekend. This is a West Virginia fiddle tune that comes from Wilson Douglas, among others. The banjo is tuned to open D.

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Whiskey Before Breakfast from 1975

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- Play count: 668

Size: 1,180kb, uploaded 11/10/2013 5:15:35 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

I first learned this tune in 1970, from a Voyager LP recording of fiddler Dick Barrett, playing at the Weiser Idaho fiddle contest. It was one of the first tunes I worked out in melodic style. This tape was made in 1975, with my friend Steve Harris on guitar. I am playing in standard C tuning. This is uploaded for the TOTW for 11/9/2013.

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Wildwood Flower with Wry Whiskey

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- Play count: 2500

Size: 1,748kb, uploaded 8/30/2009 6:48:17 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Another old Wry Whiskey recording, with Brian Clancey on guitar and Tom Speth on bass. This would have been recorded around 1997 or 1998. The banjo is tuned in double C (gCGCD), a tuning that I used a lot more back then than I do now. I gotta do something about that.

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Wind That Shakes the Barley with Wry Whiskey

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- Play count: 2328

Size: 1,208kb, uploaded 9/26/2009 4:43:40 PM
Genre: Fiddle/Celtic/Irish / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

My contribution to the BHO "tune of the week" for 9/26/09. This was recorded in 1998 by Wry Whiskey, a trio I was in then with Brian Clancey on guitar and Tom Speth on bass. The banjo is my semi-fretless Paramount, tuned to open D (aDF#AD).

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You Are My Flower with Wry Whiskey

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- Play count: 1670

Size: 2,452kb, uploaded 7/9/2010 4:29:05 AM
Genre: Bluegrass / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

This is another living room recording from around 1998, with the trio we called Wry Whiskey. I ran across this recording of the old Carter Family/Flatt & Scruggs standard when I was looking for something else. The guitar player is Brian Clancey, and the bass player is Tom Speth. It takes a brave boy to play You Are My Flower on banjo. Okay, I don't exactly sing like Lester, neither.

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