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Fort Kaskaskia Blues

Written/Posted by rudy


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- Play count: 314

Size: 1,314kb, uploaded 3/7/2010 1:19:20 PM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

This tune comes about as the result of my hearing the tale of Backwards Leroy. At the time the civil war was ramping up there were a large group of men from the Champaign Illinois area preparing to leave for points south. One of the young men who thought it a good idea to contribute his services to the cause was Backwards Leroy. If he had a last name most didn’t care to know it as he was considered to be generally dim-witted and not at all a person to strike a friendship with. Backwards Leroy was named as a result of his most unusual way of riding his horse while playing the banjo, his preferred mode of transportation and his instrument of choice. It seems his horse didn’t particularly care for banjo music and would stubbornly hold his ground unless Leroy faced rearwards as to not insult the horse’s delicate ears with the banjo’s obtrusive sound. Most of the other recruits thought that their efforts would be better served if Leroy was not in attendance, so they told him he was supposed to muster from Fort Kaskaskia. Leroy was told the fort was “down the river apiece” from Champaign, but he didn’t know exactly how far. That turned out to be a very great distance indeed, and he passed the long hours and several days of the trip playing the banjo. Fort Kaskaskia Blues was one of the many tunes he made up to pass the long hours of the ride, and he became quite proficient at playing it. The exact outcome of Leroy’s civil war years is lost to the ages, but he must have come through OK as the tune as well as the story was eventually passed on to me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

5 comments on “Fort Kaskaskia Blues”

Nuts Says:
Sunday, March 7, 2010 @3:47:55 PM

Cool Randy, are you playing guitar too?

rudy Says:
Sunday, March 7, 2010 @7:58:08 PM

I usually multitrack new tunes so I can remember them. It's nice to be reasonably proficient at a few instruments.

rjs808 Says:
Monday, March 8, 2010 @9:26:55 AM

Thanks! That was great fun to listen to.

Cottonmouth Says:
Saturday, March 27, 2010 @8:09:54 AM

Extremely well played; thanks for sharing it with us.

Monday, March 29, 2010 @7:50:53 AM

Effortless Fretless

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