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Horses in the Canebrake

Posted by JanetB


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- Play count: 1902

Size: 858kb, uploaded 7/22/2014 8:45:27 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

Two source fiddlers--Jake Phelps and James Bryan. This is a tune I learned listening to Bob Carlin's CD "Banging and Sawing," where its title is Hosses in the Canebrake. James Bryan has since become my favorite fiddler. It's listed as Wild Horses in the Canebrake in the Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes, but Bruce Greene, who recorded west Kentucky fiddler Jake Phelps (1875-1977), says it's called Horses in the Canebrake. Farmers liked to have their livestock "fenced-in" by the tall canes.

13 comments on “Horses in the Canebrake”

jimifive Says:
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 @12:43:42 PM

love the wild horses...! a 'canebrake' always reminds me of Paul Bowles in Morocco
in '82 we visited him in Tangier and he took us to a a small village where MM was having a house built at the edge of a canebrake with horses wandering around...

JanetB Says:
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @7:32:15 AM

Good memory, Jimi! Who's MM?

Bruce Greene, who "collected" this tune from Jake Phelps, says that the real name is just Horses in the Canebrake and that farmers liked to have livestock there because it kept them from wandering too far.

jimifive Says:
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @5:05:41 PM

the canebrake makes a great fence...they can also be a forest place of mystery & magic
MM is Mohamed Mrabet, Moroccan story teller/madman translated by Bowles (and his sidekick for years)

VancePants Says:
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @8:30:45 PM

Very pretty Janet!

JanetB Says:
Thursday, July 24, 2014 @9:35:41 AM

Thanks for the tip, Mike. And thanks, Ken. Now, Jimi, tell me who is Bowles. I've just learned the old-time TOTW, Apple Blossom, from historic fiddler Jim Bowles, but it couldn't be him you referred to.

It seems the canebrake isn't a place where horses or cattle would wander--too thick--so I guess it just serves as the fence. We have a "California canebrake"--I'm sure I'd stay out of those thick, tall tules.

JanetB Says:
Thursday, July 24, 2014 @9:44:44 AM

I just listened to The Barn Owls--three Northwest young woman playing Horses in the Canebrake. It's good and sounds like the James Bryan version, though they play it ever so slightly different in the B part--their accompaniment gives it a major sound and I favor the minor chordal sound there. But they're definitely skillful, lively musicians I'd love to see performing.

jimifive Says:
Thursday, July 24, 2014 @5:02:01 PM

(parallel subject) the canes of the canebreak are similar to bamboo and used to make the long low flutes that play the hypnotic trance music during ritual cathartic music/dance sessions written about by Paul Bowles, American ex-pat writer/composer/ethnomusicologist. he wrothe The Sheltering Sky among many others...

on the tune, i also favor the minor ambiance...part A even has a bit of a southeast asian melody (to my ears)

guitarman8491 Says:
Thursday, July 24, 2014 @7:09:15 PM

Janet wonderful tune and wonderfully played..Doug

JanetB Says:
Thursday, July 24, 2014 @8:11:27 PM

Thanks, Doug. I'm always glad to work on any James Bryan tune. By researching this one further I've discovered Bruce Greene as well, who taught this to James after collecting this Kentucky tune from Jake Phelps. Take a look at the Sound Off link for more info:

Mark Garland Says:
Thursday, September 25, 2014 @6:35:48 AM

I am nowhere accomplished to work out this Horses in the Cane tune which I am a little obsessed by at the moment. I have looked all over but have not found a tab of this piece. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

JanetB Says:
Thursday, September 25, 2014 @6:52:20 PM

If you click on the above link for my Sound Off post for Wild Horses in the Canebrake, you'll find my PDF file with my tab. If not, give me your email and I'll send it to you. One of these days I'll get my tabs uploaded to BHO. Did you hear it first on Banging and Sawing?

Mark Garland Says:
Friday, September 26, 2014 @3:04:32 AM

Many thanks Janet. I found the tune from a great podcast list from this site via itunes.

mycarepack Says:
Wednesday, December 26, 2018 @11:21:03 PM


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