We're ending the year with a tune learned from the Henry Reed family by Alan Jabbour. Relax and reflect on the past year with TOTW, 12/28/18, Rocking the Babies to Sleep, presented by yours truly.
The first tune of 2019 is one played by Dwight Diller and Jimmy Tripplett, called Greasy String who learned from West Virginian Lee Hammons. There's a family of tunes with similarities, so this week's nice tune will be a fun challenge to unravel. Check out TOTW, 1/4/19, Greasy String (Lee Hammons version) presented by the talented Adam Kiesling.
John D has offered East Tennessee Blues to us for the new Tune of the Week. He's also treated us to two of his own remarkable versions -- one from 13 years ago and one current, and jokes about entering Geezerville. Included in the presentation are links to hear Doc Watson's and Adam's Hurts recordings, too. Enjoy TOTW, 1/18/19, East Tennessee Blues.
Our new Tune of the Week comes to us from Jack Beuthin via the source recording of a former Bluegrass Boy, Jim Smoak. Jim is 86 years old now and also has played clawhammer style. The other learning source is via the Corn Potato String Band. It will be interesting to explore the TOTW, 1-25-19, Woodchuck in the Deadnin', just in time for Groundhog Day!
In honor of Groundhog Day we'll sing the TOTW, Groundhog, 2/1/19. You'll be surprised at how many recordings there are of this old mountain song, including Plinky & Plunky (my husband and I). Hope you enjoy this fun song!
Announcing a new Tune of the Week presented by the brilliant CarolynF. She calls it (Poor) Old Nell because her source, the Piney Creek Weasels, called it Old Nell, but their older source, Marvin Gaster, called it Poor Old Nell. If you know anything about Lotta Crabtree (banjo picker, singer, actress and dancer), she once portrayed Little Nell and the Marchioness in 1867 on Broadway. Can the tune be related to Lotta?? Check out TOTW, 2/8/19, (Poor) Little Nell.
Dan Levenson has graciously posted TOTW, 3-8-19, Five Miles from Town in spite of his very recent bicycle injury which caused him to have a hip replacement. He may have been riding this far from town when it happened, but is recuperating nicely. Dan actually has played with the source fiddler, Clyde Davenport, which makes this post all the more special.
Carl Baron went on a search for the source of a tune that took 45 years to find. It turns out to be a Pennsylvania tune and was given lyrics by a friend of the fiddler describing a woman who kept a very messy house that wouldn't let you get from one room to another. The lyrics aren't available any more, so let's make some up! It's a fun tune to play and easy to learn. Give it a listen at TOTW, 3/23/19, Old Martha Kelly.
Matt Noonan has done a thorough job researching a tune that claims ancestry to Clinch Mountain Backstep. Its evolutionary variety is immense, ranging from the signature tune Ralph Stanley played to one of the most crooked mountain modal tunes I've ever tried to learn, with possible roots to an old English murder ballad. The most interesting part is the direct Hiram Stamper connection. If you're an Art Stamper fan read on and listen to this week's TOTW, 4/5/19, Young Edward.
Our newest Tune of the Week is a modern composition by when of the most delightful and genuine string band ensembles I've enjoyed over the years, John Reischman and the Jaybirds. BHO's own Nick Hornbuckle plays with this group and might tell us more about it. I plan to learn TOTW, 4/12/19, SaltSpring.
Edited by - JanetB on 04/12/2019 07:23:22
Pat Lyons, our talented banjukebox, has presented and played a dance tune composed by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith in the 30's. It's a breakdown currently played in jams and for dances. Listen to the B section for a neat high part performed in more than one way in the new TOTW, 4/19/19, North Carolina Breakdown.
Our new old-time Tune of the Week is a song many of us know, but Jan Olov Lundqivst has given us another A+ dissertation, complete with recording background and many linked versions. You're bound to learn lots. The TOTW, 5/3/19, Lone Road Blues/Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad is simple in structure and easy to try if you haven't done so yet. For some reason my group likes the verse with "goin' where the water tastes like wine, this prison water tastes just like turpentine, and I ain't gonna be treated this a-way."
Edited by - JanetB on 05/03/2019 13:32:23
For the third week in a row we have a comprehensive presentation to enjoy, full of information and samples, and like last week, a song that might inspire us aspiring singers out there in BHO. RG Hocutt has graced us with his own version based on Frank Proffitt and offered an instructional recording to share how he plays it. I couldn't wait to give a go to the TOTW, 5/10/19, Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down and am taken with the Em tuning, eEGAB.
Our new tune to explore goes by many names — Duck River, Old Dubuque, Hell (or Trouble) on the Nine Mile, General Lee, and Sally in the Green Corn. Listen to TOTW, 5/17/19, Duck River/Old Dubuque.
The Tune of the Week focuses on a tune learned by Grayson County, Virginia's eminent fiddler Emmett Lundy (b. 1864) whose mentor was Greenberry Leonard, born in the early 1800's. It's always exciting to peer back this far into time to hear the melodies fiddlers played long ago. Highlander's Farewell is one with Scottish roots and assumedly, according to liner notes, tells of a highlander leaving his lowland sweetheart in wartime. The high and low parts are the man and woman's conversation. Listen to the Emmett Lundy recording by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax and to Adam Hurt's epic rendition, as shared by his student, Mark T, in the TOTW, 5/24/29, Highlander's Farewell.
Somebody found a harmonium and wrote a tune in the 1970's. Today it's our new TOTW, 5/31/19, Music for a New-Found Harmonium by Andy Alexis, skillful banjo player for the Piney Creek Weasels, who did wonders with this challenging tune. Dare I try it this week? For a long time nothing has daunted me, but this one looks to be a real work-out!
This week's tune sounds like its title and I can just imagine a young couple at her parents' home saying good-night. Thanks to Stephen Rapp for sharing his banjo work in one of the Tune of the Week videos his fiddling buddy, Paul Kirk, presents on his YouTube channel. Now give a listen to TOTW, 6/7/19, Kiss Me Quick, My Papa's A-Comin' and see if you can't picture this scene, too.
Josh Turknett, founder of Brainjo, an on-line clawhammer learning resource, has graciously agreed to present a Tune of the Week. He chose a tune written by the great Earl Scruggs and suggests we try it in Earl's Dm tuning in clawhammer style. So for an interesting challenge this week tune in to TOTW, 6/14/19, Nashville Blues.
'BLUE WILLOW DINNERWARE' 6 min
'GDL Deering 2015' 1 hr
'Old Banjo Mandolon' 1 hr
'I Cried Again' 1 hr