The talented playing and keen sense for good current tunes of Pat Lyons has brought us an original reel by the Stuart brothers, Trevor and Travis. Though fiddler Trevor passed away, he is remembered here as one who composed the tune for their great-great grandfather, Henry King (1856 - 1914), also a renowned fiddler in his day. The tune is being passed around now, so time to learn it on the TOTW, 12/13/19, Henry King's Reel.
We're always lucky when Carl Baron posts a Tune of the Week from the playing of West Virginia fiddler Melvin Wine because Carl had personal experience learning from and playing with Melvin. This week our neat new tune has a crooked B part and an ending that leads you right back to the fine A part. Check out TOTW, 12/28/19, Lovely Nancy.
I'm off by a day. I'd be celebrating New Years a day early, and I've got the wrong girl's name above, so here's my fixed link for the current enchanting TOTW: TOTW, 12/27/19, Lovely Jane.
We have a nice tune this week -- very old, as old as the early 1700's where it's found in English manuscripts. The tune is named not for a person, but for the bells of Christ Church College in Oxford. It doesn't sound hard to play and our presenter, John D does a wonderful, plunky job on it. You'll enjoy TOTW, Old Tom of Oxford, 1/10/20.
Our fun song this week is explored in great detail by Missourian Michael Murphy. The history of this song goes back to war time and even became the motto and flag symbol for a battalion regiment. The lyrics express sympathy for a man's dog, an "ornery cuss" who deserves better treatment and is defended. I'm ready to devote some study time this week to TOTW, 1/17/20, Missouri Hound Dog Song or They Gotta Quit Kicking' My Dawg.
A new tune for many comes to us from the field work of Linda Higginbotham and Brad Leftwich via Missouri fiddler Lee Stoneking (1907 - 1989). Our presenter, Tim Rowell, who also instructs banjo, offers some history on the well-known Stoneking father and son, Lee and Fred. Our 599th Tune of the Week -- TOTW, Willot's Hornpipe, 1/24/20.
If you've never heard of banjo player Jim Scancarelli, you'll get a good intro this week. Jim, now 78 years old, was playing banjo and recording bands as early as the 60's and 70's. He performed with a North Carolina string band called the Molehill Highlanders and we're exploring one of their tunes, Rickett's Hornpipe. Our Tune of the Week write-up is a joint effort by two BHO members who work well together -- David Brooks, a prolific tab writer, and Lew Stern, the writer who not long ago published a definitive biography of Dwight Diller. Learn lots this week right here: TOTW, 2/7/20, Rickett's Hornpipe.
Our new Tune of the Week may be about a cow who gets stuck in mud. It's a delightful tune, recorded in 1979 from the Kentucky fiddling of Birch Patrick. It's also quite crooked, but the intrepid Stephen Rapp is never daunted by any challenge posed by his playing partner, Paul Kirk. I'm looking forward to learning TOTW, 2/21/20, Huldy in the Sinkhole.
This week we're treated to a special arrangement for clawhammer banjo. From the momentous work of Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers of Pennsylvania, who research and play from the collection of Samuel Bayard, our brilliant presenter, Adam Schweigert, has chosen a 6/8 time jig. It's new for me, as I have only purchased the first two CDs from Tamsula and Withers. I need another now, I can see! Enjoy the TOTW, 2/28/20, Stear's Quadrille.
Edited by - JanetB on 02/28/2020 10:18:18
From the research and playing of WV Dreamin' Billy Kearney, enjoy a tune circulated from the west coast, which has gone a mysterious route to the old-time genre. This tune has become one of my favorites and is currently popular for dances. See if you've heard of TOTW, 3/6/20, Shenandoah Falls, and if you haven't, you'll be delighted.
For those of us who like the Dear Old Illinois collection, Mark Tomko is offering a tune from Harvey "Pappy" Taylor, which he heard played by Laurel Premo on a podcast of Cameron DeWhitt's Get Up in the Cool. It's a cool tune with a modal, mountain sound and learning it should be fun, as well as enjoying some good listening links from Mark. Here's the link for our new TOTW, 3/13/20, Wolf Creek.
If you've not yet explored Matokie Slaughter, who's very name invokes curiosity, go to this week's Tune of the Week to learn about her life and banjo style. Thank you for the innovative thinking, Joshua Gilliland, in choosing this interesting topic. I feel like a big-eyed rabbit myself during these unusual global times, looking around carefully and fast to run and hunker in my burrow. TOTW, 3/20/20, Big-Eyed Rabbit will be a good project in this time of "shelter in place."
Our newest TOTW has more than one to choose from, thanks to the thorough work of Jan Olov Sundqvist. Several favorite players recorded it, so let's take our choice and learn a version this week. I'm curious who or what the title means -- a person, an animal, an instrument?? Check out TOTW, 4/3/20, Jaw Bone.
Michael Murphy must have had plenty of time to give to this week's presentation. It's thorough, a fun read, and the song is familiar. It's a lamenting and nostalgic song when sung with the familiar lyrics, and a comforting hymn when sung with others, sometimes it's comical, sometimes sad. A big thanks for lots of interesting information and music in our TOTW, 4/10/20, Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.
The Tune of the Week comes from the playing of WV fiddledr Melvin Wine by someone who actively played with and even recorded him way back when so as to learn the tunes. Carl Baron shares his banjo/fiddle duet skills, though his banjo playing is a solo as well. He also promotes the guitar tuning of gDGBE and you'll find that the reach up the neck is easier by 2 frets with his method. Check out TOTW, 4/17/20, Sally Will You Marry Me.
Edited by - JanetB on 04/17/2020 10:55:18
Originally posted by carlbquote:
Originally posted by JanetB
He also promotes the guitar tuning of gDGBE
That's gDGde not gDGbe
Uh oh! I just worked it out otherwise. I'll see what happens when I change it.
Just tried it and think I'll like it better. Never mind this morning's efforts. lol. Lucky you caught my error now!
Our illustrious performer and researcher, Andy Alexis, has given us a Garry Harrison of Dear Old Illinois fame an "obscure" tune. Garry's lifework is so immense and rich that our Tune of the Week forum hasn't come anywhere close to sharing enough of the tunes he collected. Though we're on a total of 612 tune, Garry collected at least 391 tunes and we've not even scratched that surface on TOTW. This is a fun tune with three parts, so go hear and perhaps even learn TOTW, 4/24/20, Molly Kiss Your Darling.
If you remember music that was popular in the 60's you might remember a duo named Richard and Mimi Fariña. Our nostalgic journey led by the talented and romantic John D is fitting for this first day of May. Come listen and learn this four part joyful TOTW, 5/1/20, Dandelion River Run -- a tune named for a mythical location, perhaps, but where all is joyful.
When Rick Hocutt posts we know we'll get some real old-time history. This week he has posted and performed a song from Roscoe Holcomb with some slight resemblance to a song we all know, On Top of Old Smokey. Roscoe played and sang it quite differently, however, and accompanied the familiar words with his driving 2-finger picking. Check out TOTW, 5/8/20, Old Smokey.
The very talented Cyndy has re-visited a favorite tune by a member of a rich musical family, originally out of Kentucky. Lots of us play this tune, but not in the crooked way we'll explore this week. I think it won't be hard for me to get this and will enjoy learning more about the Spencer family, Vernon Spencer and his granddaughter, Tricia, in particular. Known also by Pig Town Fling and Wild Horses, here's TOTW, 5/15/20, Stony Point.
Somehow we got lucky and Rick Hocutt was able to post twice this month. A super old-time clawhammer banjo player, Oscar Wright, is our study for the week, and it's a toughie to learn, but Rick pulls it off like he's been playing it for decades (which he has). Oscar lived near Henry Reed and they knew each other, so it's interesting to put more of the West Virginia history together which musical historians like Alan Jabbour and Blanton Owens partook of and passed on. If you can learn this week's tune, kudo's to you -- I'm going to try! Here it is: TOTW, 5/22/20, Sandy River (Oscar Wright's).