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Nov 13, 2020 - 10:24:53 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

A fun tune comes to us today with some silly lyrics about eating gravy.  Jan Olov Sundqvist brings us a tune from the Weems Family String Band, who in 1928 recorded all of two sides.  This song has been covered by some of the greats, like New Lost City Ramblers, Stephen Wade, Bob Carlin and Brad Leftwich.  So tune in and hear a little song from the past in this week's TOTW, Davy, 11/13/20.

Nov 20, 2020 - 10:50:16 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Michael Murphy of Missouri brings us a kind of a mystery tune this week.  It's in a minor key and has a nondescript date for a title.  Michael has personal associations with the tune at around Thanksgiving time.   The tune has  good learning sources by both Franklin George and the Fuzzy Mountain String Band.  Several BHO members have played it, yet it remains one that we don't hear often.  Personally, I'm turning to a Piney Creek Weasels CD to learn.  Give it a listen on TOTW, 28th of January, 11/20/20.

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:26:13 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

We're lucky when Pat Lyons presents -- his tune choices are always so interesting.  He has chosen a Texan old-time tune played by Stafford Harris, born in 1927 and learned from his grandfather.  It was popularized recently by the amazing duo of Spencer and Rains and is being passed around now.  Pat hears some Cajun flavor in the tune, so give it a listen on TOTW, 11/27/20, Porter's Reel.

Dec 4, 2020 - 9:08:32 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

We've again been joined by Douglas Bonnyman of Edinburgh, Scotland to present a Tune of the Week that has longtime Scottish roots.  If you've ever listened to Bob Carlin's legendary CD, Banging and Sawing, you'd have heard this tune as fiddled by Judy Hyman.  Enjoy some history this week and investigate the old time roots of http://TOTW, 12/4/20, Too Young to Marry

Dec 11, 2020 - 8:31:03 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Today's new Tune of the Week presented by long-time contributor Mountain Goat goes by several names and has lots of history to share.  My favorite version is actually not from my favorite fiddler, James Bryan.  Instead, the one recorded by BHO member and Old Time Herald editor Gail Gillepsie and her Happy Valley Band is the one I'm going to learn from.  It's a great dance tune which, as a song by one of its many titles, is one my old sing-along band used to do, Take Me Back to Tulsa.  So go and check out TOTW, Shear 'Em, 12/11/20.

Dec 18, 2020 - 6:52:35 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Adam Schweigert is a talented player who covers good old-time tunes and has chosen one this week from a Kentucky fiddling icon, John Salyer.  The banjo player on the home recording is new for me -- Claude Helton, who was a neighbor of John's.  Though John didn't like to do commercial recordings, he at last recorded for his sons in the early 1940's.  This tune will be on my weekend learning list:  TOTW, 12/18/20, Jack Wilson.

Dec 27, 2020 - 6:26:42 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

I forgot to announce my own Tune of the Week.  I'm fortunate to post on Christmas, with the lyrics actually stating that Christmas time would soon be over. And it's been over for two days. It was the quietest Christmas ever, but still full of music. If you like the old spirituals you'll also find them in this week's TOTW, Christmas Time in the Morning, 12/25/20. 

Edited by - JanetB on 12/27/2020 18:28:01

Jan 1, 2021 - 10:34:56 AM
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6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Our banjo picking friend across the pond, Neill Connor, is inviting us to play a challenging and lively tune named for the twisted threads used by tailors once upon a time in Ireland.  We're working on simplifying the tune to make it more old-time friendly for us clawhammerists.  Give a listen and a have a dare to try TOTW, The Tailor's Twist, 1/1/21.

Jan 8, 2021 - 10:33:30 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

A first-time presenter from northern Ireland has chosen a classic winning tune from Ola Belle Reed.  Thank you, BelfastFiveString.  I used to think this song was straight bluegrass, but it's obviously not.  Come explore our TOTW, High on a Mountain, 1/8/21.

Jan 15, 2021 - 4:00:23 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Veteran player Carl Baron continues to treat us to tunes played by West Virginian fiddler Melvin Wine.  Today's new presentation has loads of information and examples, though Carl confesses at the end that he still can't say for certain where the tune originally surfaced.  It's pretty and reminds me of Cowboy Waltz, a tune from Texas where our Tune of the Week also made its appearance long ago.  Enjoy TOTW, Wednesday Night Waltz, 1/15/21!

Jan 22, 2021 - 5:21:53 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Our West Virginian friend, Billy Kearney, has given us a tune from across the pond, named for a town that "evolved around a Norman fortress called Morpheth Castle, one of several guarding the east coast routes to Scotland."  I know the tune as Fair Morning Hornpipe, learned from the playing of West Virginian fiddler Bobby Taylor.  It goes by other names, too.  It will be a delight to hear this cheerful tune on TOTW, Morpeth Rant, 1/22/21.

Jan 29, 2021 - 8:37:08 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

This week's tune is a beautiful modal one that comes to us from fiddler Marcus Martin (1881 - 1974) of North Carolina, chosen by the talented Stephen Rapp, who  plays banjo in a video collaboration with his fiddling friend Paul Kirk.  The appealing tune is one that was apparently recorded by another fiddler in the 1920's, but not released. Luckily Martin was recorded in 1942 and several of his pieces were released in a CD in 2007.  Enjoy this TOTW, Cousin Sally Brown, 1/29/21.

Feb 5, 2021 - 8:53:24 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Have you heard of the Shetland Islands? Our new tune most likely came from there and, according to our presenter, the experienced contra dance player John D, it's a cheerful tune with very little wistful sentiment, if any.  Lots of people have left their homeland for good reasons and found a better place, and this may have been the case in our newest TOTW, Far from Home, 2/5/21.

Feb 12, 2021 - 10:14:44 AM
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6722 posts since 6/27/2009

An in-depth study of a familiar folk song is the Tune of the Week's presentation by  the ambitious Neill Connor, who successfully attempts to figure out and play the most difficult version he can find.  He shares this song's sometimes depressing lyrics to its most frivilous ones, and reminds of the extensive work by Bascam Lamar Lunsford.  Help us pursue this week's TOTW, 2/13/21, I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground.

Feb 19, 2021 - 11:59:53 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Our extremely talented and versatile friend Andy Alexis has offered us two tunes in the 2-finger style of picking as played by Lee Sexton, whose death last week has saddened many.  Strange how someone's passing can inspire so much.  Lee's repertoire in the old-time genres included fiddle tunes, bluesy songs, folk songs and much more.  The tunes focussed this week are Cumberland Gap and Shady Grove in fDGCD tuning -- so beautiful!  Come and explore his style on TOTW, Lee Sexton Two Finger Style, 2/19/21.

Feb 24, 2021 - 3:18:34 AM
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Eric A

USA

1303 posts since 10/15/2019
Online Now

Hi Janet,

I referenced you and the TOTW's this morning on a bluegrasser's thread where they had been discussing "Ground Hog". I think any and all mashups that occur between oldtimers and bluegrassers should always be encouraged. Cousins. Like they say, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family!" Or, as I like to say, "You should have a good big family reunion now and again, whether you like it or not!"

Eric

Edited by - Eric A on 02/24/2021 03:20:18

Feb 26, 2021 - 9:24:24 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

Hi Janet,

I referenced you and the TOTW's this morning on a bluegrasser's thread where they had been discussing "Ground Hog". I think any and all mashups that occur between oldtimers and bluegrassers should always be encouraged. Cousins. Like they say, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family!" Or, as I like to say, "You should have a good big family reunion now and again, whether you like it or not!"

Eric


Our bluegrass cousins are indeed related.  My own version of Groundhog is mostly Jim Mills inspired, though I took it farther after studying his DVD with tab and now like to clawhammer it, too.  Doc Watson's is my next favorite, though he played guitar on it.  The two versions are different, but similar.

Feb 26, 2021 - 10:49:54 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Mark Tomko, delighting us from his home in Denmark with a West Virginia tune, has chosen one with an unknown story.  Could it be named for a person?  I wouldn't want to become an "old biddy", which is an elderly woman regarded as interfering or annoying. Other comments suggest an old hen.  The tuning is in sawmill, recorded recently on gourd banjo by Adam Hurt on his new CD, Back to the Earth.  Originally it was recorded in 1947 by Edden Hammonds, that remarkable fiddler from West Virginia who chose fiddling over any other activity.  Discover TOTW, 2/26/21, Biddy.

Edited by - JanetB on 02/26/2021 10:53:01

Mar 5, 2021 - 11:51:54 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

The talented and devoted Rick Hocutt has chosen a tune this week which showcases 2-finger picking of a tune which has been recorded over 70 times and is known by many titles.  Now we learn that Grayson and Whittier recorded it in the 1920's under a title which is new to me, but still having the familiar melody.  With these lyrics get ready for a murder ballad, but if you're like me, just play the melody!  Thanks, RG, for your classic performance of TOTW, 3/12/21, Rose Conley (Down in the Willow Garden).

Mar 12, 2021 - 10:05:10 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Mountain Goat was kind enough to fill in today for a tune that sounds like it came right out of the music of the mountains.  There are some floating lyrics to this song, though the origins can only be speculated.  I like the ones that sing about  good down-home food.  Enjoy our TOTW, Forty Weight of Gingerbread, 3/12/21.

Mar 26, 2021 - 4:52:23 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Carolyn Faubel always uncovers interesting tunes; this week we learn of a Civil War tune whose source recording is a man who was in his 80's  when he recorded in or about the 1980's for Gerry Milnes.  Fiddler Arthur D. Johnson claimed that the tune was one you didn't want to play in a certain location of West Virginia because of ill feelings brought on by the battle associated with the tune.  Hear Carolyn play on a minstrel banjo when you check out TOTW, Three Forks of Hell, 3/26/21.

Apr 2, 2021 - 10:00:04 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

We have a fun tune with a fun name this week, an old standard played by a revered old-time player, Wade Ward.  Thanks to Jan Olov, who is always thoughtful, skillful, and interesting in his Tune of the Week presentations.  It will be a challenge to play this Wade Ward style, but that's why this weekly feature can be so beneficial.  TOTW, 4/2/21, Holly Ding.

Apr 9, 2021 - 8:54:34 AM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

We're always fortunate when we're exposed to another Clyde Davenport tune.  Thanks to Adam Schwiegert for choosing one.  We hope to learn more about this tune, as well as Mr. Davenport, when we explore TOTW, Farewell Princeton, 4/9/21.

Apr 16, 2021 - 10:08:58 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

Once in a while on Tune of the Week we're given a Coon Creek Girls tune with the unmistakable lively clawhammer banjo of Lily May Ledford.  Mtngoat gives us such a song, with its background from a region common with birds of prey, an unwelcome intrusion for those who raise poultry.  Listen to the old and more modern versions of Hawk's Got a Chicken and Gone, TOTW, 4-16-21.  Tell me afterwards what tune it reminds you of.

Apr 30, 2021 - 5:20:20 PM

6722 posts since 6/27/2009

When Carl Baron gives us a tune it's often something new for us and historically interesting. We'll learn about a banjo player named Betsy Rutherford Coffey and her husband John.  Betsy's family included Fields Crockett, Wade Ward and Henry Whitter. John competed successfully at the Galax Fiddler's Convention.  Take a step back in time to explore TOTW, 4/30/21, Little Reed Island Creek.

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