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May 10, 2021 - 9:34:51 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

From the fiddling of Texan Eck Robertson (1887 - 1975) we get a tune which can be titled from several towns of the United States.  Any town that was built from the nice neighboring forest which was cut down for lumber with only the flat trunk remaining like round stools may have been given this nickname.  Thanks to Billy Kearney we have a tune that Spencer and Rains have dug up and it's not too tough to learn, even with three parts.  Enjoy TOTW, 5/7/21, Stumptown Stomp.

May 21, 2021 - 10:33:50 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

John D gives us another dance tune with Celtic roots.  His recording may be the first clawhammer version.  For those of us who remember Dave Hum, he recorded this, too, including some fancy variations, as Timour the Tartar.  If you like to try triplets there are several opportunities in this happy tune.  Join us to learn about TOTW, 5/21/21, Peter Street.

May 24, 2021 - 1:22:28 PM
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4 posts since 5/24/2021

Great list.

May 28, 2021 - 9:38:30 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Andy Alexis consistently presents novel and fun-to-play tunes.  Today's new Tune of the Week comes from a state in the Ozark Mountains -- Arkansas -- and is in a valuable collection of old-time tunes stored in Missouri Friends of the Folk Arts.  The title is what caught Andy's attention and the story of the musician behind it is worth hearing.  Enjoy (and learn) the TOTW, 5/28/21, The Rattlesnake and the Texas Pony.

Jun 4, 2021 - 4:22:18 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Mark Gentry from the UK has graced us with his first TOTW presentation, providing history, samples, and his own video playing a tune named for a famous Swedish opera singer, who in her generosity provided for schooling and charities in her country.  Many have heard this name and many have played the tune named after her, also known as the Heel and Toe Polka.  It's good to have another volunteer to help with our weekly efforts to search out the roots of old-time tunes, so give a peek and chime in to the TOTW, Jenny Lind Polka, 6/4/21.

Jun 11, 2021 - 11:10:39 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Mountain Goat has a gift for finding authentic old fiddle tunes we have yet to learn and pursue.  I recall hearing this one in a jam and writing down the title as one to learn, and now is the opportune time.  The interesting part of the presentation is the appeal it has for those interested in "history, anthropology, archeology, and early technology."  Sounds interesting to me, including its many old sources of recordings and the unique B part:   TOTW, 6/11/21, Brickyard Joe.

Jun 18, 2021 - 11:47:59 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Some tunes immediately captivate you, like this week’s did for me. After researching it, I also found interest in the 1920's Grand Old Opry career of Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. He played this tune the first time he performed there and it remained his lifetime favorite. See if you like the TOTW, 6/18/21, Hollow Poplar as much as did Arthur Smith. 

Jun 25, 2021 - 12:23:40 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Our Welsh friend, Neill Connor, has chosen to honor a living icon in the old-time world, Paul Brown, by presenting an original tune which Paul says he didn't name.  Personally, I'd give it a more beautiful title for a beautiful tune.  Either way, you'll enjoy TOTW, 6/25/21, Last Cold Whiskey, and perhaps you enjoy the real deal, too.

Jul 2, 2021 - 7:56:44 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Rick Hocutt reminds us of our folk roots and mutual admiration for Doc Watson.  He actually had the opportunity to ask him about this week's song.  Most people think Tom Dooley was a guilty man, but Doc Watson had inside information that there was much more to the folk song story than most of us knew.  Tune in for the inside story in our TOTW, 7/2/21, Tom Dooley via Doc Watson.

Jul 9, 2021 - 5:56:51 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

The illustrious Carl Baron has given us a tune recorded in the 1980's with Melvin Wine on fiddle, Bob Carlin on guitar, and none other than Carl himself on banjo.  The tune has a funny sounding title, but is also known by other titles in none other than O'Neill's Music of Ireland.  Carl invites us to try the tune and suggests more than one tuning to try it in.  Let's join him this week for TOTW, 7/9/21, Old Skedaddalink.

Jul 16, 2021 - 8:43:56 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

So many of our tune explorations are American-focussed.  This week's tune, presented by Mtngoat, whose own focus is often on contra dance music, comes from Canada.  The French Canadian reel was recorded in the 1930's for Victor by an accordion player born in 1884 and even now has an internet presence.  Come help pass it on through our TOTW, 7/16/21, Reel Eugene.

Jul 23, 2021 - 8:58:40 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Adam Schweigert has thoughtfully presented a modal tune showcased mostly through the fiddling of WV Melvin Wine, but with older sources.  When I first heard the tune it made me search for exactly what a springhouse is and discovered it was a small building used by mountain dwellers for refrigeration, built over a spring for storing perishable food and for keeping out animals and debris.  Take a listen and view Adam's tab in our TOTW, 7/23/21, Hannah at the Springhouse.

Jul 30, 2021 - 8:55:31 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Mark Gentry of York in the United Kingdom has given us a tune published in some old resources by other names, for instance in Ryan's Mammoth Collection of 1883.  The tune was played by some well-known Missouri players and we get the challenge of learning one of those hornpipes that makes Ozark musicians sound so skillful and complex.  Mark has played it for us and given a tab, too.  Are you up to the challenge, as I am, to work on the TOTW, 7/30/21, London Hornpipe?

Aug 6, 2021 - 10:13:18 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

First time presenter Jerry Arnold has diligently worked to educate us about a tune as played by a legend in old-time music, Gaither Carlton, with his famous son-in-law, Doc Watson.  Jerry is enthusiastically learning clawhammer and humbly shares his progress, plus the tab of his teacher and mentor, Maggie Shar, who studied and works with Adam Hurt.  Jerry is pleased to say he has begun lessons with Adam as well.  I'm always happy to listen and learn from Doc Watson, and now I'll learn more about his gentle and talented father-in-law.  Let's welcome and encourage Jerry in this well-written TOTW, 8/6/21, Cousin Sally Brown (Gather Carlton version).

Aug 20, 2021 - 3:50:01 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Tommy Jarrell's fiddling and banjo playing was fortunately documented and is still widely played in old-time circles, especially those interested in Appalachian music.  Mtngoat has chosen a song Tommy shared about a pest more commonly known in the big era of cotton plantations and less heard of these days.  The melody is bluesy and the tab and tuning provided by the marvelous instruction of Josh Turknett makes the tune easily assessable to try.  Check out TOTW, 8/20/21, Boll Weevil.

Aug 27, 2021 - 8:51:56 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Our esteemed friend from Sweden, Jan Olov Sundqvist, has presented a song not covered as a TOTW for ten years.  This is a banjo classic and Jan offers us in-depth history and numerous samples of performers.  It's been a long time since I played this one, but it's probably like -- as they say-- riding a bicycle.  One doesn't forget songs like TOTW, 8/27/21, John Hardy.

Sep 6, 2021 - 9:06:48 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Bay area player John D has offered another one of his tremendous dance reels, this one learned from a Canadian player.  John has played this tune for several decades and says it's the last one he ever learned from tablature.  It will be a good challenge to learn this one by ear from the playing of champion fiddler Graham Townsend, who wrote 400 tunes during his lifetime and knew 4,000!  Enjoy TOTW, 9/3/21, Don Tremaine's Reel.

Sep 10, 2021 - 9:33:42 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

A re-visit to Marmaduke's Hornpipe going by a different title and with other differences is explored in depth on Tune of the Week, nine years later.  Thanks to the thoroughness of Billy Kearney you can learn about this tune, popular with mid-West players, as well as in Tennessee. There are 3-finger pickers as well as clawhammerists and the tune was once popular as a fiddle contest showpiece.  Billy is looking for a resource recording with Charlie Acuff and perhaps someone can provide the one that inspired him a long time ago.  Hope you enjoy and successfully hunt for the chirping sound effect in our TOTW, 9/10/21, Cricket on the Hearth.

Sep 17, 2021 - 8:08:41 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Here's a tune not to miss, presented and played by Carolyn Faubel, who took the sleuthing approach to sharing a tune by contacting the source recorder, Paul Brown, and asking more about his learning source, Fields Ward.  It's a tune with a very long title and the music itself portrays the title.  So, tune in to TOTW 9/17/21 Old Man's and Old Woman's Quarrel.

Sep 24, 2021 - 10:46:52 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Prolific player Stephen Rapp is offering an original tune by a legendary midwestern fiddler, Lynn "Chirps" Smith, with a title from the big river which borders Illinois, Chirp's home state.  Stephen plays with the great Ohio-based fiddler Paul Kirk who researches tunes and presents them in many enjoyable weekly videos offered on youtube, Facebook, and other sites, such as Old Time Central.  Join them this week on our TOTW, 9/24/21, Mississippi Palisades.

Oct 1, 2021 - 11:38:11 AM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

I've chosen a four part tune, one in the death-by-hanging repertoire.  Such a sad and dramatic tale when the excellent fiddler faces such a fate, yet is able to perform one last virtuosic tune.  I've only heard of one instance where the tune actually saved the fiddler. In this case it doesn't.  You can hear the good music on TOTW, 10/1/21, Hangman’s Reel.

Oct 8, 2021 - 9:22:19 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

RG dependably offers interesting and obscure tunes. This one, with more than one title, came from the remarkable playing of Pete Steele, passed on via the living legend Art Rosenbaum. The tune comes with a story of a local soldier who didn't come home from service in WWI . It's a challenge to play, but RG does it in the TOTW, 10/8/21, Harlan County Farewell/Rambling Hobo.

Oct 9, 2021 - 1:27:53 PM
Players Union Member

atleson

USA

322 posts since 3/22/2005

Janet, the site for the 10/
9 tune will not open.

Oct 9, 2021 - 1:48:57 PM

6726 posts since 6/27/2009

Thank you, Jim, for pointing out that the link above was not working. This one should work. 
Originally posted by JanetB

RG dependably offers interesting and obscure tunes. This one, with more than one title, came from the remarkable playing of Pete Steele, passed on via the living legend Art Rosenbaum. The tune comes with a story of a local soldier who didn't come home from service in WWI . It's a challenge to play, but RG does it in the TOTW, 10/8/21, Harlan County Farewell/Rambling Hobo.


Edited by - JanetB on 10/09/2021 13:49:30

Oct 10, 2021 - 8:15:11 PM
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20 posts since 9/5/2021

Thanks for the list, I play in an old time group and recognize many of these tunes but some are new to me. I will look into this and maybe introduce something new to my group.

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