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Nov 27, 2020 - 8:01:59 AM
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461 posts since 2/6/2011

Thanksgiving Week’s TOTW is "Porter’s Reel" from Stafford Harris (1927-2010)

Stafford was born and raised in Nacodoches County, Texas. He served as a pastor to numerous Missionary Baptist Churches in addition to playing the fiddle. When he learned this tune from his grandfather, it didn’t have a title. He named it after his father, Porter and originally called it “Porter’s Two Step”.

His version seems to have a distinctive Cajun flavor to it and can be found here:

https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/porters-two-step

I learned the tune from a Spencer and Rains Album: “The Old Texas Fiddle Vol II (Weird Tunes of Old Texas)”. Trisha Spencer is from Kansas and Howard Raines is from Texas. They have taken on the task of educating us all on the incredible old fiddle tunes from Texas and The Midwest.

Here are a couple of examples of their version:

Clifftop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cJ4tE9rdkk&ab_channel=MissMoonshineV

At the Old Time Tiki Parlour with David Bragger and Susan Platz (Four Fiddles!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKifP3eQzhg&ab_channel=TheOld-TimeTikiParlour

I highly recommend any of their recordings, especially if you're interested in learning about Texas Fiddle Tunes/Fiddlers such as: Eck Robertson, Benny Thomas, Gary Lee Moore, Orville Burns.

Finally, here's a Banjo Version and Tab:

Porter's Reel

https://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjohangout.org/storage/tabs/p/tab-porters-reel-24612-16172126112020.pdf

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day.

Nov 27, 2020 - 8:51:29 AM
Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

390 posts since 9/26/2006

That's a good one, I'm going to try it on banjar and fiddle.  I always like my banjo tunes with a lot of pull offs and hammer ons.

Nov 27, 2020 - 10:58:51 AM
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201 posts since 5/25/2015

Thanks for choosing this tune. We play it at the local session and it's one of my favourites. Here is a fretless version.


Nov 27, 2020 - 12:28:12 PM
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461 posts since 2/6/2011

gentrixuk Nice! Gotta love those slides.

Nov 27, 2020 - 1:35:27 PM
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Players Union Member

atleson

USA

296 posts since 3/22/2005

this is one of my very favorite tunes. I heard it it first by Tricia and Howard at Mars Hill a couple of years ago, and it's rhythm and cajun flavor has stuck with me. A wonderful and talented team-----I'd certainly recommend all their albums.

jim atleson

Nov 27, 2020 - 2:15:19 PM
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6582 posts since 6/27/2009

Thanks, Pat, for a neat Texan tune.  Spencer and Rains are already legends for me and Porter's Reel has taken off directly through their efforts.  I like its Cajun flavor.  Somehow, my video got lost in the BHO archive, so here is an embedded version. 


Nov 28, 2020 - 6:46:52 AM
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461 posts since 2/6/2011

JanetB As always, Janet, thanks for adding your interpretation of this fine tune.

Dec 13, 2020 - 9:52:08 PM
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437 posts since 9/9/2006

I'm enjoying hearing everybody's banjo take on Porter's Reel! I'm the banjo player on "The Old Texas Fiddle, Vol. II", and it has occurred to me that I could possibly have been the first person to play this tune on the banjo, since banjo was not so prevalent in Texas as in, say, the Southern Appalachians. Of course, I might just be making that up, but it's kind of fun to think about. :-) Anyway, I've really enjoyed seeing this tune become so popular from our recording! It really has a Cajun feel to me too, and fits nicely on the banjo. Here's the track from our album mentioned above.


Edited by - BrendanD on 12/13/2020 21:52:42

Dec 14, 2020 - 9:11:01 AM
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461 posts since 2/6/2011

@ BrendanD Thanks for posting that, Brendan. I have that CD but wasn't sure how to post the MP3. I think it's the best version available.

Edited by - banjukebox on 12/14/2020 09:11:58

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