Greetings from sunny Copenhagen - this will likely be my last TOTW from Denmark before I return to the US. I've been away from the forum a bit, but glad to be back to do a TOTW.
I was a bit hesitant to choose this tune because it's been covered under another name, back in 2018, but I decided that a tune with many names and many forms can resurface from time to time. So, this time, we'll call it "Western Country" and maybe focus on folks who called it that, but I'm happy to hear your memories and reflections on "Susannah Gal" or "Susananna Gal" just the same.
The reason Western Country has been on my mind is that Adam Hurt has taught me 2 rather different arrangements of this tune and I've been working on them concurrently. The first one was from Emmett Lundy, and while Lundy's A part is pretty standard, Adam believes no other historical fiddlers play the sparse, plain B part that Lundy plays. The second version I learned is a much busier take that Adam derived from the playing of Kyle Creed. The two versions of the tune resemble one another, but they arrangements we put together are about as opposite as you can get for the same tune. I'll try to post a recording later.
Most folks here know a thing or two about Kyle Creed, and I've posted Emmett Lundy tunes before - information about him is not hard to come by, and as I recall a few lucky BHO members even had the opportunity to know him personally. I'll try to fill in some details in subsequent posts.
These tunes never get old, Mark, a good choice no matter what name or version you favor. Some fine picking, Mary. I've posted below a video from ten years ago, playing the tune with my pal, the late, great clawhammer picker Ed Britt, busking together in Harvard Square. We didn't win anything either, heck, we didn't even get rich. But it was something I'll always remember.
Edited by - Don Borchelt on 10/29/2021 16:47:36
Nice choice, Mark. Looking forward to hearing what Adam has taught you. Emmett Lundy was one of our favorite topics when I took lessons. Always great to hear the new old-timers of BHO, Mary and Don. :) (No worries, I'm a new old-timer, too.)
On my iTunes I found that I'd purchased a Field Recorders Collective CD of Calvin Cole's banjo, so I did an arrangement for this week's TOTW. Calvin plays it incredibly fast. In this article from 1988 the writer remarked how Calvin danced like a teen when he was in his 80's. Read about it here: Calvin and Viola Cole of Fancy Gap. He was recorded for this CD in the 60's and also recorded for the Library of Congress in the 1930's.
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