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Help Identifying Uncle Dave Sturgill recordings

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May 20, 2022 - 5:25:25 AM
7 posts since 6/3/2015

I found a really cool field recording cassette of North Carolina mandolin/banjo player Uncle Dave Sturgill. This cassette is chock full of history on his group (The Skyland Strings, and its offshoot, the Grayson Highlands String Band) and traditional recordings by Uncle Dave Sturgill, and worth listening to in general for history of the old time scene in VA/NC in the 70s and 80s.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to identify all the songs on the recording -- could anyone help?

See mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=171284 for a transcription of the recording material, and see youtube.com/watch?v=TRI6TRVxd8E to listen to the album.

Hope y'all enjoy the music and history! And if you can help name any of the instrumental songs, that would also be appreciated!

May 20, 2022 - 6:42:34 AM

3111 posts since 9/5/2006

Now that's a name I haven't heard in a while!

May 20, 2022 - 8:34:42 AM
Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

477 posts since 9/26/2006

Aha, Rick Abrams; in addition to being a great banjo player, he worked for the Sacramento Bee as a reporter for many years and died of cancer in the late 1990s.  I didn't know him well, but I ran into him a number of times and always enjoyed these meetings.  The band he formed, the Piney Creek Weasels, continued on with me as the banjo player; the original fiddler was David Rainwater and later Eric Anderson.  Our last performance was in 2016, and I think we will probably not be performing much in the future.  Eric has found a job with a band that actually pays him real money.

The name "Piney Creek Weasels" came from a visit to Uncle Dave Sturgill, I believe.  That was before my time in the band, of course. 

Also, my mom's cousin, a North Carolinian named Bob Kramp, owned one of Uncle Dave's banjos.  Bob has passed; I would imagine one of his daughters has the  banjo, which was a funky thing. 

May 20, 2022 - 8:45:35 AM

7 posts since 6/3/2015

Thanks for your thoughts, Bob and Andy! Maybe you'll recognize a few more of the names from the recording? There were a handful (Bud Meineke of Chattanooga, Sam Holcomb, Al Christians, Bruce Carwith, and Paul Tyke) I couldn't find anything about.

Andy, Piney Creek is actually the town Dave Sturgill was from! Probably named the band in honor of him. Abrams seems to be an interesting fellow. (Dave remembered him as, among other things, "a fiddle-footed Hebrew newspaperman")

Relatedly, I was a little disappointed how little Dave discussed his instrument shop in the recording. Other than the introduction, he never mentions it, but he clearly had some skills as a luthier.

May 20, 2022 - 8:55:27 AM
Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

477 posts since 9/26/2006

20:38 and 39:39 sounds like "Fortune".
35:13 also sounds like "Sail Away Ladies"
36:49  is "You Take the High Road and I'll Take the Low Road", aka Loch Lomond. 
48:03: I can't exactly place the tune, but it sounds like one of the Gribble, Lusk and York pieces:
https://www.gribbleluskandyork.org/
50:52: Year of Jubilo
56:55 Fly Around My Blue Eyed Gal aka Western Country. 
 

May 20, 2022 - 9:07:20 AM

7 posts since 6/3/2015

Thanks so much for your help! Now that you point out Loch Lomond in particular, I can really hear it coming through!

May 22, 2022 - 5:53:23 PM

7 posts since 6/3/2015

Do you think the 48:03 tune could be Apple Blossom? Sounds close-ish to me.

May 23, 2022 - 5:22:41 AM
Players Union Member

ndlxs

USA

477 posts since 9/26/2006

Yes, that was my initial thought, Apple Blossom.

Are you on facebook?  There are some groups there with much better ears than mind.  

This is me on Facebook, I can direct you:
www.facebook.com/ndlxs

May 23, 2022 - 7:21:25 PM

7 posts since 6/3/2015

Thanks, just sent you a message

May 26, 2022 - 4:16:04 PM

13205 posts since 1/15/2005

Thanks for the links. I knew Dave from playing at the Fiddler's Grove festival in Union Grove in the 70's and early 80's.

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