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Feb 9, 2024 - 6:24:18 AM
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549 posts since 2/6/2011

I know what you're thinking: "That's not an Old-Time Tune".

But you’re probably thinking about this great song by Rufus Thomas: WALKING THE DOG

Or maybe this one by Tex Grimsley: WALKING THE DOG

Those are both classics, but I’m talking about a newer Old-Timey Banjo/Fiddle Tune written by Arnie Naiman. It just goes to show that just like in the Old-Time realm, there are completely different songs that have the same name.

I first heard this tune when I attended one of the early Southwest Old Time String Band Gatherings (Pre-COVID). I was in a jam with John W. and Mark C. They now play together as part of the Tune Monkeys. Here's a link to a video of John's playing: JWalk.

As soon as I returned home I went out and bought Arnie’s two CD set: “Five Strings Attached with No Backing” which he recorded with Chris Coole. I highly recommend this double album. It contains a a number of new tunes interspersed with a bunch of old chestnuts.

There are a few examples of Arnie playing the tune on YouTube:

Solo Banjo

With Chris Coole

With the Albemarle Ramblers

If you play this at a jam, it’s a good idea to remind your jam mates ahead of time that this is a long tune. It’s played in an AABB format, but both the A part and the B part are 16 measures long. There’s a tendency to want to skip to the next part too soon.

Here's a version I recorded for Tune of the Week with along the TAB:

Walking the Dog - with TAB


Edited by - banjukebox on 02/09/2024 06:28:26

Feb 9, 2024 - 8:45:27 AM
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14137 posts since 12/11/2003

Thanks Pat! I've always really liked this tune from Arnie.

Edited by - raybob on 02/09/2024 08:46:04

Feb 10, 2024 - 5:42:23 AM



521 posts since 9/26/2006

Now THAT tune is an ear-worm....I'm gonna sit down and learn it both on the banjar and fiddle right away. Thanks!

Feb 10, 2024 - 1:13:34 PM
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7129 posts since 6/27/2009

What a great tune choice, Pat!  Your video with accompaniment and all the samples are enjoyable and were helpful for figuring the tune out.  

I was able to contact Arnie and get some background and a tab, plus a photo of him with his wife, Kathy Reid-Naiman, and their dog Falkor.  Arnie says, "It's just a tune I made up around 1995 -- I walk my dog everyday, back then a golden retriever (Falkor), and today another golden retriever (Molly Malone).  I recorded it with Chris Coole on 5 Strings Attached Vol. 1, and later with the Albemarle Ramblers with Pete Vigour on fiddle and Dick Harrington on guitar."  I forgot to ask him what kind of banjo he plays.  He has had wonderful successes at Clifftop competitions.  Arnie surely loves his dogs and the tune reflects his upbeat, happy feeling.  He is an amazing composer of old-time tunes and adds something uniquely him that catches our ear every time.  Hopefully more of his tunes will be covered here in the future.  Kathy is a musician, too, playing children's music, and I look forward to listening to her soon in links Arnie sent me.

I recorded Walking the Dog on cello banjo, which brings the key down, but used the same relative tuning as in Arnie and Pat's tabs (double C).  They have the rare occurrence of using the thumb on the 5th string for downbeats in the B part. To get into the B part I also used a Galax lick, which by definition uses the thumb on that beat.

Kathy, Arnie and Falkor

Edited by - JanetB on 02/10/2024 13:15:50

Feb 12, 2024 - 6:03:22 AM
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549 posts since 2/6/2011

JanetB Thanks for your input, Janet. Always like to hear your take on these tunes.
I actually contacted Arnie before I decided on the TOTW - mainly to get his permission to use his tune.

Feb 12, 2024 - 7:28:05 PM
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275 posts since 7/7/2007

A wonderful tune. My dog Luna approves too.

Feb 13, 2024 - 1:41:41 PM
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426 posts since 5/29/2009

Thanks to both you and Arnie. Really fun to learn!

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