Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

575
Banjo Lovers Online


May 10, 2024 - 6:18:10 AM
like this
42 posts since 5/27/2014

Hey everybody!

I thought I'd share this tune that I picked up recently called "Gray Haired Dancing Girl".

I've been teaching an intermediate/advanced banjo repertoire class here in Pittsburgh at the Calliope School of Folk Music and have been trying to teach some of the tunes that the intermediate fiddle class, taught by Mark Tamsula, is learning.

This is one of those tunes. I based my version on Mark's recording with the Boiled Buzzards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffGnjzMA2WE.

I found a transcription of that recording here if that's helpful to anyone: https://www.oldtimefiddletunes.net/tunes/GreyHairedDancingGirl.pdf

And my tab is attached here.

I asked Mark where he got the tune and said it came from a fiddler from Maryland who went by Jumahl and was active in the old-time scene in the 90s. So it's a recent-ish tune. I don't know much else about it, if you know anything more about it let me know!

It's in A, standard tuning (aEAC#E). 

Here's a quick recording of the version I worked out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcKOsb_ui3w.

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty fun tune so I hope you like it!


May 11, 2024 - 11:59:18 AM
like this

7150 posts since 6/27/2009

That's nice you have chosen an obscure, more contemporary tune, Adam.  You and Mark Tamsula play it quickly and that sounds right, but I must play more slowly when learning.  Up to speed some of the fiddle notes would be left out.

Anything Mark Tamsula plays has been appealing. The source of Grey Haired Dancing Girl is apparently not Pennsylvania, where so many of his tunes come from.

Some tech talk:  It's good to have your tab to bounce around when I'm listening and arranging the fiddle part for banjo. I liked your slide at the beginning, resembling the fiddle. In the fourth measure I snuck in a "ghost hammer-on", which works partly because my playing is always on the gentle, quiet side, so the hammer-on is equal in volume.  In the sixth measure I used a slide to get my index finger in position for the 5th to 7th fret hammer-on, as you did.  I hoped to get in the 4th fret note while sliding. Both of us used an ASPO in the 7th measure and I made sure to do it in the 5th fret position, which makes the next hammer-on ready to play.  

I also like how you've simplified the first of the B part, especially as an ease for students learning banjo by not using too many ASPOs, which I used three of in the first three measures.  Then you go up the neck, which I'm feeling lazy about doing these days, therefore went down the neck. If I did, I'd use a Galax lick in the thirteenth measure to utilize an open 5th string before that 8th fret followed by a hammer-on from the 11th fret to the 9th fret.  Maybe I can stop being lazy and go up the neck this week!


May 13, 2024 - 2:50:48 AM
like this

484 posts since 9/9/2006

quote:
Originally posted by aschweigert

I asked Mark where he got the tune and said it came from a fiddler from Maryland who went by Jumahl and was active in the old-time scene in the 90s. So it's a recent-ish tune. I don't know much else about it, if you know anything more about it let me know!

Nice to see this tune up as a TOTW! As it happen's, Jumahl is a long-time good friend of my wife Maxine Gerber and me. He rarely plays fiddle any more, which is a shame, because I love his fiddling, and he's also a tunesmith who's written a bunch of tunes I really like! He's also a really great, soulful Cajun accordion player and singer, but rarely does either of those things any more either, dang it.

Jumahl wrote "Grey-Haired Dancin' Gal" (his spelling) in honor of his then-girlfriend Eileen Carson (later Eileen Carson Schatz, as she married Mark Schatz). Eileen was, among other things, a founding member and the director of the amazing percussive dance troupe The Fiddle Puppets, and a great and well-known dance teacher, not to mention an overall force of nature! Sadly, after a long battle, she died of cancer a little under five years ago.

Banjo content: Jumahl is also a master woodworker and instrument builder; he builds the Enoch Banjos Tradesman line of open-backed banjos. Several features and refinements of their design are Jumahl's contribution to Kevin's original design. Jumahl builds them in his shop in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Kevin Enoch sets them up and markets them. Kevin mostly builds custom banjos himself, but he's in the process of retiring, and is now only building a small number of banjos on commissions of his choice. But I highly recommend his Tradesman line to those who are looking for a very well-built, great-sounding banjo, but don't care much about fancy decoration and inlay. My wife owns a 12" Tradesman, and we both find that The Tradesmans in general are so consistent in feel, sound, and setup that they're practically interchangeable. We've also find that they mic very well and clearly, so they're great on stage for performances or dances.

Oh, and if you're a fan of a good, raunchy joke, Jumahl's got a million of 'em! laugh

Edited by - BrendanD on 05/13/2024 02:57:07

May 13, 2024 - 2:54:52 AM
likes this

484 posts since 9/9/2006

Sorry for the extra (first) reply. It somehow sent before I had a chance to edit the quoted original post and add my reply, but now BH won't let me delete that accidental post! Moderator, could you please delete that first incomplete post for me?

Also, I wanted to upload and post an MP3 of Jumahl playing "Grey-Haired Dancin' Gal" with my wife Maxine Gerber on banjo and Dan Warrick on guitar, from a homemade CD I recorded here in our house years ago (7 of the 14 tunes are Jumahl's compositions). However, BH won't let me upload the MP3, probably because I have a fairly ancient Mac with old browsers that can't be updated! I've uploaded many MP3s from this same Mac, with the same browser, but somehow it doesn't seem to work any more, though I have no idea why, since nothing's changed on this end. Grrr.

Edited by - BrendanD on 05/13/2024 03:04:01

May 13, 2024 - 3:20:36 AM
like this

484 posts since 9/9/2006

quote:
Originally posted by BrendanD

Also, I wanted to upload and post an MP3 of Jumahl playing "Grey-Haired Dancin' Gal" with my wife Maxine Gerber on banjo and Dan Warrick on guitar, from a homemade CD I recorded here in our house years ago (7 of the 14 tunes are Jumahl's compositions). However, BH won't let me upload the MP3, probably because I have a fairly ancient Mac with old browsers that can't be updated! I've uploaded many MP3s from this same Mac, with the same browser, but somehow it doesn't seem to work any more, though I have no idea why, since nothing's changed on this end. Grrr.


Hmm, now BH let me upload the MP3 of Jumahl playing "Grey-Haired Dancin' Gal". Now let's see if it lets me attach it to this reply!

Grey-Haired Dancin' Gal

Edit: Success, I think! Please let me know if you have trouble playing this track.

Edited by - BrendanD on 05/13/2024 03:25:33

May 13, 2024 - 4:51:59 AM
likes this

42 posts since 5/27/2014

quote:
Originally posted by BrendanD

Nice to see this tune up as a TOTW! As it happen's, Jumahl is a long-time good friend of my wife Maxine Gerber and me. He rarely plays fiddle any more, which is a shame, because I love his fiddling, and he's also a tunesmith who's written a bunch of tunes I really like! He's also a really great, soulful Cajun accordion player and singer, but rarely does either of those things any more either, dang it.

Jumahl wrote "Grey-Haired Dancin' Gal" (his spelling) in honor of his then-girlfriend Eileen Carson (later Eileen Carson Schatz, as she married Mark Schatz). Eileen was, among other things, a founding member and the director of the amazing percussive dance troupe The Fiddle Puppets, and a great and well-known dance teacher, not to mention an overall force of nature! Sadly, after a long battle, she died of cancer a little under five years ago.

Banjo content: Jumahl is also a master woodworker and instrument builder; he builds the Enoch Banjos Tradesman line of open-backed banjos. Several features and refinements of their design are Jumahl's contribution to Kevin's original design. Jumahl builds them in his shop in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Kevin Enoch sets them up and markets them. Kevin mostly builds custom banjos himself, but he's in the process of retiring, and is now only building a small number of banjos on commissions of his choice. But I highly recommend his Tradesman line to those who are looking for a very well-built, great-sounding banjo, but don't care much about fancy decoration and inlay. My wife owns a 12" Tradesman, and we both find that The Tradesmans in general are so consistent in feel, sound, and setup that they're practically interchangeable. We've also find that they mic very well and clearly, so they're great on stage for performances or dances.

Oh, and if you're a fan of a good, raunchy joke, Jumahl's got a million of 'em! laugh


Thanks for sharing all this Brendan! Mark had mentioned him working with Kevin but I had no idea he was that deeply involved! It's a shame he doesn't really play anymore, that recording you posted sounds great!

May 17, 2024 - 12:22:41 PM
like this

7150 posts since 6/27/2009

Thanks, Brendan. You are a treasure trove of tunes, resources and knowledge! Jumahl gives the tune a Cajun swing flavor and has challenged me to give it another try. It begs to be played faster, but not today....


Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1870117