I’ve been participating in the “tune of the month” at a Facebook group called Clawhammer Rules. This month’s tune is called Sandy River Belle. It’s a tune I used to play quite a bit in a specialized tuning known as, what else, Sandy River Belle… Read More
This morning I was playing the banjo before Ruby’s vet appointment. The tune I was playing is called Nixon’s Farewell. I first heard this tune at the Rockbridge festival down in Virginia last September. I was wandering around the park listening to jams with a… Read More
Tunes for a Friday evening. Here are two of my fave performers, April Verch and Joe Newberry playing a medley of Canadian and American old time tunes (and as a bonus, April Verch fiddles and step dances at the same time). This should get your… Read More
The American Songbook is not for the feint of heart. Trains, cars, whiskey, sex, money, work, loneliness, death – even murder – and God, not necessarily in that order. Vernacular music, music of the people, perhaps the expression of a culture just before the great… Read More
Here’s an attempt at Cathy Barton’s arrangement of the Ramona Jones/Jimmie Driftwood version of Valley Forge.
There’s a fiddle tune called Rachel. In some places and by some players it’s also known as The Texas Quickstep, but everyone I know who plays it just calls it Rachel. I don’t know who Rachel was though. It’s just one of life’s mysteries. I… Read More
There are two Cairos. One of course is in Egypt. The other (the one referred to in the song) is at the southern end of Illinois in the United States, the place where the Ohio River spills into the Mississippi. This is an old tune.… Read More
I’ve been playing some of those dark “modal” tunes lately. Here’s one, called The Clinch Mountain Backstep. I believe this one comes to us from the late great Ralph Stanley, who played it with bluegrass picks rather than clawhammer (although he was a mighty clawhammer… Read More
I was surfing around the YouTube a short while ago, getting my morning fix of old time music, when I stumbled across: 2 Guys Named Ben: Episode 12 Chicken Train. This immediately caught my attention because the Chicken Train CD is among my fave old… Read More
This tune is attributed to West Virginia fiddler Lee Triplett.