Next Jam - January 3rd 7-9pm. Happy New Year!

Dec 6, 2016

Jam Playlist for December 2016

Here's our tune list from tonight's jam 12/6/16 minus a few holiday tunes thrown in for fun!
  1. Mississippi Sawyer - D
  2. Sal's Got Mud Between Her Toes - D
  3. Folding Down the Sheets - D
  4. Over the Waterfall - D
  5. Old Joe Clark - Amix
  6. Flop Eared Mule - D/A
  7. Red Haired Boy - A
  8. Pretty Little Dog - A
  9. Cold Frosty Morning - Amix
  10. West Fork Gals - D
  11. Turkey Foot - D
  12. Greasy Coat - Ador
  13. Turkey in the Straw - G
  14. Whiskey Before Breakfast - D
  15. Redwing - G
  16. Marching through Georgia - G
  17. Petronella - D
  18. Road to Boston - D
  19. Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine - D
  20. Sugar in the Gourd - A
  21. Ruffled Drawers - D
  22. Texas Gals - C
  23. St. Anne's Reel - D
  24. Possum's Tail is Bare - D
  25. Kitchen Girl - Amix/Ador
  26. Breaking up Christmas - A


My pick for tonight has got to be "Folding Down the Sheets", key of D.
Here's Guy Wolf playing Folding Down the Sheets first in the key of G
but jump to 2:10 to hear the tune in D.
Rayna Gellert has a wonderful fiddle version of this tune & others played fast and slow HERE.

Nov 19, 2016

Greasy Coat

I don't drink & I don't smoke, I don't wear no greasy coat.
I don't spit & I don't chew and I don't go with boys that do.
I don't cheat & I don't lie, With a boy like you I'd give it a try.
I don't kiss & I don't tell, And all you sinners are going to hell.
Tell the preacher, tell the pope, That I don't wear a greasy coat.

 It doesn't get much better than this!

"GREASY COAT. AKA and see "Old Greasy Coat." Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, West Virginia. A Dorian. Standard or AEae (Edden Hammons) tunings (fiddle). ABCC. There are several meanings for the term 'greasy coat.' It said to have been an old-time euphemism for a condom (although verification of this in the literature is wanting), but it has also been suggested the term refers to an unwashed fleece (i.e. still retaining the lanolin), and a Confederate soldiers coat, worn, greasy and dirty from overuse.  The tune was recorded from the playing of Webster County, West Virginia, fiddler Edden Hammons (1876-1955) in 1947, collected by Louis Chappell."

Nov 9, 2016

Sugar Hill

Five cents in my pocket change, two dollars in my bill;
If I had ten dollars more I'd climb old Sugar Hill.

Jaybird and the sparrow hawk, they had a fight together,
They took all around the briar patch, went to it down to a feather. 

If I hadn't no horse to ride, I'd be found a‑walkin',
Up and down old Toenail Gap, you can hear that gal talkin'.



Some verses according to Sandy Patton, "Chicago folksinger/banjoist used these "floating verses" when he recorded "Sugar Hill" for Folk-Legacy."

You want to get your eye knocked out, You want to get your fill,
You want to get your eye knocked out, Go to Sugar Hill.

Get a lonesome farmer, gal, I want a drink of rye;
I'm a-going to Sugar Hill, Or know the reason why.

Possum on the rail fence, Looking at the sun;
Hound dog coming down the road, Possum better run.

Possum up the 'simmon tree, Raccoon on the ground;
Possum up the 'simmon tree, Shaking 'simmons down.

Fourteen miles of mountain road, Fifteen miles of sand;
If ever I travel this road again, I'll be a married man.

Get your banjo off the wall,, Grab your fiddle, Bill;
Hitch the horses to the sleigh, We're going to Sugar Hill.

Well, I don't want no drover gal, Drives a four horse team;
All I want's a pretty little girl, Turns her wheels by steam.


Here's a great fiddle tutorial from Matt Brown!

Nov 1, 2016

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine AABB? AB? Confused?

It seems like this tune creates a little chaos when folks play it together. 
People have their own interpretation and understanding about the "A" part and B" part. 
Here's my take on the matter.

For a standard AABB tune, each "A" or "B" part is 8 measures long or 16 beats. 
Most of the time the "A" parts are nearly identical. In the case of Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, 
the first four measures of each "A" part are the same but not the last four measures.

Now the "B" part. Again each "B" part is 8 measures long or 16 beats. 
The "B" parts are not identical in Bonaparte so they are written out separately. 
The 2nd "B" part is like the "A" part in this tune, talk about confusing.

In conclusion, most "square" fiddle tunes are 32 measures long or 64 beats. 
This matches the set of figures in a contra or square dance.  

Each time through the dance takes 64 beats, after which the pattern is repeated.

Sep 7, 2016

Hollow Poplar


HOLLOW POPLAR. AKA - "Hollow Poplar Log." AKA and see "Old Hollow Poplar." Old-Time, Bluegrass; Breakdown. USA, Nebraska, Missouri, Tenn. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Popularized by Tennessee's Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. Earnest Smith, the grandson of the famous Tennessee fiddler, told Susan Songer (1997) that this tune was his father's favorite and that it was the first tune he played on the Grand Old Opry (WSM radio). Although Smith had played the tune since the 1930's, he never recorded it until he made his 'comeback' with the McGee Brothers in the late 1950's. It may have been picked up by Midwest fiddlers from Smith's radio broadcasts, or may have been independently in circulation in the region. Related tunes are "Forks of the Sandy" or "Three Forks Sandy (1)," especially the fine strain. Drew Beisswenger (2008) points to similarities of the 'B' part of "Hollow Poplar" and the 'A' part of the "Green Corn" family of tunes. In the repertoire of the Perry County Music Makers (Tenn.), Nannie Presson and Bulow Smith on zither and guitar.

Jun 12, 2016

Sals Got Mud Between Her Toes

Just an absolute beautiful setting with an equally beautiful rendition of this tune. Much thanks to the Paine family for this video clip.

Mar 2, 2016

Possum Up a Gum Stump - Booth Shot Lincoln


These are two great tunes for a square dance! "Forward Up Six And Six Fall Back"
Possum up a Gum Stump (1830's) is an old time southern breakdown in the key of G. I found four different tunes with this name and they're all different!
Booth Shot Lincoln, key of A, was written in 1865, with lyrics, and originally called Booth Killed Lincoln. Two fun tunes to play!

Feb 1, 2016

Groundhog Day!

Tuesday, February 2nd is Groundhog Day, so let's celebrate with a tune "Devil Eat the Groundhog" in the key of G. This tune comes from Snake Chapman and is fun and easy to play.

Kentucky fiddler Paul David Smith playing a Snake Chapman tune at Augusta October Old Time Week. Accompanied by Gerry Milnes on guitar.

May 6, 2015

Bound to Have a Little Fun

Here's a neat tune called "Bound to Have a Little Fun" in the key of G. I like the little surprise twists. The "A" part is 8 measures repeated but the "B" part is 12 measures repeated. Neighborly Music has a tutorial of this tune complete with video clips played slowly. Click here to watch their rendition of the tune on fiddle, banjo & guitar.

Here's a few folks having fun with the tune:

Try it on the harmonica!

Jan 15, 2015

Snake River Reel

What a great new old time tune in the key of D, written by musician, dance caller and potter, Peter Lippincott. This tune begins in D major, then switches to D mix in the "B" part.

 
Here's a nice rendition played by Tim Rowell, slow enough to play along (about 95 bpm).

Oct 24, 2014

Possum's Tail is Bare

A great tune to learn how to play that old time fiddle sound. Possum's Tail is Bare is in the key of D, standard tuning. David Bragger breaks down the tune a little slower and suggests bowing. Second video is David playing the tune at regular speed. Source: West Virginia tune played by Melvin Wine. 

Possum's Tail is Bare at slower speed with bowing.

Possum's Tail at regular speed.

Sep 9, 2014

Old Chattanooga

Here's my latest favorite tune! Old Chattanooga in the key of G. The Blaine Smith recording is on Slippery Hill [mp3] and YouTube. It's also in the Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes.