Next Jam - April 2nd, 2019, 7-9pm.

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.