Friday, May 17, 2013
I had to change jobs this month and have been exhausted. I have been neglecting the blog and to get me started back I decided to share this. Tricia Spencer is just wonderful. Nice playing here. Enjoy and I hope to be back soon.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
It's long past the time a little levity was brought into the blog. Jeremy is a fiddler out of SW Mo. I like his playing here.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Stringband Rendezvous is coming up soon and it will be a four day event this year. The last couple years have seen bad weather and other challenges and it looks like they intend to rebound big. Well, I hope this year goes well. I will certainly be there. I missed last year. I like this event. If you like to jam and like acoustic music, you will enjoy it. It's kind of a mini Winfield but manageable. Good people put this on and I am real glad they are keeping it going. The economy hurt them for a few years but this year should be good for them if we don't have any bad weather. May 30-June2. Bloomington West Campground, on the west side of Clinton Corps of Engineers Reservoir near Lawrence Ks. The Prairie Acre band will be playing and I most strongly recommend catching them perform!
The annual Compton Ridge Fiddle Convention is coming up fast. April 16-18th. This is a fine little event and if you fiddle you should consider attending. I can't make it this year...again! Dang it. I'm always broke at tax time. This is in the Branson area. Google it and you will find the info or write me. One qualification. This is not a pure Old Time music event. Very mixed bag musically. Watching the clips on youtube, it makes me think of Winfield.
I have not posted much about Nathan for some months now. There is a reason I forget about him and I will try not to keep doing that. He's a real fine player. Does a real good job of it. Check him out here with some clips he has posted. He plays fiddle as well and is as good on that as the banjo. Real Old Time music. Love his playing.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
We just set the next jam for (POSTPONED) at 4 pm at Becky's house in Belton Mo. If your interested in joining us please email me. see address on right hand side of the blog. We have had a few folks come on over and we hope to see them again and maybe some new folks will show up too. If you like Old Time music and want to play it we welcome you to join us. It's been great fun and we like to share the bliss.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I have not said much about Art Galbraith in part because I have not been able to hear enough of him to make some kind of fair appraisal. Recently I have heard enough to say that I do indeed really enjoy his playing. Gordon McCann was his second for many years. Gordon is also my favorite backup player. Here is a little clip I got off YouTube. I sure do enjoy this fine tune and his playing. Art was a southwest Missouri fiddler. Bread and buttered. He passed away some years back. Folks like him are getting a bit thin now. Those with deep roots in the soil and culture of the Ozarks remain but not so many now. Back in the 70's you could still find a fair number of these folks. The good thing is, people have not let the music die. There are some fine fiddlers out there who have carried on this passion and it's in no danger of disappearing. My hope is that we see a real uptick in interest in these old ways of music as the times return to what I expect will be more like hard times.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I had missed this up till now but a very interesting set of CD's were recorded called, "Pa's Fiddle". This is a compilation of the known songs that Charles Engalls played while Laura Engels Wilder was growing up. What is even more interesting than that is the list of musicians who contributed to the effort. Pa's Fiddle Band (Shad Cobb, banjo, fiddle ; Matt Combs, fiddle ; Dennis Crouch, bass ; Matt Flinner, mandolin ; Buddy Greene, harmonica ; Bryan Sutton, guitar ; Jeff Taylor, accordion, pennywhistle piano) ; with Joe Weed, fiddle ; David Grier, guitar ; Derek Jones, bass." You may recognize David Grier and Bryan Sutton as two of the very best guitar pickers...ever. I recognize many of the others as well as very fine musicians of note. Clearly this must a quality recording that I will have to buy later this year. It's available several places. Just google or Bing it. Like I said, I am not a money making enterprise here. My wife thinks I should be but I tell her how disappointed in the amount this humble blog would generate. Nope. This is a labor of love.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I was originally going to do a full on review of this book but decided a more concise description will be enough. First, this book has been out for a couple years or so now. It is a must have for Ozark Fiddle music and Old Time music aficionados. Gordon McCann and Drew Beisswenger put this together. It's a compilation of transcriptions of fiddle tunes as played by Ozark fiddlers past and present.Many of those featured were also featured on the Traditional Ozark Fiddling CD that has been out for some years now. (Another must have) For you "seconds" the chords are shown. This was why I finally bought the book. So I could learn to second some of these tunes. You also get a CD with the book as well. This makes it a great deal for those interested in Ozark fiddling and Old Time music. Highly recommended.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
I just finished reading Howard Marshall's "Play Me Something Quick And Devilish". This is a newly released book about Missouri Old Time Fiddlers and the music they play. Howard Marshall has long been involved with Old Time Missouri fiddling for many decades now. Due to his personal contact with Missouri fiddlers and with his position as a Professor at The University of Missouri,he was in a particularly good vantage point to both document and to understand the history of Old Time fiddling in Missouri. This is the book we have all wanted and needed for a long time now. I have been wanting to find out more about this topic for some time now and I was pretty sure there was nothing comprehensive out there. Now we have in one book a pretty good overview of Missouri Fiddlers and the tunes they play. Marshall is an academic writer but he keeps it readable for those who are not. His style is a good blend of academic/popular. I like that he has organized his work in an academic manner with footnotes and references that we can use to follow up people and ideas with. Being an academic, he sometimes follows a theme that some might find mostly technical but this does not happen too much for me. He covers just about all the angles here and brings in a few surprises along the way. Marshall reviews the historical trail of fiddlers all through Missouri history including the French through to today. Because there is just about no record of the Spanish period, he does not say much about that but for all the other major periods he does. It was interesting to see that the French influence remains alive in Missouri. Of course, he also covers the "Old Stock Americans","Irish"(Scot Irish) Black,German,Indian,too.One very common background of many of the better known fiddlers were both Scotch Irish with some Indian in their family backgrounds.You would have expected this but Marshall found the Indian infusion an interesting phenomena that he explores at length. Of course,many of the well known fiddlers from the 20th century were examined. The only disappointment was that Roy Woolivar was only mentioned twice. I have been interested in learning more about him ever since I heard John Hartford talk about him on his "Hamilton Ironworks" CD. (See Gene Goforth's "Eminence Breakdown"CD too)I suppose there is a lack of any kind of document trail for him or I would guess that he would have covered him better. Otherwise, I felt like I understood many of these folks better after reading his biographical sketches. He has a very helpful section on the influence of early jazz on Old Time music and explains how rags became part of the typical fiddlers playlist. I found this most interesting. There is a CD included with the book. There are 39 tracks with various fiddlers representing the spectrum of fiddlers across the state.They are, Gene Goforth, Art Galbraith, John Hartford, Cyril Stinnett, Bob Holt, Taylor McBaine, Pete McMahan, Ed Tharp, Fred Stoneking, RP Christeson,Lyman Enloe, Jim Herd, Charlie Walden, Johnny Bruce, Kelly Jones, Jake Hockemeyer, Emmanuel Wood, George Helton, Cleo Persinger, John White, Billy Lee, Bunk Williams, Gary Johnson, Warren Helton, Leroy Canaday, Cliff Bryan,George Morris,Geoff Seitz, Bobby Joe Caldwell, Lloyd Lalumondier,Nile Wilson. I don't know why but he did not include Lonnie Robertson. I think this was a mistake because I regard him as one of the more important Ozark fiddlers.Otherwise, this is a good collection of tunes that help illustrate their playing styles and tunes. Not surprisingly, there is a real jewel of a tune played by Hartford called, "Moselle". I just love that tune and Hartford does it they way he does. Which is real good. So, overall, this is a wonderful book that I strongly recommend you purchase while you can. For many of us this is a long awaited source of information. University Of Missouri Press Book. Below is the author.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Please pray for Billy Mathews. He is gravely ill at a hospital in Champaign Illinois. He is a wonderful person and a wonderful Old Time musician. UPDATE THURSDAY: BILLY JUST DID REAL WELL AND HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL. THIS IS GREAT NEWS. I HOPE YOU HAVE A FULL RECOVERY BILLY. AMAZING TURN AROUND!!!