McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Red River Valley Clip

I love "Red River Valley". This old song really moves me. Simple. Basic. Wonderful.

As I said earlier, Kansas is a bit differant. Old Time for us has to include the songs of the old frontier. How do you ignore the old Cowboy songs when Kansas has such a history with the Cowboy and the trailhead towns.

As you may know, "Home on the Range" was actually written by someone living in north central Kansas.

My Brother-in-law hates Kansas. He is pretty stuck on the beauty of the Ozarks and Missouri in general. Myself, having seen both states extensively, love them both equally and of course for differant reasons. The Ozarks really are a special jewel. I don't even have to explain that to you.

Kansas can be a differant story for many of you. You have only seen it off Interstate 70 going like hell to Denver or points further west. Admittedly, you don't see too much nice scenery that way. Those who have gone to Wichita have glimpest a section of the beautiful Flint Hills.

Yet there is much more to the allure of Kansas yet it is a differant level than that of the Rocky Mountains or the thundering surf of Northern California. Subtle and calm. Rolling praries and hills formed by ancient river valleys. When you are out there in the Smokey Hills, or the Gyp Hills, or the Flint Hills, or further west where the endless high plains fail to end at the vast horizon, you feel something old and vast.

I see in my minds eye the trains of wagons heading west towards a new start. I see the Cowboys and the Buffalo and the Indians like ghosts who could not be vanquished. I see the pioneers in their humble dug outs and soddies carving out a farm.

So, in this blog, I make room for that kind of music that grew from that soil. This is Kansas after all, and not North Carolina.

Here is a nice little clip




This one is The Hempstead County Melody Boys (Arkansas)




Oh, before I forget. The Red River Valley is in Canada and the song almost surely originated there. There is a Red River in Louisana and part of East Texas but that is probably not where the song came from or is about. Ah, those pesky Canadians stole the march on us!

One last comment. The Harmonica is a valid Old Time instrument, in my humble opionion. Especially here in Kansas.

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