Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Colored Aristocracy" in clawhammer banjo

This is Jeremy Myers, an ozarkian musician I mention often here. Here he is playing the banjo. He usually records videos of his fiddle playing so it is nice to see him doing this nice clawhammer rendition of "Colored Aristocracy".
Nice job Jeremy.

I wish I was living back in the Ozarks again and starting a big garden filled with veggies and such. Jeremy won't have to wish. He gets to do it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First jam pictures

Tonight I was able to get the camera working again so here are the pictures from the first jam session at Shawnee Lodge.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pilgrimage to Tekamah Nebraska

I am a hopeless history nut. Always have been. I visit Cemeteries to look at old graves. They tell a story.

When I was called to Fremont Nebraska for a job interview I immediately thought of it's proximity to Tekamah where "Uncle" Bob Walters the renowned Missouri Valley style fiddler. This is where he lived and is buried.

Recently Missouri Valley Music released a two CD set of his music. Fiddlers in the know are excited about this. Even though Bob Walters has been gone now since 1960, his legacy remains fifty years later.

I have to admit he is not my favorite. I have a couple mp-3's of his work and they don't really send me but I need to hear more.

It will help if I quote Charlie Walden, on Bob Walters

"Walters is a seminal figure in Midwestern fiddling whose influence on the tradition was considerable during the 1940 and 50s, the heyday of agricultural broadcasting in the Central states. Walters, a Nebraska native, performed over numerous radio stations in the region and was widely admired and imitated by such well-known performers as Cyril Stinnett, Lonnie Robertson and Dwight Lamb."

You can learn more about Bob Walters at Charlies several websites on Missouri Fiddling. I always encourage folks to stop by his sites for an education.

Anyway, to get back to where this is headed, I will stop by and visit his gravesite and take a photo, of which I will post here.

The local newspaper located his grave for me and for that I am grateful. I love small towns.

I also wish to note with pride that according to the Editor, Mark Jackson, the stone has a Masonic symbol on it. Being a Mason myself, I am more than pleased to hear Bob Walters was a brother Mason. In fact, if you look at the photo, I bet that is a Masonic ring on his right hand. (I guess you have to be a Mason to understand this)

UPDATE: My camera was not able to function so I skipped the trip to Tekamah. Dang it.

Job? Fiddle?

I am going up to Fremont Nebraska for a job interview thursday. I have just about decided that if I land this one, I will take up the fiddle after all. I just love fiddle music.
I think the fiddle is the key instrument in Old Time music. It's the sun that the other planets revolve around, at least for me.
At the rate I learn, at 59 yrs old now, I expect I should be able to play White River in say,,,ten years so when I am 70 I might still have a chance of passing myself off as an old fiddler.
My neighbors 12 yr old daughter is taking violin/fiddle lessons from KC Strings over in Merriam Ks. I might well do the same. Unless I am on the road too far out.

I am sure I will not soon become as fine a player as this young lady in Mountain Veiw Ark. All I know is her name is Mary.

At the very least, I will start taking lessons again with my guitar. The back up guitar player is doing a fine job and I hope to do what he is doing soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stringband Rendezvous update

Here is the latest list of bands who will be at the Stringband Rendezvous in May.

•B-Town String Band
•The Prairie Acre
•The Highwater String Band
•The Stranger Creek String Band
•Kansas Rodeo

Looks pretty good so far! I will get there if I can. I may actually have a job by then but who knows.

To remind you, This will be at one of the Corps of Engineer's public campsites reserved just for this, at Clinton Lake Reservoir near Lawrence Ks.

Time for changes.

I decided to make some changes here. This is liberating. It renews my interest.

Some links will be dropped. New ones added. I have already done this. I found some new tab and Fiddle tune sites that are very interesting. Recheck the link list. A couple links were dropped. More gleaning and sifting to follow there.

I am going to refocus a bit. It seems the state line of Kansas/Missouri really matters in some strange way. Odd that. You would not think a political boundary matters as to culture but I am now convinced it does!

I should have titled my blog a bit differently. Too late to change it now.

After reviewing my readership data, and after six months of trying, I have concluded that my original goal of being an information clearing house for Old Time Music is not going anywhere fast. I would probably have to keep at this for several years before that might actually work the way I hoped it would.

So, from now on I will only post about things that interest me or that I think could interest you that I think are worth promoting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shawnee Jam update on material played

As I have said, I may not be the best person to run a jam given my very modest playing abilities. This is certainly my first attempt.

While I have enjoyed playing with everyone who has attended so far, I have been in a quandry about how to deal with the fact that a couple players really don't play the kind of music we are looking for in this jam.

So I really need to be clear that this jam is about Old Time and Bluegrass and for those who wish to join us to please respect that. I know that there is a real need for a place for folks to jam who don't really play these kinds of songs.

So, I am willing to look at forming a second jam with a more general "acoustic/Americana" genre. I have friends who have not attended yet that would appreciate that kind of playing opportunity and this would be a good fit for those who have attended that really don't play Old Time.

Then again, there IS a really nice Jam at Greg McCartheys place in Leawood (usually). This would be one option to you folks. Given that, I don't know that I should form another one to compete with that one given that its a good jam. Why duplicate?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vintage Instruments and the current crisis

Bear with me here.
I have Mandolins in my closet that are probably about a hundred years old. If not older. I have held Martins in my lap that were built in 1939 which is that pre-war period considered the Golden Age of Martin Guitars. Recently a vintage Gibson Mandolin was discovered in the Lawrence Ks area (or is it KC?) that is a rare and most valuable type.
They came from a time when times were also tough. War, depression, struggle to survive. They are still here. Like us.
We are the seed of those who endured. Not because they were heroic or special. They just had to do what they did to get along.
My old Mandolins are pretty sad to look at now. Japanese instruments from a time when Mandolins became very popular.
I keep them to remind me of my Grandfather and his parents, my Great Grandfather and Grandmother. They went through terrible times and endured things I never had to. I went through some hard times when I was young but never as bad as what they went through.
I think we will get through all this. I think it will actually get harder. Much harder. I don't see a lot of sunshine ahead. We might not like it but we will do what we have to do.
My Mandolins in the closet tell me that my Grandkids will be playing my guitars long after I am gone.
I hope when they look back, it will be like me. "How in God's name did he make it then?"

Another Jam?

This is off topic on Old Time but due to a couple guys at the jam and my neighbor and his brother who play the same kind of stuff...got me to thinking that I just may need to organize a new differant jam for plain old Country, Rock, Johnny Cash and Americana ect.
This kind of sounds a little compulsive on my part to even think about this.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More events just rolling on

Got this from Missouri Valley Folklife Society today.

Three Dollar Band; Doug Goodhart & Richard Lungstrum
Sunday, March 21st at 3pm
Toads Pub & Perk
12056 W. 135th & Quivira, Overland Park, Kansas

Three Dollar Band

Three Dollar Band is three musicians ((Adam Braunschweig; Chris Carr & Keith Van Winkle) with varied musical backgrounds striving to produce new arrangements and music inspired by traditional roots.
They perform a varied repertoire of American folk songs, Appalachian music, traditional Irish music, sea shanties, and original compositions. There has been much cross talk among these genres especially in the country we call home. From an Irish fiddler playing on the capstan of a British ship rousing an ethnically diverse crew in the 1860s, to the present repertoire you will hear in a Boston pub session, there has been much cross fertilization. Three Dollar Band respects and still studies the "pure drop" but have found they can present something new and equally exciting. http://www.myspace.com/threedollarband

They are playing a number of gigs around town. Check out their website for the schedules.


I highlight this gig because the Mo Valley Folklife group is worthy of support.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Stringband Rendezvous

This is from an email I recieved from the organizer.

Will you be joining us?

Seventh Annual Stringband Rendezvous

is only a few months away!! Mark Your calenders now for a great weekend of camping and acoustic music.

May 14, 15 & 16, 2010

Visit our website for all the details


I will be there at least one day and maybe two.

Prairie Acre's schedule

One of our local Old Time Bands of note has a pretty full schedule that I just farmed off their site. I will find my way to at least one of these spring events. It's time to come out of hibernation and get your fix.

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Contra Dance
Come dance the night away with us and caller Jim Thaxter! It only takes a few minutes and one simple lesson to learn the basics--then you’ll be hooked! St. John's Episcopal Day School, 4041 Main St., Kansas City MO 64111 Cost: $7

Saturday, April 10, 2010
Fill the Pantry concert
We're teaming up with The Ready Brothers for this fund-raiser for God's Storehouse, a food pantry in Jefferson County. St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 615 E. Wyandotte St., Meriden, KS.

Saturday, April 17, 2010
Great Plains Theatre
It's been a while, but we're finally making it back to Abilene, KS. Our concert starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. 300 North Mulberry St.

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Kansas Prairie Pickers
Grab the family, bring your instruments and head on out to Auburn for an afternoon chock-full of performances and jamming.

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Kansas Sampler Festival
Get a taste of everything Kansas has to offer, including our down-home music. It's a wonderful chance to learn more about our state and have some fun too. http://www.kansassampler.org/festival/

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Lawrence Farmers' Market
Local food and local music. It doesn't get any better. 8th and New Hampshire streets. http://www.lawrencefarmersmarket.com

Saturday, May 22, 2010
R Bar
A great new music venue you don't want to miss. 1617 Genessee St., Kansas City Mo.

Saturday, June 19, 2010
Tour des Fleurs party
The Tour des Fleurs celebrates Lawrence's gardens. We'll be entertaining folks at the end of the tour. Clinton Parkway Nursery, 4900 Clinton Parkway, Lawrence. More details TBA.

Saturday, July 10, 2010
Lawrence Farmers' Market
Local food, local music, lotsa coffee. Mmm-mmm. http://www.lawrencefarmersmarket.com

Chase County Ice Cream Social and BlueGrass Festival
Cottonwood Falls is a Kansas treasure, and we're pleased as punch to make our way back there. We'll kick things off with a concert, but bring your instruments for a jam session afterwards!

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival
Avogadro’s Number, 605 South Mason St. Fort Collins, Colorado 80524

Sunday, September 5, 2010
Replay Lounge
We're happy to be joining Truckstop Honeymoon for another wonderful Replay patio show. 946 Massachusetts St., Lawrence.

Saturday, October 16, 2010
Osage City, KS
We'll play a concert at Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 210 Holliday. $8/person.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soldiers Joy

Here is another one we played last night.

I will add this one to my list of songs to learn this month.

Chords are D A D G D A D D G A D A D G A D A D IN THIS ORDER.


Sourwood Mountain/Cripple Creek

Becky played these two last night at the jam. Wonderfully done. We all had a great time playing them.
Here is a youtube of the combination played together in medley.(Thornton Spencer, fiddler, accompanied by two children, Emily and Kilby. (thanks for my friends in VA for the info)

Chords to Sourwood Mountain are
Part A
D-|D-|D-|A7D|D-|GA7|D-|A7D|| OR G D7 G D7 G

Lyrics are

Chickens are a crowing on Sourwood mountain,
Hey Ho Diddle Dum Day.
So many pretty girls you can't count them,
hey ho diddle dum day.
My true love she lives in Letcher,
hey ho diddle dum day.
She won't come and I won't fetch her,
hey ho diddle dum day.

Chickens crowin' on Sourwood Mountain
Hey-ho diddle-um day
So many pretty girls I can't count em
Hey-ho diddle-um day

My true love's a blue eyed daisy
Hey-ho diddle-um day
She won't come and I'm too lazy
Hey-ho diddle-um day

Big dog bark, little dog bite you
Hey-ho diddle-um day
Big girl courts, little one spite you
Hey-ho diddle-um day

My true love's a blue eyed daisy
Hey-ho diddle-um day
If I don't get her, I'll go crazy
Hey-ho diddle-um day

My true love lives at the head of the hollow
Hey-ho diddle-um day
She won't come and I won't follow
Hey-ho diddle-um day

My true love lives over the river
Hey-ho diddle-um day
Few more jumps and I'll be with her
Hey-ho diddle-um day

Ducks in the pond, geese in the ocean
Hey-ho diddle-um day
Devil's in the women, if they take a notion
Hey-ho diddle-um day

Cripple Creek is one of the first fiddle tunes I learned to flatpick, but alas not well.
Lyrics for Cripple Creek are said to get a bit bawdy. Here is what I found.I could not find anything online very much bawdy.

Here is the traditional tame version. One of them anyway.

I got a gal at the head of the creek
Goin up t' see her 'bout the middle of the week
Kiss her on the mouth, just as sweet as any wine
Wraps herself around me like a sweet potatoe vine

Goin' up t' Cripple Creek, goin' on the run
Goin' up t' Cripple Creek t' have a little fun
Goin' up t' Cripple Creek, goin in a whirl
Goin' up t' Cripple Creek t' see my girl

Girls up on Cripple Creek about half grown
Jump on a man like a dog on a bone
I'll roll my britches up to my knees
An' wade in ol' Cripple Creek when I please

Goin' up t' Cripple Creek, goin' on the run
Goin' up t' Cripple Creek t' have a little fun
Goin' up t' Cripple Creek, goin in a whirl
Goin' up t' Cripple Creek t' see my

Here is another version

Cripple Creek

I got a girl and she loves me
She's as sweet as she can be
She got eyes of baby blue
Makes my gun shoot straight and true

Goin' up Cripple Creek
Goin' on a run
Goin' up Cripple Creek
to have a little fun
Goin' in a whirl,
Goin' up Cripple Creek
To see my girl

Cripple Creek's wide and Cripple Creek's deep
I'll wade old Cripple Creek before I sleep
Roll my britches up to my knees,
I'll wade old Cripple Creek when I please

Repeat Chorus

I went down to Cripple Creek
To see what them girls had to eat
I got drunk and fell against the wall
Old corn liquor was the cause of it all

Repeat Chorus

Well I married a wife in the month of June
I married her up by the light of the moon
We live down on Cripple Creek
We've been there about a week

Repeat Chorus

I got a gal at the head of the creek
And I'm goin' down to see her 'bout the middle of the week
Kiss her on mouth just as sweet as any wine
Wraps herself around me like a sweet potato vine.

Repeat Chorus

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

This was a tune Martin brought and played that we liked. I know I really did.
Here are the lyrics.

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss

Fly around my pretty little miss
Fly around my daisy
Fly around my pretty little miss
You almost drive me crazy

The higher up the cherry tree
The riper grows the cherries
The more you hug and kiss the girls
The sooner they will marry

Coffee grows on white oak trees
The river flows with brandy
If I had my pretty little miss
I'd feed her sugar candy

Going to get some weevily wheat
I'm going to get some barley
Going to get some weevily wheat
And bake a cake for Charlie

This is one set of traditional lyrics. There are of course others which is common for fiddle tunes.

If this were academia I would be spouting about the "dynamism" of fiddle tunes about now. Instead I will shut up.

I am going to learn this one and expect to hear it at the jam.

I found these chords

Intro- C

I know you're making accidents and stars for everyone
you're amazing half of them won't know until you're gone
and in this ritual you take command and lose control
and in this situation find an ocean, sell your soul

F * C
fly around my pretty little miss
why don't you
F* C
fly around my pretty little miss
why don't you
F* C
fly around my pretty little miss
why don't you
F* C
fly around my pretty little miss

These are not the true blue traditional lyrics but will serve the purpose

Ashokan Farewell

We played this last night at the jam and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Next time I will have hand out sheets for this and other tunes to help us play it well.
Here are some videos of the tunes but players mined from youtube.

The online site, Folkguitar gives these chords for it. Key of D
D--|D/F# bass--|G--|Em--|D--|Bm--|Gmaj7--|A7--|D--|D7/F#--|G--|Em--|D--|Bm--|A--|D--|D--|D7/F#--|G--|D--|D--|Bm--|A--|A7--|D--|C--|G--|D--|D--|D--|A7--|D--:||

I found another set elsewhere

D G Em D A D G Em D A D D G D G A D C G D A D This is a bit simpler.

Copyright © 2004 folkguitar.us

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jam two

We had our second Jam tonight. It went pretty well and thunderation! A Fiddler showed up! Hallelujah! Becky please come back again!
There were a few less people but all in all it was a good group.
I will post a list of songs that we all seemed to enjoy but could use more info about them. Like chords. Keys. You know, the usual.
To those who came, thanks for coming.

I had been in too bad a funk to really prepare for this jam but I will be better prepared with songs next time.

This jam is primarily for Old Time and Bluegrass but there is room for other stuff too. I did this so I could have a jam to play my tunes and at the same time provide a place for others to do the same.

If I did not have such big fingers I would love to pick up the mandolin. The mandolin players really do wonders for a jam.

My real lust is for the fiddle. I really would love to learn how. Maybe next year.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shawnee Ks Jam tomorrow evening

The Keep On The Sunnyside Old Time and Bluegrass Jam will hold it's second session tomorrow evening. 6 pm to 9 pm. Shawnee Masonic Lodge at Johnson Drive and Neimann
For more info check Folkjam.org.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Interracial Origin of Appalachian Fiddling: Lost in Perception


My title is actually the title of this blog I refer to here. If you love fiddling you will wish to read this article. Well written and at times highly technical but worth reading.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thoughts on a rainy day

Nope. No profoundities here. Just random comments

Again, no comments will be accepted unless in English. If I can't read it I can't accept it. On occasion I get these Chinese script comments and my wild imagination leads me to wonder if these spam comments are some kind of way for the Chinese governement to send secret messages to spys...I read James Bond books when I was a kid and my imagination is very active. My wife thinks I am certifiable...

The next jam is coming Saturday evening. This will be the second one. I hope it goes as well as the last one. I hope I don't repeat my mistake of playing one song while calling it another....

As to the rainy day. It speaks of spring doesn't it? I checked my Redbud yesterday and the small buds are forming. Even the grass is greening a bit.

This means things will soon begin to happen in Old Time Music.

Upcoming events this spring are, Muddy River Festival in Boonville Mo
Boonville Fiddle Contest. Stringband Rendevous. These come to mind but there must be others. I will go net mining later today and try to get a list up for your benefit and mine.

Now that winter is gone I will make the observation that sitting in a house and doing nothing is about the worst thing you can do for your mental state. Getting out and engaging will keep your spirit brighter by far.

Last night Max and I visited a Lodge in downtown KC Mo and had a delightful time. Afterwards we all went to the Flying Saucer for a beer. This was better than two prozacs.

The jam this saturday will also give me a boost. Come on out and join the fun.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lord's Prayer in Old English

Not exactly musically oriented but I found this most interesting. Call it referential to Old Timey "stuff".

Boonville Fiddling Contest

I just got this invite from Charlie Walden for an upcoming fiddle contest in Boonville Mo next month. I am going to go to this one for sure. Boonville is not that far away and is a real nice little town on the Missouri river. If you love fiddling this will be the place to be. Whoppee! Spring is nearly here and events are coming up with the dandelions.

Boonville's Annual Fiddling Contest
Start Time: Saturday, April 17 at 2:00pm
End Time: Saturday, April 17 at 8:00pm
Where: Boonville, MO Laura Speed Elliott School, 700 Main St.