McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Friday, April 23, 2010

Waltz Tunes

Waltz tunes are fairly common in Missouri fiddling. In fact, Waltz tunes are common old time tunes. They don't get talked about that much because they are certainly not flashing foot stompers.

Often we think of Old Time tunes as barn burners to really tear up the house with. Yet, these waltz tunes are part of the material handed down to us. I think there are two simple reasons for this. People liked (and still like) to dance to a waltz. People enjoy the beauty of a waltz.

Waltz tunes are where Bluegrass and Old Time more or less stay on the same page. There is no real differance in how they are played.

Two favorite Waltz's that I enjoy are written by bluegrassers but they are certainly not bluegrass tunes. They are Waltzes.

I love The Kentucky Waltz by Bill Monroe. The words and tune are quite lovely and put you in a nice place when you listen.

Another favorite is Shenandoah Waltz by Clyde Moody, a Monroe Alumni musician.
I can play this one and I am fond of playing in in those quiet moments. I need to learn the Kentucky Waltz too. It would be a great tune for the jam but someone needs to sing this one for best effect. That would not be me, cough cough.

Here is an interesting version of Mike Compton and Joe Newberry playing The Kentucky Waltz.


Here is another by the Dean Osbourn Band that I like a lot.



Now, here is the Johnson Mountain Boys playing The Shenandoah Waltz. I still say they were one of the best damn bluegrass bands EVER! Notice the verbal accent that hint at the depth of my love for this band?!



It's songs like this that make me want to sing so that I don't scare people and make dogs want to bite me. Sigh!!!! Someday....

Oh yeah, quick addition. This is how learning to play an instrument changes what you like to listen and play. Waltzes are fairly easy to play and I enjoy hearing them. Before I began my journey in playing, maybe not so much. I always enjoyed Waltzes but did not imagine I would love to play them so much.

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