Monday, June 28, 2010

Senator Byrd, Mountain Fiddler RIP (Updated)

I can't say I was a big fan of Sen. Byrd politically. Otherwise, he must have been quite a guy. From this clip you will hear that he COULD play the fiddle. He put out an album back in the seventies and you can hear that he did a good job. Check it~!

What ever your political outlook you have to admit that we are now poorer for no longer having a real old time fiddler in the Senate. Senator Byrd came up from poverty and made something of himself. From the way he could play he obviously played a lot. Is he the last "Old South" Senator?

This is a good example of people being more, yes much more than their politics or political labels. I will do some more research into Senator Byrd as to who he really was. I would now list him as one of the more interesting personalities you might meet or hear of.

UPDATE: County Records will reissue the 1978 recording in CD form in July. This really is a fine recording that I recommend. This has been in the works for a few months now. I think this is great.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Hackworth Brothers

When I first moved to the Ozarks in 73 I became good friends with Keith and Vicky Hackworth in little Doniphan. Back then these fellows were small lads and wild as Indians but good lads all.
They are grown now and successful. They play Bluegrass. I lost track of the family over the years and through Facebook became in touch again. Say what you will about internet social networks but Facebook helped me find the Hackworths again which I think is awesome. Keith passed away in 08 before this happened and I am very sad about that but Vicky is still very well and kicking and I look forward to seeing her again the next time I go south.

Not much of a post but it does this soon to be old man's heart good to see these young men love and play Bluegrass.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I do have the flu. I don't know what kind but I have had it a week now. I am a bit better today but still pretty miserable. I will try to see if I can post saturday or sunday. I wonder if I have the H1N1? This has stayed with me a long time now.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Slow blogging due to flu like illness

I think I am getting better but still ill. Besides, I have not been especially inspired lately, world and economic events being what they are.

See you later on.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Road Goes Ever On and On

Again I ask your forebearance of the song choice. I am a great Tolkien fan and I was greatly moved by the book, The Hobbit after reading it back in the sixties. It forever changed how I see things and it still has that effect on me now.
Here is a beautiful YouTube video of an interpretation of the song Bilbo Baggins sang at the end of the book. It is very Celtic and I have thought, would it not be fun to do that at the Jam?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Billy in the Low Ground

NOTE Another Jam tune that I have played but others seem not to know it. THIS guy plays it right. Not like me.

Bluegrass version

Another good version with Fiddle, Banjo and Mandolin and guitar. I really like this one.

I will be woodshedding on smoothing my version up. Especially the B part.

Spotted Pony

NOTE Another Jam Tune

I once had a guitar exactly like his.

This guy does it nice on his dulcimer

This young lady does a real fine job of it. She is backing herself on guitar.

Of course, I love me some clawhammer banjo and this version is sweetness and sugar to me.

OK, I am gonna stick my neck out and commit to learning this one and be ready to play lead and rhythm on it by the next jam. Expect to see this one next time. Bill Crahan gave me tab for it back in the day but I had to quit him and did not get to learning it.

UPDATED: Yes, I really am working on it and the tab is pretty simple and easy so far. The first version is in D and I will learn it in other keys as well.

Maple Sugar

NOTE This is on the Jam Tune List.

This tune was played at the Jam Saturday morning at Stringband Rendezvous. I thought it was a nice tune. I nearly asked for it last night at the jam. Maybe next time. Here are a couple variations. The first in guitar.

This guy is a bit out there.

This last is a good Canadian played effort nicely done.

Last nights Jam

Another nice jam under our belt. I have to get serious now about posting a jam tune list which I will do here on a permanent list to the right side of the page. I will likewise post a list on

It was good to have James McGreevy join us last night from Independence!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jam tonight

Sorry for the slow blogging. It happens. The Jam is on for tonight. I am wondering how many will come. As I have always said, I am not the best person to be hosting a jam but no one else is doing it when it comes to Old Timey.

Hopefully we can get some set songs that we can play well to get the motor running well. Thanks to all who have attended and for their input and help. I hope it is fun for all.

As for the blog, I am in a slump this last week as to having any juice in me to feel like blogging. It happens to all bloggers. It's my turn. Hopefully I will perk up soon. More importantly, I need to start playing my guitar more often. I really need some woodshed time.

Jam tonight

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Upcoming Jam Saturday is on

After taking last month off the jam will resume this saturday evening at six pm. I hope to see you there. Your invited. Really.

My arm is still a little sore after playing a bit so I may not be able to play the whole time but I will sure try. Speaking of that, I think I will get off the puter and go practice a bit. I had big intentions to learn some new songs. Did not do it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

John Hartford doing Lorena

Who else could do such an old song from the Civil War era and make it so compelling? Who else would? Others try but John Hartford pulled it off.

He is never far from my mind and heart and his music bears me along in this world of madness mired in economic depression and wars.

We need to keep our heads in these times. They will not ever return to the way it was before the crash. While you mull this over, listen to John Hartford and Roy Husky Jr play this song. A song that came out of our bloodiest war.

How to make Violin/Fiddle strings

Gut strings

How Fiddles are made

How guitar strings are made

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ozarks Watch TV Show on Ashley Hull

If you do not stop by and watch the videos available on the Ozarks Watch website your really missing some good stuff! I need to start watching them more myself. Here is a great one on the young and very good fiddler from southern Mo. Ashley Hull who learned from Bob Holt and also taught Jeremy Myers.

Mountain Boomers Old Time String Band

This is a fine Old Time group out of Russellville Arkansas. I really like them. If you find yourself in north Arkansas see if you can find where they are playing.
I wish I could retire to Arkansas.




That hillbilly blood that hails from Arkansas is just a churning and thrashing in my veins trying to get me back to the ancestral homeland.

Here is their Facebook page. Stop by and visit ya'll.!/pages/Mountain-Boomers-Old-time-String-Band/117858668230169