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Fiddling at the Park

Posted by bj on Friday, May 29, 2009

I played hookey for about 2 1/2 hours today to go meet David at Penn Pump Park for some fiddle fun.

David's been playing for around 30 or so years and is an awesome but very low key fiddler. It's sometimes tough for me to suss out what he does, since it all kind of sneaks up on you.  David truly has a unique style but it's hidden in a sort of everyman OT style. Hard to explain. You think he's playing the tunes pretty straight forward until you realize he isn't. He every now and again will swing the bow over from either the open or stopped E or A string to catch the open or stopped G string. It's beyond bowrocking and an awesome sound. That's the one trick I caught. He also has a couple interesting ways he sneaks some fast little sawstrokes in amongst other stuff. But it's all so shortbowed you'd almost miss it if you weren't paying close attention, just a tiny little shake of the fingers.

It was just the two of us, hanging out under the pavilion, since the sky looked a bit iffy. We went through most of the D tunes and a number of the A tunes on my tunelist, and he started to clue me in on some he wanted me to learn for the upcoming jams. One is called Sweet Milk and Peaches, which is a Mississippi tune. Another is a very different three part version of Sugar in the Gourd.

As we were playing, a gal and her two kids wandered over. Turns out she's a bass player and knows some of the folks that come to the P'burg Jam! We'll probably be hooking up with her at the Wind Gap event or maybe she'll show at P'burg.

Next time I bring a sling shot and ensure the big LOUD diesel tractor mower stays over on the other side of the field while we're playing . . .

4 comments on “Fiddling at the Park”

mudbug Says:
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @4:36:44 AM

It seems you're not one to stay incapacitated for long. Glad you're back on your bow.

Ozarkian DL Says:
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @4:52:34 PM

Slingshots ? no.....we'z called em bean flippers wher'z I
growed up. Slingshot'z wut David slew Goliath wit. Ya kant hit tha
broadside'o a barn wit a slingshot. Glad u'z up & mobile again.

bj Says:
Saturday, May 30, 2009 @5:52:39 PM

Thanks, guys! And Oz, you've never seen my marksmanship with a slingshot. It's a talent I've had since I was a kid . . .

robinja Says:
Monday, June 1, 2009 @10:38:56 AM

Wow, I love Sweet Milk and Peaches - one of my favorite tunes to play currently, but I think it could be a jam buster. The original version from Narmour and Smith is crooked and has irregular parts. (Sometimes 2 A parts and 2 B parts, sometimes a 1 A part, sometimes a random odd part thrown in, etc., etc.) I think it's possible to develop a jam version of it with regular appearing parts, but it could take some of the fun out of it. It seems to be easy to play from a guitar perspective regardless of the structure (chord structure remains constant, I think), so it seems to work unless there are multiple melody instruments. Great tune - let me know if you need an MP3 of it.

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