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Melvin wine

Posted by oldtimewine on Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Melvin wine was my great uncle and i was needing help on bowing patterns. If anyone can help i would greatly appreciate it.It means alot to carry on the family tradition of old time fiddling. i have played for 6 months now and im good(by my cousins word(Mels Kids) but need some help with bowing...... Thanks!!

10 comments on “Melvin wine”

bsed55 Says:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @6:01:48 PM

I have Melvin's tune "Cold Frosty Morning" recorded on my page (just click on my avatar and look for my music). It's not the tune by the same title that everybody knows. It's in 'G' if I remember right.

bsed55 Says:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @6:02:41 PM

And BTW, it's great!! to make your acquaintance!

bj Says:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @6:33:43 PM

Hey, Jesse, there are a lot of folks on the forum who knew your great uncle well, and spent time on the farm outside Glenville. I wish I could say I was one of them. I know that Jane Gilday and Carl Baron and Nancy Shill and Bosco all spent time there. Maybe Bob Buckingham too.

There are some stellar videos on youtube of Melvin playing some of his signature tunes. Best way to learn is to watch the master himself. If you watch and then listen a lot, you should eventually be able to suss out what he was doing with his bow. I'm pretty sure Melvin was downbowing the downbeat pretty consistently.

Being so near Pigeon Forge, there should be some oldtime jams down that way. Get with some other players, and you'll pick things up faster.

Melvin did use the nashville shuffle (long-short-short, long-short-short) quite a bit.

Bruce, Melvin's Cold Frosty Morning is played in AEAE, and you're right, it's not the modal spooky tune, it's an upbeat quirky tune. I play it, so does Carl Baron. I think I got that recording off the Smithsonian site. We also play Possum's Tail is Bare, One Morning in May, and a couple other of Melvin's tunes.

Andah1andah2 Says:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @6:46:38 PM

My favorite tune on youtube by Melvin is called "Hey aunt katie there's a bug on me" Give a listen. Love the bowing.

carlb Says:
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 @9:42:09 PM

I recommend strongly, that you if you have time, get in touch with two great younger fiddlers who apprenticed to Melvin and really studied how he played, Jake Krack (Orma; WV not far from Chlarleston) and John Gallagher (a flute maker who lives near Elkins, WV). I think John has captured how Melvin sounds more then any other fiddler I've heard. For myself, I played banjo with Melvin for years but by the time I got around to try and study what his bowing was like, I'd already developed other solutions to the same notes. So while I play alot of his tunes, I don't bow like he did. Jake teaches fiddle and has a web site:

If you really want to find out how your uncle played, you really need to try and get some pointers from these guys. Now, also, Jimmy Triplett (who I think is in Iowa) knows how Melvin played, but I don't think he apprenticed to him but did aid in classes when Melvin taught the advanced fiddle class during an October Old Time Week at Augusta Heritage many years ago.

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions you might have. Also, if you don't already own it, you should get the DVD/CD-ROM
"One More Time"
The Life and Music of Melvin Wine
from <>

oldtimewine Says:
Wednesday, December 1, 2010 @3:20:49 AM

Gerry Milnes sent me the DVD/CD-ROM when i first started and it has helped alot. Suprisingly there are not many old time musicians around here so i have traveled to play with my cousin Grafton in WV alot. Also fiddler conventions have helped me. Hitting and finding the notes isn't a problem but getting the rythmic feel i guess is what im looking for..... i have some videos on youtube of me playing jimmy johnson(3 or 4 months into playing, scratchy but hey we have to start somewhere :) ) if anyone would take a look and direct me a bit, it's under oldtimewine. I thank all of you for what you've helped with.

bj Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @2:24:25 PM

One more thing I'll add. Melvin was Melvin. You're Jesse. Though it's admirable you'd want to follow in Melvin's bowtracks, ultimately you'll need to create your own.

Jane often talks about how tickled Melvin was by Nancy Shill's playing. Why? She's a very idiosyncratic and delightful OT fiddler with a unique style. She learned from Melvin. However, she didn't sound like Melvin, though you can certainly hear his influence in her playing.

Here's a vid of Nancy:

oldtimewine Says:
Friday, December 3, 2010 @4:21:52 PM

that is something he passed on...dont try to play like anyone else, lol. i play alot of his tunes and even though i didn't play old rusty mill like he does his sons daughter cried when i played and said i remind her so much of him. Thank you for the feedback, i really do appreciate it. ill check nancy out! :)

bosco Says:
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @5:23:48 PM

Welcome to FHO, Jesse!
I watched your YouTube clip. Only 4 months of fiddling? Wow, you do great.
How far to Jacksonville, AL from you? Jimmy Triplett who studied a lot with Melvin, lives there now. He really can show you some bowing stuff.

I'm not the best person to tell you Melvin's bowing, but I like to share what I learned from your great uncle. I uploaded the Jimmy Johnson played slow part by part. This one has lots of Melvinness in bowing.

oldtimewine Says:
Monday, December 6, 2010 @5:18:16 AM

thanks Bosco! the video is great.... All i have had to learn by is mainly audio then i would slow it down with windows media. i have tried to get in touch with jimmy triplett but no response yet. i really appreciate your help!

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