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Music Postings 7 July 2007

Posted by frfiddle on Friday, July 6, 2007

Faye Green, accompanied by her husband Leonard, from Newark AR: Faye used to show up at the Mt View Folk Festival but I never had the good sense to record her, even when she was one of the last of the old timers to show up there. Bob Atchinson, a great friend and fiddler visited Faye and learned "Hog Trough Reel" from her and taught it to the rest of us, but he never recorded her. I got this tape from Bob Mamich and I do not know where he got it. Hog Trough is a version of McMichens Reel, but according to Rob Golan McMichens has three parts. Any way she was a great fiddler, given to Arthur Smith tunes, rags and waltzes. John Brown was recorded by Herb Halpert for the LOC. It is another version of the Cottoneyed Joe that Marcus Martin and Fiddlin John Carson played.  Arthur Smith's Whistling Fever is a kinder name for the tune that  Vee Latty of Fulton, Missouri recorded. Mr. Latty was the MO state champion in 1928. Tommy Magness in addition to being an amazing fiddler played many unusual tunes including "Rocky Road to Dublin" associated with very old fashioned fiddlers like Allen Sisson. Eck Robertson plays the very unTexas style, very crooked tune with the name that is very Texas: "Get up in the Cool." The fiddling isnt all that is hot in Texas. The Weems String Band considered by many to be the greatest old time string band to record in the golden age of country music did not just quit, when the fashion changed. They kept on playing and fortunately doing home recordings of tunes like "Lonesome Widow."

Paul Madden, an old friend with whom I recently reconnected through Fiddle Hangout, wrote me and claims that we once had a debate about who was the greatest fiddler, Eck Robertson or Ed Haley. I truly do not remember this discussion, but I do remember being young and stupid, so the conversation probably happened. The more I listen and try to play the fiddle the more I realize just how stupid. Yet an old guy came up to me lately, he wasnt a player, and asked me "which do you like, longbow or jig bow?" I honestly had to say "I like it all."


3 comments on “Music Postings 7 July 2007”

OTJunky Says:
Friday, July 6, 2007 @10:17:41 PM

Well, it wasn't exactly a debate.  It was more like you asked a really hard question and it took me 30 years to figure out the answer....

Nice blog entry though.  Wish I'd had time to explore North Arkansas with you..

frfiddle Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2007 @12:33:17 AM

The problem with the young and the stupid is that they tend to turn into the old and stupid. The problem with talking to preachers is you end up being quoted in their sermons. I guess what I meant to say is that I really enjoy very primitive fiddlers like say Norman Edmonds (probably someone will dispute that about Uncle Norm) and really sophisticated players like Cyril Stennett. Greater and better just does not make all that much difference and, any way, it all depends on what angle you want to look at it. Uncle Norm had a lot less technique than Cyril, but they both did wonderful things with what they had to work with.

Thanks for the compliment, but I should have mentioned that Tommy Magness of course was Roy Acuff's fiddler and at least according to the legend it was Acuff who set Magness down to make home recordings of all his tunes.

But most important let me now when you in T town so I can high tail it over there and we can plan some tunes.