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Music for Saturday 7-7-07

Posted by frfiddle on Saturday, July 7, 2007

OK I go the date wrong. "Mockingbird" from Norman Edmonds is a surprisingly wide spread tune under many different names: Estill Bingham (Pineville KY) calls it "Homemade Jam"; Gaither Carlton( Low Gap NC)  "Tuckers Old Barn" and Clyde Davenport (south central KY) "Puncheon Camps" and Clyde plays nice but different versions on the banjo as well as the fiddle. Uncle Norms version is maybe the most crooked. Fiddlin Powers plays an interesting version of "Did you ever see the devil, Uncle Joe" that is pretty much different the usual MissMcClouds Reel tune. Is he playing GDAD? If not, the tune works pretty well in that tuning.

The Field Recorders Collective, which everyone should support by buying their recordings give this biography of John Hannah:

John Hannah was born in Mingo County, West Virginia in 1920. His grandfather, Isaac, and his father, Wallace, were both fiddlers. His mother, Rebecca, played claw-hammer style banjo. John's first instrument was the fretless banjo, which he took up at the age of six. When he began playing fiddle, he performed with his brother in a trio called The Echo Mountain Boys. Influenced by swing music styles popular at the time, they played for dances that sometimes included both square dancing and jitterbugging. Like many fiddlers of his generation, his repertoire was broad, ranging from traditional short-bow fiddle tunes on through popular country music styles and bluegrass. Through the years, John worked in the coal mines, in construction, and later as a copper finisher. He moved to Columbus, Ohio in the 1950s. These recordings were made in the mid-1980s in John's home with Jeff Goehring accompanying him on guitar and banjo.

But "Indians Over the Hill" is not the FRC CC.



2 comments on “Music for Saturday 7-7-07”

OTJunky Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2007 @10:24:27 AM

Though I didn't much like hearing that you've put the Anglo concertina aside in favor of a concentration on Old Time - since you're the only Anglo concertina player I know - I have to say that your concentration on old time music is already making me a better man.

I was wondering who did that version of "Did You Ever See the Devil, Uncle Joe".  It's great.  I'm going to learn it.

And I was poking around on the web looking for Norman Edmonds stuff and ran across the Field Recorder's site.  I'd run across it before but didn't appreciate what it offered - duh....

I'm probably going to give them 60 bucks on the first go round and I'm sure that won't be the end of it.  And I emphatically second your comment that anybody on this forum that's playing old time fiddle ought to visit that site and support it.  It's obviously a labor of love and we don't see much of that in music anymore.

So much fiddle music, so little time....

frfiddle Says:
Saturday, July 7, 2007 @11:04:00 AM

I certainly do not have much objectivity about field recordings: my idea of heaven is a new field recording on my computer everyday, as I wrote recently to Kilby Spencer, who agreed. If you know what I do for living -- its dirty work but somebody has to do it -- that is saying a lot. But here are some problems with these recordings: 1) the sound quality is often poor; 2) the fiddler was often not in his prime;  3) some folks like to have their food chewed for them, ie, some revivalist to have 'cleaned up' the original; But I must say that I have rarely prefered the new 'cleaned up' version to the original source. Might be some kinda of snobbery, might be just my tastes, might be just old fasioned respect for my elders. FRC is sharing and that in my experience is a quality, which most of the old guys had and which most of the field recording fanatics have, unlike some collectors of 78s, for example.