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John Brown's March

Posted by DougD


like this

- Play count: 568

Size: 2,401kb, uploaded 9/28/2009 8:33:25 PM
Genre: Old-Time / Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen

I had trouble getting the rest of the band interested in this one. I think they were busy texting their friends and relations about how good the punch and cookies were. So its just me, fiddle and Roy Andrade, banjo. Abingdon, Va, August 23, 2009.

7 comments on “John Brown's March”

bj Says:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @1:10:28 PM

Well, fiddle and banjo is all you really need, eh? :-)

Funny, I know two versions of this tune, and yours seems to fall smack in the middle betwixt and between 'em, with bits and pieces of each. What's the source?

DougD Says:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @6:00:53 PM

Hmm, perhaps your sources have strayed a little left and right from the true version? ;>)

I've known this tune for a long time, and am not sure where I learned it. I think the Fat City String Band (our predecessors) were playing it when they came to visit in 1971. Our member Bubbaschnell has commented that the Holow Rock band played it, and that sounds like the melody I know: slowed down a little to suit my mood. Alan Jabbour is a long time friend:
This is an impromptu recording for sure, but I still like it.

I don't know know what their sources might have been. The Fiddlers Companion is a little vague.

DougD Says:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @6:08:38 PM

BTW, Bertram Levy commented to me in a little session a few years ago that tunes that go to the IV chord on the B part are characteristic of the early to mid 19th century or before. Thats how they played it, but not how I would, but its the right time period.
Some people have speculated that this tune is associated with John Brown's march to the scaffold in Charles Town, but I'm thinking it may be more like his march on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry. Who knows?

DougD Says:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 @11:50:06 PM

On Oct 16, 2009, you can participate in a recreation of John Brown's March:

ironworker Says:
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 @6:00:53 PM

thanks,doug. a fiddle and banjo duet is a better way to hear this tune.
i play it a couple of times each month with a large number of players, and it just doesn't stand up.
an ongoing conversation here in OT HQ, richmond va, is about how different tunes only sound right with fewer instruments.

john timpany Says:
Tuesday, August 3, 2010 @5:14:21 PM

Beautiful clean and easy.

nickmc Says:
Friday, February 11, 2022 @12:40:36 PM

Your tunes are really good!

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