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Sow Em on the Mountain - Foghorn Stringband version

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Jun 5, 2020 - 10:42:21 PM
5 posts since 6/5/2020

Hello all, this is my first post ever on FiddleHangout.

I've recently discovered the Foghorn Stringband's version of Sow Em on the Mountain (Reap What You Sow). It seems like a good jam song with some of my friends that seem to prefer their guitars over their fiddles (for what reason, I'll never know).

FYI there is an old archived thread about this song. Since this is first post, I cant post the link.

The fiddler does a bang-up job in between the lyrics. Chordify says the song is being played in with A and E chords ( no, I can't just look at or hear a guitar and know, unless it's G or D!). The sheet music I've found here and elsewhere lists a single #, so I assumed it was in G, but after I saw the Chordify page on it, it seems like A modal.

I tuned up my fiddle to cross A, AEAE, and it seems to fit with the fiddlers fingers in the video, but it doesn't seem to make huge difference to play C# versus a C, at least not to my ears.

So for anyone who is bored here are a few questions:
1: What key is this in? Are those Cs or C#s being played?
2: Is the fiddler in cross A or standard tuning?
3: Are long notes unisons? (4th finger on A, open E / 4th finger D, open A)
4: Any noticeable double stops?

Anyway, thanks to anyone who takes a gander. Good health,
Brenden

Jun 5, 2020 - 10:43:15 PM

5 posts since 6/5/2020

Here is the link to the Youtube video: youtu.be/pK8604TqCTw

Jun 5, 2020 - 10:44:06 PM

5 posts since 6/5/2020

And here is the old archived thread: fiddlehangout.com/archive/1120

Jun 6, 2020 - 5:02:53 AM
Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2220 posts since 2/2/2008

The key you should play this song (old folk song that I've known since that late 1940s) is the one most comfortable for the lead singer.

Jun 6, 2020 - 6:23 AM

DougD

USA

9609 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

They are in A. Reeb is playing G chords, capoed at the second fret. Not sure of the answers to your other questions.

Jun 6, 2020 - 6:59:50 AM

DougD

USA

9609 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

The Carter Family recording, the model for Foghorn, is also in A. As far as C or C# this is a bluesy song, so they could be either, neither or both. Maybelle is playing steel or bottleneck guitar, one of her skills that's not often mentioned.
I wouldn't rely too much on those chord/lyric sites. They are often wrong, and don't always try to represent a specific recording to begin with (might be for beginner guitar, or group singing for example). Better to figure it out for yourself.

Jun 6, 2020 - 9:46:32 AM

475 posts since 9/1/2010

Their fiddle player, Sammy Lind, has responded to every question I have ever sent him via email.
Shoot him a line and I'm sure he will get back to you. They had to cancel all their shows so I imagine getting an email from
a fan with a question would be welcomed.

stephensammylind@gmail.com

Jun 6, 2020 - 1:37:10 PM

5 posts since 6/5/2020

Thank you all so much for the responses. I'll go ahead and send Sammy an email, I appreciate his contact info (hopefully he does too, lol). Take care, all.

Brenden

Jun 6, 2020 - 4:24 PM

475 posts since 9/1/2010

quote:
Originally posted by SnohoFiddle

Thank you all so much for the responses. I'll go ahead and send Sammy an email, I appreciate his contact info (hopefully he does too, lol). Take care, all.

Brenden


He won't mind.  The email address is posted publicly on his and Nadine's website.

Jun 25, 2020 - 5:58:35 AM
like this

5 posts since 6/5/2020

Sammy kindly and quickly responded to my email. He says, yes indeed! He does play the tune in AEAE, and does several unisons to make "make it ring".

He also told me to enjoy figuring out the fiddle, and that he's still figuring it out himself. What a kind and humble guy!

Cheers all,

Brenden

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