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Playing 'tight' with another fiddler

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Aug 9, 2020 - 3:22:56 PM
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8715 posts since 3/19/2009

Are there any musicians you get to play "tight " with???

Here are two tunes that I have the pleasure of playing TIGHT with another fiddler..In this case it is my own daughter, Katie (coffee shop owner I've posted about from time to time) and my son, Alexander-Lee on guitar..

I'm blessed to have children who appreciate OT music..

  You'll be able to tell which fiddler is me and which is Her.. She plays with more rhythm..!!sadlaugh

When we first made these recordings I had no idea that we'd play this tight..


Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/09/2020 15:26:45

Aug 9, 2020 - 3:58:08 PM
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Swing

USA

1969 posts since 6/26/2007

I have friend who is a great fiddler and when we play tunes together we have been told that we sound like one fiddle.... I take that as a compliment

Play Happy

Swing

Aug 9, 2020 - 6:07:20 PM
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DougD

USA

9768 posts since 12/2/2007

Nice family band, Lee.
Here's a tune with Roy Andrade and me on fiddles. I'm not sure we'd ever played together in that combination, but I think it chugs along pretty good. A good rhythm section helps.


Aug 9, 2020 - 7:33:36 PM

8715 posts since 3/19/2009

That is really TIGHT, Doug..!!!! good fiddling!! Don't you just Love it when you get into a groove with someone !!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/09/2020 19:38:09

Aug 9, 2020 - 8:43:24 PM
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304 posts since 7/31/2018

Absolutely, Lee. Very fortunate to have a lot of fiddler friends I get to play tight with. Last time was the last festival we were able to attend, and that was the Gardner Winter Music Festival in Morgantown, WV in late February. My friend Jake Blount was traveling through Cleveland last summer and we had a nice tight jam. Joining us were friends Stephen Rapp on banjo and Michael Morgan on guitar. Here's a bit of Porter's Reel that we played sweet and lazy. Yep, that's just two fiddles in my kitchen. Lots of sound :)


Aug 10, 2020 - 4:57:47 AM
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Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2253 posts since 2/2/2008

Love to play tight with another fiddler, and often do, whether I play fiddle or banjo. Love fiddle banjo duets.
https://www.banjohangout.org/topic/365188

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:16:13 AM

8715 posts since 3/19/2009

Among the tunes that me and my kids recorded was Sugar Hill. It is a good thing I didn't post that one . After hearing Doug and Roy play it.. job done!!! Anyway, ya can't compete with guys that tight.laugh.Now.. where is that sheet music for Porter's Reel.... great tune..

The opportunities to play tight are more these days... The Covid virus has made local jam smaller and with a smaller jam it is easier to Hear and get tight with musicians...

Having said that... One of my best small jam experiences was a few years ago when I got to jam with Hangout member GAPBOB (Great And Powerful Bob)... He came to my camp around ten at night just as I was ready to quit for the day.. This giant of a man stood there holding a fiddle and said, "Let's jam.".. HE may remember the two of us playing together as a BAD experience,..can't speak for him...but to Me it was amazing.. We each had different ways of playing the tunes we knew but IMO we blended them very well.. The two of us jammed for a long time and were eventually joined by Larry and my daughter, Katie..One of my most memorable tight jams for sure..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2020 05:36:36

Aug 10, 2020 - 7:27:59 AM
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304 posts since 7/31/2018

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Among the tunes that me and my kids recorded was Sugar Hill. It is a good thing I didn't post that one . After hearing Doug and Roy play it.. job done!!! Anyway, ya can't compete with guys that tight.laugh.Now.. where is that sheet music for Porter's Reel.... great tune..

The opportunities to play tight are more these days... The Covid virus has made local jam smaller and with a smaller jam it is easier to Hear and get tight with musicians...

Having said that... One of my best small jam experiences was a few years ago when I got to jam with Hangout member GAPBOB (Great And Powerful Bob)... He came to my camp around ten at night just as I was ready to quit for the day.. This giant of a man stood there holding a fiddle and said, "Let's jam.".. HE may remember the two of us playing together as a BAD experience,..can't speak for him...but to Me it was amazing.. We each had different ways of playing the tunes we knew but IMO we blended them very well.. The two of us jammed for a long time and were eventually joined by Larry and my daughter, Katie..One of my most memorable tight jams for sure..


To quote the "Unknown Fiddler" Marion Thede quoted in the opening page to The Fiddle Book:

"[Girl], they ain't no music to them tunes. You jes' play 'em." 

I really love the irony in her including this story outlining her exchange with this fiddler who really changed her musical life. "they ain't no music to them tunes"...yet she collected tunes and brilliantly notated them (without the luxury of modern equipment--hell, any equipment other than pencil and paper), and that was after learning more about the fiddle and hanging out with and playing with those fellows who seemingly taught her a lot. 

And if she had not done this, many of those obscure tunes would have been lost forever. Even with them living in the form of dots in her book, many are rarely played today. 

Only proves that there are many ways for tunes to be passed on. I feel like The Fiddle Book was Ms. Thede's way of passing those tunes down to future generations in lieu of having the experiences she had of sitting down with those fiddlers and playing them together. 

Thank you, Marion Thede. 

Aug 10, 2020 - 10:21:39 AM
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11258 posts since 9/23/2009

Nice to see such appreciation for keepers of the tunes...makes me think back on something I'd read from KY author and historian, Harriette Simpson Arnow, as she wrote of her experience of her entire community, as well as several others, being totally ripped apart and basically destroyed by the building of the lakes, Cumberland and Laurel. She wrote of the sorrow of lost connections and lost culture, and all the "drowned fiddle tunes," or something to that effect...can't remember the exact wording...but having had that happen where she grew up, she saw so much cultural loss as everybody disbanded and had to find other places to go. We are so lucky that some folks found a way to save some of the old tunes from going under, so to speak, or just disappearing from the world for various reasons.

This is also one of the general themes of Dwight Diller's movie, The Fifth String, which, by the way, has some of the best music you could ever hear anywhere going all through the movie.

Aug 10, 2020 - 11:26:21 AM

DougD

USA

9768 posts since 12/2/2007

Paul - I looked around a little and it seems "Porter's Two Step" (or "Reel") comes from Stafford Harris, who apparently was from Texas. Is it in Marion Thede's book, or did you just include that as a comment on sheet music?

Aug 10, 2020 - 1:13:07 PM
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194 posts since 1/3/2019

That Porter's reel has a Cajun sound to my ears.

Aug 10, 2020 - 1:19:56 PM

8715 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ShawnCraver

That Porter's reel has a Cajun sound to my ears.


It is in OLD TEXAS FIDDLE Volume II.....I've been playing it all day.. !! fun tune.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/10/2020 13:20:28

Aug 10, 2020 - 1:51:18 PM

DougD

USA

9768 posts since 12/2/2007

Lee, you can hear the source recording at Slippery Hill in the "Tunes from Texas" section.
Shawn, if you want to hear it "Cajunized" watch Tricia Spencer expressing herself at Clifftop: youtu.be/_cJ4tE9rdkk
The E chord Kellie is playing makes it sound different too.
The Cajun feel makes the "two step" title make more sense.

Edited by - DougD on 08/10/2020 13:56:05

Aug 10, 2020 - 2:41:18 PM
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Fiddler

USA

4105 posts since 6/22/2007
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Stafford Harris was from Nacogdoches, TX - deep behind the Pine Curtain. It is not far from the Louisiana border. (I was raised about 40 miles from Nacogdoches in Rusk. I lived in Nacogdoches about a year while I taught science at a very, very, very small school - Martinsville - east of there.) Another Stafford Harris tune is Mowing the Meadow - a variant of Sugar in the Gourd.

It is not Cajun country by any means, but you will find some influences that crossed over the Sabine. (This is the TX-LA border.) I could pick up radio stations in Lafayette and Alexandria, LA and others that played Cajun/Zydeco music. So, it does not surprise me that Harris displayed some of this influence in his playing.

Howard Rains has done a remarkable job in collecting recordings of the old Texas fiddlers and learning their tunes.

Aug 10, 2020 - 2:54:23 PM

8715 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

Stafford Harris was from Nacogdoches, TX - deep behind the Pine Curtain. It is not far from the Louisiana border. (I was raised about 40 miles from Nacogdoches in Rusk. I lived in Nacogdoches about a year while I taught science at a very, very, very small school - Martinsville - east of there.) Another Stafford Harris tune is Mowing the Meadow - a variant of Sugar in the Gourd.

It is not Cajun country by any means, but you will find some influences that crossed over the Sabine. (This is the TX-LA border.) I could pick up radio stations in Lafayette and Alexandria, LA and others that played Cajun/Zydeco music. So, it does not surprise me that Harris displayed some of this influence in his playing.

Howard Rains has done a remarkable job in collecting recordings of the old Texas fiddlers and learning their tunes.


"Picking up radio stations." made my mind wander back to the days when we had vacuum tube radios and " atmospheric skip'' at night.. We could hear stations from all over when the sun went down..That was my first exposure to antenna-field theory which dragged me into radio electronics.. OK.. done.. Now, back to the topic..wink

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:14:10 PM
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304 posts since 7/31/2018

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Paul - I looked around a little and it seems "Porter's Two Step" (or "Reel") comes from Stafford Harris, who apparently was from Texas. Is it in Marion Thede's book, or did you just include that as a comment on sheet music?


Not in Thede, Doug, I just love the quote from Thede and thought it fit in nicely with this conversation. 

We featured Porter's Reel for Old-Time TOTW #45 back in May 2019. I included some lesser-known information in the description: some  genealogy, Harris' obituary, and other interesting things about Harris and the Louisiana Hayride.

 And yes, Sean, many have noted a Cajun sound to this tune. 


Edited by - FiddlerPaul71 on 08/10/2020 16:16:41

Aug 10, 2020 - 4:22:36 PM
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304 posts since 7/31/2018

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by ShawnCraver

That Porter's reel has a Cajun sound to my ears.


It is in OLD TEXAS FIDDLE Volume II.....I've been playing it all day.. !! fun tune.


Yeeeah! Glad to have exposed you to it, Lee smiley, but I won't take responsibility for any sore fingers lol

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