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Jul 21, 2021 - 10:00:29 PM
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512 posts since 7/18/2014

I didn’t even know there was a GCgc tuning until Peggy brought it out in another thread. This is my first time to try it.


Jul 21, 2021 - 10:44:13 PM
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1537 posts since 7/26/2015

I didn't either. On closer inspection, it's not as foreign as I initially thought. Raise the tuning a whole step and you have ADAD. That's an Interesting choice of chords. I've always loved this tune.
quote:
Originally posted by Astrang

I didn’t even know there was a GCgc tuning until Peggy brought it out in another thread. This is my first time to try it.


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 07/21/2021 22:48:55

Jul 22, 2021 - 2:32:14 AM
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RichJ

USA

734 posts since 8/6/2013

Nice job Randy, really sweet.

Jul 22, 2021 - 4:04:55 AM
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13668 posts since 9/23/2009

Wow Randy! You sound so good in that tuning! Doin' some might fine fiddling there. I love the tune. Nice playing.

Jul 22, 2021 - 8:14:42 AM
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512 posts since 7/18/2014

Thanks Soppin, I agree it’s a very good tune, I just rearranged the C’s and F’s a little and added the B flat.

Thanks Rich and Peggy, will this tuning turn you into a groundhog?

Jul 22, 2021 - 10:14:04 AM
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13668 posts since 9/23/2009

It could...better be prepared and dig yourself a big hole to hide away in...lol.

Jul 23, 2021 - 9:44:32 AM
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RichJ

USA

734 posts since 8/6/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Astrang

Thanks Soppin, I agree it’s a very good tune, I just rearranged the C’s and F’s a little and added the B flat.

Thanks Rich and Peggy, will this tuning turn you into a groundhog?


Hey Randy - I've been fooling with this tune and wondering if you could help with the chords. The ones provided for Cherry River Line in my Strum Machine don't seem to fit. 

Jul 23, 2021 - 11:57:40 AM

512 posts since 7/18/2014

Hey Rich. I noticed a few utube people playing like strum has it but it doesn’t sound right to me either. I changed it to this-

Key of C and I had it set at 75 BPM

A Part
CCCCBbBbBbBb
FFFFCCCC
That repeats

B part
CCBbBbFFCC
FFBbBbCCCC
That also repeats

Feel free to change this if you want. I’ll also mention that you can change this to the key of F, tune down the fiddle, and you can play the A part on G & D strings. Sounds pretty cool but my fiddle doesn’t cooperate very well, it’s a bit to ringy for that tuning.

Jul 23, 2021 - 2:49:47 PM
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RichJ

USA

734 posts since 8/6/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Astrang

Hey Rich. I noticed a few utube people playing like strum has it but it doesn’t sound right to me either. I changed it to this-

Key of C and I had it set at 75 BPM

A Part
CCCCBbBbBbBb
FFFFCCCC
That repeats

B part
CCBbBbFFCC
FFBbBbCCCC
That also repeats

Feel free to change this if you want. I’ll also mention that you can change this to the key of F, tune down the fiddle, and you can play the A part on G & D strings. Sounds pretty cool but my fiddle doesn’t cooperate very well, it’s a bit to ringy for that tuning.


I have a fiddle I bought in pieces for $25 a couple of years ago. It was a total disappointment tuned in standard,  but sure sounds sweet in FCFC. I'll give that alternate tuning a whirl. Thanks for those C chords, they really work well together. I've noticed the Keys of C, F and Bb have a lot in common, but don't know enough music theory to understand why. 

Jul 23, 2021 - 3:03:05 PM
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DougD

USA

10776 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Rich - C,F, and Bb have a lot in common because they are adjacent keys going around the Circle of Fifths. That is - in the key of Bb, F is the fifth (V chord, and in the key of F, C is the fifth (V chord). Then you would move on to G and be in sharp territory, instead of flats.
Randy - I wouldn't have thought of them, but I like your chord choices.

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Jul 23, 2021 - 5:11:11 PM

512 posts since 7/18/2014

Thanks Doug, and thanks for chiming in, I think they help out on an already good tune.

Jul 24, 2021 - 5:53:16 AM
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RichJ

USA

734 posts since 8/6/2013

Hey Randy - Really enjoying those chords, especially that C-Bb-F descending chord line. Have you heard Lester McCumber's version of CRL? Think he playin' in G. Seems to have a whole different mood. I was talking to Peggy about stuff like this awhile back and she likes to think of it as flavor. No matter how you look at it sure is fun exploring various tunes for stuff like this. So many tunes, so many tunings, so little time. lol

youtube.com/watch?v=i4f-fMbZm2A

Jul 24, 2021 - 9:16:35 AM

512 posts since 7/18/2014

Thanks for the vid Rich. Wow, this tune originated at a log camp, probably by folks setting around the camp fire, adding a little at a time as days go by, how good is that. Those old time loggers sure had a rough way to go, cross cut saws, an axe, and a team of mules to skid the logs out with. They would haul them to the log yard and a train would come in and haul them to the mill. I know there are some well written lyrics to this tune also. So in gleaning all that, this is a pretty dang good early train song.

There were log camps in my area back in the day, two of them went on to turn into small towns that are still around today.

I wish I could have met Lester McCumbers; I would have loved to have talked to him. I grieved at his passing.

Jul 24, 2021 - 10:37:38 AM
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DougD

USA

10776 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

I think Lester McCumbers was the person who introduced the tune with this title to the contemporary fiddling world, but its obviously a version of the widely known "Reuben's Train." Or Train 45, recorded by Grayson and Whitter in 1927:
youtu.be/JS33P3i33_8
Same A part, and except for the second phrase the B part is like the song sometimes called "Rain and Snow" with words like "Done all I can do, to try and get along with you, can't make a living this away." Maybe Peggy knows what I mean.
I think GB was playing something similar there, but lower to imitate a train whistle. I lived for a long time about a mile from where GB lived, and there used to be a little narrow gauge railroad that ran along Laurel creek to Damascus VA - you can still see the foundations of some of the bridges, and part has been turned into a hiking trail.
In GB's lifetime, there was extensive logging going on with little spur lines going up the hollows to bring out some amazing logs. You can still see things things like cables and even a wood cookstove way up the creeks that certainly weren't brought in on somebody's back. I've looked at the 1910 census and just about everybody were engineers, firemen, track crew, sawyers and loggers.
I can only imagine what the train whistle must have sounded like echoing through those hollows, but this is one of the very few tunes I crosstune (and tune down - it was recorded in Gb) because it just sounds right. A few years ago Pam and I were asked to do a program of Grayson and Whitter songs. It was a blazing hot Labor Day Saturday and I was tuning up in the shady meditation garden of the church next door. Pam's uncle, the grandson of Col. Grayson who captured Tom Dooley and a cousin of GB's, said "Sounds like you're tuned up for 'Train 45' and began singing - like I said it just sounds right that way.

Jul 24, 2021 - 11:59:10 AM
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DougD

USA

10776 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Here's Ray Hicks playing and singing "Reuben." Ray's first job as a youth was firing the boiler of the steam powered sawmill on Beech Mtn. when it was being logged.
youtu.be/FyQ9fX1eG4E

Jul 24, 2021 - 12:19:30 PM
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512 posts since 7/18/2014

Thanks so much Doug, I didn’t know any of that. You can hear the train coming around the corner in that tune.

Those guys back then were dealing with the big trees in rough country. I would have loved to have seen them.

Do you hear this Rich, we now also know how to play Train 45 and Reuben’s Train. Life is good! I love it when that happens. All we gotta do is learn the words to the different songs and then not sing them.

Ray Hicks could have been my next door neighbor

Jul 24, 2021 - 1:02:30 PM
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RichJ

USA

734 posts since 8/6/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Astrang

Do you hear this Rich, we now also know how to play Train 45 and Reuben’s Train. Life is good! I love it when that happens. All we gotta do is learn the words to the different songs and then not sing them.
 

I hear ya' Randy - this one keeps gettin' bettern and better. Haven't been able to stop playin' it all afternoon. Can't decide where I like it best in C, F or G. Hmmm, maybe Bb??? lol

Jul 24, 2021 - 1:21:50 PM

13668 posts since 9/23/2009

I play it in Calico…one of the lines says “To strip yew pine logs they payme but a dime.” I think it’s a little different version probably, but I was playing it in sawmill and somebody here on the hangout suggested, several years ago, to try calico…that worked perfectly for the version I do, which I learned from Dwight Diller on banjo. I didn’t listen to these links yet because I’m on a new device handed down by my generous grandson…an iPad. I had one ten years ago I really loved and he gave me this newer one…but I’m lost on it so far…didn’t wanna click the links because I was afraid I’d get lost in cyberspace but I will listen on the chrome book later.

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 07/24/2021 13:22:46

Jul 24, 2021 - 3:46:37 PM
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512 posts since 7/18/2014

I’ll try it in calico too. Gee, ten cents a tree. It’s a lot of work to skin a pine tree. You would have to want that dime pretty bad. It’s a little easier if the tree was cut in the spring time but the pine sap and juice just covers you from head to toe. It’s a real mess.

This is a not so very good old picture of our local log yard train. It ran from 1930 to about 1962. This was taken about 1960. I was just a kid but I remember the train very well.


Jul 24, 2021 - 4:16:16 PM
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13668 posts since 9/23/2009

I know…I’ve stripped many scrub pine logs…messy tough work. I used a …ok I just forgot what we called them…little blade with two handles…draw knife…I sat on the logs, pulled the drawknife and scooted my way back until I got to the end…turned them over and did it again…mike ripped them with a chainsaw. Hard work…sticky work but we always smelled real good…lol. We cut the trees and stripped off limbs and then rolled them into place with nothing but our hands and a log-dog…little hook to turn them with. Nobody we knew ever had to go to a gym…lol.

Jul 24, 2021 - 5:50:22 PM
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DougD

USA

10776 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Randy, if you're into train lore, there's a wonderful book called "Ghost railroads of Tennesse" which describes in great detail trackage now abandoned, but that was once registered by the ICC, or whatever the agency was.
We got the original edition in an interlibrary loan long ago, but I notice that its available fairly reasonably in a later edition. If its the same as the original, there are some wonderful photos of the little Climax engines crawling up into the hollows, and returning with just incredible logs, sometines with many loggers posed atop them. Its amazing, but they sure profoundly changed the ecosystem wherever they went.

Jul 24, 2021 - 6:35:59 PM
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13668 posts since 9/23/2009

Yeah, there's a lot of Reuben's Train-like stuff happening in those youtube links. I absolutely love the harmonica playing, which is why i just don't even try...lol...that's some awesome stuff. And Lester McCumbers is always great to listen to.

Well but anyhow, not to hijack, and I don't mean to hijack this thread with my own video...but I remembered doing a youtube...and it looks like I'd done this one back in 2019...the version of Cherry River Line I got from Dwight Diller...I don't know when...early 2000s...I liked it a lot and as I said above, I was playing in in GDGD, then mentioned something about it some years ago here on FHO and somebody who knew which version I was talking about told me to go to Calico...they didn't say to to anywhere else...lol...just Calico...I tried it and thought that's definitely where that one belongs, the version I play, that apparently came from somebody in WV and got passed along to people in Dwight's area. I remember back when I made this youtube I couldn't remember anymore of the words except for stripping pine logs for a dime each...lol...as Randy says, that's a terrible ripoff, considering the work. That's what made me remember that much, having stripped pine logs myself, some.

But anyway, Randy, I don't mean to hijack the thread, just wanted to share this version that I got out of West Virginia. youtu.be/vR1L97dRYg8

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 07/24/2021 18:36:49

Jul 24, 2021 - 7:49:59 PM
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512 posts since 7/18/2014

Thanks Doug, I will certainly check out that book, I love that kind of stuff. I have a better picture of that train but can’t find it right now.

Peggy that is awesome I am glad you added it here. Thank you. This thread is about to blow me away, I’ve got a lot to process. So many different ways to go with this tune. It’s amazing.

Jul 25, 2021 - 7:41:33 AM

DougD

USA

10776 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Peggy, that's nice. I think songs like this are your strong suut as a player.
The late Jimmy McCown used to sing this song with his six string banjo. I'm sure I recorded him doing it at festivals several times, but here he and Ada are at Betea:
soundarchives.berea.edu/items/show/2766
He doesn't even play the "Reuben" part - just the "verse."
I've often wondered where this song, and especially the lyrics, really comes from. The words sound more like Sartre or Camus to me than backwoods loggers, although what Jimmy sang is kind of a mashup. I tried searching, and all I really found was the comment that it was odd that this is considered to come from Lester McCumbers since he was from a part of WV that's nowhere near the Cherry River.

Jul 25, 2021 - 8:26:31 AM

13668 posts since 9/23/2009

That’s some nice banjo playin, right there! Thanks for the link and the nice comments too, Doug, Well some of those lyrics I believe I do remember having heard in another train song, but I can’t remember what it is or how it goes.

Sometimes you have to wonder about who gets these songs from where. It makes me think of having heard Jean Ritchie tell about her one-room school house, tucked away back in the holler, and the kids there all learning to speak Ancient Greek and reading all those old things, mythology or Homer (not Ledford, the other Homer…lol) or whatever. Of course when George Clooney (some of my old friends and me also knew his family…lol…in and out of the same areas and his father was so active in the community everybody seemed to have dealt with them somehow so where along the way) came out in the Oh Brother, w a thou movie, everybody was like…oh yeah…Homer’s Odyssey…or however ya spell that.

Well ok that two cents of mine probably doesn’t mean much to this discussion, but it is always so interesting and informative. Appreciate your sharing of your knowledge and thoughts on all this stuff.

Jul 25, 2021 - 8:26:37 AM

512 posts since 7/18/2014

Doug those are the lyrics that I am familiar with for Cherry River Line, aren’t they beautiful? It’s hard to imagine those coming out of a log camp situation, but I guess that is what Lester McCumbers is referring to in the video. I may have wrongfully assumed he was referring to the melody also. So now I wonder which came first, Train 45, Reuben’s Train, Cherry River Line, or something else.

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