Archive for the ‘old time’ Category

I forgot to write this yesterday. I attribute it too my confusion as to what other tune Clinch Mountain Backstep sounds like. I spent quite a few minutes racking my brain, thinking it was some tune I accidentally absorbed a long time ago. But then I realized it almost exactly like Sandy Boys. Is this right? Am I still confused? Aaaah!

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I love tunes that can be learned by listening for two minutes, and playing for 20 seconds.

(This tune was suggested to me by a local mandolin enthusiast and luthier. Thanks to him!)

One of the things I’m discovering about myself through this experiment is that sometimes, it’s better to do away with the regimented practice and just noodle my heart out. Tonight is one of those nights. Oh! Minor Swing, it’s been so long…

(Another thing I’ve mentioned before, but that I have to remind myself of daily, is to look at my fingers to help with my focus…just maybe not tonight.)

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A nice old time tune in D. A favourite at the first old time jam I sat in on.

Update: Thanks to Gary!, who informed me that this tune also goes by the names Susannah Gal (Suzana, Susanna) and Western Country. This tripled the amount of variations to pool together and to then extract the essence of the tune from. My favourite so far is on the Fiddle Hangout site, under Susanna Gal.  Gary also had the genius idea that a tune that goes by more than one name can count for three tunes. Devious. I was almost tempted to take a little break for the next two days.

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I was going to learn a John Reischman tune called Salt Spring, but it’s on none of the four albums of his I have. So I picked this traditional tune from his “Road West” album, and am I ever glad I did.

I like how these fellows are doing it: Thomas Bailey and Aaron Lewis. As ear-tickling good as a full bluegrass band can be, scaling it down to a guitar, a fiddle and two voices is nicely refreshing.

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Thanks to Jamie! Harmonies…guitar…fiddle…beans.

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Tune 19: Salt Creek

Salt Creek.

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“Why are all the Sallys so good?!” I don’t know, Jimmy, I don’t know.  But Sally Ann is no exception!

(The other Sallys are Sally Goodin (or Goodwin), Counsin Sally Brown, Sally Johnson and possibly even a Sally Ann Johnson)

Today is perhaps the first truly challenging day of the 17 days so far. My first day of (surprisingly extenuating office) work is followed by the desperate need to do groceries, which is hindered by a friend’s tour-opening show (in half an hour) and the need to learn Sally Ann, which is itself hindered by the lack of groceries and my lovely roommate’s chanting group affirming our Life Force in the living room on the other side of my bedroom wall (I’m all for it, of course, it’s just bad timing). But naturally, Sally Ann takes precedence.

Bluegrass version? Old Time version? Western Swing version? I don’t know…My brain feels like jello.  I’m not even sure I can tune a fiddle anymore. I’m not even sure I’m tuna anymore.

Let’s make it bluegrass.

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