The Handmade Music School is committed to the health and safety of our community and has suspended all in-person lessons and workshops until further notice. Online lessons with HMS teachers will still be available via Skype or another platform. If you are interested in arranging Skype lessons with one of our teachers, please contact email@example.com for details.
This is Floyd County’s own Dent Wimmer. A strong clawhammer banjo player who never dropped thumb. His style is full and rhythmic typical of this area where house parties and frolics with flatfoot dancing were common before WW2. He was recorded for the Old Originals project in 1973 by folklorist Tom Carter.
Here’s one from Carroll County and from the unique repertoire of Sidna (banjo) and Fulton Meyers (fiddle). In this banjo-fiddle duet the fiddle is tune like standard GDAE but lower and played in G fingering. It could be F or E if low enough. Who cares as long as it sounds good, huh? I think it's kinda cool down low like that. No rules have to apply.
Here’s wonderfully simple tune from the Kimble Family who live in the Blue Ridge Plateau area of Carroll County next door to Floyd County. It is just Taylor on fiddle and Stella on banjo as a duet. The tune is from a collection of their music recorded by Mark Sanderford. I’m sending this out since Gail Gillespie and Dwight Rogers mentioned this tune to me after a recent visit to the Kimbles.
Here’s one of my favorite C tunes played by Rafe Brady: Pallet on the Floor. The tune is from his Heritage Album recorded in the late 70’s I think it was. I got asked to play on this album but had a conflict and couldn’t do it. I think Tom Mylet is on banjo, Bobby Patterson on guitar, and Dale Morris on bass. Jenny and I lived in Grayson County from October or 1980 until March of 1984.
Back to Carroll County players Uncle Norm Edmonds and the Old-timers for this week’s tune. The name can’t be hardly any more common for a slew of different tunes that have the same name except for Sally Ann. So IDA RED means lots different tunes with the same name. This version is ‘cool’ for several reasons and I don’t think there’s another name associated with it. Please share if you know this tune and have a different name for it.
Here’s something different. I stumbled onto this today and really listened to it again. I have heard it several times in the past but today I listened with greater attention than ever and thought it would make a good choice for you all to hear as well and hopefully you’ll listen and realize you like it. I’d recommend all these tunes get listened to again and again and you’ll hopefully you’ll want to learn to play (or sing) them.
The Handmade Music School is offering a series of one-hour afternoon workshops as part of the Floyd County Old Time Music Get-Together on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, 2020, at the the Floyd EcoVillage in Floyd County, Virginia. Cost is $25 per workshop.
This version is most unique to the Blue Ridge area of Patrick County as far as I can tell. This beautiful tune is from the Shelor Family’s recordings. 'Callahan’ here is played here by Susan Shelor Deck (piano) and Jesse Shelor (on fiddle). I will send out the Uncle Norm Edmonds version of Callahan in a future post since it is NOT the same tune.
The tune of this week is called Sweet Little Julie. Here’s a really ‘cool’ banjo version played and sung by James Thompson. He was recorded by Peter Hoover in the early 60’s. My notes said he was from Ford County, an obvious typo meaning Floyd County. I don’t know anything else about him. I think James’ rendition show that he was a great player with a mixture of advanced right and left hand techniques. Mystery banjo man.
Our featured tune here is Old Cottoneyed Joe. This a cover of the ‘local’ Norman Edmonds version with improved guitar back-up. Its played on fiddle in cross-tuned G (GDGD). Banjo is in standard gDGBD. Two guitars. No bass. The player is Harold Hausenfluck whose one man band rendition from the 1990’s is pretty killer in my opinion. This a good example of the back-up making or breaking the appeal of a tune.
Handmade Music School instructor Jesse Smathers has recently been in the studio recording the new Lonesome River Band album. They're a world-class group and we can't wait to hear the new album! We're proud to have Jesse on staff at the Handmade Music School teaching mandolin and guitar.