Here’s a tune that I consider to be one of the standard dance tunes today. It was found in the repertoire of many old-timers from the Blue Ridge area whose music I have heard who learned to play before World War 2.
Mississippi Sawyer is a tune that I love to play on fiddle for dancers. In my quest to pass on good tunes to our local youth, I presented my standard version to a group of 8 fiddle students of Floyd JAMs in my weekly meeting on Zoom.
My clawhammer banjo version, of course, influences my fiddle version. My banjo version is kinda fast, and so is my fiddle version. Kinda like the version played by Lucas Paisley (fiddle) and Trish Fore (banjo) who recorded it when they had a band in the early 2000’s called The Blue Ridge Mountain Ramblers.
Here’s the oldest fiddle version I know of played by Emmet Lundy of Grayson County. He is particular about the details as you can hear. Emmett’s music has a slow groove not influenced by rowdy banjo playing. He was recorded at his home near Galax Virginia by Elizabeth Lomax just prior to World War 2 for the Library of Congress.
I guess in Emmett’s opinion most of us fiddling that tune today just ‘play at it’. At least I am not a 3 fingered fiddler!
Enjoy! Stay safe.