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.

E. Stonemason & K. Brewer

This melody of this tune version is a waltz that features harp and fiddle playing together very tightly in the tradition of the region (the near west part in my region). These folks are from Grayson/Carroll County near Galax, Virginia. 

Ernest Stoneman was a pretty influential songster who performed solo and in groups playing back-up guitar along with harmonica mainly in the 1920’s and 30’s. His harmonica music was pretty influential in the Floyd area on young musicians who heard his records.

Ernest Stoneman is called the unsung ‘Father of Country Music’ getting very little if any respect in today’s Country Music industry.

Stoneman’s guitar style is very solid on this waltz. He is playing the harmonica as well, mounted in a frame to hold it while he played guitar. There has been much written about him and his family and several good pictures abound. I don’t have the liner notes but I think Kahle Brewer is on fiddle. It sounds like its just two people on this recording playing 3 instruments. EV Stoneman recorded commercially in the 20’s and 30’s for the early Country Music Industry and his kids later became part of the Nashville commercial sound into the 1970’s when banjos, fiddles, and mandolins were still acceptable in that sound.  

This tune would have been issued on a 78 RPM record for sale with a 2nd song/tune of the other side. 

Peekaboo Waltz is done here by the Stonemans with no vocals in a two part version that is different from the version I first heard around the festivals in the 70’s. 

Peekaboo Waltz by Ernest V. Stoneman
Peekaboo Waltz by Uncle Dave Macon

Response from Ole Russel

I couldn’t agree more as to the importance of E. Stoneman…he was a rock-steady base for whoever he played with – way above the much admired Riley Puckett of the Skillet Lickers. Never did understand why people will hold Puckett in such esteem – he had absolutely no sense of chord-progressions and very much ran a solo-ride instead of backing up the band. My favorite example of Stoneman’s solid guitar backup is the weirdly unfinished extract of Soldier’s Joy (attached with other tracks from what must have been same recording session) played by The Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers (presumably Kahle Brewer and Alec Dunford on fiddles). Must have played these tracks a million times – and I’m still awed by the full and rich sound of this constellation. Got these clips from Tom Luke, an American musician turned Dane, I played with in my first band Paddy Doyles way back in the early 70s. I have always been wondering about the history of these weirdly unfinished tracks. Maybe you could dig a little into this? If issued they would have ranked as some of the best recordings coming out of that area ever. And, of course, E. Stoneman’s cooperation with the Sweet Brothers shouldn’t be forgotten in this connection – brilliant stuff .