Come Back Boys & Feed the Horses: Fiddling on the Frontier
This collection of tunes is another in the series of fiddle tunes played on the Eastern Frontier as settlers moved from the populated areas in the east to the Appalachian wilderness and beyond. For purposes of this and our sister CDs our "frontier" is prior to 1840, before minstrel shows and the Civil War brought many musical influences from the northern states. Most of the tunes come from the repertories of senior source fiddlers in the Upper South who have been recorded by the Library of Congress or individual field recorders and researchers over the years from the 1930s to the 1990s. In some cases these fiddlers had several "layers" of tunes: one of popular and show tunes from the early 1900s, another of "modern" fiddle tunes played at that time, and a third layer of archaic tunes learned from older family members or extra family sources. It is this last layer that we seek. As we shall see, a few of these fiddlers are just one generation away from an early 19th century mentor, whose fiddling may not have sounded out of place in a line up of the senior source fiddlers from whom we have the recordings. Therein lies the reason to confine our frontier, that being the fewer "modern" influences on the fiddlers we seek, the more archaic will be their selections, and ultimately ours. We realize that some "modern" influences (bow licks, choices of notes, tunings) may never be totally removed, but our reward for the attempt is to step back in time to experience the sounds of those early fiddles and banjos.
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