Old Time Music
Frontier Fiddler - art

Our Price: $15.00 PPD


This collection of tunes is the fourth in the “frontier” series, but we have relaxed our parameters to include a few tunes from the Civil War era and even into the later 1800s. The notes for each tune will reveal its provenance. Most of the tunes still come from 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. Also included are several tunes taken from transcriptions. First is The Hamblen Collection of fiddle tunes from the early 1800s from the Cumberland Gap region of Virginia as played by David R. Hamblen (1809-1893), his son, Williamson Hamblen (1846-1920) and his son, Armeanous Porter Hamblen (1895-1958). A. Porter transcribed 39 of the family tunes and donated them to the Library of Congress in 1955. Second is Knauff’s Virginia Reels (1839). George Knauff owned a music store in Richmond, VA where he made and sold pianofortes. To supply his new customers with the “proper” music he collected fiddle tunes from around Virginia, changed keys and in some cases tune names and organized them into three booklets published in 1839. A fourth booklet was published several years later.On previous CDs we have recorded many of the tunes at lower pitches to match the reality of gut strings out on the frontier in the early 1800s. In this collection we have mostly stayed in standard pitch and have included several tunes played in the string band style of today, with Barb Zavon on guitar and Mark Ward on banjo, while I play fiddle. We have also expanded the instrumentation to include Mark on Uilleann Pipes (Irish bag-pipes) and Barb on Nyckleharpa (Swedish keyed violin, sort of). Mark has been playing these pipes since the mid- 1980s and is quite accomplished. It takes me back to the playing of champion Uilleann piper, Joe McKenna at Boulder Junction Coffee House 1978. And when I heard Barb and Mark play nyckelharpa and viola together at New Year’s Eve this year, I was captivated. Bob Bellamy, good friend and recording engineer on this and our other CDs, plays hammered dulcimer. Other special friends who appear on this CD are Lucy Margaret Long, Stephen Bland and Andi Carter.