Old Time Music

Shady Lane

“Darley Fulks (1895-1990) was the most remarkable fiddler I ever knew,” says John Harrod, who visited and recorded him multiple times back in the 1970s and 80s. Much of his repertory he learned from his grandfather and other fiddlers from that generation. Consequently, “a visit to Darley was like stepping back into the 19th century.” Shady Lane was played in the key of F. All the fiddlers in his area played in F. Darley said, “If you wanted to find that tune in another key, you’d have to go all the way to the bridge,” presumably a metaphorical “bridge” to another county or area where this key was not so common. Well, I crossed that bridge years ago when I first learned it from Bruce Greene of Burnsville, NC, who played it in the key of G. Perhaps one day I’ll enter the land of the F key and re-learn this wonderful tune. Chris fiddle: gdae, Mark banjo, Barb guitar.
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