May 23, 2009

YPM Edition 2a: Carolina Chocolate Drops

Notes from Yew Piney Mountain: Edition 2a

Taking a look at my post from earlier in the week, I didn't really like it. It's too big. I'd rather just put up frequent short posts. But I do like the Ira Glass idea: each week we bring you a theme, and bring you a number of variations on that theme.

So this week, I'm going to explore Western North Carolina and the Piedmont Region.


First up, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Few people have been more successful at reviving traditional old-time music from the Carolina Piedmont region. The group is also one of only a few that highlights the tremendous African-American influence in US old-time music.
Here they are in documentary-style promotional video produced for UNC-TV's Our State:

Our State - The Carolina Chocolate Drops from Pete Bell on Vimeo.

May 14, 2009

Thinking About New Format

Hello Everybody:
I've been thinking about making a couple of changes to the blog here. Instead of posting everyday or every other day, I thinking of making it like a weekly webzine. I'll still post the same number of tunes and videos, but I might do some research on the tunes and add more of my own commentary. I also just ordered a high-quality recorder so if I'm brave, I'll post some of my own versions of tunes.

Just letting you know, in case you check here frequently, that if you don't see any updates for a few days at a time, I'm still maintaining everything here, just less often. I'll put out an "edition" either on Saturdays or Sundays. Now don't go burning through all the content in one day!

May 09, 2009

Tunes I'm working on

One thing I like about the old-time music scene is that it's such a communal experience. Anyone can get together with friends and family and listen or play tunes. Everybody has their own way of playing and people tend to be very happy to share nuances and learn new things.

I'm in the process of learning some new tunes now, which I will do by combining the MP3s posted here with input from other players I know locally. If you're reading this and play, you likely do the same thing.

Anyway, in case you're interested, right now I'm learning these tunes, each of which you can search for and find on here:
  • Gray Eagle
  • Frost Morning
  • Dinah
  • Old Time Liza Jane (aka Liza Jane, Little Liza Jane, not to be confused with the Liza Jane the Samples Brothers do, that's a different tune.)
  • I'm polishing up Whiskey Before Breakfast.
What are you learning?