May 31, 2011

Two for One Tuesday

Looking through the list of tunes I haven't posted about here before, I came across two that I had never even heard of. The first is Batchelder's Reel, which from I gather is an Irish tune... makes me like it even more. Unfortunately it's kind of hard to find recordings of this tune. But, the one version I could find is pretty nice, it's by a group called the Russet Trio. I believe they are a contra band from New York based on my brief Googling.

Here the are playing Batchelder's Reel at the 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival:


The second tune, Bayne Water, is also Irish (I'm pretty sure, correct me if I'm wrong). Again, pretty difficult to find recordings. What I discovered in the process of looking was one video:


And I also stumbled across a band who has recorded this tune called Claddagh. Check them out by clicking on the link. The album with this tune on it is the one with dragon.

Enjoy, and find some Guinness as you listen.

May 29, 2011

Barlow Knife

Here's another tune I don't believe I've posted about before called Barlow Knife. As usual, lots of different versions, some with words most without. Searching for some good examples I came across this version, which I really like but seems to have been filmed in a staircase for some reason. Either way, well done sir:


For a different sounding version, here's a group from TX:


And for all you people who just like banjo, try out this version from the music archives of dphall:

Barlow Knife MP3

May 17, 2011

Backstep Cindy

Looking through my tune book, the one to come up is Backstep Cindy, which I believe is by Tommy Jarrell.

The first thing I did was type this in YouTube to see what versions came up and to my surprise/delight was a video of David Bass playing with Forge Mtn Diggers. I know of him from the Freight Hoppers, and he's been to Knoxville many times and played with some people I know here. Nobody plays with such a driving-yet-clear tone as Bass. He plays so hard he can never contain himself and inevitably breaks out what one friend of mine calls the stank leg.

Here he is with Forge Mtn Diggers playing Backstep Cindy:


If it's the slower tempo you like with more banjo, try this version out from squawkeye on Fiddle Hangout:
Backstep Cindy MP3

May 14, 2011

Apple Blossom

Hello everyone,
I hope to be back and posting with some regularity after my graduation. Now I'm in between jobs, writing articles for journals, and looking to kill time doing stuff like this. We'll see how long it lasts.

In the meantime, here's a tune I haven't posted before called Apple Blossom. As usual there are many versions of this, and I haven't really heard it from my West Virginia circle so if there is some regional affiliation with this tune let me know.

I looked around for a minute to see if any bands had recorded this tune, but then I stumbled across this session from the Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention and I think it's as good as it gets.


I also stumbled across this great version on Fiddle Hangout if you are interested in the more portable variety:
Apple Blossom MP3 by David M. on Fiddle Hangout


May 06, 2011

New Post, Finally: Cajun String Bands

Hello everyone, it's been a while I know. I've been busy trying to do all the requirements needed to graduate with a PhD in Geography. Mission accomplished. Now I actually have time to do stuff like this without feeling guilty and/or getting behind.

What really inspired me to start posting again was a story I ran across on a music blog on NPR. The story asks if Cajun string bands are the next big thing, and cites the success of Lost Bayou Ramblers (who I've posted about before) and other bands like "the Pine Leaf Boys, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Feufollet and the Red Stick Ramblers."

Many of these bands are based in and around Lafayette, Louisiana (pronounce the first "a" as you would taffy, not water, if you don't want to get corrected). What's interesting about this scene is that unlike the recent rise in popularity of Appalachian music in places well beyond its traditional hearth (e.g. the West Coast, New England, major cities like Chicago and Minneapolis, among others), this music is mostly performed by folks of Cajun descent and stays close to its geographical roots.

Since I've posted before about Lost Bayou Ramblers (go check that out in the search feature if you're interested), I'll give some space to the Grammy-nominated Pine Leaf Boys, who play frequent shows and have a ton of media out there.

On their very well-designed website, you can access an MP3, stream tracks from their new album "Back Home," and of course find their touring schedule. If you like to dance and want to experience roots music straight from the source, they're worth checking out.