One of the things I love about Old Time music is that songs are passed along and revitalized over time. In the pop music “business” on the other hand, every lick has to be considered “original”. How many performers have sued one another over the years for steal each other’s tunes? It seems hard to believe when you consider that most pop tunes only have three or four chords to them. With traditional or folk music, the emphasis is on the performance instead, and if one song morphs into another, that’s fine. It’s fine because in folk music we own the songs together, something I really appreciate.
The Indian Creek Delta Boys (featuring the late Garry Harrison) were a band who explored the traditional music of Southern Illinois – a place known as Little Egypt. They went looking for their tradition, looking for old fiddlers and they learned tunes and ways of playing those tunes from primary sources and did a great job of collecting those tunes and sharing them with the rest of us.
Bonaparte’s March is a tune the Indian Creek Delta Boys learned from a fiddler named Harvey “Pappy” Taylor. I like this tune a lot. I learned to play it on clawhammer banjo from Cathy Barton and Dave Para at the Midwest Banjo Camp. Here are the Indian Creek Delta Boys.
Regular visitors to this blog may recall that for several years Tuffy P has been a supporter of Basketeers. From the Basketeers website:
It’s hard to believe that one small idea in the year 2000 to support women leaving the shelter system, would turn into the success it is today: over 3500 volunteers in ten chapters create beautiful baskets to be distributed to 47 Ontario and British Columbia women’s shelters. The continued success of the Basketeers is due entirely to all the people who generously either adopt a basket or contribute to one. Thank you from me and all the women we are able to assist.
Shortly I’ll be loading Tuffy P’s two heaping baskets into the car for delivery. This year, her friend Cathy P will also be delivering two baskets.
Time for a shot of creole button accordion music. I know you’ve been waiting for it….
Here’s Cedric Watson performing Le Soleil est Levé
Mr. Watson is also a fiddler and recently some videos featuring him playing gourd banjo have appeared on the YouTube. Here is Cedric Watson performing the murder ballad Little Sadie…
Here’s another blast from the past. This is an oil painting I made back in the 80s. It’s an oil painting. I don’t recall the exact size – I think it is around 3 feet wide. I don’t have much to say about this painting except that I’ve long been fond of it. This one hung at a friend’s place for several years. I don’t know if he tired of it or what, but at a certain point he gave it back, and I still have this one here at 27th Street. I might have exhibited The Architect in one of a couple studio exhibitions I had in my old store-front studio on Ossington Ave, but then again maybe I didn’t – I’m just not sure now.
I took the dogs out for our after dinner walk this evening as usual. We headed over toward the water filtration plant on the other side of 23rd St. My plan was to walk over to the edge of the hill and see if there was anyone in the leash-free area. There are no lights there and no shelter from the cold winds and lately dog owners have been clearing out early.
The leash-free area was empty. I thought for a second I’d take the dogs down the hill and over to the path by the lake, when I saw a coyote out in the field. It was rooting around in the field and I’m guessing it was mousing. For a brief second, the coyote looked up at me, and then started moving slowly closer to the hill. I turned the dogs around and we jogged back toward the road. I’m happy to avoid any kind of encounters with our dogs and wildlife.
By the time we got to the road, the coyote had emerged at the top of the hill and was a third of the way across the field, coming toward us slowly but with some determination. We crossed 23rd and headed down Iris. Halfway to 25th, Memphis had to stop to pull out the little snowballs that build up between her paw pads. I looked back and the coyote was still in the field but only 15 or 20 feet away from the road.
The dogs were oblivious to this action. If they could smell the coyote, they showed no sign of it. Maybe the wind was in the wrong direction for that. They were only concerned that we were heading home so fast instead of completing our usual full walk. The coyote looked pretty scrawny except for its tail but it was hard to tell if it was healthy or not. This was not the first time I’ve seen coyotes in the park or the filtration plant lands – but it was the first time one followed me.
Of course there are different types of coyotes. Here is Guy Clark singing about the other kind…