Trouble in Mind is a song that has been around the block a time or two. It was written by a jazz piano player named Richard M. Jones and recorded first in 1924 by Themla La Vizzo (vocals) and Jones on piano.
Here’s an old-time version by the Locust Honey String Band…
Jerry Lee Lewis does a great version….
It works as a Western Swing tune too. Here are Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
And it’s a pure blues…Big Bill Broonzy
I love this performance of Old Bunch of Keys by Chicken Train. These guys really cook. Found this on the YouTube machine posted by Dean Barber.
If not, it’s about time I did. He’s got a lot happening if you ask me. Here is Pokey Lafarge with his very hot band performing Sadie Green…
and how about Going back to Arkansas, featuring Dom Flemons, who you may know from the original line-up of the Carolina Chocolate Drops…
…and finally a solo performance of one of his own tunes, Josephine
I was surprised when I came across this video. I know Cedric Watson as a button accordion and fiddle player. Turns out he plays banjo too. Here he is playing a gourd banjo.
Here is Cedric Watson playing button accordion…
I’ve been listening David Bromberg’s music quite a lot lately. I really appreciate how eclectic he is, rambling all over the music landscape. He’s a wonderful guitarist and he plays other instruments such as mandolin as well. Here’s a live performance of You’ve got to Mean it Too, which is on his Only Slightly Mad recording. What a beautiful tune. This is from eTown, shared from the YouTube.
I highly recommend Mr. Bromberg’s recordings, and particularly his last two, Only Slightly Mad and Use me.
I love this tune. Here’s Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman
How about a version of this one on pipes? Here are Jerry O’Sullivan and Tim Cummings.
And finally here’s Mark Gilston performing it on mountain dulcimer.
There are new “old-time” tunes written from time to time, but many players prefer to find their own way to play songs that have been with us for a long time. Why write new songs where there are plenty of good ones around to play already? One of the things I love about old-time music – and by “old-time” I’m referring to mountain music or hillbilly music or Appalachian string-band music – is that most players know many of the same tunes but play them in any number of ways, all within a similar structural framework. It ain’t what ya do but the way how ya do it, or something like that.
Cumberland Gap is a good example. I’ve posted a few different versions on this blog in the past. Here are some more. Each of these performances is unique and yet it’s the same old song.
Here are Annie and Mac…
And here is Tommy Jarrell playing it on fretless banjo. This one has vocals as well…
Now let’s hear Wayne Shrubsall (banjo) and Bruce Thomson (fiddle) at the Albuquerque Folk Festival, June 2011
And finally, just to put things in perspective, here are Flatt & Scruggs with a bluegrass attack on the tune….
Some people prefer this bluegrass approach, and while I like it too, I’ll take an old-time performance with clawhammer and fiddle over a bluegrass band just about any day of the week.
When I was a kid, my father liked to sing bits and pieces of songs around the house. He never remembered whole songs – mostly just choruses with an occasional verse. One of the tunes he like to sing was My Blue Heaven. After I moved out on my own, I didn’t hear that song for a really long time but the next time I heard “When whipperwills call and evening is nigh…” it came right back.
Here are Jerron Paxton and Meredith Axelrod doing a fine job with it in what appears to be somebody’s kitchen. The jug is a nice touch.
Here are Law and Hargreaves…
Clifton Hicks does a great job of this one on solo banjo…
This is another very old tune that goes back to Civil War days in America. It’s been very well recorded over the years.
The Yellow Rose of Texas was a Confederate Civil War song that somehow or another evolved into a square dance tune. The two “versions” of the tune share a title, but are really strikingly different.
Here’s Bob Wills….
And now here’s Cathy Fink playing it on clawhammer banjo.
The adventures this song has had!