Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss

That was Born Old — Paul Gartner on banjo, Doug Van Gundy on fiddle

Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss is also known as Western Country or Susananna Gal. It’s one of my favourite Old Time tunes no matter what you call it. Here are some different takes on the same tune…

Here’s me trying to play it (about a year ago). It’s funny watching this now because I play the same tune differently now, faster and more freely, but here it is…

Finally here’s a version by the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. I might have shared this one before. These guys do a really nice job on this one….


Pity the Fool

Our houseguest, Anthony Stagg from planet Chicago, has turned our handy Mr. T in your Pocket into an instrument of sorts. Presenting the Mr. T in your Pocket Stagg Remix AKA Stagg vs Mr T

Songs for your local log-driver

I was talking with my friend (and current houseguest) Anthony yesterday about Wade Hemsworth and how a couple of his tunes, such as the Long Driver’s Waltz and the Blackfly Song seem like they have been part of the Canadian experience for a very long time. Maybe they’re embedded into our genetic code by now. I think that has a lot to do with the National Film Board shorts created around these tunes. Here’s the Long Driver’s Waltz. I’ll bet most of my Canadian friends are very familiar with it, even if they don’t know Wade Hemsworth wrote it and Kate and Anna McGarrigle who performed it.

How many songs can there be about being a log-driver? As far as I know there are two, although maybe there are others I don’t know about. The other one is also a great tune. It’s by Mac Beattie and was recorded with his Ottawa Valley Melodiers.

I love these tunes about a Canadian way of life from another time. Who writes tunes for a resource-based economy these days?

CORRECTION…of course there is a 3rd log-driver’s song, The Log Jam Song (Whitewater). Here’s Mr. Hemswoth…

We interrupt regular programming….

….for a brief dance interlude. Hop into my Tardis and let’s go find Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Groove me.

Saturday morning Boogie

Here are the North Mississippi Allstars…

And let’s go back in time to 1953 and Little Junior Parker and the Blue Flames…..Feel so Good….

And a taste of John Lee Hooker, live in Montreal in 1980…

Just for fun, let’s include Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Shotgun Boogie…

Finally, let’s go out with Clifton Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana band….Shake it don’t break it. I love the accordion in this boogie…

Johnny Can’t Dance

It’s about time I shared some button accordion music around this joint, don’t you think?

Johnny Can’t Dance

Ray Abshire

or how about Clifton Chenier?

I think the reason he can’t dance is he’s got a paper in his shoe… here’s the late Boozee Chavis

Harrington Valley Two-Step

Often when we talk about old time music traditions, the conversation is about players from West Virginia or Virginia or North Carolina, the Appalachians, the Blue Ridge and so on, and for some people it’s all about music from certain counties or one side of the mountain vs the other side.

When I was at the Midwest Banjo Camp in the spring I was introduced to another old time tradition – from “Little Egypt” in Southern Illinois, and I started listening to players like Garry Harrison and Chirps Smith. Aha, old time music is everywhere.

Here in Canada, it’s been my experience that many people are unaware of our own old time traditions, from Cape Breton, from Quebec, from the Ottawa Valley, and the fantastic Metis fiddle tradition in the west.

Here is a taste of Metis fiddle – it’s a video I found on YouTube featuring the wonderful fiddler Patti Lamoureux (aka Patti Kusturok). When I hear her music, I just want it to go on and on and never stop.

A Honky Tonk Sunday

While everybody else watches football today, let’s you and I go back in time together to 1966 and listen to Buck Owens and Don Rich and the rest of the Buckaroos performing My Heart Skips a Beat. Turn up the twang, friends and listen to some Country & Western.