Tag Archives: Daily Dose

The Rattlesnake Song

Here’s Cathy Barton and Dave Para. I had a chance to hear them play quite a bit at Midwest Banjo Camp last June. They sound great together, and I really enjoy Cathy’s banjo style on that wonderful old Ode resinator banjo of hers.

A Fool Such as I (2 ways)

A Fool Such as I is a country tune written by Bill Trader in 1952. It was a hit for Hank Snow the following year. Here’s Hank and the Rainbow Ranch Boys. This tune has been very well recorded, and why not. It’s fabulous! Lefty Frizzel played it. So did the Pavarotti of the Plains, Don Walser. Handsome Ned played it. Even Bob Dylan recorded this one. Here’s Hank Snow and the Rainbow Ranch Boys.

Now for a a much different take on this tune, listen to Dean Martin. Very cool.


It’s Mighty Dark to Travel

Time to change the cat litter and I’m procrastinating (wouldn’t you?) by listening to some old time selections on the YouTube machine. Here are the South Carolina Broadcasters – I can tell you they are a seriously infectious group to hear live – performing It’s Mighty Dark to Travel in an informal setting….

Shortenin’ Bread

Shortenin’ Bread is a tune from the turn of the century – the 19th to the 20th that is. I grew up thinking of it as a children’s song but I’m rethinking that.

Check out this excellent performance by Chicken Train, filmed by a banjo picker named Dean Barber at Clifftop 2012.

That is some top-rate Old Time music in my books!

Here are some buskers called the Water Tower Bucket Boys playing it in Seattle back in 2009…check out the dancers!

Finally, just for the fun of it, here are the Collins Kids on Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party…


Johnny Ma Cabrille – Johnny Billygoat

A little mid-week party music – Johnny Ma Cabrille – Johnny Billygoat by Boozoo Chavis – just because I know you’re missing that steady flow of accordion music around this joint.

Red Prairie Dawn

Since I started learning to play clawhammer banjo, YouTube has been an incredibly handy tool. When I want to learn a tune, I like to listen to different versions of it, and fortunately there is a ton of Old Time music available.  It’s hard to imagine a time when the only way to learn this music was from other local players. I suppose the exchange is that regional identity gets washed into the mix.

I learned about the late Garry Harrison at the Midwest Banjo Camp in June. Not only was he a gatherer of great Old Time music from Illinois, he also wrote some excellent tunes. I’ve been playing one of them quite a bit lately – a tune called Dull Chisel, and now I want to learn another of his tunes, Red Prairie Dawn. So tonight I checked out some performances online.

Here are Mike Witcher – Dobro and  Grant Gordy – Guitar…

And here’s a really fast version by the Foghorn Stringband…

And one more, with John Jewell and Andrew Lovejoy…


Don’t let your deal go down….

From time to time, I just need to hear  Doc Watson.

Here he is playing Don’t let your Deal go Down, from 1991, with Kirk Sutphin on fiddle and Mike Seeger on banjo….