A Dose of Hank Snow

Sometimes I just need a double-shot of Hank Snow. Here he is performing Art Scammell’s masterpiece, Squid Jiggin’ Grounds. This one’s for my Newfie friends, you know who you are.

And I did say double-shot. Here’s Music Makin’ Mama from Memphis

Cumberland Gap

Wet evening around here. My walk with the Newfs this evening was shorter than usual. Neither the dogs nor I were interested in walking around outside for long. This seemed like a good evening to  sit back and learn a new tune on the banjo.

Perhaps I should say learn an old tune, because the one I decided to work on – Cumberland Gap – has been around for a while. It was first recorded in the 20s but it may have been played back in the late 1800s.  Cumberland Gap is a pass in the Appalachian Mountains.

There are many versions of the tune, and there is even a specialty banjo tuning known as Cumberland Gap tuning. I was working on a version in D – that is, with my banjo tuned to double C tuning, with a capo on the 2nd fret.

Here are some of the different takes on this tune I’ve selected from YouTube.

I really like this performance by Frank Fairfield…

Clifton Hicks does a great job on this tune too. He uses his thumb and index finger to pick the banjo rather than playing clawhammer…

Now for something completely different, check out Bad Bad Whiskey…


Ottawa Valley Hoedown

It’s about time I featured a tune by Ottawa Valley fiddle great Reg Hill. Mr. Hill was known both as a great fiddler on his own and as the fiddle player for the Mac Beattie’s group, the Ottawa Valley Melodiers. Here he is playing the Buck Fever Rag.

Train Wreck at Almonte

This tune by Mac Beattie and his Ottawa Valley Melodiers is all about the 1942 train wreck at Almonte Ontarie, when a train transporting Canadian troops drove into an Ottawa-bound passenger train that was waiting at the station.

Honky Tonk Morning

Let’s take a little trip to Bakersfield…..Buck Owens and the Buckeroos performing Buck’s Polka

Wouldn’t if be fun if everybody dressed like Buck Owens? Just imagine going to the grocery store and all the cashiers and the customers have these Nudie suits happening.