Don’t try this at home kids, and remember old time music is addictive and may be dangerous to your health.
….although many recount stories of famous train wrecks and engineers and so on. I found a great version of Railroading through the Rocky Mountains – a wonderful fiddle tune - on the YouTube machine. Here are Hopping Jenny.
Of course if you’re not into Old Time Music but you still want to take an imaginary trip through the Rocky’s, you can do it by building a model railroad…
Hell Among the Yearlings has to be one of the best song titles in Old Time music. It’s also a great fiddle tune. Here are the Mountain Boomers String Band at JC’s Fish and BBQ
Soldier’s Joy is well known as an Old Time fiddle tune, but I read that it goes way back, possibly to the 1700s in Scotland and Ireland. It has a fantastically catchy melody. I can tell you it’s a fun one to play on clawhammer banjo.
Here’s the Flying Folk Army, having a great time with it…
Now here’s Doc Watson with David Holt on clawhammer…
Soldier’s Joy is also a great square dance tune….the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys
Finally, here’s Fred Coon with a lovely solo clawhammer version
Mississippi Sawyer is an old fiddle tune that has been around since the mid-19th Century, but I don’t know much about its origins. I’ve only heard it as an instrumental and I don’t know if there are any lyrics kicking around for this one. I know a sawyer is someone who cuts wood but I read that Mark Twain describes sawyers as treacherous snags in the river that can spell disaster for a boat.
Here it is on fiddle performed by Rex McGee
Here’s Cathy Moore on clawhammer, messing with this one. Ms Moore posted a number of videos quite a while back then disappeared from the YouTube machine. I like her playing a lot.
Here’s a lovely version performed by Annie and Mac on guitar and clawhammer.
And one more…..a version featuring the hammered dulcimer…Ken Ward and Bob Bence
Here are The Shots performing Hop High Ladies, just because….
I love this tune. You will too. Enjoy your Daily Dose…
Peter Knupfer along with Joel Mabus on Mandolin
And now Hillar Bergman and James Carr
That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Finally, here’s a version that has accordion and didgeridoo…and by God there’s a slide trombone in there too. Careful Now!
Soldier’s Joy is an old tune that has been performed in every way imaginable and recorded countless times. It’s one I enjoy playing on my triple row button accordion. Here’s some interesting versions I found on YouTube.
This version makes me want to have a couple beers, immediately if not sooner.
Here’s a tasty version by the Crawdad Wranglers
And on clawhammer banjo…
Around here, I’ll use almost any excuse to feature Doc Watson
Orange Blossom Special
I couldn’t post a series of train songs without getting around to the Orange Blossom Special. There are about 500 Squillion versions of this song, and almost all of them are pretty good. It’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Let’s start with Buck Owens and his Buckeroos, featuring Don Rich. You know a lot of bands these days go up to the stage wearing jeans and old t-shirts as if it really doesn’t matter. The Buckeroos on the other hand, they understood the value of excellent outfits. For this video, you’ll have to click and then click again to watch it directly from YouTube. The YouTube mandarins have rejected my attempt to embed this baby. I bet YouTube mandarins don’t wear awesome outfits like Buck, Rich and the boys.
Here’s Vassar Clements with the Del McCoury Band with loads of fiddling friends. The fiddle player’s national anthem.
And now, Johnny Cash at San Quentin
And finally, here’s the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain… I love these guys.
I know some folks are mighty particular about the way this tune is played. Feel free to post your favourite version in the comments.