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Articles in the Fiddle History Category

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[Dec 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Cripple Creek

by Michael Mendelson Cripple Creek as played by Benny Thomason; Transciption by Michael Mendelson. Printable Version  

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[Jul 2011 | 6 Comments | ]
Playing Music the Hungarian Way

by Devan Wardrop-Saxton              We have been playing the same note for what feels like at least forty-five minutes: open E, over and over and over again. To my surprise, sustaining the lurching, rolling rhythm central to Hungarian folk music is taking all of my concentration, as is trying to ignore the classical training that [...]

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[Jun 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Benny Thomasson and the Texas Fiddling Tradition: Part Three

Reprinted from: JEMF Quarterly Volume 10, Part 3 (Autumn 1974) #35 by Michael Mendelson To get an idea of some of the general features of Texas fiddling, and Benny’s fiddling in particular, I have included a transcription of his playing. 1 “Cripple Creek” was chosen as it is a well known tune, and can thus [...]

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[Apr 2011 | One Comment | ]
Benny Thomasson and the Texas Fiddling Tradition: Part Two

by Michael Mendelson Reprinted from: JEMF Quarterly Volume 10, Part 3 (Autumn 1974) #35 As Charles Faurot notes, in Texas, “Almost any reason will serve as an excuse for a fiddle contest…” whether it be a rodeo, anniversary of a town founding, St. Patrick’s Day or a “Yamboree”— a yam harvest festival .14 As these [...]

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[Feb 2011 | 2 Comments | ]

By Tim Woodbridge 1942 found Don Messer enjoying the benefits of his relocation to Charlottetown P.E.I.  As part of his arrangement with CFCY, Messer had gained a base of operations with office space and a studio at the station.  His band, the Islanders had become a tight, cohesive unit that proved extremely popular on radio [...]

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[Feb 2011 | One Comment | ]
Benny Thomasson and the Texas Fiddling Tradition: Part One

by Michael Mendelson Reprinted from: JEMF Quarterly Volume 10, Part 3 (Autumn 1974) #35 In June, 1922, two men, one in full cowboy regalia, the other in Civil War uniform, came into the Victor Talking Machine recording studios in New York City seeking an audition.  Probably, as the story goes, just to get rid of [...]

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[Dec 2010 | One Comment | ]
Musings on the Evolution of Jazz Violin: Part Five Capturing the Imagination

by Anthony Barnett It must be pretty obvious where my original, and some of my later, allegiances lie so I shall not dwell too much on them except to say that in searching for players who truly capture the imagination I do not seek a new Stuff Smith— or Eddie South—or Venuti or Grappelli or [...]

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[Oct 2010 | Comments Off | ]
“Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go?” The Split Personality of Cotton-Eyed Joe” (Part III)

by Howard Marshall Continued from the previous issue of Fiddle Sessions    The printed music {of Cotton Eyed Joe} appears in numerous fiddle tune books. Christeson has an unusual version in his Old-Time Fiddler’s Repertory, with several phrases reminiscent to the 1940s western swing song.[vi]  Ira Ford included a version in his classic 1940 book substantially [...]

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[Aug 2010 | Comments Off | ]
“Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go?” The Split Personality of Cotton-Eyed Joe” (Part II)

by Howard Marshall              The version of Cotton Eyed Joe considered the older fiddle tune is sometimes associated with Appalachian and Southern fiddling due to its appearance in 1926 on a recording by Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. The celebrated north Georgia string band recorded a series of seven 78 rpm records (fourteen sides) [...]

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[Aug 2010 | 7 Comments | ]
Musings on the Evolution of Jazz Violin Part Four: Bop to Hop

  by Anthony Barnett  SP What do you think of the effect of pickups on jazz violin’s acceptance and whether it is a positive, negative or neutral trend? Any opinions on the     1. current crop of pickups?     2. acoustic vs. solid body instruments?     3. appearance of 5 string models? AB I am [...]