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Thread: Sarah Armstrong

  1. #1
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Sarah Armstrong

    In the 'Whats your new fiddle tune' thread, Fatt-Dad mentioned Sarah Armstrong.
    Here is a PDF " The Hill Country Tunes of SW Penn." by Samuel Preston Bayard. Published in 1944. Sarah Armstrongs tune is actually " The Old Reel ".

    http://www.nettally.com/fiddler/sara_armstrong.pdf

    Some of the names of the tunes I just love, "The ears and snout's of America" and "Maggots in the sheeps hide"
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

    "I plan to live forever or die trying" Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    Mandogenerator Mike Black's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    I learned that tune about eight years ago from Russ Barenberg. He learned it from James Bryan and didn't know what the name of it was. So for a long time I called it James Bryan's tune. Then after talking to James Bryan about it, he said that he and Carl Jones named it Sarah Armstrong's Tune since it was an untitled tune in the Hill County Tunes book that Sarah Armstrong played.

    We also play Snouts and Ears of America at our local jams. Another great Sarah Armstrong tune!

  3. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Aha, so there may be more then one " Sarah Armstrong " tune floating about. I think the one that I play may be different from the one that Fatt-Dad playes.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

    "I plan to live forever or die trying" Groucho Marx

  4. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Mike, that is an interesting link to James Bryan and Carl Jones. Back in the mid 90's James and Carl recorded "Two Pictures" in a studio they set up on a friend's farm outside of Oxford NC. Tim and Brenda Currin are close friends of mine and they have recounted the special time they had while James and Carl lived with them while recording. I know they played a bit of music together and I would bet that our group learned the tune through Tim and Brenda. We are playing tonight and Tim and Brenda may be coming down to play with us so I can ask them.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

    "I plan to live forever or die trying" Groucho Marx

  5. #5
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    what a nice music book! I looked at the "Old Reel" and it seems close to what I learned for "Sarah Armstrong's Tune." Then again, I really don't read music in the classic sense. I enjoyed this book though!

    Thanks!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '25 A, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5

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    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    There's some other gems in that book played by Sarah Armstrong.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

  7. #7
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    It seems that a fiddle player named Todd Clewell recorded a CD of Sarah Armstrong's tunes.....

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/toddclewell
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

    "I plan to live forever or die trying" Groucho Marx

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  9. #8
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    It seems that a fiddle player named Todd Clewell recorded a CD of Sarah Armstrong's tunes.....

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/toddclewell
    that's just too cool. anybody listened to it?

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '25 A, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5

  10. #9
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    No, but I have it ordered.

    You can hear tunes from the Bayard collectin hear on the CD "Up the Batten House", by Mark Tamsula and Richard Withers. It is wonderful stuff well played.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

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    funny....

  11. #10
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    So yea, I have the Clewell CD and I have the Bayards Hill Country book. And I have been having a time!!
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

    The entire staff
    funny....

  12. #11
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Thanks for bumping this one up Jeff. I missed it first time and hadn't seen it. I've been playing Sarah Armstrong's reel at Jams and didn't have a clue about any of the story behind it. Now I've got the back-story and a bucket-load of tunes too!
    Thanks to all here.
    Eoin



    "You can't trust folk songs. They always sneak up on you."
    Granny Weatherwax

  13. #12
    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Hey Charley, how are you doing? Interesting thread here. I learned a version (by ear, and memory!) from a clawhammer player friend that grew up in the Durham area and now lives in western NC. I'm a little shy to link to my version here as I can't tell how it compares to what's written in Hill Country Tunes, and I've played a fair bit with Carl but never this tune with him. Such is the organic nature of this sort of thing I guess:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcWYbOFj9Kc

    I'm playing in the key of D which I believe The Old Reel is also written in.

    Z

    EDIT--I just listened to the sample of Todd Clewell and while my version sounds similar wow does it pale in comparison!
    Member since 2003!

  14. #13
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Hey Zack, I like your version Quite a bit. I need to revisit the Todd Clewell recording.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

    "I plan to live forever or die trying" Groucho Marx

  15. #14
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    Z, I like it!

    I do the B part a little differently - a little more simple I think. I like your verson.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

    The entire staff
    funny....

  16. #15
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sarah Armstrong

    My favorite version is that done by the Orpheus Supertones. Oh my.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

    The entire staff
    funny....

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