Week #186 ~ Elk River Blues

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Elk River Blues. I'm not familiar with this tune. It appears to have been composed by Ernie Carpenter, a West Virginia fiddler.

    Here are some You Tube Videos that I found:

    I found this notation.

    If anyone can come up with more links, that would be great!
  2. WayneLetang
    cool, nice simple tune to play....
  3. WayneLetang
  4. WayneLetang
    this plays it well, http://www.nashvilleoldtime.org/Tune...er%20Blues.pdf
    here is a link I posted earlier
  5. nanaimo
    This is one for my to learn list! Very pretty tune - great version Wayne. . Love the cello and banjo version! Took me back to my 30's when I tried to learn how to play the cello.
  6. luurtie
    It has been a while sinds I posted something, here's my version.

  7. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Nice playing Wayne and luurtie. Here's mine on the octave and friends. I used GDGD tuning for the octave, the mandolin and the fiddle.

  8. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    T:Elk River Blues
    C:OldTime - by Ernie Carpenter - West Virginia fiddler
    z4 zG A/B/d | \
    |: "C"e2 e2 ze/f/ ed B/A/B | \
    "G"d2 d2 zA/A/ Bd | \
    "C"e2 e2 ze/f/ ed B/A/G | \
    "Am"A2 A2 "D"zD EG | \
    "Am"A2 A2 zA/B/ AG E/D/E | \
    "G"G2 [G2B,2] zD EG | \
    "Am"A2 A2 zA/B/ AG E/D/E | \
    "G"G2 [G2B,2] zG A/B/d :| "G"G2 [G2B,2] z4 | \
  9. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Very nice playing WayneLetang.

    Luurtie, long time no see and it's great to hear you play again!

    Great job as always Mr. Hansen...
  10. carjobo
    What a pretty song! Thanks for the posts - you all are inspiring this beginner...
  11. luurtie
    I have a lot of catching up to do. I watched some of your video's David Hansen. They're all incredible! And that wheatstone concertina, wow I wish I had one of those, it's such a nice sound. I shall try, and use more instruments next time
  12. WayneLetang
    thanks Michael, the crickets in the background on the gentleman make it downright great.. I posted Elk river blues with a video of me playing it and with notation as a suggestion a while , found it easy to memorize , what it is with some tunes they just stick in your head. Where some you can play a thousand and one times and not remember them .. I only use a blackberry playbook to record, seems good enough..
  13. WayneLetang
    this what I posted earlier... Wayne
  14. jonny250
    well played guys! David i like that Octave - it seems like you get a good sound out of it.
    Here is my attempt, sorry about the audio being out of sync with the video I struggled with the computer having a mind of its own this week.
    I played guitar track first, then banjo chord based picking and then a mandolin backup before finally adding the banjo noodle/lead.
    A few bum notes in there - whoops!

    Can anyone suggest a good source for info on up the neck stuff to make it more 'interesting'? or any ideas... thanks.

  15. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    I'm really enjoying all the submissions for this tune. I had never heard it before and the notation looks tricky with the time changes. This is definitely a "learn-by-ear" for me!
  16. mikeyes
    That tune is very familiar, I think it's from a song whose name I can't remember. Something about "If I were a bird" (or "sparrow") and "to my love I'd fly." I think the narrative is about lost love or a lover far away and wanting to be with them (as if that were unique.) It will bug me until I can remember the words

    I just remembered: "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies"

  17. GKWilson
    Nice 'noodling' Jonny. Very soothing as I'm looking out the window at the rain.
  18. mculliton123
    Here is the story behind the tune from Fiddler's Companion:
    Composed by old-time fiddler Ernie Carpenter. According to the booklet accompanying Carpenter’s LP, the story behind the tune is one of a difficult adjustment to a forced change in Ernie’s life. He had worked most of his life for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in Clarksburg, prior to retiring in 1972 to his home in Braxton County, West Virginia. He was a regular visitor during his working years to his homeplace on the Elk River, and was witness to the planning and construction of the Sutton Dam by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the river during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Unfortunately, this resulted in the flooding of his boyhood home and the surrounding area, despite the efforts of himself and neighbors to forestall the project through a lobbyist. He refused the government’s initial offer for his land (they didn’t offer him anything for his house), and took the case to court. He was able to gain a marked increase in the money he eventually was paid through this process, although had to pay legal fees out of his pocket. He stayed in his Elk River homestead while the dam was being constructed, even though most of his neighbors had already left. Workmen blocked the roads in and out of the area, but Carpenter found alternate routes until they too were closed off. “I was the last person out of there,” he said,” I went ahead then and tore the old place town and brought it up here. Part of its in this house.” Of the tune, he remarked: “I was sittin’ here one day, an’ I had the blues. I reckon as bad as anybody could, thinkin’ about my old homeplace up on the Elk River. I started sawin’ on the fiddle an’ that’s what I came up with.”
  19. jonny250
    Thanks Gary.
    Here is the info from the 'littlest birds' website: http://www.littlestbirds.net/lyrics.html its the 3rd video that Barbara posted above, fits well with what Michael posted above:

    Elk River Blues
    Music by Ernie Carpenter
    Words by Sharon Martinson

    You dam my river
    You flood my farm
    You dam my river
    You flood my home
    I've got no other place I can go to
    So forever will I roam.

    The water's rising
    The birds are flying
    They're trying to get
    To higher ground
    I've got no other place I can go to
    So forever will I roam.

    *We took this land
    From all it’s people
    We took these people
    From their land
    They’ve got no other
    Place they can go to
    So forever will they roam
    *new, unrecorded verse

    Sharon: Some friends in Oregon played this tune for me and I fell in love with it. I love the minor, haunting melody. The song struck even more of a chord for me when I dug up the story behind it. Ernie Carpenter was a farmer in West Virginia. The Army Corp of Engineers decided to dam the Elk River, flooding the valley where’s Ernie’s family had farmed. Ernie wrote this tune, watching his home disappear. He spent his last years rambling around, never at home again. I hope he doesn’t mind that I found words, and changed the tune just a bit. It is a bittersweet story, but it made me also acknowledge that all of this land was taken from the people who lived here before me. This song dedicated to all people who are forcibly removed from their homes. I recorded this on my grandpa’s 1800’s Washburn banjo—my first banjo ever.
  20. luurtie
    Wel Mikeyes, I've played that video at least 4 times en put It on my facebook to share it with my friends. It's got the same warmth and feeling that Andy Irvin gave me when he played "as I roved out" with Planxty in 1979 (youtube). It's just so wonderful!
  21. laura809
    I am impressed with the variations that people have been posting for this. My version is pretty straight forward, but I am happy just to get something posted this week.
  22. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Wow! Great tune. Gotta learn this.
  23. luurtie
    Nice one Laura, it sounds a little jazzy this way!
  24. jonny250
    Sounds good Laura
  25. SMH
    OK - I have been mostly lurking for the last year (started playing about 19 months ago); only posing a couple of times. I challenged myself to just once post a video the same week as the song, even with some flubs. So here goes.


  26. GKWilson
    That sounds good and picked very cleanly Sean. Very nice first post.
    That's the version I liked too. I stole it from Trey up above. It's going to
    be one of my around the campfire go to's.
    Well, now it's back to the turkey, stuffin, taters n yams - yum.
    A Happy Thanksgiving to all.
  27. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Surprise! A video from me! On my recent trip to Austin, I took my Collings to the factory, where they resurfaced the frets, replaced the nut and bridge, adjusted the truss rod, and got her back to factory specs! I'm very happy!

  28. GKWilson
    Glad to see the patient made it through and came out good as new.
    And, good to see you again Barbara.
  29. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Barbara, your playing is just great! The Collings sounds wonderful too. It's amazing the difference a good setup can make to an instrument.
  30. nanaimo
    Very nice Barbara. I always enjoy your videos. You make it look so simple - clean and relaxed.
  31. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great tune and great work from all of you.
    Barbara, nice playing with your 'new' mando. Why did your mandolin need such a major refurbishing. Have you played so much or is that just normal wear?
    I have been working on this tune for a while. Tom R., whom I met in Galax, VA last year, graciously recorded a backup track for me. Have been struggling to do justice to his level of playing:

  32. sgarrity
    Very nice Manfred!!
  33. OldSausage
    Excellent version, Manfred, really well done.
  34. Marcelyn
    That's beautiful, Manfred. Those instruments work really well together.
  35. luurtie
    Wow manfred, a very good version! A pleasure to listen to, I like the way you played tremeloes.
  36. jonny250
    Its a lovely tune and you played that really sweetly! i enjoyed listening to it, thanks!
  37. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks for these extremely kind words, guys (and girls :-) )
  38. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Wow, Manfred, I almost missed this one! You and Tom R. sound great together. Well done.
  39. Mike O'Connell
    Mike O'Connell
    Super job, Manfred. Your balance between mandolin and guitar is perfect. It's always a pleasure to listen to your posts. Thanks for sharing.
  40. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Here's our crack at this old one. A sad story, this tune.
  41. GKWilson
    Very nice as always Steve and Dawn.
    Thanks for bringing this thread back up.
    I guess I forgot this song as quickly as I learned it.
    Time to bring it back to hand and mind.
  42. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    This is a great duet. The mandolin and guitar both sound stunningly beautiful. Thanks
  43. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Thanks guys. We appreciate it. This is a great tune.
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