Week #217 ~ Cripple Creek

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week was a close one! The winner by one vote, is Cripple Creek, which was submitted as both a Bluegrass and Old Time tune.

    I found this, called "The Evolution of a Fiddle Tune: Cripple Creek" which has several different standard notations for the tune.

    Here's a great page on the tune from The Beijing Pickers, with a number of videos on different instruments.

    Here's a link to the tune in the Library of Congress.

    This is the first time I've found this resource... The Old Town School of Folk Music ~ Fiddle Tune Archive. I didn't explore it completely, but seems to have several variations of the tunes, in mp3 format, it seems.

    Here is some abc and standard notation on abcnotation.com

    And another from abcnotation.com

    Here's a much longer version from the same site.
  2. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    One of my favorite old time bands...

  3. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Here is my offering of the week. I'm not sure what style this is but it's certainly not bluegrass.
    Played on an Eastman 504 and ToM Buchanan irish Bouzouki tuned GDAD and with a capo on the 7th fret.

  4. laura809
    That's a great start James. You made me want to pull out my OM.
  5. jonny250
    nicely done James that bouzouki sounds like it probably has some good sound down the neck too?
  6. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Thanks folks
    Tom Buchanan is a local luthier who makes lovely instruments. I have a tenor mandola of his as well which i could have used here but it is in even more need of new strings than the bouzouki. His main feature is the use of a fixed guitar style bridge which apparently gives a lot of sustain. He even puts these on mandolins which to my mind is a step too far and robs you of the ability to correct for intonation issues changing between different guages of strings.
  7. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    I've recently bought a Mountain Dulcimer and when I worked out that Cripple Creek played in the key of A on the mandolin transposes to D on the tenor Mandola it seemed a good opportunity for the first outing of the DAD tuned dulcimer. So here is take 2 played on my Tom Buchanan tenor Mandola tuned CGDA and a Hora Mountain Dulcimer, made in Romania. Hora make folk instruments, mainly of the mandolin family, which are basic instruments but good value, and ideal for a dulcimer beginner.
    I'm hoping that the fact that the mandola is in need of a new set of strings is going to add to the mellow old time feel

  8. Marcelyn
    That's excellent, James. Your dulcimer and mandola sound beautiful together. And I'm not sure if it's due to the old strings, but you definitely nailed the mellow old time feel you were looking for. Have you heard the CD Appalachian Mandolin and Dulcimer by Butch Baldassari and David Schnaufer? It's one of my favorites. Your arrangement has a lot in common with the tunes on the CD.
  9. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Thanks Marcelyn, I've not heard the CD but will track it down. I'm a neewbie to the world of the dulcimer and as you can imagine they are not very common in the UK. When I first heard one I fell in love with the sweet mellow sound and I knew straight off that it would be a good partner for the mandolin.
  10. katygrasslady
    Mine is an old timey version.
  11. luurtie
    Nice Job James, I love the mountain dulcimer you play there. I thought of buying one myself after watching some youtube video's from Stephen Seifert. You did also play very well Katy!
    I bought a banjo a couple of weeks ago, this is my first recording including a banjo... Don't be too critical...

  12. woodenfingers
    James - I loved both versions. Great sounding bouzouki and well played. Also, the dulcimer sounds wonderful, you picked that up fast...

    Katy - I loved the rhythm you got. I'll have to try to figure out what you are doing there.

    Luurtie - Wonderful rendition as usual. The banjo was great and like James you picked it up fast. Is it a tenor banjo?
  13. luurtie
    thanx for the compliment Bob, I'm playing on a 5 string open back banjo. It's a Rover RB-30. A wonderful beginnersbanjo...
  14. katygrasslady
    I always wanted to learn clawhammer style banjo, but never had one to play with. This is closest I can come with a mandolin.
  15. Marcelyn
    Welcome, Katy. I like your old time rhythm for this tune.
    Love the banjo, Hendrik. You're a quick study.
  16. laura809
    Two very nice versions from you James. I liked the dulcimer. There were some very nice slides and a great rhythmic feel in your version Katy. Luurtie, that was pretty impressive to have the melody line worked out on the banjo after just getting it, and I liked the little tag at the end.
  17. luurtie
    That's a jolly version Laura, nice one... Something completely different... Cripple Creek is one of the first tunes most people start playing on the banjo, what a coïncidence. Anyway, thanx for the compliment
  18. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Here's the Saw Mountain String Band playing Cripple Creek. Marcy sang, played fiddle and started us off with the jaw's harp. Jeff played 5 string banjo and I sang and played mandolin, guitar and bass (but not all at the same time.) As always, we exchanged music tracks via the internet. Pictures are from the Library of Congress digital collection. The lyrics make this song a real tongue twister!

  19. luurtie
    Good work! This is exactly how it should sound! I love it.... Marcy, you certainly know how to sing this song, I had no idea...
  20. laura809
    Excellent job! Marcelyn's vocal style was made for this tune. The jaw harp was really unique and the mandolin breaks were hot!
  21. Marcelyn
    Thanks Hendrik and Laura. Yeah, the jaw harp is unique and only slightly dangerous to the player. I switched to the Vietnamese style called a dan moi and that's probably why I still have all my teeth intact.
    Another great video, Michael, and I'll second Laura's comment on the awesome mandolin breaks.
  22. OldSausage
    Sterling work there from the Saw Mountain String Band. I can't really follow that, but here's a gentle little version on mando and guitar:

  23. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
  24. Marty Jacobson
    Marty Jacobson
    Great Skillet Lickers vibe there, Michael, Marcy and Jeff. David, your mellow version is very slick, too.
  25. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Very nice O.S. I can't really follow your version either but here goes anyway; short and sweet.
  26. jonny250
    Nice playing Katygrass, Luurtie, Maudlin & Laura! I also very much enjoyed listening to the saw mountain stringband - great job David i enjoyed your version and it was useful to see how you played it.

    it looks like i ran out of time on this tune this week - so here is one of the 'takes' that i was going to bin - i treated it as a bit of an excercise [i'm working on my scales]. ideally i would like to play it through starting on different fingers each time - one day
  27. Marcelyn
    What an inspiring practice idea Jonny. Thanks for the challenge.
    David, that's an incredible version and such a nice mandolin. Really fine guitar playing as well.
    It's a fun variation you demonstrated, Maudlin.
  28. Sasquatch
    I seen Alison Krauss & Union Station at Bean Blossom, IN back in 93' or 94' playing 'Pike County Breakdown'. I noticed they played this tune in B-Natural which is traditionally played in the key of A. Since then I try to learn songs in different keys. BTW Jonny250, your version was awesome!!! So here is my attempt at playing Cripple Creek in B-Natural. I recorded this today during lunch break in our breakroom so it echoes some.
  29. woodenfingers
    Rainy day here today so thought I would try to catch up a bit. Laura - I love your backing tracks, I need to get my guitar working better. SAW Mtn does it again with another great rendition and I also want the CD when it comes out. OS, great playing and that mandolin sounds sweet. I saw a Jacobson in the classifieds but managed to control myself. Maudlin you have the OT pickin down. Johnny that is a great exercise and well done. Sasquatch, sounds wonderful for an impromptu breakroom gig.

    Here's mine. Had my usual timing problems but used a combination of all your suggestions from a week or so ago to sort myself out to a reasonable extent.

  30. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Wow! What a lot of really good renditions of this old chestnut... Maudlin, love your old time vibe and that mandolin. Woodenfingers: nicely played and was that a kazoo buried in the mix I heard?

    Sasquatch and Johnny 250 went above and beyond the call of duty and learned Cripple Creek in a different key from where it's usually played. Actually, the effort involved in transposing the song to an unusual key is an excellent learning tool and a great way to discover and remember how to play in those keys. Sasquatch, excellent job of playing in B. Johnny 250 actually played Cripple Creek in the keys of G, A, B, C#, D and then back to G to finish off.
  31. woodenfingers
    Michael: Nope, no kazoo. My accordion. Tried to play second position D-harp through it but didn't have the lung capacity to keep up so used the accordion instead. I'll keep the kazoo in mind though...
  32. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    I have been desperately trying to keep up, after having spotty Internet while vacationing in a travel trailer in Maine.
    So many nice variations - and lots of new talent too.
    Here is my effort, accompaniment is a jam track:

  33. OldSausage
    Manfred - you're back and sounding great!
  34. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Lots of variations on this one Manfred... wish I had the patience to learn 'em all. Well done.
  35. luurtie
    very nice Manfred, I love that mandolin wit the nice round tone...
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