Week #90 ~ Barlow Knife

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's tune is an old time tune, Barlow Knife.

    Here is a link to standard notation & ABC on abcnotation.com

    Here is the ABC from that site:

    T:Barlow Knife
    T:Cabin Creek
    Z:<cfalt@trytel.com> www.trytel.com/~cfalt/Fiddle/CFtunes1.abc
    "D"d2d2 cdec|d2d2 A4|d2d2 cBcA|"G"B2A2 "D"A4:|!
    |:"D"B2A2 FED2|B2A2 F4|B2A2 FED2|"A7"E2D2 "D"D4:|!
    |:"A7"E2EE "D"F2D2|"A7"EDEG "D"FED2|\
    "A7"E2EE "D"F2D2|"A7"ABAG "D"FED2:|]
    %W:I been livin' here all my life, All I got is a Barlow Knife; (bis)
    %W:Buck horn handle and a barlow blade, Best dang knife that ever was made. (bis)

    Here is another link to the notation on traditionalmusic.co.uk

    Here is a link to the tune on thesession.org

    And here is the abc from thesession.org

    X: 1
    T: Barlow Knife
    M: 4/4
    L: 1/8
    R: reel
    K: Dmaj
    (3ABc| ~d2d2 cdec | d2d2 A2fe | ~d2de dcBA | B2A2 ~A2Bc |
    ~d2d2 cdec | d2d2 A2fe | d2de dcBA | ~B2A2 ~A2FG |
    |: B2A2 FEDE | B2A2 F2FG | B2A2 FEDD | ED3 ~D4 :|
    |: E2EE F2D2 | EDEG FEDF | E2EE F2D2 | ABAG FED2 :|
  2. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    OK, just to start the ball rolling here's a quick run-through of the melody.
  3. Ten_or_Fifths
    My goal this week was to do a multi-track recording with video, and that worked out to my satisfaction.

    The caveats are:
    Along the way I lost a cleaner fiddle track to a crash (save often!)
    I did the recording the day a jam session got snowed out, so it only represents a few hours of work and practice (apologies to everyone's eardrums, and I'm only happy with the phrasing in the B part).

    I did get a new goal from this experience: work on a rhythm track next time instead of just tripling the melody.

  4. Bill Bergstrom
    Bill Bergstrom
    Thanks Brent & TorF,
    It really helps us newbies when someone does get the ball rolling in the first hour.
    New year resolution, keep up w/ the gang. bb
  5. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Nicely played Brent and Ten. This version is from Nigel Gathereer's site played on a Savannah.
  6. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
  7. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is my go at Barlow Knife -- fairly rough-and-ready version, and like Maudlin's (which doesn't load on my computer), this one is also based on Nigel Gatherer's tab/notation.

  8. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Youtube didnt work-must have been too quick off the mark.Try again.
    Martin you seem to have stuck closer to the tab than I did.
  9. Marcelyn
    Great renditions. Brent, thanks for posting a melody so quickly, and I swiped a bit of your C part. Maudlin, I'm having trouble getting your clip. Martin, I like the chords, and your mandolin really rings. TOF, yours along with all the fiddles around here lately inspired me to throw one in too.

    This video features snow footage, because without the semi-blizzard that shut down our city, I don't know whether we'd have found the time for such a production. Here's Barlow Knife on my teens A-3 and fiddle in GDGD tuning, and Jeff's open-back banjo and bass.

  10. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Marcelyn, that has a brilliant old timey feel... I was totally entertained by you and your "band" of merry makers!
  11. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Sweet how this song goes from Celtic to Old Timey in this thread. Really lifted my spirits during this intense tax season. I love your children's beautiful snow artwork, Marcelyn!!
  12. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Great versions everyone. Marcelyn & Jeff, you're just getting too good at this!!!!! Wonderful.
  13. Marcelyn
    Thanks guys, It was a lot of fun to record. this is one of those songs that just plays itself in GDGD tuning.
  14. mculliton123
  15. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Marcelyn, that was just great! Loved the arrangement of instruments, sounded just like Barlow Knife should sound! This is a tune our band plays.... Love the videos of your kids & dog..... Red Green would be proud.... wasn't that duct tape on your son's shoes??
  16. MOJOHAND40
    I learned this one from the 1971 (?) recording done by the Fuzzy Mountain String Band. Their version only had fiddles and clawhammer banjo, no Mandolin.
    The lyrics were: (sung, or shouted, over just the first part)
    I've been a fiddler all my life;
    all I got is a Barlow Knife.
    A buckhorn handle and a Barlow blade,
    Best dang knife that ever was made"
    Anyway, here's my take on it:
  17. Marcelyn
    Very observant as always, Barbara. Even his shoes have that "old-time" feel. Everett jumped in one too many puddles with those. He actually has some shiny, new Spiderman sneakers, but I didn't want to send those into the snow and certain ruin on their first week home. Got to love duct tape.
  18. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas

    That sounds great -- old-time is a genre I have only a vague familiarity with, so I had rather less of an idea of what sound to aim at and I've pretty much treated it as a Scottish or Irish fiddle tune. So, you've retuned the mando to GDGD: what notes are you actually playing? Presumably not quite the sames that I play, as my double stops are standard GDAE shapes. Are those great driving chords I hear all on the mando or is that the banjo?

  19. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Surprise!! Another video from me... what's this... two in 9 months? Ah, my busy life!

    This video is really just a learning process for me. I already knew the tune, but am on the road, just bought a new laptop (my first laptop), and I'm sitting here at my son's, while my daughter in law has the SLOWEST early labor... learning how to use the webcam (which is mediocre, but, hey, it's a laptop webcam!), and it's software! I don't seem to have any video editing program (or one that I've found yet), so this is raw footage!

    Played (not that well) on my Petersen mandolin. I love playing this tune on my OM, and when I get back to Iowa (whenever THAT may be) I'll try to do a multitracked version!

  20. Marcelyn
    Martin, believe it or not, I didn't use a single double stop in this tune. When you tune the A and E courses down to G and D, the first note of your melody ends up being on the fifth fret highest string. Any string above or below is going to harmonize. The first time through is just my mandolin. The second time through is the mandolin played with the same fingering on the two lower courses. That time through does have banjo backup as well.

    You've really got to try it. Maybe tune your Gibson down for a few weeks to experiment. I'd bet GDGD has great drone notes for trad tunes too. Relearning a tune I'd already learned in standard tuning was tricky for me at first. After a little while, it clicked and I couldn't believe how simple it was.

    Mojohand, that was outstanding. Really a lively feel and very cleanly picked. Thanks for the lyrics too. I've been wondering where that title came from.

    Barbara, I love the way that version jumps around, especially the C part. Good way to pass the time while waiting for a new grandchild. Big congratulations!
  21. Toycona
    Marcelyn, That was inspirational on many levels. Very, very nicely done. Now I'll go learn that one too.
  22. polymerchm
    The link to Nigel Gatherer's version


    I'm going to wok with this one. See what I can produce .
  23. GKWilson
    Another week of excellent variations.
    Marcelyn. Another nice video. You and Jeff did a great job. But, the kids stole the show.
    Nice to have you back Barbara. Grandkids are worth waiting for. Congrats.
    Mojo. I tried to get it up to your speed, but ran out of time and batteries.
    I fell apart in the C part again. Red-light-itus is getting to me. And, this time the low batterie light was flashing too. No pressure.
  24. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Nice submissions, y'all. What a fun tune!

  25. GKWilson
    Very nice Mike. You look so composed and in control. Maybe with a few more years practice and 50 or 60 videos under my belt
    I'll acheive your ability and calmness.
  26. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Thanks, Gary. I have gotten more comfortable with this and music in general through the process of just doing it a bunch. I'm thankful for the communities and resources on the web. Otherwise, I'd still be playing Stones songs on the guitar and wondering how mandolins are tuned.
  27. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Lovely variations from everyone, here is my take on it. I'm going through one of those patches where I am not happy with my playing!!!!! I'll get over it!!!!

  28. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    I go through those patches too sometimes Tosh, but they pass. Some evenings I play for 3 minutes and hang it up in disgust.

    If it's any help you sound real fine. Like the double stops, clean fingering with no buzzing. Some nice sustain on that axe.
  29. Ten_or_Fifths
    Agreed, Martin. Tosh it sounds fine out here. I like the double stops too. I couldn't hit mine to save my life on this song, but oh well, there will be another song next week. Oh, and I really enjoyed your Atholl Highlanders a few weeks ago.
  30. Bernd Bannach
    Bernd Bannach
    Here is my first Video, I am new to the group (more in the introduction section). Barlow Knife is a new tune for me, I played it on may Weber Octavemandolin.
  31. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Welcome to the group Bernd. You have a fine sounding instrument there and well played.
    Tosh -lost your mandolin mojo? Don't worry; it will come back if you just keep on playing.
  32. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Bernd, that is great and the Weber sounds fantastic. Martin, Tens or Fifths and Duncan, thanks for the kind words, I'm fine, just plateaud out a little after pressure of work and the run up to Xmas. Am getting back into the swing of things......no probs......
  33. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Here's an old time string band rendition that I worked up with the inspiration of the great versions above, most especially Marcelyn & family. The band consists of me frailing the Harmony 5 string banjo, picking the F2 Gibson mandolin and a Simon & Patrick guitar for backup.

  34. harrywhohaa
    Michael, I really enjoyed that, sounds great.

    I'm off now to see if I can do that 3rd finger anchor to the 5th fret while still playing melody!
  35. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Great stuff Michael, sounds authentic to me! Like Harry says, that third finger anchor whilst still playing the melody is a lesson in itself.....
  36. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Thanks guys! The technique you are talking about is a very common one. In this case it is centered around a two note partial G chord -- you "just" leave your fingers holding the chord shape and drone on the D and G notes whenever the melody lets you. This fellow on YouTube explains it better than I ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOXMV...eature=related
  37. Marcelyn
    I've learned to watch out whenever you take more than three or four days to record a tune, Michael. That was fantastic! Thanks for the Youtube lesson too.

    Mike, that was such a great version. I love hearing mandolin clips where the mandolin can stand alone without needing any kind of backup.

    Tosh, you'd think the Mandolin Cafe would offer private counseling sessions for these pesky slumps we all get. For what it's worth, you sound great to me.
  38. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Thanks Marcelyn, it was just the run up to Xmas and a few 6 day working weeks catching up with me. I'm OK, I'm getting back into the swing of things.....
  39. dustyamps
    I learned this when it was song of the week and still play it.
  40. GHall
    Love playing with the kids

  41. Marcelyn
    Y'all sound awesome! Love the way you do this tune. What fun you must have playing together.
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