Week # 65 ~ Dubuque

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Dubuque. If the person who suggested it to the list has some input, that would be great.

    I found this in Fiddler's Companion (key of D)

    DUBUQUE. AKA and see "Duck River," “Fiddling Phil,” "Five Miles from Town [2]," "General Lee," “Hell Up Coal Holler [2],” “Lighthouse,” "Mabel,” “Muddy Road to Kansas,” "Old Dubuque," “Phiddlin’ Phil,” "Sally in the Green Corn,” “Trouble on the Nine Mile,” “Village Hornpipe.” Old‑Time, Reel. USA, Missouri. D Major. Standard tuning. AB (Silberberg): AABB (Brody): AABBAAB'B' (Phillips). Dubuque, Iowa, takes its name from Sieur Julien Dubuque, a French-Canadian who was one of the first white men to settle the area, which at that time was under the control of the Fox tribe of Native Americans and the Spanish monarchy. Dubuque dealt successfully with both, obtaining permission to mine lead in the latter 18th century. He befriended a local Mesquakie Chief named Peosta, and perhaps married his daughter, Potosa. Dubuque died in 1810 and was buried on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, just south of the town that bears his name. Interestingly, fiddler and musicologist Paul Tyler finds historical reference a man named Dubuque, a fiddler and dancer in M.M. Hoffman’s Antique Dubuque: 1793-1833:

    Naturally one would expect that such a wealthy and powerful personage would make
    somewhat of an impression on the inhabitants of the little city of St. Louis when he
    visited there. And such was the case. Antoine Soulard, who became the Surveyor
    General for the district of Upper Louisiana in 1795, was the friend and business
    representative of Dubuque at St. Louis. His son, James G. Soulard, born in 1798,
    in later years moved to Galena and there resided as a prominent citizen for many
    years. This pioneer had the good fortune to meet Dubuque and he has left with us
    perhaps the best picture obtainable of the great Miner of the Mines of Spain. He
    described Julien Dubuque as he appeared in middle life, as “a man below the usual
    stature, of black hare and eyes, wiry and well-built, capable of great endurance and
    remarkably courteous and polite, with all the suavity and grace of the typical Frenchman.
    To the ladies he was always the essence of politeness.” Mr. Soulard well remembered
    that on the occasion of one of Dubuque’s visits, a ball was given in his honor,
    attended by all the prominent people of the place. It was held in a public hall, in the
    second story of a building, and he as a small boy had crowded in to see the sights.
    At one point of the festivities the Sieur Dubuque took a violin from one of the
    performers and executed a dance to the strains of his own music, which was considered
    a great accomplishment, and was received with tremendous applause.

    However, the tune “Dubuque,” or “Old Dubuque,” is a representative of a large tune family that appears to have its greatest currency in the Midwest, although can be found in other regions. There are numerous variants and titles, but all have the general contour and most have the characteristic first few measures. Some see relationships to the "Off to California" family of tunes. Tom Verdot believes it may be derived from an 1840’s minstrel tune called “Coonie in the Holler” (Howard Marshall). Christeson says the tune is similar to "Phiddling Phil" in Adam's book. “Old Dubuque” is one of ‘100 essential Missouri tunes’ listed by Missouri fiddler Charlie Walden. See also the related "Possum Up a Gum Stump [1].” “Muddy Road to Kansas” is an Illinois title for the melody. In addition, Gus Meade (2002) finds the following related tunes: "Sweet Ellen/Ellum [2]," “Lonesome Hill,” “Hell Broke Loose in Georgia,” and “Indian Eat the Woodpecker.” The earliest sound recording of the melody is by William B. Houchens (1923), under the title “Bob Walker,” while Capt. Moses J. Bonner (1925) recorded it as “Ma’ Ferguson.” The earliest printed versions appear in Elias Howe’s as “Village Hornpipe,” and Ira Ford’s (1940) under the same title. Sources for notated versions: Fennigs All Stars (N.Y.) [Brody], Jay Ungar (West Hurley, New York) [Kuntz, Phillips]; Art Galbraith (Mo.) [Phillips]; Jack Link (Seattle) [Silberberg]. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; pg. 93. Kuntz, Private Collection. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), 1994; pg. 76. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; pg. 38. Front Hall 01, Fennig's All Star String Band‑ "The Hammered Dulcimer." Kicking Mule 209, Bob Carlin‑ "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo." Revonah RS‑924, "The West Orrtanna String Band" (1976. Learned from the playing of Neil Rossi).

    F A2 F A2 BA|FE D2 B,2 D2|A B2 A B2 de|dBAG FG A2|F A2 F A2 BA|
    FE D2 B,2 DE|F2 FD EDB,G,|A,B,DE D4||

    Here is a link to notation and ABC from abc tune search (also in the key of D)
  2. Toycona
    Well, I suggested it, but all I know about it is that I learned it by ear from Jack Tuttle (a bluegrass muscian/teacher in the Bay Area). You can hear his take on it at the link below. His website is full of really good nuggets of all sorts. If you have the time and interest, I'd suggest listening or downloading as much of his audio resources as you find useful. Additionally, his daughter Molly Tuttle is an up and coming bluegrass vocal/multi-instrumentalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.


    I guess I'll have to make an appearance now for sure!

    Tom (Toycona)
  3. Tom Tax
    Tom Tax
    There is a PDF, TEF and MIDI at this website: http://www.mountainsentinel.com/mandolin.html
  4. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    I believe I first heard this one from sgarrity posting it on youtube. Post them here, Shaun!
  5. sgarrity
    What a great tune. I learned it from the folks at the Cary St Cafe jam in Richmond, VA. Here is me playing it on mandola and then mandolin, both built by Will Kimble. I love it when we pick tunes I've already recorded!!

  6. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Shaun, thanks for posting, both versions are great and I loved the instrument comparison.
  7. jamann
    Great playing there Shaun! Those Kimbles sound great. I've never heard this tune before but I'm liking it. Thanks for posting!
  8. Tavy
    Nice ones Shaun! Good tune as well...
  9. harrywhohaa
    Love that version David, chugs along very sweetly
  10. OldSausage
    Yes, excellent stuff David, very cool bass playing too!
  11. Toycona
    Here's my take on the song I suggested.
  12. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Well done Toycona, I haven't even attempted it yet. David, I love the way you mix all the instruments and play along to it, fantastic.
  13. OldSausage
    Good to see you posting video, Tom, and great tune suggestion. I rarely find a fiddle tune I don't like, and this is no exception.

  14. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Shaun, David, and OS, excellent demonstrations of what I will TRY to achieve,

    Toycona, I don't see a link in your post. Is that just me?
  15. Toycona
    Manfred, Here is the link to copy/paste. Where in Germany are you?


    Tom (Toycona)
  16. OldSausage
    We have found that if you use the video button in the "quick reply" box to embed your video, not all browsers will see it, so it's best to use the "Go Advanced" button and use the "YouTube" option to embed the video (you only have to paste the YouTube code in that box, not the whole URL).
  17. sgarrity
    Nice pickin' OS!! Really liked the up the neck version.
  18. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    You guys are killers, I really really struggled with this and I'm still not happy with it, but I had a go nonetheless. It was good for me really in that I need to practise reels up to speed and sort out my timing, something I should be concentrating on doing more, but I do not. Anyway here is what I did......

  19. sgarrity
    Nice work Tosh!
  20. OldSausage
    Yes, big improvement Tosh, you've got some nice flow going there. Keep that right hand moving.
  21. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Thanks guys, yeah I need to keep working away at it. There is a lot of tension there and I need to get to the promised land of relaxation!
  22. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    After playing the mandocello, playing your mandolin must feel like driving a sports car. You sound great on Dubuque.
  23. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    I agree with the experts, Tosh: nicely played and good tempo.
  24. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Thanks very much guys, I feel I have improved so much just by being a member here and attempting numbers I wouldn't even dream of playing. It certainly gets you working at things that is for sure. Don, the Mandocello is plodding along compared to the mando, but I'm enjoying it and the Cello Time Joggers book is certainly a big help and I know where to put my fingers now!!! The pinky must be used, so that is a good thing. The difference is like you say, driving a Robin Reliant compared to a Bugatti !!!! Thanks to everyone here for the inspirations.....
  25. Tavy
    Wow guys, some great picking going on around here! Love what you're all doing, I'll try and post my version, but you know... it normally takes me about 6 months to learn a new tune!

  26. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Better late than never.
    Here is my version from the Fiddler's Fakebook. It took me forever to get it over 180 bpm (at least on recordings) and I came very close to sacrificing accuracy to speed.

  27. Toycona
    Manfred, very nicely done. I'm going to have tostart playing to a metronome.
  28. Toycona
    Tosh, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm constantly distracting myself with tension, faulty technique, rhythm issues, you name it. I just want to play without thinking. To me, that's real 'flow' - intuitive playing. A guy can dream, right?
  29. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    That's great Manfred, you really work hard with the metronome and it pays off. This was a hard tune but Katy Hill is beyond me at the moment. I will put Katy Hill in my advanced folder!!!! Toycona, I would say 90 per cent of good mandolin playing is being totally relaxed. It's all about muscle control, not thinking too hard about what you are playing and letting it flow. The only way to achieve this is by working hard with a metronome, getting your timing right and your right hand relaxed. It doesn't happen overnight for most of us! Consistency with trebles is hard for me and I need to get that level of consistency so I'm hitting it every time instead of every other time......but no matter what, enjoy it.
  30. OldSausage
    Toycona, if you haven't already, I would strongly recommend that you get

    Mike Marshall's Mandolin Fundamentals For All Players #1-Building Technique Through Exercises and Melodic Studies

    It's available to download (for a fee) using the Homespun tapes program that you can download from this site. It's also available as a DVD on Elderly, Amazon and elsewhere. He specifically addresses some technique issues that I think would make your mando life much easier and more enjoyable for you.
  31. Toycona
    Thanks for the input, both of you. This site is so great for this kind of interaction. I'll look into the Mike Marshall DVD - in fact, I think my good friend Marcus (a periodic participant of the saw group) actually has it. I so enjoy playing the mandolin. I gave my guitar to my son last year and haven't looked back. However, I've played a bit of guitar this week with my family on vacation. Nevertheless, mando is where it's at for me, as far as I'm concerned. It's just the right instrument.
  32. Marcelyn
    All these great versions forced me to play catch up on this tune rather than working on Katy Hill like I should have. I'd never heard it before, but it's definitely a favorite now. I like the history behind it too. Thanks for a great suggestion.

  33. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Well done Marcelyn, you certainly have the OT 'feel' nailed.
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