Week #19 ~ Cherokee Shuffle

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    By a narrow margin, Cherokee Shuffle is this week's winner. Listed as Bluegrass, though I'm not familiar with the tune, so who knows, could also be Old Time? I haven't found notation for the tune, but have found several renditions on You Tube. If anyone has TAB or notation or ABC, please submit!
  2. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Tab Here... Cherokee Shuffle
  3. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Here's the ABC

    X:44
    T:Cherokee Shuffle
    M:4/4
    L:1/8
    K:A
    FG|:A2 AB A2 AB| cB A2 F2 EF| A2 AB cd e2| fefg f2 fg|
    |a2 ab a2 af| efed cB A2| FGAc BA G2|1 A6 FG:|2 A6 e2||
    |:fefg aefe| cdef e2 e2| fefg ae f2| e6 e2|
    |fefg aefe| cdef e2 e2| fecB ABce| f2 fg f2 fg|
    | aegf edcB|1 A2 AB A2 e2:|2 A2 AB A2 FG||
  4. Susanne
    Susanne
    Cool, i've played around with it for a long time without really learning it. It is definitely bluegrass, the oldtime version in my opinion is Lost Indian.
  5. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I've never heard this tune before, but it's really neat! It does have an old-time feel to it, Barb. So, Susi, you're saying it's a BG variant of Lost Indian? (Speaking of tunes I don't know!)
  6. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This is a tune I'd never heard before, and with tunes like that, sometimes I have to listen to many versions, before it really clicks.

    Here is a you tube video that I am going to use to learn it from. He's playing it in D, but it's easily transposed to A (just move it all up a string). I like it in D, but if A is the key that is generally accepted as the 'right' key, I'll go with that.

    Does anyone have any history on this tune? Does "shuffle" mean anything (dance wise?)

  7. billkilpatrick
    beat me to it, barbara - kevin briggs is a teacher by profession and a great mandolin player.
  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Ok, who knows if this is anything like it should be, but here's mine! I'm playing it on my Mid-Missouri mandolin.

  9. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    So, I was looking around for more info on this tune (which there's usually some discussion as to whether it is also Lost Indian or Lonesome Indian), and I found a You Tube video, which has this in the description:

    The origin of the song is not totally clear the tune is discussed in Andrew Kuntz's book, Fiddlers Companion. Mr. Kuntz says: "Banjo player Howard Bursen identifies the tune as a West Coast version of Lonesome Indian, and that it was derived from fiddler Tommy Magness who recorded the Indian tune in the 1930's. Along with Lonesome Indian (or Lost Indian as it is sometimes known), the melody Colored Aristocracy bears some resemblance to Cherokee Shuffle." Tommy Jackson is generally credited with transforming Magness's Lonesome Indian into Cherokee Shuffle."
    In my opinion, and others, this tune probably is of American origin not Celtic -- but still there could be a similar sounding tune somewhere in the Scotch-Irish-Welsh traditional music.

    Then, I was looking at the video, and you can only see the top of the guy's hat, but I thought, 'that clutter on his desk looks familiar'...

    don't you think?

  10. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    The Lost Indian I'm familiar with comes from John Hartford's playing and sounds like the playing in the vid below and to my ears doesn't sound like Cherokee Shuffle at all. But then maybe my ears don't hear so good.

  11. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Just learned this one, a couple mistakes, but I'm pleased with it. Fun song!

  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    That was great, Chris, much more like it should be, I'm sure, than mine is, haha! I seem to make every bluegrass tune I attempt, sound old timey instead!
  13. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Very nice, Chris, you really do a great job on these tunes. I like this tune because sits really nicely on a mandolin and puts you in places you can easily do a little cross-picking and make it work without accompaniment. Here's my version. I didn't just learn this one like Chris, I've known it for a long time, but I haven't played it quite like this before.

  14. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    OS, that was awesome! Before I hit 'play', I was thinking, as much as I love OS's videos that are multitracked, and sound good enough to be on a CD, I wish he'd post a tune with JUST his mando playing... and voila~ my wish was granted! Now, could I be so bold as to ask you to play it again, but slowed down a bit more (more so than you would play in performance, more like 'instructional'?) I'm sure I speak for the masses, when I say that your submissions are always top of the line!
  15. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Well, how could I say no to that? I did my best to recreate it, although because it was a bit improvisatory I found it hard to play it exactly the same way. This is the sort of speed I play when I'm working out ideas for how to play a tune. I think I kept speeding up so I hope you can still make out what I'm doing:

  16. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Perfect!!! That was just what I was hoping for! Thanks so much!
  17. CelticDude
    CelticDude
    Very nice, OS! However, I notice this tune has a 10-measure b-part. Totally wigging me out. Otherwise a fun tune. IIRC a shuffle is some form of dancing, similar to clogging?
  18. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    CD... I hadn't noticed that, I went back & listened to Kevin Brigg's version, and it has 10 measures in both the A & the B parts, while OS has 8 in the A and 10 in the B.
  19. mikeyes
    mikeyes
    There are two ways to play this tune straight and crooked. Crooked is more fun, and more confusing. We need more crooked tunes on this forum!!
  20. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    People play this a number of ways. I have a version by Emory Lester and Mark Johnson on the "Acoustic Campaign" CD where they play it Kevin's way with the extra 2 measures in the A part, but in the key of B (presumably to work with Mark's clawhammer style). The Fiddler's Fakebook has the same as mine, in A. I have a version of it by Aubrey Haynie same as my version, and I've heard a lot of people play this live the same way at festivals, so I believe it's safe to say that most people play it the way I do, and Kevin's version is less common, although may still be widely played for all I know.
  21. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    You're right, that works great on your octar. I guess if you play it that way, then it isn't crooked. Unless I've misunderstood the "crooked" concept.
  22. Chris Travers
    Chris Travers
    Sounds awesome David! That's a beautiful instrument you have there.
  23. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Lots of awesome posts on this one! Good work, everybody. I discovered that if you stay up until 3 a.m. recording this while drinking tequila, you realize that what the tune really needs is some synthesizer on one of the tracks. Sorry for all the video. I need to swear off multi-tracking and just record these in mono on Super 8 film or something. Maybe I should find a Final Cut for Mandolin Players group. I'm getting into the video editing and recording as much as the tunes.

  24. billkilpatrick
    laughed-out-loud!!! - that was great, mike ... tom joad and all. 5 stars ... what brand tequila you drinking?
  25. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Excellent video - and nice pickin too, you got a great groove on that.
  26. Daci
    Daci
    Nice work! I've not heard that one in years!
  27. TDMpicker
    TDMpicker
    Hi,

    I will submit my "work in progress" on the shuffle.
    I have been working on this tune on and off for some time.
    It is fun to play. I seldom get through all the breaks without
    messing up someplace... but I'll keep trying




    This is from a mandozine tab by Anderson Stickland in 'A'

    Terry
  28. Bernie Daniel
    Bernie Daniel
    Great picking all you folks on a fine old tune!

    Barbara, thanks for finding that older version of mine and posting it -- I wore that hat again last weekend so that is why the Buckeyes won -- also on the other channel I was kind of pulling for Northern Iowa)

    Back on topic -- I think I'll do another version of this tune just to see where I come down on it now because Cherokee Shuffle is one you can do endless variations on.

    Dave tell me again what is an octar -- or rather how does it differ from an octave mandolin? Whatever I love the sound and may have to get one.

    Some of these productions are getting PRETTY fancy!
  29. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I started a post on the definitions of crooked tunes the other day, gleaned from various online 'sources', but then left the house without hitting send! It seems to be just about anything that deviates from the 32 measure format (8 measures for A, 8 measures for B, each repeated)... and seems mostly important for dancers, because it doesn't come out right. Once I get back to my home computer, I'll try to repost those opinions on what is 'crooked'.

    I agree that Octar is awesome!
  30. GTG
    GTG
    Nice playing and great videos, folks. I was at the BC Bluegrass workshop the other week and came away with this tune on my list of 'need to learn' tunes - even more motivation now.
  31. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Here's an old-school version -- one mandolin, one track, one take, one video angle, one 1921 Gibson A that won't tune up. The buzzes you hear are authentic '21 buzzes, not digital clipping.

  32. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    You must be using your video camera to record with, Mike, as your playing doesn't sound as clipped as in earlier videos.

    Either that or I don't know what I'm talking about, which may very well be the case! (they need a cross-eyed smiley!)
  33. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    This tune intrigues me as Barb mentioned earlier that it's aka "Lost Indian" and I've heard John Hartford's version which, to me, sounds nothing like Cherokee Shuffle so I dug around and found there is a legend about the tune "Lost Indian" that goes back to the early days of the riverboats on the Mississippi River.

    Legend has it that there was a fiddler who used to play for dances on a particular riverboat. For a time during the spring, the river flooded and the water became filled with debris. One day as the fiddler was playing a tune, unnamed at the time, he saw an Indian struggling to survive by clinging to a log in the raging torrent. The Indian knew he was losing his fight against the river and gave his death wail - a high-pitched scream punctuated with a series of whoops that could be heard by the people on the riverboat and especially the fiddler. The fiddler watched the Indian drown and die.

    The fiddler was so affected by what he had witnessed that he went mad. They say that after that the only tune he would play was the one he been playing as he witnessed the untimely death, but when he played the tune he added the Indian's death wail.

    Today the tune is known as Lost Indian. A prominent part of the tune is the addition of the high-pitched wail and whoops which is accomplished by sliding up high on the E string at certain points in the tune.

    The tune has traveled far and wide across the United States and Canada, and has made its way across the oceans. As varied and many as there are tribes of Indians and fiddlers of tunes, there are variations on this melody, but all include the death wail of the lost Indian.

    (This story was found in Ira W. Ford's Traditional Music of America, E.P.Dutton & Co., 1940)

    Then I got into The Fiddler's Companion and found 8 versions of Lost Indian listed with versions 1 & 3 being similar or known as Cherokee Shuffle. Some of them not Celtic roots or variants which, whether or not it was first written in America, definitely shows the folk process in action over the years. I haven't had the chance to examine all the 4 or so various abc versions of the tune listed in the Fiddler's Companion, but hope to when I have the time.
  34. billkilpatrick
    whoa! ... what a story!! sounds like an awfully up-beat tune to link to a death by drowning, however. in any case, i'm more serious about learning it now - thanks, joe!
  35. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    And now we know the rest of the story. Thanks, Joe. I hope "Lost Indian" makes it to the top of the list some week, though we'll have to decide which of the eight versions to learn.

    As for clipping, Joe, there's clipping and there's clipping. One of the things I discovered listening to my videos early on here in this group is that I wasn't holding notes to their full value in my rush to play (too) fast, which contributed to my vids sounding choppy and clipped. As for the other kind of clipping, emulating Don G., I got an Apogee Duet that I've been using. Great pres, great A/D converters. I record at the same time I do the video, then drag the audio file into iMovie and synch them up. What happens with the YouTube compression is still unpredictable, but it's tended to be less crunched.
  36. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    I just hope if I ever drown I have the presence of mind to give the death wail I have practiced up.
  37. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    You're right, Bill, it certainly seems a might up-beat for the story.

    Mike, I thought that about your playing and not holding your notes long enough but was giving you the benefit of the doubt and figured it was the technology but it's a great thing to realize where or what areas one needs to improve in. It's really easy to rush when playing these tunes. YouTube seems to do better with a better quality file, I've noticed.

    OS, Hope I don't hear your death wail! Might tend to make me a little crazy...especially seein's how your a good old southern boy and all the tales I've heard about Rebel Yells and the chills it sent into the Yankee ranks.
  38. Susanne
    Susanne
    Great job, everyone! I'm working on it. Regarding Lost Indian, that John Hartford thing sounds nothing like the Lost Indian that I'm used to, that is almost like Cherokee shuffle but without minors and with some other slight variation (with major chords all the time, very oldtimey feel to it). I hope to post something soon.. now at least I'm home. Been Stockholm at my university a few days.
  39. billkilpatrick
    os - you know that old indian saying "today is a good day to ... brush-up on your junior lifeguard skills."
  40. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Would it be too completely tasteless to start a death wail thread and post videos? I'm not prepared to do so myself, but I just thought, you know, as a logical extension of our exploration of the roots of some of these tunes. Other than that, the only thing I have to add is aarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhaaayeeeee!
  41. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    Let's put it in the poll for next week, see how it does.
  42. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    A death wail might be easier than EMD to do well! I was one of the people suggesting that tune and am a little frightened at the prospect of having to actually learn it.
  43. OldSausage
    OldSausage
    I only voted for it because I thought you knew what you were doing
  44. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    No feelin' like Captain Kirk and crew, Miguel?

    I don't always feel it necessary to play a tune at the tempo we hear it recorded at (obviously, as my vids illustrate).

    Magic Foot's not too far behind.

    Personally, I'd rather see EMD than Wayfaring Stranger.

    Plenty of time left for the winds of change to blow (he said wistfully hoping)(I'm probably ramblin' too much here....)
  45. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Did somebody say shuffle? That's enough to get me back into posting.



    I've been watching a lot of your videos here and enjoying all y'all's playing--just too busy to sit down and learn tunes and make videos lately. Looking forward to getting back to it again.

    EMD=Eat My Dust. Yikes. Dawg dust: the worst kind.
  46. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Speaking of Eating Dust. I sure feel as I do a lot of that here.

    And no sooner do I say that but the announcer blurts out, "And trailin' in everyone's dust, wiping the dust from his goggles, and spitting dust like he just swallowed tobacco juice is SloJo, aka: 'Hoss' to some, playing Cherokee Shuffle!"
    (And the crowd groans.)

  47. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Don, definitive. Joe, oh yeah. An excellent conclusion to today's posts on this tune ... unless there's a death wail out there someplace. No? Then a peaceful goodnight to you all.
  48. lmartnla
    lmartnla
    This show was posted on another thread some time back. These guys are fast but the social group versions above are much cleaner. What a fun tune.--Lou

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mq_MqS-5uA
  49. billkilpatrick
    you know ... as technically proficient as it is ... just try dancing to it ...
  50. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Jesse Cobb is very good. He and Kym Warner showcase some of the Collings mandos on the Collings site.

    I bet there's some folks who can and do dance to that, Bill, though it is a bit mind blowing to think of moving one's feet and legs that fast!
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