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Thread: old timey challenge

  1. #51
    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    This discussion reminds me of a CD assembled by a friend, containing 14 different versions of "Smells Like Teen Spirit". My personal favorite was a female choir doing it a cappella.
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  2. #52
    Registered User Steve Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    This was posted elsewhere but I linked here because it is a FANTASTIC example of what I am talking about. New life breathed into an old warhorse.

    Without an excurstion into the wierd or outlandish, or crossing the boundaries of the genre, or even scaring the neighbors.

    What is wonderful about this is that the tune still does the work. The integrity of the tune itself, now with lyrics, is the engine here, the motion. And knowing the tune intimately (having played it 984092347534985 times), one can feel some kind of "home" in the tune itself, which links with the theme of the song.

    This is brilliant on many levels.

    Yeah, but where the heck is the banjo? I hear it, but I sure don't see it.

  3. #53
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by stever1422 View Post
    Yeah, but where the heck is the banjo? I hear it, but I sure don't see it.


    Ahhh well. There are some that would prefer they be seen and not heard.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  4. #54
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Jeff [and other contributors], what a great thread. The thoughts in the first post, and additional comments, have been bouncing around my noggin since this thread first started.

    I've been in a good position for some of these old songs ... after growing tired of them on guitar, I deliberately skipped quite a few songs as I switched to mandolin. Only recently, as I build my fiddle tune repertoire to completion [of songs I'll encounter regularly], have I gotten around to learning anything beyond the rhythm parts on many of the worn-out standards - having some time away, spending some jams just playing rhythm, I'm looking at these tunes with a more fresh eye.

    This thread is great in that context, as it has me thinking about how to make them jump up and grow some hair so-to-speak - not just have the correct notes. I know these tunes on another instrument - I'm looking far beyond competency when I learn them, I want people's feet to dance after ignoring the tune for years.

    Of course, now that I'm finally getting some of them down at proper speed, I'm aware of the rolling eyes when I suggest them at a jam Oh well, hopefully my smile as I nail it the first time will be infectious, and hopefully some of the ideas this thread got into my mind have added some touches that open the ears of the most jaded pickers.

  5. #55
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    The reason many tunes are so over played is, in most cases, because they are great tunes. They engaged us before we knew it wasn't cool to be engaged by those tunes.

    If one can find a way, as Steel Wheels did, of re-engaging us, surprising us into re-experiencing what was great about the tune in the first place, that is the trick I think.

    I remember I think it was Jean Redpath, in an interview, talked about the integrity of traditional music. That if you were at a loss to figure out a way to present a song, (in her case a traditional Scottish song), you really couldn't go wrong presenting it traditionally. NOT at all to suggest that a traditional setting is the lazy man's arrangement, not at all. It's that a traditional tune or song has survived because it can deliver the goods, and you don't have to do a lot besides get out of the way and let it do what it does.

    This is not an argument against innovation either.

    Its an argument against innovation for its own sake. Try what ever you want, but you will know you have succeeded when it sounds like it has always been done that way.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  6. #56
    Registered User Nick Royal's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge - "Whiskey Before Breakfast"

    I recently bought the cd, "Saturday Night Waltz," by mandolinist, Joe Walsh, which I saw mentioned on the Home Page of the Cafe. He does a really nice version of Whiskey Before Breakfast, reworking the tune in a very nice way.
    Nick Royal
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  7. #57
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    On the bluegrass scene The Country Gentlemen worked up a great version of an old timey tune, "Aunt Dinahs Quilting Party" and my band plays it at most shows and people enjoy hearing some of the old songs that they knew as a kid....There are quite a few old timey songs out there that make good fillers to put on a CD, something for all walks of life , I guess....

  8. #58
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    On the bluegrass scene The Country Gentlemen worked up a great version of an old timey tune, "Aunt Dinahs Quilting Party" ....
    If thats the one I am thinking of - wait let me check youtube - yep, great tune. Tasty mandolin opportunities.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  9. #59
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    So what do you think? Angeline the Baker qualifies as a war horse that if I hear it again I will scream. And here it is new again:

    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  10. #60
    Still Picking and Sawing Jack Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Ooh, that's so pretty it hurts.
    Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
    --William Shakespeare

  11. #61
    Registered User SincereCorgi's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Yeah, but if this is an 'old timey challenge' how is that even remotely 'old timey'?

    It's an interesting reworking of the tune, but it veers into what I think of as 'insurance company commercial music'.

  12. #62
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    I think I know what you mean. What I think of when you say insurance company commercial music, is stuff that is not meant to be heard, just kind of backgroundy music. Stuff you could turn your back on and not miss anything. There isnt any part of Sarah's playing there that I could turn away from.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  13. #63
    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Here's a version of Kitchen Girl/Cluck Old Hen i recorded about a year ago.

    those opening sounds are cowbirds. Common birds where i live. They lay their eggs in other birds nests. The eggs hatch and push out all the mother's babies. The mother of that different species then feeds them until they fledge.
    Explore some of my published music here

    óJim

    BRW 3-point #65 (2009)
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  15. #64
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Look at this. OMG. I guess I am late to the party. You Are My Sunshine by a band called The Dead South. It brings out a darkness that has always been there in the "original" lyrics and but not emphasized before brought out. Wow. Just wow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MevYCdn5S8

    Last edited by JeffD; Oct-11-2021 at 10:12pm.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  17. #65
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Oh and of course we cannot forget the Punch Brothers doing Church St. Blues, being discussed in this thread. What is important to this thread is it is an example of taking an old tune and made it interesting in a new way.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
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  18. #66
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    That is a good trick to change up a standard from major to minor. Also works to Klezmerify with a Jewish mode.
    Jim

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  19. #67
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Speaking of cello, here is Joe Walsh playing an original song that morphs into Solly's Little Favorite. Solly's favorite may not be that all common of an old time tune, but I love this version, maybe because I really like cello in a string band, and I like how the song and the tune are integrated bit by bit until they just jump fully into the fiddle tune.


  20. #68
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    see Joe Craven "Camptown"





    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  21. #69
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Jazzy version of a fiddle tune. Is this sort of what you had in mind?

    D.H.


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  23. #70
    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: old timey challenge

    Here's a cut from an old album of mine. The album is definitely a creation of the recording studio. All the fiddle tunes therein were deconstructed to some extent, with arrangements strongly influenced by techno, free jazz, and ambient music. I originally learned Swinging on a Gate while playing for contra dances. The tune includes a looped intro, and a long improvised section in the middle that is all over the map in terms of harmony, meter, and feel, but which eventually swerves back to the melody. The mandolin I'm playing is a BRW 3-point oval hole, built for playing jazz. Enjoy.


    Explore some of my published music here

    óJim

    BRW 3-point #65 (2009)
    Altman 2-point (2007)
    Portuguese fado cittern (1965)

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