19 January 2023

Adventurous clawhammer

Dan Walsh of Staffordshire, England, was featured on 'Deering Live' on the Deering Banjos YouTube channel on 10 Sept. 2020, illustrating his command of clawhammer technique and his wide musical tastes. Thanks to Richard Fryer for the news that Dan Walsh will soon release an album that he has long wanted to make - O’Neill’s tunes: a collection of jigs, reels, and hornpipes from the O’Neill’s collection of dance tunes, arranged for clawhammer banjo. The album (Rooksmere Records RRCD 120) is due for release on 24 Feb.

Meanwhile, the next two classes in Ken Perlman's third season of online 'clawhammer clinics' are 'Demystifying "crooked" tunes in old-time music' on Mon. 30 Jan. and 'Those happy-go-lucky Canadian jigs, clawhammer style' on Mon. 27 Feb. Ken gives a clarification (and a warning):

Playing jigs (and other 6/8 time tunes) in clawhammer offers some special challenges; and we'll start by focusing on how to overcome them with relative ease. Our focus, however, will be - not Irish jigs - but the sing-songy, happy-go-lucky jigs from Atlantic Canada. The melodies are usually so 'catchy' that you can't help singing along (and you'll have a hard time getting them out of your head).

Samuel Bayard's book Hill country tunes (1944) gave several examples of fiddle tunes in 6/8 from his collecting in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but such tunes seem to have become much rarer in American traditional fiddling.

© Richard Hawkins

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home