29 June 2016

The latest OTH

In the current issue (vol. xiv, no. 4) of The Old Time Herald magazine, the cover story is a brief but startling revision of history by Tony Russell, whose encyclopedic knowledge of old-time music can be matched by very few other people. How old was Tennessee fiddler James Davis 'Uncle Jimmy' Thompson, first performer on the Grand Ole Opry? Answer: not as old as he made out; when he died in 1931, he was the age your editor was a year ago.

Other festures in this issue include instalment 13 of Walt Koken's reminiscences of the Highwoods String Band, immensely influential in the 1970s; the fourteen-page 2016 festival and camp guide (in which the only entry for Ireland is the Willie Clancy Summer School, beginning this Saturday); a feature on Don Pedi, mountain dulcimer player and taiji practictioner; and many pages of meaty, serious reviews of records and books, all of which seem indispensable.

The BIB draws attention to The shuffle of the pick, an e-book for playing old-time fiddle tunes on the mandolin, by Adam Tanner. Finally, there's a feature on the New England 6/8 fiddle tune 'Portland fancy', composed by Francis Radoux, a French immigrant dancing master, sometime before his death in 1867.

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