About the Tunes!

OK! All the tunes are here but I will occasionally be updating this page as I add more information.

I STILL have some formatting to do and I want to make it searchable but first to get the descriptions all up and here for you!

Over 300 tunes! I do hope you are enjoying the tunes in my book and perhaps have even found one or two new favorites! You will no doubt have noticed that the physical book contains just the tunes and a reference to this webpage of my notes about the tunes. I did that to keep the book a manageable size and cost. Truth be told, I was going to leave it that way with perhaps a source listing on each BUT my younger son, Josh felt you needed to hear my stories about the tunes and how they have come to me. Some of them are pretty detailed; others may only be a line or two because, well, sometimes even I don’t have a lot to say, I just like the tune.

I do have to add that my first band, The Boiled Buzzards, had a great impact on my learning of the tunes both because of the other musicians in the band and their sources as well as how we played a tune as a group. I tried to include a reference to the albums I have recorded them on but I might have missed a few. I will keep working on making sure those references get added as I review the text. All of the Boiled Buzzard and my other recordings are still available from me as both hard copy (CD’s) and digital downloads through this website.

As well as the references mentioned here, there are several websites that have more complete historic and tune information that it would be good to check out. Two great ones I am aware of that provide very good information are:

            Slippery-Hill: https://www.slippery-hill.com/

            Traditional Tune Archive: https://tunearch.org/wiki/TTA

So, here we go, on with the “show”!

Ain’t Gonna Get No Supper Here Tonight – aka Snake Chapman’s Tune; aka Bob Wills Tune – This one comes to me first from the album One Eyed Dog featuring Dirk Powell, John Herman and Tom Sauber. They title it Snake Chapman’s Tune and play it in an ADAD – D tuning, as does Chirps Smith.

I once heard tell that Snake Chapman said he didn’t know the tune but there is a recording of him playing it at an Augusta workshop in 1992, (also in that ADAD tuning). Interestingly Rhys Jones, Jeff Miller and Jim Nelson play the tune in D on their recording All I’ve Got’s Done Gone but under the title Bob Wills Tune.

I started looking for a root to the tune, especially once I heard the Bob Wills title but to no avail until I stumbled upon a version of Ain’t Gonna Get No Supper Here Tonight on a Woody Woodring and Rafe Stefananini jam cassette I have where they play it in G (perhaps G cross? GDGD). The Crescent Moon Rounders (Reid Ringer, Rob Morrison, Ray Owens, and LaNelle Davis) also play it in G.

I like it playing it out of A and cross-tuning (AEae low to high) so I have transcribed it in A. Whichever way you play it is a cool tune!

AltamontThis C tune is way fun! I have several recordings of this in my library. The most historical recording I have comes from the album titled Altamont which is a recording of black string band music recorded by the Library of Congress in the 1940’s. Murph Gribble plays banjo, John Lusk – fiddle and Albert York – guitar.

My other favorite recordings of Altamont include a 1987 version from The Hellbenders (Bruce Molsky, James Leva, David Winston, Mary Winston & Dave Grant) and several jam tapes including one from the Bigfoot String Band and another from the Canote Brothers.

And The Cat Came Back (The Very Next Day) – Doc Roberts is one of my favorite fiddlers and this is one of my favorite tunes of his. I have written the parts in the order that Doc played them. It is quite fun to play though the fiddle tune is very different from the song of the same name I learned as a child.

There can be quite a controversy started as to the order of the parts and number of times through for each one. In fact Doc does it differently each time through the tune on his November 13, 1925 recording available on the Document 8042 recording Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts Volume 1. Another version I have is recorded by Erynn Marshall (who plays the parts in the order here) There is a very swingin’ version I found on YouTube from Anna Roberts-Gevald (no relation that I know of) and Joe DeJarnette, and though she starts on the “last” part of the tune, she goes through them in the same order. Both worth the listen!

Don’t miss that slide up from Bb to B in the second part. I use my pinky for that. WAY fun!

Angelina Baker –aka Angeline the Baker – A classic! There are several versions of this Stephen Foster tune but the one in this book is the common one most folks play. I start on the “verse” part “Angelina Baker, age is 43, I keep asking Angeline, but she won’t marry me” as opposed to the chorus.

Antelope GapThis one comes to me from the playing of Howard Rains and Trish Spencer on their Old Texas Fiddle recording. He says it comes from Texas fiddler J.W. Whatley. I don’t think I have heard this one anywhere else but it has become a favorite of the Tucson jam crowd.

Arkansas TravelerThere are SO many historic and modern versions of this tune. It’s another classic you must have in your repertoire. However, all I can think of every time I hear or play it is the song we used to sing on the camp bus “I’m Squishing up a baby bumble bee…” and the Warner Brothers cartoon picture of that buzzard flying along singing that tune!

If you really want an education on this tune, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Arkansas_Traveler_(song) and find words and some fascinating history.

Aura Leesee Ora Lee

Avalon Quickstep The historic source for this is the Mississippi string band fronted by William Thomas Narmour and Shellie W. Smith who recorded it on June 7, 1930. I likely first heard it, though, from the Arm and Hammer String Band on their Stay On the Farm recording. Or perhaps it was a John McCutcheon version. Sometimes it is just hard to remember. You can also hear it on a recording titled The Original from the Fat City String Band – the precursor to The Highwoods SB which both included Mac Benford and Walt Koken.

A cute little ditty but don’t try to play it for today’s contra dance callers. You’ll see!

Banjo Tramp – There is a great version of this one by Ward Jarvis that appeared on the Visits album back in the early 80’s. It was one of the first tunes I remember learning and playing at the jams in Cleveland. I have always loved the tune. I always played the low part first so it is written here that way. Ward played the high part first. Like most tunes it has grown some from the original but I think I have kept the spirit of the tune.

Some of you may notice that it bears an incredible resemblance to a tune from the contest and bluegrass world called Twinkle or Twinkle Little Star (NOT to be confused with the children’s’ tune of a similar name.) That one is usually played in G but this may indeed be its older cousin.

Barlow Knife (John Morgan Salyer’s) – How many times IS that first part? I have several recordings of John’s playing and he is consistent on the second (high) part – 2 times. It is the first part that he sometimes plays 3, 4 or 5 times! In his home recording he plays it 3 times SO, I wrote it to repeat that part twice but you get to pick. Just agree amongst yourselves and have some fun with the knife!

Barlow Knife (the song) – This is the one most folks know. Alan Block sang a great version of it. Here are some of the words I remember.

            I’ve been lumbering all my life

            And all I’ve got’s this Barlow Knife (x2)

            A Barlow handle and a Barlow Blade
            Best damn knife that’s ever been made

Been to the East, Been to the West A simple but fun little ditty! Recorded by the Leake Country Revelers in 1927 or 28 complete with vocals! The words are a stitch! (And a “yellow hammer” is a bird)

           “Been to the east, been to the west, been to Alabama
            Toughest meat I ever tried to eat was the leg of a yellow hammer

            Prettiest little girl I ever did see she lives in Alabama

            Want to know her name I’ll tell ya what it be, her name was Suziana”

Big Eyed Rabbit – A Tommy Jarrell tune I first got via Mike Ramsey back around the late 1980’s. I have over 20 versions on my music player including Tommy Jarrell’s, Brad Leftwich, Plank Road, Fred Cockerham with Kyle Creed and even Jon Beckoff. Evil City String band’s is very cool too.

            “Big eyed rabbit’s gone, gone, Big eyed Rabbit’s gone…”

Big John McNeil – I really like this tune! I believe that Fiddle Fever was the first band recording I heard. I play it in A cross (AEAE) which allows me to play it in the upper or lower register with the same fingering on the lower strings. If you don’t cross tune and want to play it in the lower register I don’t believe it will give you any trouble, just play it as written.

Big Scioto aka Big Scioty; Big Sciota – This tune is named for the Scioto river in Ohio. It starts up in Auglaize County, OH, runs south through Columbus, OH and down to join the Ohio River at Portsmouth, OH.

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA – the head of the Ohio River – and for years lived near Gallipolis, OH which is along the Ohio River. Many were the trips up to Columbus and crossing and following the Scioto River, which meandered as it twisted and turned along its route.

There are a lot of recordings of this tune! Look some up and get your own feel for it. My best recollection is that the first playing of this tune I heard was the version put up by Andy Cahan, Laura Fishleder and Lisa Ornstein on their landmark recording “Ship in The Clouds” on the Folkways label. But I do have many others in my library including my own with my band, The Boiled Buzzards with Dave Rice on Harmonica on our “Fine Dining” album – which is still in print and available from me and from CD Baby. I still think of that as a killer version and love it to this day. I also get a good push from the Red Hots (Ready to Roll recording and an almost 6 minute jam from Galax) and Morgantown Rounders versions. Bob Carlin has a really cool solo banjo variant and Christian Wig and Whitt Mead do a wonderful double fiddle version on their album “Lost Indian Fiddler on the Frontier”.

The tune itself is pretty straightforward but the chord structure can create a lively discussion since they can be as twisted as the river! To me the chords move the tune through the Em chord in the second part the way my band plays them and as I hear them. Don’t be swayed by the “they didn’t play minor chords” myth that folks may try to tell you, it just “ain’t” true. There are many options on this so be prepared to take the trip down that twisted river! Here are the chords:



As I mentioned, there are TONS of recorded versions of this tune but I admit being partial to the ones I did with The Boiled Buzzards and with The Cat Mountain Rounders. OH, and if you should happen to think you hear the 1812 Overture in this one, I would say you are not wrong!

Bill CheathamUsually considered a bluegrass tune, it is incredibly fun and worth adding to your repertoire. Cyril Stennitt is a good go to recording for this one. He is a bit notey but also a good guide to the tune.

Billy In The Low GroundThere are a LOT of different recordings of this tune. My favorite is from Brad Leftwich and his playing of it with his old group, The Hoosier Humdingers. Other historic references include French Carpenter, Marcus Martin, Esker Hutchins and Wilson Douglas. I have over 50 versions in my digital library!

A LOT of people play it crooked by adding a partial measure after the C part. Actually after almost any part – just for fun! Here I wrote it straight.

Black Cat in the Briar PatchWhen I heard this one played by the band The Bumping Uglies I knew I just had to learn it! Come to find it sources to Melvin Wine who, like the Uglies, adds a note between the parts to make it crooked. My band and I play it straight without the extra note so you can dance to it. Pick which part you want to start it on as I can never remember which one I like to start on. Melvin starts with the key of C part, I think I start on that part but end on the key of C part as well… or is that the other way around?

Black Eyed Suzianna Love this tune! John Sharp plays a killer version of it if you can listen through the scratches of that old recording. I think John’s band goes through the D chord in the second part but I stick with the chords going A to the E and back in the second part.

Black Hills Waltz – I love this waltz that comes from the playing of AZ fiddler Kenner “KC” Kartchner from Snowflake, AZ. It is slightly crooked but still very dance-able. If you can find his recording of this lovely waltz it is well worth the listen.

Black Jack Grove This is just such a cool tune. So many slippery slides in and out of notes sharp and natural. Combine that with how many different ways folks syncopate it. No one writing of this tune could do it justice so I have written it as I first heard and played it. I put a lot of slurred notes in but you could probably play it without a lot of those. I don’t even do that the same every time.

Take some time to listen to several sources for this one. Art Stamper, Walter McNew, Old Buck (maybe my favorite), and a very clean teaching version from Bruce Greene from Fiddle Tunes Fest 1999 if you can get your hands on that one.

Notice that squiggle between the F and the F#? That is telling you to slide your noting hand’s finger up from the F to the F# note. It’s the same as you go into the second part C-C#.

Blackbird Says to the Crow – I want to say that I first heard this one played by Andy Porter and I instantly loved it! Sourced from old timer Cuj Bertrum (1970 recording) on the “Black Fiddlers” album (Document CD 5631), it is very entertaining. Jake Blout has a good version as well.

I remember hearing an interview with fiddler Joe Thompson (age 86 at the time) when Joe says, “What did the blackbird say to the crow? …It ain’t gonna rain no mo.”

Boatman aka Boatsman’s Dance aka Dance Boatman Dance – this is an old Daniel Emmitt tune with much history and many words. John Hartford played it in G as he got it from Ed Haley. I know if I wanted to sing it I would move it there but today it is usually in A so that is where the transcription puts it. Ed went up to the B note at the end of the first phrase and I really like it that way. Of course in A that makes that note C# which make you stretch out of your usual old time first position. Not your “usual” Boatman. Give it a go. Pretty cool!

Bob Tailed Mule – From Kenner “KC” Kartchner – an Arizona fiddler born in 1886. There are recordings of KC and his daughter Merle playing this and other of his tunes that is truly worth hearing. In those his daughter stays on the A chord to start the second part. I hear a D and feel it sounds better to my ear so we all play it that way ‘round here.

Booth Shot Lincoln – I have been playing this one for many years and it is still a favorite. I recorded it with my band, The Boiled Buzzards back in about 1990 on the CD Fine Dining. Interesting side note, at the time, Fine Dining was the first CD release of old time music that was not either a compilation of re-release of previous material.

Some folks don’t like that F# minor chord in my transcription and play the D instead. I loved the transition when we used it an especially for that last held note. You can leave that off if it really bugs you but my crowd thought it pretty cool! (Especially when you throw it in at the very end!)

Bowl-A-Rama – This was a more recent addition to my repertoire. I keep remembering those bar games with that were called, you guessed it, Bowl a Ramas. Slide the puck down the wooden table to put up the bowling pins. I think you can still get a home version these days.

BUT I would rather play the tune than the game! I reversed the parts from how I first heard it and my guitar player John, added the turn chord resolve at the end.

Breaking Up Christmas – “Santa Clause has come and gone, breaking up Christmas all night long!” A standard and almost every old timer’s repertoire. Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed AND Fred Cockerham recorded this one. Many more!

Briar Picker Brown – A classic Buddy Thomas tune! It’s a long time favorite. You can hear him talk about the fellow himself on Buddy’s Field’s Recording Collective album FRC-303.

Broken Down Gambler – A favorite Skillet Licker’s tune! This is the first tune I played with Jack Spence when I met him at his shop in Atlanta, Famous Bargain Music.  I had just come in while he was playing it and picked up a banjo and proceeded to join in. Upon finishing playing, he looked at me and said, “I was just playing that banjo and those notes weren’t in it. How did you find them?” That might have been Michael Ramsey banjo number 2 (Jack had 1 and 2 for a while). I STILL love that tune! I play variations on that first part but space allows for only 2. That’s probably enough for most. Someday I’ll decide which one I like best but until then…

That second part can sound very high and squeaky so if you like you can play it an octave lower which I do for variety anyway. And remember, I don’t claim to be writing exact transcriptions of other folks playing, even the ‘Lickers.

Buck Mountain

Bucking Dun – A great simple Kartchner tune that is fun to play. I did notice, when transcribing it, that the first part bears an uncanny resemblance to George Booker. Kenner only plays the second part one time but twice makes it dance-able and doesn’t feel too long.

Also, I couldn’t help myself on this one. I wrote out the optional double stop at the beginning. If you play this one out of standard tuning (GDae) you can slide the notes up as a double stop into those E and A note from the Ab and Eb on the G and D strings. As to the chords, you may feel a A chord can hold all the way through the tune except for the last measure of each part. I like a few more changes but in this tune it is really a judgment call.

Many folks confuse this one with Bob Tailed Mule – also from Kenner Kartchner – but it is a very different tune.

Buffalo GalsI have heard many stories about this tune title including the hypothesis that the title refers to the Native American Ghost Dancers who donned buffalo hides for one of their ceremonial dances. The following information for this one comes from Bruce Greene who was kind enough to provide this detailed reference.

From: the book Roll Me In Your Arms – © 1992 publication of the works collected by Vance Randolph from 1952-1957 in the Ozark area. Tune 134 “Buffalo Gals” pp 424 and 425: “This fine dance tune, “Buffalo Gals,” is a well-known play-party song, of which a variant was revived by radio entertainers in the early 1940’s under the title “Dance with the Girl with the Hole in Her Stocking,” a hint at the sexual abandon – politely, in “dancing” – expected of so unrepressed a girl. The latter-day title may be derived from the title and chorus of a minstrel-show song, “Wake That Gal with the Blue Dress On.” This survived longest in sea-chantey form as “Johnny, Come Down to Hilo” which … The last unselfconscious printing of “Buffalo Gals,” before the modern revival and exploitation of folksong books by John Lomax and Carl Sandburg in the 1920s as Baring-Gould and Sharp in Britain twenty years earlier, seems to have been under the title “The Bowery Girls” in Trifet’s Budget of Music (March 1892) … Dr. Jan Shinhan, the outstanding music editor of Brown, North Carolina Folklore (1962)… observes unexpectedly: “Basically, the tune is that of an old German music hall ditty, ‘Im Grunewald ist Holz-auktion’” which opens up whole new questions….”

This goes on for a full printed book page with other titles, histories and copyright dates (including “Lubly Fan” – 1944, “Bowery Gals” – from Christy’s repertory, “Buffalo Gals” being in 1948 and suggested by the “old English singing game, ‘Pray, Pretty Miss’ known in Scotland and Ireland.) with a remarkable history of the tune “everybody knows” as “Buffalo Gals” – the song.

Check out the reference if you want to read the history from someone much more knowledgeable that I on that song. You’ll love the 1880 lyrics – but I can’t print them here. Mr. JD from Little Rock learned this one here in 1880. “We’ll f.. all night till the broad daylight, …” BTW, the melody written out is only what we would sing as the second half of the “widely known tune”. No other part is documented. Just saying. BUT in any case, John’s recording is of the fiddle tune I learned under the name he gave. I’m sure someone has other names for that tune.” – Bruce Greene

Buffalo Gals (1 in A) – This version comes from the playing of Mississippi Fiddler John Hatcher (recorded May 12, 1939) and can be heard on the Rounder Recordings American Fiddle Tunes #18964-1518. That is a wonderful CD collection of 28 tunes recorded in the 1930’s and 40’s by The Library of Congress’ Archive of Folk Culture. It includes a fabulous book of “liner notes” such as we almost never see with downloads today. Find this one if you can.

Buffalo Gals (2 – in G)– This version comes from the playing of Kentucky Fiddler Bruce Greene and can be heard on his Toe River collection. He tells me that it is probably sourced from Jake Phelps of Todd Co, KY (see above) along with influences from Sammy Dyer (his source for Snowbird). Bruce is a living player who has made it part of his life’s work to preserve the fiddle music of Kentucky and this one is a wonderful version of a commonly played tune.

I LOVE going through the C chord in the first part and I think it is essential there. I put it in the second part of the tune as well but you could get away without it there (but I still love it in!).

Buffalo Gals (3 – common song version in G) aka Alabama Gals – This is the song version most of us know and remember from our childhood. Lots of folks play this one, a few even sing!

“Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight.

Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon.”

Buddy Thomas plays it this way on the Field Collective CD recorded by Dave Spilkia and Ray Alden.

Bull at the Wagon From the Lewis Brothers of Texas, this tune is just fun to play! I invoke a lot of their playing in my first part so it may sound a bit different than you usually hear it. The last part is often played in the upper range, but I love the low draggy sound if it in the low part on the lower strings as the Lewis Brothers play it. You can hear it on the Old Time Texas String Bands Vol. 1 from County Recordings.

Camp Chase – A lovely, fun, very crooked tune that no one plays quite the same way. French Carpenter is a great source for this one. Here is my humble approach. That slur in the first ending measure of the first part ties back to the A at the start of the tune. That makes it a long entry note. AND, notice the hold above that last note in the last measure of the tune as you repeat the second part and as you go into the first. I usually hold it for the count of 2 beats but some folks may not.

There are a lot of quick chord changes in the last part but you can simplify that if you like.

Camp Meeting on the 4th of July – The words make this one! Sung on the second part. It was a favorite of Tucson fiddler Steve Langford who LOVED to sing on this one.

Glory Hallelujah, See the fire in the sky,

Glory Hallelujah, Camp meeting on the 4th of July.

Candy GirlUncle Bunt Stephens is the source for this cool rhythmic tune. In fact there is almost more rhythm than melody. In fact it is truly a one-chord tune! His recording is in the key of G but everyone usually plays it in A (cross A really for the drones). So I am writing it here in A. If you are interested, it appears in G in my earlier book, Old Time Festival Tunes for Fiddle and Mandolin.

Chase the Squirrel I first heard this one on the Volo Bogtrotters album Old Time String Band With Vocal Accompaniment but was reminded of it recently by Bigfoot’s recording on their I’ve Got A Bulldog. It is a wonderful and fun tune, not often played but it should be!

Chattanooga aka Old Chattanooga – This fun old tune is often attributed to fiddler Blaine Smith born 1914. He recorded it in 1977 on Bottle of Wine and a Ginger Cake. I don’t claim to know anything more about this tune other than I really like to play it both on fiddle and clawhammer banjo.

The chords are pretty straight forward other than many of us will sometimes substitute an Em for the C chord, which gives it a more edgy sound. Give it a go.

Cherokee Shuffle aka Lost Indian – Which one, which key, which way? This tune is one that causes controversy all over the world. If not for the name alone, then definitely because it is played in different keys (A, D and G at least) with 1, 2 or three parts and crooked in A, B, C or ALL parts or NONE! Pretty much no one reference plays it the same way. The Camp Creek Boys and Benton Flippen’s versions of this one are pretty good for some of the parts and just a btw, they call it Lost Indian.

THEN there is the chord structure. Major or minor (yes, the old folks did play minor chords). G or Bm in D, A or F#m in A. I have written it out in D and A with all 3 parts but only the A and C parts crooked. The B part ends straight. 

Want A and or C straight? Drop those two measures before the repeats and use the B part ending. Or, visa-versa. You choose your chord at the appropriate point. I like it either way. Mix and match!

Chinese BreakdownNot your average AABB tune here! Most folk play the A part twice but some play only one B part while others play two. Clifford Hardesty (AAB) had a wonderful straightforward version of this one, and Charlie Walden’s (AABB) is very fancy! Melvin Wine’s (ABAB) might be the most familiar. I remember and Ohio fiddler, Forrest Wogemont, who I met in Yuma, AZ playing a cool version too.

For a couple of historic versions of this tune I’ll direct you to the Stripling Brothers version from 1934-36 and Jack Reedy & His Walker Mountain String Band on the recording Music From The Lost Provinces from around 1927. In all cases, it is the syncopation that makes this tune such a rockin’ old standard.

Chinquapin aka Chinquapin Hunting – This is one of those tunes whose name of the tune has many tunes associated with the name. AND there are so many ways this version is played. Notice the short last measure of the first part. Some leave it that way on both passes of the tune to go into the second part, others add beat for transition (as I do here). Some end on the third part, others on the first or second. SO either be the leader or know how it is played in your community.

            – A – The Hellbenders is probably my favorite A one under this name. Quite interesting and crooked.

            – D – This version sources back to Hiram Stamper.

Hiram was recorded for the Digital Library of Appalachia. Hiram’s son, Art also plays a more accessible (i.e., straight) version of this one which you can hear on his CD The Lost Fiddler.  I got to meet Charlie Stamper (Art’s brother) some years ago in Arizona and was quite pleased to hear him tell me how much my playing reminded me of “his daddy’s”.

Cincinnati HornpipeThere is very little information on this version of this tune. I first heard it played by Chirps Smith when we were jamming at the Kent State Folk Festival in Kent, OH, (1997?) but I do not have a recording from that time.  I do have 2 recordings of it in my library. One from Greg and Jerry Canote with the Small Wonder String Band and another form a 1983 field recording from Jeff Goehring playing it with his source of the tune Estill Adams of Washington Courthouse, Ohio.

While it is titled as a Hornpipe it is not truly played as one (as is often the case in old time music). In addition, since it changes keys (G to C) it could be more properly considered a cotillion, a type of tune that is defined by the change keys between the parts.

AND, about those parts. Where do you end the tune? Well, I like to end of the first part with that G# note. Of course if you are playing a dance the caller will most likely want it to end with the full second part so if you end there just end it on the C natural.

Climbing the Golden Stairs I first heard this played by Barry Cooper at a festival. The only recordings I have for it are mine on my Light of the Moon recording and one by the Canote Brothers who say they got it from James Bryan. I also have a 1992 Clifftop festival recording where the fiddler is not identified. So what might be the original source? I found an old gospel tune titled Climbing Up the Golden Stairs by F. Heiser but it is a very different piece.

You can find the playing from the James Bryan Fiddle Course Volume 1 – 1988 teaching of it that is a good version! He does, however have the parts reversed from how I play and first heard it.

Cluck Old Hen A classic! Nothing fancy. I like to play it in cross A. I have put in the chords most folks would use but you could substitute a G for the E if you like that sound. Here’s some of the best-known words:

My old hen’s a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men
Sometimes 1 sometimes 2
Sometimes enough for the whole darn crew

Cluck old hen cluck and sing
You ain’t laid an egg since late last spring
Cluck old hen cluck and squall
Ain’t laid an egg since late last fall

Coast is ClearGot to tell y’all I know nothing about this tune other than it is not the pop tune you can find on line under this title! Learned it from another Tucson fiddler who loves it. Seems to be a current favorite back east. Feel free to educate me on this one.

Colored Aristocracy – One from my wayback machine. I don’t have a direct lineage to me for this one but the history of it in the Traditional Tune Archive says it was collected in 1936 from fiddler Sanford Rich of Arthurdale, West Virginia.

I like the Em in the tune and tend to desire it in both the first and second part. Others prefer to leave it out and stay on the G while still others only use the Em in the second part. Though some use an E major chord I find that a bit grating.

Cookhouse Joe – I have a recording of this one from Bruce Greene at the 1993 Toe River Festival and another from Ky fiddler Estill Bingham on the Old Time KY Fiddle Tunes recording. Estill learned it from his father Noah and is Bruce’s source for the cute little tune with the crooked tag. I play it in cross A tuning (AEae). It sounds to me like relative of the tune Pretty Little Widder.

Crook Brothers Breakdown – The Crook Brothers was a great old time band from Nashville in the 1920’s. You can hear 3 of their recordings on the Nashville: The Early String Bands vol 2 recording from County Recordings. This is not one of them but comes from the Grayson Highlands Band and a band called, yes, The Bumping Uglies with Faith Dominy on fiddle. Both are great recordings. This tune was a staple of my Cat Mountain Rounders band in Tucson.

Crow CreekSome folks play it in D. Some folks don’t resolve the A part (ever). Some resolve it sometimes and not others. Go figure. Play nice.

Crow Little Rooster This is a great little ditty and a Tucson jam session favorite! Short and sweet. It comes from the playing Max Collins from Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma.  His family included W.S. Collins, Earl Collins, Willie Collins. He was recorded in 1976 by Gary Stanton and Tom Carte. You can find that on the Slippery Hill website. Other recordings include Blech and Hart’s Devil of a Row recording and Rafe Stefanni’s Ladies Fancy among a few others.

In the Collins field recording he starts on the low part but ends on the low part as well. Hart and Blech start on the low part and end on the high and Rafe starts on the high and ends on the low.

I have transcribed it starting on the low and ending on the high, but this will be one where community (and personal preference) dictate. I like starting on the low.

Cuckoo’s Nest – 1 – in D – I love this tune that I first heard John Hartford play WAY back in the early 80’s. He had words to it so I think verse chorus. I had no idea back then that it was an old traditional tune. It wasn’t until I got to hear the Ed Haley’s version that I developed it for myself. SO, that is where I would start listening for the historic context of this tune with the low part first as Ed Haley did and my melody more follows his than the version often heard in the bluegrass world. John Hartford wrote words to it which were way cool.  

My version seems a bit unique but folks seem to love it this way so here it is. I do start on the low part so don’t let that confuse you. And as always, chords could be different but I really like that C chord in the first part. And hold that A in the second part! Enjoy.

Cuckoo’s Nest – 2 – aka Richmond – in ARoscoe Parish is a source for this very cool tune, related to Cuckoo’s Nest. Ed Haley has a very similar version in A as well. Bruce Molsky who recorded it under the title Richmond on his CD Contented Must Be and Claire Milner and Walt Koken have it on their recording, Just Tunes.

It comes to me through the playing of Andy Cahan, who learned it from Roscoe (1897 – 1984) in Coal Creek, Virginia, in the early 80’s. The story is that Mr. Parish didn’t have a name for the tune so someone ended up calling it Richmond, which is how most folks know it today, hence the title in this publication. There is a rough recording of Roscoe playing it on the Slippery Hill website for those who wish to hear him.

My transcription is not as notey as it could be so feel free to accent and add ornamentation as you see (hear?) fit. In the 7th measure of my second part, notice the low E instead of the B as it is in the 7th measure of the first part. I probably got that variation note from Bruce Molsky’s recording. I think it is cool but not everyone plays it that way.

Cuffy Okay, I always (well almost always) confuse this one with Magpie but I love both tunes though they are indeed very distinctly different tunes. SO, I have gotten to where I can sometimes play the two tunes as a medley but often cannot. SO, enjoy the finger/bow twister that this tune can be!

Dance All Night With a Bottle In My Hand – I think almost everybody has recorded a version of this one. There are many recordings including those from The Stripling Brothers in the 1920’s to John Ashby, Fred Cockerham, Roscoe Parrish, The Morgantown Rounders, and most recently Bigfoot (theirs is the Fiddler’s Dram variant but still in G). However I think the most often referenced one is from the Highwoods String Band.

John Ashby, The Stripling Brothers, Highwoods and Fred all slide up to that high D note in the second part but not every time so I while I wrote it into the transcription you can substitute the A on the E string instead. You could also play that part in the lower register starting with the pickup notes of E and F# to the G on the D string.

I have written it as an AABB tune which is how most folks play it but there are different takes on that so just decide in your group which way you want to play it. There is a bridge (inserted extra part between the first and second parts that Highwoods uses) also but again, most folks don’t play it so I left it out of this transcription.

This is related to Give the Fiddler a Dram in A via the lyrics though there are some similarities of the tune as well. I have over 20 versions of it so you have a lot to choose from with just a little look around.

Dance all night with a bottle in my hand,
Bottle in my hand, a bottle in my hand,

Dance all night with a bottle in my hand,

Dance all night give the fiddler a dram.

Devil Eat the Groundhog Eat? Ate? Both can be found when you search this tune online. The tune comes from the playing of Snake Chapman. He plays it in G (as written here) but I have found that it is also cool of you shift one string up to play it in D. It even makes a great medley of itself if you play it a few times in G, then a few in D, then back to G for just a few more.

DinahThis is one of those classic tunes from the playing of Henry Reed. It was a favorite of my band, The Boiled Buzzards and appears on the Eat At Joe’s recording. The Rustical Quality String Band and Kenny Hall’s band had great versions as well. No, no one is in the kitchen with this Dinah.

Doctor Doctor – Joe LaRose and The Hot Mud Family were my two sources for this one back when the Boiled Buzzards started recording. Dave played a mean harmonica on this one on our Fine Dining album. We would then medley the tune with Forked Deer so you had a “deer doctor” or “doctor deer” depending upon which one you chose to play first. That is still a fun medley for my band to use at dances!

Dogs in the Dishes – This tune appears in Dance to the Fiddle March to the Fife, the Samuel Bayard book of tunes collected in northern West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania between 1928 and 1963. It was collected from Bill Lowery in 1944 and has, of course, changed some over the years. The first two measures here are more as Bill played it albeit with a C natural instead of C#, but in measure 5 and 6 I transcribe it more as I play it today. You can substitute one for the other if you prefer. I got it from the Canote Brothers.

Double File This one is commonly played with a G natural note in the first measure G chord in the second measure. Interestingly one of the more common old versions featuring Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton play it with a G# in the first measure and an E chord in the second measure.

Drunken Hiccups aka Wry Whiskey aka Jack of Diamonds – I have chosen to write this out pretty basically. I.E. Absent ornamentation such as triplets and the many variations that are possible. You can hear them in the various recordings and choose for yourself where and what to add to make this one sing.

Likewise, while the tune has 3 parts, the order that you play them in is often arbitrary and can change each time you play the tune. AABBC will do you well enough but some fiddlers like to mix it up. Listen to Tommy Jarrell for the source most folks reference.

This tune is best played in calico tuning – AEac# low string to high. Why? There are at least two reasons. One is that you get a great unison sound when you finger the C# and double stop drone with the open C# string drone. Second, because that last part (which starts with the last note of the second part) begins C#/A/E is best played with a technique called left hand pizzicato which means just that you pluck the open strings with your left hand finger while you can simultaneously be bowing the low A string.

Other recorded versions include Kenner “KC” Karchner’s which he says he learned “as a barefoot little boy” and W. H. Stepp who plays it a bit more upbeat and fancier. You can hear it is a little different but then again most fiddlers had their own take on most of the tunes they played. Whether to make them their own or just because they had different sources is not known but that just adds to the old-time mystique!

Finally, there are several different chord options for this tune. Lots of folks don’t use the E at all and use a D instead. Others leave it all A most of the time. If you experiment with it you will hear better what I mean and discover a lot of subtleties that make the choice more fluid and less than intuitive.

Dry and Dusty There are very many old recordings of this one. Eck Roberson, Benny Thomasson, Earl Collins, Bob Carlin, Red Wilson, Snake Chapman and Bruce Greene to name just a few. But I think the coolest one I have is the recording by the Morrison Brothers Band on Echoes of the Ozarks Volume 1. It is also on my Traveling Home recording from 2005.

I usually like to play it out of DDad tuning so you get that growling low D drone and the nice unison D note on the A string with the open D on the lowered E string. Dan Gellert has a nice version in that tuning on his Forked Deer recording. It works well either way.

Dubuque Here is one that has morphed over the years. The old references – Cyril Stinnet, Melvin Wine and, yes, Casey Jones play it pretty much the same but the more modern players – Defiantly Joyous String Band, Rhys Jones, and, well, I have a bit more notey melodic version. I have transcribed it here as I learned it and as it is played today. It is related to Duck River so don’t get confused.

The second part has that Bm chord which I like and one fiddler friend says, “gives it character”. You can use a G if you prefer but it just doesn’t sound as good to me. And if you change it, don’t tell people that the old folks didn’t use minor chords because that just isn’t true!

Duck RiverJohn Morgan Sayler is the source for this Dubuque family variant.

Ducks in The Pond NOT to be confused with Ducks on the Mill Pond, this one is an A modal tune from the playing of Henry Reed. It is very popular in some circles and there is even a Library of Congress copy of Alan Jabbour’s transcription of Henry’s playing. I do find it interesting that there doesn’t seem to be any other historic references for this one.

For chords, I have put in more than most old time folks would feel necessary. For instance, the E’s could be left out with no loss. Likewise, some more Celtic style players might feel Em would be better than E major so I will leave that up to you and your group’s sensitivities do decide.

Ducks on The Mill Pond A simple little ditty! We used to play it ALL the time. Simple and fun. You may think the A chord is not needed so I’ll leave that up to you. Short, but sweet.

Duke of Kent’s WaltzThis is a VERY old English waltz dating back to as early as 1790 and first printed in an 1802 dance tune book. I first heard it at a festival in Evart, MI and recorded it with Kim Murley on my New Frontier recording in 1996. It is a very elegant waltz and I would hope you don’t play it too fast.

Durang’s HornpipeAs usual, we in the old-time community do not play hornpipes as hornpipes. We tend to play the as reels or hoedowns and this one is no exception. I get this from many folks and the variants are all over the maps so this is one where I have transcribed my presentations of it.

I have over 50 versions in my iTunes library alone! I take bits from many sources including Don Poindexter in Arizona and my old friend, Les Raber – a Michigan fiddler of much renown.

Les was 85 when I met him and a mere 89 when he passed away. We became friends during that short time and I will always remember his most important lesson to me. “Dan,” he said, “You have to give each note full measure!” He loved this tune too. I like to think he had some good influences on me and my playing.

Les played a wonderful, older variant of this tune and I picked up some of my version from him but also some of the other old fiddlers I have gotten to hear and know. Don Poindexter and Clifford Hardesty come to mind. Over the years the notes from them and others have morphed into this version which guitar playing buddy Jonathan “JT” Traywick likes to title Deranged Hornpipe. It’s all in then notes you leave out.

Dusty Miller – There are several Dusty Millers out there but this version most closely relates to the Fuzzy Mountain String Band’s on their Summer Oaks and Porch recording. It is definitely NOT the western version played many other folks!

It is a true finger twister and I love the pedaling from the C to C# as I go through the tune. And no I couldn’t tell you where it came from or why I started playing it that way. Feel free to cough after you end the tune.

EbeneezerI most likely first came across this tune from the playing of the Fuzzy Mountain String Band. Alan Jabour and Bertrum Levy have it on their Henry Reed Reunion recording as well so it most likely sources to Henry Reed. I didn’t play it much until I got west and started hanging out with the Arizona Old Time Fiddlers’ Association folks when I lived in Yuma. They love it even if they DO often refer to it as “Never Squeeze Her”.

Ed Haley’s Lost Indian – see Lost Indian (Ed Haley’s)

Elzic’s Farewell – Great trance tune! Note that there is no key signature making it look like a C tune but this is A tune. A modal actually, so the C notes are natural instead of sharp. Don’t worry, just play it as written and you will be fine. I – and most of the folks I know – play this out of A cross tuning (AEae low to high) for those growly old drones.

So, how to end this one? I wrote it out to a final whole note, but some just take that whole last part and repeat it over and fade out. Others, (like me), play that last D short and chopped instead of holding it. I have done it all three ways.

Fisher (Fishar)’s Hornpipe: This appears to be from the 1773 John Johnston publication “Sixteen cotillons, sixteen minuets, twelve allemandes and twelve hornpipes” composed by J. Fishar, principal dancer and ballet master at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden. WorldCat lists 7 copies in existence but none are in libraries close enough to me to see one in person. I believe one is in the New York City Library and someday I hope to see it.

Isham Monday plays a three-part version on the Digital Library of Appalachia recording. His parts vary and he starts on what most of us would consider the second or B part. I have written out the three-part version as I had heard it played by Dane Johnston in Hillsdale, MI as well as several others throughout the country.

That third part really adds to it for me though I sometimes end the tune after the second part (though not always).

Five Miles From TownClyde Davenport is the undisputed sources for this one. It is an interesting tune and crooked too! You will notice extra beats in some measure to account for the crooked parts Clyde plays. It looks strange but it will play out right if you play the extra beats according to the time signature at the start of the transcription.

Those crooked bits may take a bit of time to get “right” but with a tune this cool it is well worth it! Some folks may play it crooked in different areas or in different ways so just be alert when playing it with others.

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss – 1 in D aka Western Country aka Blue Eyed Gal – This is the regular one most people play.

Fly around my pretty little miss, Fly around my daisy,
Fly around my blue eyed gal, You almost make me crazy

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss – 2 in G – I love this one! From Frank Blevins and his Tar Heel Rattlers 1929 recording which you can hear on the Music From The Lost Provinces recording. Though the melody is the same in the first part, that quick switch to the C chord at the beginning is what makes that part so unique. The second part is really a different melody from the version most of us play in D.

Flying Clouds aka Flying Cloud Cotillion – From the playing of Charlie Poole.

Flying IndianI first got this from Christian Wig when he played with me in The Boiled Buzzards. I since found that it sources to Claris & Joe Shelor and Bill Shelor as well. I have recorded it several times but my favorite is the on my recording New Frontier (Blue Rose 1001) where I am joined by Kim Murley on hammered dulcimer. We just had fun with it!

Folding Down the Sheets Henry Reed – I know there is a new version of this tune by modern players but it really is NOT Folding Down the Sheets. PLEASE give that one a new name. This one is how Henry played it and it is such a simple lovely melody I hate to think of it getting lost to those who just couldn’t appreciate its original beauty.

Even so, most of us play the tune as two short parts repeated, but Henry Reed added a crooked third part, which he played as though it was an alternate A part. In that case you would play the parts in the following order: AABBCCBB – AABBCCBB.I find that today (as of Feb 2023) I play AA CC BB. Who knows what I will play next year! Stay tooned!

Forked Deer – Classic!

Fortune – Sounds like a gambler or musician wrote the words. Fortune I found it, Fortune I lost it…

(The) Fun’s All Over – aka Hey Hey The Fun’s All Over is related to but not quite the same as Henry Reed’s Fiddler’s Drunk and The Fun’s All Over. Melvin Wine has a version that he calls Hail Hail and the Fun’s All Over. JP Fraley plays the cleanest version of this one. Buddy Thomas also has a great one too but it is much fancier!

GastonI got this from John Lamancusa (fiddler, bowmaker and tune book writer) but it dates back to George P. Knauff’s Virginia Reels vol. 4. Originally in G, we are all playing it in D these days. According to Chris Goertzen’s book on Knoff’s Virginia Reels, that book was first published around 1852 while the Traditional Tune Archive lists 1839 as the date. In any case it is an OLD tune!

One more note, remember to “swing” this one. If you play the dead even eighth notes it has almost no character. You want to syncopate the notes almost as if it were written in a hornpipe style (16th and dotted 8th notes) but not quite. 

George BookerAnother one from the playing of Henry Reed whose music was carried on by Alan Jabour, Bertram Levy, and James Reed (Henry’s son) on the recording A Henry Reed Reunion. This tune has also been played by many old-time players including Uncle Am Stuart, The Highwoods String Band, The Hellbenders (aka Bruce Molsky, David Winston and Audry Molsky), and a modal version by the Reed Island Rounders. I also a Texas style version from The Soloman Family’s Vernon and Norman Solomon (think Benny Thomasson’s style and inspiration here).

From that list I would think the Highwoods version is most often heard in the Old Time world but Henry Reed would invoke the essence of an older source.

My version here is a compilation of how I have come to play it after listing to so many variations over the years. You may prefer to strictly follow any of the other players I reference here or your own way. Interestingly they would all fit if you played them together, but I digress. I like to play it in cross A (AEae low to high strings) to get that old time resonance and, of course, to make the fingering easier in both registers.

WOH, yes that is a B7 in the second part! It could be a B then again some play an E there but either will work. I admit the B7 can be jarring at first, well at least unexpected! Alan Jabour’s Henry Reed Reunion they add the B7, Highwoods goes to the E. This one is going to have to be left up to your personal or band’s chord sensibilities.

The end of the tune adds a ninth measure to the B part. That means if you are playing the tune again, go back to the beginning but if you are ending play through and add that last measure to finish the tune with an A chord.

Georgia RailroadI am bound. Not much on this one yet, but give me some time. I’ll come up with a story!

Get Off Your MoneyA GREAT tune from the Stripling Brothers. Yes, in C and way fun with slurs, slides, grace notes and very odd timing is some of the parts. That little “squiggly” line between some of the notes means you slide up or down and up with one bow. The Chords can be a bit of a challenge and some folks prefer fewer but I like the swing and movement that the chords can add.

GilsawThere is a wonderful and VERY complete history of this tune on the web but briefly stated, it is usually attributed to the playing of Charlie Walden who gets it from Pete McMahan of Columbia, Missouri. Evidently, Gilsaw is a family name and the name of a “tramp” fiddler who played the tune at the Wabash Railroad depot in Montgomery City (Montgomery County), ca. 1933-1935. The Gilsaw family’s presence in the Columbia area dates back to the 1800’s. Further discussion of “Gilsaw,” together with a transcription, appears in Howard Marshall’s book, Fiddler’s Dream (Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 2016).

Pete McMahan, with Mickey Soltys playing guitar, was recorded in 1986 by Howard Marshall and Amy Skillman for the documentary recording, Now That’s a Good Tune – a 1989 release of traditional Missouri fiddling produced by the University of Missouri, Columbia. The recording is currently available from Voyager Records and is well worth a listen, BUT this tune did not appear on that recording of so many of Missouri’s great fiddlers.

The McMahan recording of “Gilsaw” can be heard on Ozark Mountain Waltz (MSOTFA cassette #001, 1987) and on the Slippery Hill website which references the Millner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes.

(The) Girl I Left Behind This one is played by one and all. I still think the old way is the best way. Some tunes just don’t need messed with! Henry Reed, Eck Robertson, Doc Roberts – even Bob Wills play this one. You should too!

Give the Fiddler a Dram aka Fiddler’s Dram – Key of A. Same words as Dance All Night With a Bottle in My Hand but a different tune and key. Way fun to play as well and you can even sing the Carter Brothers and Son’s (1928) words “Yadda yadda yadda…” No, really, look that one up and listen to it. I have it on the Raw Fiddle album but it was originally OKeh W400332 recorded 2/24/1928.

This is not your usual AABB tune so enjoy getting that nice circular pattern down as one part flows into the next and starts again!

Glory Medley From Texas fiddler J.W. Whatley of Austin, TX via Howard Rains and Trish Spencer. The belief is that the word “medley” is a slurred, Texas pronunciation of the word “melody” since it is just one tune!

Going Uptown This is one of the first tunes I learned back in the day but not until working on this volume did I stumble upon it and a source. Seems it comes from the playing of Howdy Forrester (recorded on Home Made Sugar And a Puncheon Floor Howdy and John Hartford) where Howdy talks about another fiddler, perhaps Tommy Jackson, coming up with it by possibly miss-remembering Ragtime Annie – another great tune!

Goodbye Girls I’m Going to Boston Art Stamper is widely considered the source for this tune. Pretty much the best recorded reference for this one is from Art Stamper. I did find one of the Stuart Brothers playing it but good as that one is, I think Art is a better one to listen to for the subtleties of this tune. Heck, listen to them both. It will build the mental database you need to play this music convincingly. Art recorded it several times including for the Digital Library of Appalachia and while he varies the rhythm a bit each time, the tune is pretty much how most folks play it today.

Goodbye My Little Darling This is a very cool waltz that sounds both old-timey and a little bit Cajun all at once! I got it from Howard Rains who got it from Lewis Propps of Pleasanton, TX. Howard’s album The Old Texas Fiddle is the best place to listen to it. Very swingy and you can dance to it! BUT, don’t miss that little bit of coolness of dropped and added measures. You’ll see!

Grand Picnic – This tune is said to come from the playing of Joe Politte from Washington County, MO. I got it from the Canote brothers and just love the finger gymnastics of the first part. I have recordings of the Canotes but also an older recording of St. Louis, MO fiddler, Frank Reed that is rough but cool!

Grasshopper Sitting On A Sweet Potato VineOne of the first tunes I learned and played – particularly for dances! We often referred to it as one of the nyah nyah tunes. You know da da da da da da da nyah nyah. Especially when you slur up into those notes! (Totally confused now, eh?)

Gray (Grey) Cat On A Tennessee Farm Made famous by Uncle Dave Macon who sang all the words! I loved the Highwoods String Band version and also have a FAST one from The Freight Hoppers as well. Short but cute. Here are the first verse and chorus from him. Lots more of it can be found online.:

Just talk (look?) to the man who can if he will,
Prosper in the valley of the Tennessee hills.

Big cat spit in the little cat’s eye,
Little cat, little cat, don’t you cry.

I do love liquor and we’ll all take a dram,
I’m a-gonna tell you pretty Polly Ann.

Greasy Coat, Greasy String Here we go! Who’s coat, who’s string, major, modal or what key? SO, there are a bunch of tunes by these names so we will get to who did which as we go but note, some tunes have both names, other names have two tunes! Greg S. almost has me straightened out on these!

(Hammons) Greasy Coat This is the modal version that comes from the Hammons family. My favorite, and likely the first recording I heard of this tune, was the one on the Ship In The Clouds album with Lisa Ornstein fiddling, Andy Cahan playing banjo and Laura Fishleder on guitar. And if you want to hear a good old recording try to find the one of Sherman Hammons playing it.

Don’t leave out the third (middle) part! (So many don’t play it).

I don’t drink and I don’t smoke
I don’t wear not greasy coat.

(Tommy Jarrell’s) Greasy String Tommy’s is in A and he plays it with his cross tuned AEae low to high. You can hear his on his Sail Away Ladies recording.  He slides into the first notes of the parts so that is what the little squiggle is taking you into the second part of the tune. A very swingy tune with slips and slides throughout. Listen to his recording to get the feel of it. AND there is an AWESOME recording of Lisa Ornstein playing this one on her Magic Paintbrush album.

Chord minimalists would leave out that D in the 6th measure of the first part and hold the E off until the last measure. I put them in parenthesis to show they are optional.

(Melvin Wine’s) Greasy String Melvin’s is a G tune and I had played it for some time before putting the name to the tune. It would just come up on the fiddle and I could NEVER remember the name of it, only that it was a Melvin Wine tune so when it came up a few jams ago, Greg said it was Greasy String but I thought not! I was wrong, but now know the name of this one when it next appears out from my fiddle. It is a fun little ditty to play for dances as long as you square it out. BUT some folks like to play the second part only once. Melvin usually played it twice.

A note on chords: You could leave D out in the 7th full measure of the first part and likewise some might really want that D in the 4th measure of the second part. Different ears (fiddlers!) want different things in different places. I like having the D’s throughout in the first part but don’t miss the 4th measure one in the second part, hence the parenthesis.

Great Big Taters in the Sandy Land – I think Lewis Thomasson (yes, Benny Thomasson’s brother) plays this the best. It is another tune where the old players played it in G but we now usually play it in A. AND just to confuse you a bit more, many of the modern recordings begin the tune on what I have written as the last part. The way I transcribe it is how the old Lewis Thomasson and Eck Roberts played the parts.

This one has a tricky flow. Note that for the tune repeat it goes right back into the A part, but the end adds a couple of extra measures.

Green Willis aka The Raw Recruit – A tune about a new soldier. A Jennifer favorite.

Grey EagleThere are many variations on this one especially in the second part. Uncle Dick Hutcheson has a nice recorded version.

Grub Springs – I have written this one full length so you can play it for a dance. Others may not. It was a favorite Boiled Buzzards tune and Cleveland area jam tune. It is coming back around in our jams here in Tucson so it just might be worth checking it out!

Half Past Four – One of my favorite Ed Haley tunes!  Nice and crooked and just convoluted enough to enjoy among friends. One of my musician friends was confused the first time she heard the title. “That’s what my father called us”. What do you mean? I asked. She responded that her dad always said that they were “half assed poor” so now, of course, we sometimes call for that tune by that name! 

Hangman’s Reel – This one rocks! I have many recordings but still my favorite is the one on my album, Fine Dining (Marimac CD 9043) with the Boiled Buzzards’ Dave Rice kicking it on harmonica! Interesting side comment, this was the first CD of old-time music released that was not either a re-release of an older album or a compilation disc. We wanted it on CD in part to get more airplay on the radio. Larry MacBride – the label’s owner – wasn’t worried about airpay and he didn’t want to spring for a CD yet (they were still new in the traditional music world) so he said if I would pay for the production, he would purchase copies from me. SO I still have some and plan to keep it and all of the Buzzard recordings available for sale through my website.

Happy Hollow – From the playing of Marus Martin. Marcus plays it out of AEac# or Calico tuning. I play it out of AEae cross A. I also like to go down as well as up in the second part – measures 3-6 so, I have written that at the end of the tune for you to substitute should you choose to. This one definitely plays better for me in cross A.

Hell and ScissorsAccording to the Traditional Tune Archive, A ‘hell’ is a leather holster used by tailors to hold a pair of scissors. Originally from Kentucky fiddler J.W. “Blind Bill” Day who was recorded in 1934 by John Lomax in Ashland, KY, I have heard many folks playing it, especially in the Eastern US. Most folks source Rafe Stefanni’s recording – which I LOVE – but there are several others available if you search the web.

I have left this version as a fairly simple one upon which you can build. Indeed Rafe adds a lot of ornamentation, as do I when I play it. I thought that might give you a better chance to catch on to the tune before augmenting it.

This is a wonderfully odd and crooked tune. AND the chords are interesting as well as open to interpretation.

Henry Reed’s BreakdownAlan Jabour recorded Henry playing this tune for the Library of Congress around 1966 and is said to have named it since Henry didn’t have a name for it. The full 3 cassette set of Henry Reed’s music was passed around for many years by a tapers tree. If you wanted to get copies of the tapes, you could elect to be a “root” or “branch” of the tree. If you were a root, you got tapes made from the original recordings and if you were a branch, you sent 3 cassette tapes to a root who returned them full of the tunes of Henry Reed dubbed from the root’s “master”. It was still going on when I originally got a set of them back in the 80’s.

Who would have thought it; a drum being played in the beginning of the old recording of Henry playing this tune? I thought it might have been a foot but there is that drum roll right at the end of the first part.

I have transcribed it closer to how Henry played it than how I often hear it in sessions and to tell the truth, I don’t know that I would play it as written since the tune seems to beg for variation and interpretation. Henry himself is not totally constant on how he plays it and Alan’s versions (videos on the internet) are also different from Henry’s.

The pick-up notes are written because it sounds like Henry plays them. It is subtle but he plays a long first note with two short (8th, 16th, 16th). You could just play it as a triplet or play just the e – g as two eight notes. Truth be told on any one pass of the tune he plays each of these variations. Also folks vary some in the second part playing the G as a natural or a sharped note. I hear Henry playing it as a G# on the D string. Community rules.

Hey Little Girl Do What You WantOkay so the name that this tune came with from Ray Leach at the Centrailia Campout was originally Hey Little Girl Do What I Tell You but none of us felt we could leave it that way. I want to think that I came up with this correction though that might just be the remembrances of a late-night jam fog, but my crowd all agreed it was better title.

High YellowAnother early tune from the playing of Henry Reed via Alan Jabour. Yes, a C-tune! Get used to it.

Hollow Poplar I likely got this one first from Claudia Greene at the Mt. Airy Fiddlers’ Convention around 1986 or so. She sometimes liked to call it Hellooooo Papa. That said, I really got into the tune when playing it with fiddler Christian Wig – and I got to record it with him on my Boiled Buzzard recording Eat at Joe’s (Buzzard 1003 CD). Greg and Jerry Canote have a version I like on their Small Wonder String Band album and Bigfoot rocks it out on a Clifftop jam recording from 2010 circulating through the community.

Home With The Girls in The Morning This was a less often played tune for me and I had mostly forgotten it until I got to Tucson. The Tucson crowd plays this one often at jam sessions so I have played it more often recently but knew little about the tune. As is often the case, the less I have in my library (I only have 3 versions of this one) the more I find out when I research it. This one is said to be from the 1800’s and may even be related to the tune referred to as Snake Chapman’s Tune or Bob Will’s Tune – which I would have considered related to Ain’t Gonna Get No Supper Here Tonight.

The website Fiddlehangout.com has a great archived thread about it. Worth the read! Whatever your source or knowledge of it, it is a fun tune to play in the “modal” style though watch for that major mode variation – F# instead of F natural – in the 4th measure of the second part! I like it all the time, some folks only play it on the second time through and others never or almost never opting for the F# except for a surprise if at all keeping the F natural all the time. Likewise the other F’s in the tune. If you play them as F#’s the connection to Snake Chapman’s Tune starts to become more obvious. Of course, no one will blame you when you sing “A three hour cruise, a three hour cruise…” as each part of the tune ends.

Hooker’s Hornpipe – Cyril Stinnett is a great source for this one! He is a more notey fiddler than some but his notes do all fit! Still, my favorite version of this one comes from Rhys Jones’ Bigfoot Band recording, I’ve Got a Bulldog (Bigfoot – Rhys Jones and Cleek Schrey: fiddles. John Herrmann on banjo, Susie Goehring: guitar. Meredith McIntosh: bass) but that might be because I learned it originally from Rhys and Lynn Chirps Smith.

Hop Light Ladies aka Hop High Ladies aka Did You Ever See the Devil Uncle Joe aka Miss McCloud’s (McLeod’s) Reel – I want to believe that I first heard Dolores Heagy play this one in my home town of Pittsburgh, PA with the Uncle Joe title and words. I heard it again a few years later played by The Rustical Quality String Band in State College, PA. Today I must have over 50 versions of this tune in my library but the oldest (and probably my favorite) version is the one from Fiddling Doc Roberts’ 1931 recording, which can be found on Document CD 8044 (now download only). He recorded it under the Did You Ever See the Devil Uncle Joe title.

There are earlier recordings by Fiddling John Carson (1925) and Henry Whitter (1924) and Buddy Thomas recorded it under McCloud’s Reel pointing to the tune’s historic origin as the Scottish tune by that name. Listen to Kevin Burke for a mean version of that style! Even old Uncle Dave Macon used it in his shows. Sing, play dance, just don’t jump too high! Hop LIGHT ladies, the cake’s all dough!

Here’s some words:

            Did you ever see the devil, Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe (3x)
            Well, I don’t mind the weather if the wind don’t blow.

            Did you ever go to meeting, Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe (3x)
            Well, I don’t mind the weather if the wind don’t blow.

            How’d ya like the weather, Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe (3x)
            Huh? What’d you say?

            Hop high ladies and the cakes all dough (3x)
            I don’t mind the weather if the wind don’t blow.

Hunt(ing) the Buffalo aka We Are Going to (We’re gonna) Hunt the Buffalo –This tune is attributed to Jimmy Driftwood who, according to Mike Seeger, learned it from one of his uncles.

I always played the main figure of the A part going down in the second and sixth measures and up in the fourth measure, as it was transcribed from Jimmie’s playing. All of the recordings I have seem to do it this way even though some communities have reversed that.

Chords are pretty simple. That D in the first part is optional but I think it adds a bit. The F#m may make you want a capo but I sure do prefer the guitar without it. You kind of lose that low E note if you do capo.

There was a great young band rocking this tune out at the Centralia Campout in 2019 that brought this one back to my attention. It is a jam trance tune with tons of rock and roll. Slow and unstoppable like a steam locomotive or, well herd of buffalo! Don’t get in the way or…

I Don’t Love Nobody – Doc Roberts plays my favorite version of this tune! It helps to realize that no one (well, mostly) plays a tune through exactly the same way twice so this is a perfect example of picking a composite of multiple passes through a tune to get you a nice playable beginning to learning it. Doc’s recording begins way notey-er than some of his later passes through the tune and it goes up to the high B for that 4th note in the first full measure. Listen to his recording to hear how it could be. So, this is more like some of his later passes with some of his “tricks” but not all. Enjoy and make it a good one of your own! Other good recording references include Earl Johnson (1927) and The Skillet Lickers with Riley singing the words (1927).

I love how the second part of this tune goes to E minor and I could swear I remember hearing it in a cartoon back in the day (maybe Bettie Boop?). BUT, remember, it is best to end on the first (major) part of the tune and leave off that E note to end on the C.

Icy MountainOne of the first tunes I learned and still a favorite. The Boiled Buzzards made it come out straight and full length for dances but there are crooked versions of this one too. We recorded it on Salt and Grease – Buzzard 1001 CD back in 1989.

My son Josh was able to distinguish it from Old Bunch of Keys at a very young age while sitting on my lap as I played it on the banjo. Good ear!

I’m Going to Have My Mustache Blacked When I Get There – From the playing of Kimble family via the Canote’ Brothers. I like to medley this tune with Sailing Over England. You know, you sail over to England where you can get your mustache blacked! (When you get there).

Indian Ate the Woodchuck – I get this one from Whitt Mead and the Rhythm Rats and while I love their version, I am sure I have made it my own. Another fiddler I know says no one plays the first part the same anyway.

Indian Corn aka Ol’ Woodard’s Tune – I love this tune! Such great syncopation possible and that bow rock in the second part really makes the tune for me. I got it from Rhys Jones’ fiddling with Bigfoot but also discovered it from Chirps a bit later on. I admit, I have reversed the parts on this one. Many people play it the other way (as do both “sources”) but I think it just sounds right this way.

I’ve Got No Honey Babe NowFrom the playing of Frank Blevins and His Tar Heel Rattlers around 1929. It is a lot like Silly Bill but different! AND it has words.

Used to go a courtin’, didn’t know how
Now I wanna get married; Got no honey babe now.

Jackie Wilson – Sources: Pete Sutherland, Bruce Molsky jam tape, and Bruce Greene

JaybirdThis one always takes me back to my childhood! Those play party songs we learned at a very young age returned when I heard Pete Sutherland’s playing of this on his Eight Miles From Town recording. It was so elegant and well played I almost missed it. Okay, come on, tell me you don’t hear Skip to My Lou in there!

Jaybird Died of the Whooping Cough – Source: John Ashby; Double Decker SB Great words for this one too! Do take note of the slide from the Bb to B natural pickup notes into the second part.

Jaybird Died of the Whooping cough,

Sparrow died of the colic,

Along come a redbird sitting on the fence,

Lookin’ for the frolic.

Jeff City aka New Jeff City; aka Bill Caton’s Hornpipe – From the playing of Cyril Stinnett, Alton Jones and Charlie Walden this is one cool Ozark tune! I play the parts in the order Cyril and Alton play it – low part first.

Jeff SturgeonA favorite John Morgan Sayler tune.

Jenny on the Railroad

Jimmy in the Swamp Another fave that I got from Christian Wig. We recorded it together on the Boiled Buzzards’ Eat At Joe’s (Buzzard 1003)

Jimmy Shank aka Jim Shank – Fun little tune! I like Bruce Greene as a source for this one. Rhys Jones also plays a great version on his Starry Crown recording. One twist I like to play the second time through the second part is to run up to a G natural on the E string after that low E in the 6th measure of that part. SO, you play the low E then jump up to the open E string for E, F#, G, F#, E, D, C#, A, B, A (dotted half note in the last measure.)

John Brown’s Dream aka Pretty Little Miss (Gal or Girl) – EVERYbody plays this one. Okay, well maybe not everybody but almost all the known old timers played a version of it. Tommy Jarrell, Oscar Jenkins, Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham (and all their disciples), Brad Leftwich, Kirk Sutphin, Bruce Molsky; heck, even the Horseflies and The Chicken Chokers! The Boiled Buzzards recorded it on my Fine Dining (Marimac 9043) for goodness sakes! You get the idea. I have at least 50 versions in my iTunes library and all of them have a personal twist – whether bowing or notation or the parts – yet, they are all the same.

One interesting note Fred Cockerham is pretty insistent that they are the same tune!

The most notable difference among the versions is on those last two parts. They are actually the same only an octave apart. Some play both parts once, some just play the third part over again, some just end after the third part. The most common way folks play it today is as a four-part tune with each part repeated once.  AND finally, guitar players usually hate this tune almost as much as Little Rabbit – and for the same reason!

John Brown’s MarchThis is the version from Henry Reed and NOT the tune Dwight Diller played under this name. I like to medley it with Seneca Square Dance (aka Waiting for the Federals) even though they are very close. SO sometimes I make the switch right away, other times it takes a bit. A great band such as mine hangs in there until I get it.

John Henry This one is the one played by Kyle Creed and Tommy Jarrell but I first heard it played by Dirk Powell based on his Kentucky grandfather’s playing so I sometimes call it Kentucky John Henry. Dan Gellert recently recorded it on his album recorded by the Old Time Tiki Parlour. Kyle and Tommy would be great resources for you to listen to on this one. I also have a banjo version on my Traveling Home CD which you might like to hear as well. I do love that modal sound that you get from the natural F.

While the tune doesn’t have that traditional AABB structure you can divide it into two “parts” with the 2nd part starting with the 9th complete measure. Some folks repeat from there to the end, but Tommy Jarrell didn’t. Choose amongst yourselves to decide whether to do that or not.

John Lover’s Gone aka Johnny Lover’s Gone –

John Sharp’s Reel LOTS to say about this tune, but not now. I will get to it I promise!

John Stenson’s #2 – LONG story about this one; especially the chords! I Learned, play and teach it in the key of A but somehow it has been switched lately to the key of D. I don’t think it has near the intensity or interest in D as it does in A. ANYWAY, here is the whole story! I believe I finally wrote it down when Cathy Barton passed away for the memorial article that was being done in her honor. It is long so just be prepared.

I want to think this all happened around autumn of 1996. I was still living in Cleveland, OH and was scheduled to play half of a double bill concert in Akron where I was to meet Don Charles and Deb Gestner. As is often the case, it was planned that we would all play a tune or two together to close the show so a practice was set up for the afternoon before the show. We got along well and really enjoyed playing together. Well, while Don was out of the room for a few moments, Deb asked if I knew John Stenson’s #2 as it was a tune Don and Deb had remembered hearing but couldn’t draw it up at all. Deb said that Don loved it and wished he could remember how it went. This has happened to all of us at one time or another but the name seemed familiar to me. I didn’t actually think I knew the tune but I got to thinking about it.

I first remembered a fragment a tune that I thought might be it then the rest and low and behold Deb said that was it! So Don comes back into the room, agreed that YES that was the tune and just laid into these chords to it. I was blown away! What a progression. As far as I know, the melody pretty much follows the tune as it is known in its original form, but the chords are definitely a modern interpretation. I think it is the chord progression that makes the second part of this tune come alive. And yes, we did play it in our show that night.

Fast forward to Winfield music festival where I was teaching and performing maybe a few weeks later. I was hooked on the tune but the chords really were not easy to grab onto for most guitar players. I knew Dave Para and Cathy Barton were there AND I remembered that Dave is just this AWESOME guitar player who loved old time music and would flip with a good old time tune with these chords and he did! Of course Cathy also loved the tune and the next thing I knew we have this great session happening with me fiddling, Cathy playing banjo and Dave on guitar just knocking it out! WHAT A TIME!!!! I think Rick Thum was hangin in on that too but we were really the core of it.

That tune got played more than a few time by us that week and as I was heading out Rick Thum stopped me and made me get out of my truck and record it for him. SO, now we have another fan of the tune spreading the wealth – so to speak.

The next thing I know, Rick has me in to record with him on his Reason to Dance album and of course we included John Stenson’s for his album AND for mine (Light of the Moon) at the same session – remixed for each of us but the same tune. Rick and I released our recordings in 1997 and around the same time (or shortly after) Cathy and Dave released their version of it as well on their album. (Album name escapes me at this moment. Sorry).

About a year or so later – at the Evart, MI Acoustic Music Funfest – late one night at the festival, I was playing it with Rick Thum and discussing how he and the rest of the dulcimer crowd had learned this from me when a voice in the dark, accompanied by a bow tip pointing and waving at me, said “Oh, so YOU’RE responsible!” Hmmm, responsible? Banjo player? ….. I did perform it on stage that year as well with 4 bass players so that when we came to each chord in the B part, each bass player played one note of the chord (boom boom boom boom).

l and the tune have been traveling around this way ever since. The folk process at its best.  (Or, maybe it’s worst!) I do apologize about the spelling of the name on my recording – not sure how that happened – but as an interesting final note, my professor, advisor and mentor in graduate school was Kernin Stenson. Don’t know if he was a relative as he had passed away before I got the tune – but he was born in Ireland and while he came to the states at about age 5, he did go back and find his family as an adult. BUT, that’s another story…

BTW, I cross-tune to my fiddle to AEae (low to high strings). OH yes, and the chords I like:

John Stenson’s #2


||:AAAA F#mF#mF#mF#m DDDD BmBmEE:||

Johnny Cope

Johnny Don’t Get DrunkAnother early tune for me. Not to sure of the pedigree but my friends and I like to play it in a medley with Step Around Johnny (also in D). We keep thinking someone (might be me?) needs to write the middle tune Johnny All Fall Down – to complete the cycle, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Johnson Boys

Johnson Gal(s) I get this one originally from the playing of both The Plank Road String Band and The Volo Bogtrotters. But the source for this tune is the one recorded by The Leake County Revelers on Vol. 1 1927-28 (Document 8029). Listen to the original to decide how many times to play each part (and when to sing) or pick your own way! It is a lively little tune with the whole story of who those Johnson Gal(s) might have been and why the tune is so feisty!

As to the order of and number of times for each part, that varies by band and choice. I wrote it out with a simple repeat for each of 3 parts. It is also more skeletal than some of my other tunes allowing for more variation on your part so feel free to break it up a bit. AND depending on what part you are going into after the 3rd part, you would add the appropriate pickup note(s) or end the tune with the rest.

Here are the words from The Leake County Revelers version. They go with the first part of the tune:

No matter were in the world I go
I can’t get around for the calico.

Oh my Lordy, can’t you see,
Can’t get to heaven with a fool like me.

Wanna get to heaven, yes I do,
I wanna get to heaven with the Johnson crew.

Want to go to Heaven, want to go straight
Want to walk through that pearly gate.

See those girls dressed so fine
Ain’t got Jesus on their minds.

Jonah In the Windstorm – Magoffin County, KY – Glen Fannin. Fannin was a younger contemporary of Magoffin County fiddler John Salyer (1882-1952) and plays ABB’CBB’CBB’C on a 1977 field recording by Bruce Greene.

Julianne Johnson aka Julia Anne Johnson – This is one from my early Boiled Buzzard days and can be found on both Salt and Grease (Dave Rice on harmonica) and Eat at Joe’s (Christian Wig fiddling). It is still a favorite jam tune and can be attributed to Emmett Lundy who you can hear playing it at the Slippery Hill website.

The chords written are how I play it but there is that weird 7 chord in the Eat at Joe’s recording. I have written the chords out in a simple manner using the D to resolve all parts. However, many folks resolve the first second part on an A and some use an A instead of the D at the end of every part except when ending the tune. And some replace the D in the fourth measure of the second part with an A as well.

Jump in the Well My Pretty Little Miss

Jump Jim Crow This tune is another one of the core repertoire that Alan Jabbour got from his early visits with Henry Reed. You can hear that version on Alan’s recording A Henry Reed Reunion with Alan, Bertram Levy and James Reed. Melvin Wine was another old player of the tune though I first heard it and got it from Christian Wig – one of the fiddlers in my band, The Boiled Buzzards. Christian was a great source of tunes and I still play this one pretty much his way.

The traditional tune archive tells us further that “the origins of the Jim Crow song, character and dance come from a black entertainer named John ‘Picayune’ Butler, who was perhaps originally from Martinique, but who made his home in New Orleans” in the early to mid 1800’s.

Just From The Fountain I get this one through the playing of the Canote Brothers. It is a beautiful tune originally from the playing of Art Gailbrath. You can add a lot of syncopation to this one.

Kansas City Reel This is one I had from a jam tape back in the early 80’s and has been a favorite for-EVER!

Kash KerseyHere is another one I got from Spencer and Raines via an Up in the Cool podcast back in 2017.

Katy Hill I am going to guess that the first version I heard of this was a modern one from The Puryear Brothers Band on the album (yes, real LP vinyl!) Visits. Bruce Molsky and other more modern players likewise influenced my playing of this tune so the version I play is based upon that. I played banjo on it on my Boiled Buzzards recording Eat At Joe’s, which was recorded back in 1991. Christian Wig fiddled with us and he did a wonderful job of playing it. As of this writing that album is still available as a CD or digital download.

Historic versions include Buddy Thomas, Edden Hammons, The Johnson Family, Marcus Martin and many more. Those are usually played more paced and usually they play the high part first but follow the melody close enough that you would have no trouble recognizing it as being the same tune now a bit updated. And Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith does kick it out at a pretty good clip!

Ladies On The Steamboat – This can be a tricky tune but it sure is fun to play! Notice the slide as you go into the second part. Very cool! The first part is usually played short though some double it (i.e. 4 times through instead of just 2) which makes it playable for dances today. I have a lot of recordings of this and there is a great YouTube of Judy Hyman and Rafe’ Stehanini playing it at Galax some years ago for over 10 minutes! Audio recordings include Bob Carlin, The Rockinghams, Burnett & Rutherford (check out their words!), Cyril Stinnet and more. There are lots of references for you to hear.

Lady of the Lake 1 & 2 Both of these come to me from Pete Sutherland.

LOTL 1 the most common one I have heard over the years and you may recognize the second part as a Wabash Cannonball variant. It is the second tune in the Lady of the Lake medley from Pete’s Eight Miles From Town recording.

LOTL 2 here is the third part of that same medley. Art Stamper plays a version of number one that is pretty cool. John Ashby has a good version as well as Garry Harrison who is another more modern source for this and he recorded it in 1998 though I don’t think that was a commercial recording. Bruce Molsky on the A. Robic and the Exertions Old Time Music Dance Party, as well as Blech and Hart also play a neat though modal version of this one on their Build Me A Boat recording.

Leather Britches This tune is a finger twister for sure! The title refers to dried string type of beans and not your trousers. I have over 50 versions in my music library from Howdy Forrester, John Hartford, Ward Jarvis, Jim Bowles, Kenny Baker, John Hatcher, Horseflies, The Skillet Lickers, and more! They are all a bit different from each other so you have permission to play it as you like. There is a cool recording where an old fellow talking says that if you can play this tune you really know how to play the fiddle! Ain’t that for sure! Rock that bow, play those notes! “Whoop that fiddle boy!” Old-time, bluegrassy or Texas style!

Liberty – This one is a classic! A must learn for all players. From the Skillet Lickers to Bob Wills to Roscoe Parrish, Kyle Creed, and Melvin Wine. There are a lot of references for this tune which crosses almost all fiddle styles. One of my favorite recordings is the one by Kirk Sutphin and Riley Baugus with just fiddle and clawhammer banjo. Simple and clean!

Little Betty BrownWhile I first heard this one played by the Canote Brothers, it dates back to both the Bob Wills Tiffany Transcriptions vol.1 (1946), Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies (1935) and The Kessinger Brothers Brunswick 78 #580 (1929). There are others that you can look up but I still love the Canote’s version. The Bob Wills and the Milton Brown recordings even have square dance calls!

I have written this one out as a 32 bar tune even though it doesn’t follow our modern AABB format so be careful if you choose to use it for a dance.

Little Billie WilsonPretty straight ahead on this one but the chords can be considered controversial. First, you could use that first E chord (measure 4) through measure 5 before changing to the A and that can sound pretty cool. You can also leave the E out altogether in the second part. BUT, in that third part, there is where the trouble starts! There’s that darn modern F#m in the second measure! Some folks HATE it so I wrote the D as the first choice.

Many think the old folks didn’t or wouldn’t ever play any minor chords but that is just not true. I think it sounds WAY cool, but really it is up to you and your guitar player what to do. I’d at least encourage you to give it a go before just rejecting it out of hand.

BTW, I had a neighbor by this name and he was not so little! Great neighbor and helped me with a bunch of things when I owned that old place in Ohio. We put 10’ by 30’ my porch roof frame up in one day!

Little Burnt Potato OKAY! My only jig! This one came to me from Les Raber – a Michigan state fiddler who is included in the Library of Congress recordings. I met Les when he was 85 and we became great friends for the short time he was still with us. His most important lesson to me, “Dan, you have to give every note full measure!” – meaning you need to let each note play out – has stayed with me ever since he said that. I don’t always listen but Les does! Play each note brightly but with full measure as you add this unique tune to your old time repertoire.

For another beautiful version of this tune find Scandinavian fiddler Jeff Anderson’s Fiddling in the Family Tradition. He is another great fiddler I have had the pleasure of meeting and playing with a time or two over the years.

Little Dutch GirlAnother early member of my repertoire. Occasionally referred to by one of my old banjo buds as Little Dumb Girl, I like it even if she didn’t. I am sure I can see that little Dutch gal dancing in those wooden clog shoes when I play this. Helps with the rhythm.

Little Girl with Her Hair Down BehindI remember getting this tune from Ray Leach at his Centralia Campout in Centralia, Washington – https://www.centraliacampout.com/. I am guessing it was either 2018 or 9. BTW, that gathering the second week of August most years and is well worth the drive! Just music and music, jams and food. It was the inspiration for my Tucson area Southwest Old-Time String Band Gathering the first weekend in March each year – https://swotgathering.com/. Come on down!

Little SadieThe tune, not the song. I get it from the Canote Brothers and their reference leads back to Jon Bekoff. It is an often-played tune here in Tucson jams. We tend to start on the low part here but the Canote’s start on the high part. There is a nice recording by the band Uncle Henry’s Favorites. They start on the low part.

The chords almost always freak out the guitar players since both parts begin with a 5 chord and the progression goes from there BUT it does resolve to the I or D chord.

Little Sadie chords




Log Chain This is one of the first tunes I played with The Boiled Buzzards and we recorded it back in 1990 on our Salt and Grease recording. Originally only cassette it is now available both as a CD and as a digital download through my website. It comes from the playing of Ohio fiddler Lonnie Seymour. Lonnie was born in Chillicothe, OH in 1922. You can hear his version on the Field Recorders Collective recording of him, FRC 403.

Lonnie started in on the low part, I like to start it on the high part. The joys and vagaries of old time music! This one is just fun! You may want to take your time getting those arpeggios! And yes, you can change that bowing if you like.

Logan County BluesAnother of my early favorites, I have several recordings of it but probably first heard it on a Galax jam tape from 1985 by the Bubba George String Band. 7 minutes and 17 seconds of pure rocking old-time! The Freight Hoppers recorded it on their Where’d Ya Come From… album and I recorded it on my Barenaked Banjos album (all solo clawhammer banjo recordings) back in the mid 90’s. There is little more information about this one other than it is hypothesized that the title refers to Logan County, WV.

Lonesome Train – I have recently just rediscovered this tune played by Jon Bekoff and friends. While the first part is in G, notice that the second part it is in the key of D. It is JUST now coming into its own at our local jam sessions.

A couple of notes on how to play these parts. First, while I do like starting on the low part of this tune, I often like to end it on the same part, particularly with the lower octave as that part is written. Also, the 3rd and 4th full measures and the 7th and 8th measures are actually the same notes an octave apart. I find them interchangeable, that is that you can play either octave in either spot so don’t think you have to play the upper octave or the lower octave where written each time. Mix this up. You may choose to play all low octave, all high octave, low first and high second – to vary the tune. Enjoy!

Lost Indian (Ed Haley’s) Often played in AEac# – calico – tuning. Not to be confused with the other Lost Indian tunes, and who knew there were so many, this one is pretty unique and was a signature piece of Ed’s. John Hartford plays quite a lovely version. I also like the Bumping Uglies’ version. Christian Wig and Whitt Mead do a very nice fiddle/banjo duet with gut strung fretless banjo on their Lost Indian Fiddling on the Frontier recording! It is quite crooked as you go from one part to the next so do note the time signatures here.

Chords are in the score as I like them – yes, with that F# minor – and as usual my bowing might change each time so this is just a suggestion. You are going to find some variation on how folks play it. And yes, some folks now have changed the name.

Have fun with this one! Ed’s tune is nothing like the other tunes known in the Lost Indian/Cherokee Shuffle family. Totally different melody and it sounds WAY crooked  if even, but in a good way. This version will get you started though some (me included) vary where and how long they hold some of the notes, and the crooked bits can seem off to others. The chords, too, can be simpler if you like by eliminating the E chords in the first and second part and playing the third part with just one chord instead of the turnaround that I wrote and like. Listen to Ed’s recording for some more cool variations.

Lost Indian (Ed Haley’s)



||:F#mF#mF#mF#m DDDD AAEA:||

Love Somebody This is one that is a tune name with many different melodies connected to it. Some folks attach this melody to Soldier’s Joy, others to Sweet Sixteen or My Love Is But A Lass. I find it is unique enough to include here as its own tune.

I have recordings under this tune name from The Crook Brothers (maybe my favorite), Ed Haley, Henry Reed, John Salyer (pretty much the Soldier’s Joy variant), Melvin Wine and more. Decide for yourself if it is the same or of a different lineage but enjoy that it is a very cool tune, widely recorded since the early 1900’s!

Maggots in the Sheep’s Hide – Transcribed from Sarah Armstrong’s playing for Hill Country Tunes (Samuel Bayard 1944) November 18, 1943. I have gone back to the original transcript for this version though I have made a couple of (mostly rhythmic) additions based upon how I play it.

Magpie A finger twister that I almost always confuse with Cuffy.  I do like trying to play them as a medley!

Martha Campbell – The two named resources – Buddy Thomas and Doc Roberts – for this one play particularly notey versions. In the transcription I have attempted to give you the flavor and some of the unique notation that both of these artists exhibited in their playing of this tune without making is SO complicated that it is impossible for the intermediate player to play it. SO, in this case definitely listen to the source recordings to hear how much you can do with this tune.

McMichen’s Reel – aka Hog Trough Reel – Titles can be confusing. I first learned this from Lynn Morris as Hog Trough Reel and heard a recording of Clayton McMichen playing it at about the same time period as McMichen’s. But if you search it, say on Spotify, it comes as part of Riley Puckett’s Doxy Collection (2014) and is this tune. Clayton McMichen & His Georgia Wildcats play it under the title Hog Trough Reel in 1932. BUT the same tune can be found under the title Hog Trough Reel of which I have a recording by Faye and Leonard Green (date unknown). There is a pretty wild version of it under that title by Molsky’s Mountain Drifters. If you look up McMichen’s Breakdown you will get an entirely different tune.

I like to throw the third part (the bridge) in about every 3rd time through, but that is up to you. BTW, the measure after the tune repeat that says “To bridge or final” means if you are going on to the bridge (third part) OR if you are ending the tune, play this measure instead of the 1 or Tune repeat ones. And To beginning in that last measure, means just that. Back to the beginning to start the tune over and play to the Final ending.

Meadow PrancerWritten by Ryck Kaiser and used with his permission. We may never know the full story but to me this one makes me imagine a heard of deer enjoying the first fall days in an eastern Pennsylvania field. It is one of the few “new” tunes in this collection and one of the few new tunes I have felt drawn to. Perhaps because it is in A or maybe it is the chord progression. It starts with an E chord ya know. Whatever it is, thanks Ryck for letting me use this great tune! You might think it makes a great dance tune to prance on but note, the parts are 10 bars long so contra callers may not be happy but square callers shouldn’t mind.

(The) Merry BlacksmithI have to be honest and tell you I don’t know where I first got this one but it got into my repertoire pretty early on. I had misremembered the tune title as The Merry Widow (no idea how) so it was a while until I found the correct name for it.

Originally a tune from Ireland and the British Isles, it has had many titles but this is the most common. According to the Traditional Tune Archive researchers have collected versions back to fiddler Thomas ‘Blind’ Kiernan who was born in 1807 in Drumlish, Longford.

Mike in the WildernessJohn Morgan Sayler is the source for this one. Very cool and quite a fun tune to play once you get the “swing” down. In the second section, the second note I like to pluck the open E string for that top note (classical players will know this as a “left-handed pizzicato”) but you can just play the open A string as a half note if you prefer. Listen to John’s recording for the best rendition of how this tune can be played.

Mississippi Breakdown see Saturday Night Breakdown

Mississippi Sawyer – An oldie. Cliché but a goodie!

Mole in The Ground aka Tempy (Roll Down Your Bangs) – I remember this one as a song I sang as a child. It was a part of Tommy Jarrell’s repertoire and was often called Tempy from the verse that starts “Tempy roll down your bangs”.

The tune is simple but the rhythmic variations are many. And you can make it as fancy as you like, but you really don’t have to. It is what it is and the words can make the tune!

I wish I was a mole in the ground,

I wish I was a mole in the ground,

If I’s a mole in the ground, I’d root this mountain down,

I wish I was a mole in the ground.

Money Musk – This one comes from the playing of Henry Reed and is played by many folks of the old time community most notably fiddle elders Owen “Snake” Chapman and L.O. Weeks as well as Ed Haley. There is even an old Edison recording (51281) of Jasper Bisbee playing it (and don’t ask me where I found that recording ‘cause I have no idea how I got it). I also have a recording of the famous Texas Lewis Family playing it showing that it is played far and wide! All that said, the most exciting modern version (to me) is the one by The Highwoods Stringband who play it as a four-part tune instead of the usual three. That version probably most heavily influences my transcription in this volume.

I was asked about what “Money Musk” means do it inspired me to do some more research about the title and the tune. According to the Ibiblio site (www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/MON.htm – LOTS of info there!), Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_Musk) and Language Hut (languagehat.com/money-musk/( – it is a noxious weed, contradance and a pipe tune written around 1776: ” (written within the range of nine notes, with the so-called ‘double tonic’ tonality) and the name of an Aberdeenshire, Scotland, estate called Monymusk House, long in the possession of the Grant family. ‘Moneymusk’ is the ‘Englished’ version of the Gaelic words Muine Muisc meaning a noxious weed or bush. The tune was composed by Daniel (sometimes Donald) Dow (1732‑1783) in 1776 and first appeared in his Thirty Seven New Reels, c. 1780 (pg. 5), under the title “Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk’s Strathspey” […] Linscott (1939) says the melody was called “The Countess of Airly” in the early 18th century, and came from the village of Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, although by what authority he makes this claim is not known. […] It has since that time [1799] been generally known simply as “Monymusk” or its alternate spellings and variations. Christine Martin (2002) uses the tune as an example of one of the vehicles for a foursome reel, and says “Monymusk” is often used for dancing the Highland Fling.”

(Wooliver’s) Money Musk – My favorite recording of this can be heard on John Hartford’s Hamilton Ironworks with John playing fiddle and Bob Carlin on clawhammer banjo. John got it from Gene Goforth who also has a good recording of it on his CD Eminence Breakdown. Their source is said to be Missouri fiddler Roy Wooliver who’s tune is not related to other tunes by the Money Musk title which is why we call it Wooliver’s or Roy Wooliver’s Money Musk. You can play “all” the notes or less to make it your own.

Monkey on a Dogcart This was a Cleveland jam favorite. I seem to remember Andy Cohen calling it Monkey on a Gurney – I think he was still taking classes at the medical school at Kent University. Then again, it was Andy.

Moses Hoe The CornI first heard this one played by the Rustical Quality String Band from State College, Pennsylvania. They were playing at the Coal Country Convention and I just loved the tune and the band. Apparently, and according to the Traditional Tune Archive on the web, the tune originates as a minstrel song Razors in the Air and is shortened to two parts by several players including Major Contay in the 1980’s or thereabouts. I also found a reference in the Library of Congress for a tune called Hoe That Corn Moses recorded by Authur L. Campa (1905 – 1978) of the University of Denver but I was not able to find the actual recording to hear if it was the same tune.

During a visit to Jane and Lawrence Phillips to play a house concert at their home in New Mexico, Jane related that “Pat Conte turned Vernon Dalhart’s Razors in the Air (3-part tune/song) into a 2-part dance tune in the 1970s. I learned the tune around 1990 from Jim and Marj Mullany. I remember hearing Pat Conte’s name mentioned as a source for the tune, though I can’t recall if it was the Mullanys or someone else who had that angle on things.

Seems like someone around me knew Pat, because we played several things that came from him. Marj knew all the words to Dalhart’s Razors in the Air, and would fit them into the 2-part tune. So, I learned the connection to the Dalhart song pretty much from the first time I heard Moses.

I found a recording of Dalhart’s song many years ago so I could hear what was changed from the original. The entry on Slippery-Hill says Kerry Blech learned it from Pat Conte, and then Kerry taught it to the Canote Bros in 1980. Kerry suggests that the Canotes may be responsible for it getting more widely dispersed. I messaged Marj to ask her where she got it, and I will let you know if there’s an interesting story or trail there.”

Enjoy the journey on this one!

Muddy RoadsThis is another early Boiled Buzzard tune from the Salt and Grease recording. It can be traced to Gaither Carlton as well who can be heard playing it on the Classic Old-Time Fiddle collection from Rounder Recordings. A bit of a hypnotic mantra tune this one is! There are words! Sing ‘em on the B part:

Goin’ down the road; The road kinda muddy;

Got so drunk I couldn’t stand steady.

You might notice that the chords in the second part never resolve. Gaither plays the tune short (no repeats) and adds a D at the very end of the tune but The Buzzards didn’t. I think it is cool and leaves you hanging if you just don’t. TOTALLY up to you and your crew.

Natchez Under the HillThis is an early tune and a version can be found in Knaff’s Virginia Reels. It refers to a pretty dangerous section of Vicksburg, MS which was on the river below the “hill” upon which the wealthy folks lived. It is very upscale these days which I got to see during a trip that way late in the spring of 2021.

The version of the tune I play comes from Buzz Lloyd, a North Carolina fiddler, and he started me on the Em chord at the beginning of this tune. All in all, this is my version of the tune based upon the way it comes to me from Buzz.

There is an old recording of this one where the fellow at the beginning says, “Some folks think this tune is a lot like Turkey in the Straw but still it’s different!” You will likely notice the similarities though.

NeedlecaseTish called this one Latchkey but I don’t know of any other references to it by that name. I got my versions from Bob Carlin and Pete Sutherland years ago and I remember it being one of the first tunes I used in a banjo contest. (Nope, didn’t win that time). I do often add a lot of ornamental notes when I play the tune but this core should get you well on your way. Traditional Tune Archive quotes, “Clarke County Democrat of May 9, 1929, predicted would be “rendered in a most approved fashion” at an upcoming contest in Grove Hill, Alabama.” They also point to a recording by The McGee Brothers and Arthur Smith from 1964.

New Five Cents aka Robinson County – Some folks consider these to be two different tunes but I’m not sure they are really two different tunes. It may be the chords in the first part that differentiate the two for people, as some play the fourth full measure holding the D chord and with either an F# or D as the melody note (I switch between the two randomly) like Jim Bowles and Garry Harrison do. Likewise Birkead and Lane play it that way on Echoes of the Ozarks under the Robinson County name. That is my preferred way to play and hear the tune. Others go to the A chord there and play an E note.

New Money Doc Roberts is my preferred source for this one. I think you can hold off on the G chord in the 4th measure until half way through or even until the 5th measure if you feel that sounds better. I agonized over that a bit but decided on putting it at the beginning of the 4th measure.

Nixon’s Farewell – This is another one of the few “new” tunes in this volume. Curtis Carlisle Bouterse of San Diego wrote it around the time of then President Nixon’s leaving office. It is a regular jam session favorite and one that I recorded with The Boiled Buzzards on our Eat At Joe’s album.

North Carolina BreakdownFiddling Arthur Smith is the source for me though I have heard and played it at many jam sessions throughout the years.

Oh My Little Darling – Mississippi old time banjo player Thaddeus Willingham recorded this one with the words in1939 which is a great reference for this tune. There are several good references for this one including a slow and slinky version by the Plank Road String Band, and upbeat version by the Volo Bogtrotter

s and a rhythmic version by Mark Schatz with foot percussion (clogging) in the mix.

About the chords – I play the D (7th full measure of both parts) a bit delayed. You could play it earlier but I like the tension of holding back just a bit. I also put a bass run in that spot on the guitar.

Oh my little darlin, Don’t you weep and cry,

Some sweet day comin’, Marry you and I,

Oh my little darlin, Don’t you weep and moan,

Some sweet day comin’, Gonna take my baby home

Up and down the railroad, Cross the county line,

Perty little girl a grinnin’ but a wife is always cryin’,

Jimmy drives the wagon, Jimmy walks the line,

Kill yourself a’laughin’, See them horses flyin’.

Oklahoma Rooster (aka Ten Strike) – Uncle Dick Hutchinson – I think I first heard this one from Mark Tamsula but also as Ten Strike from Les Raber. It was some time until I realized that they were one tune! I keep working on it and someday I may have it smooth enough to feel good about it. But hey, we all have tunes like that, right?

Old Bell Cow (2 parts) – This is the way I first heard this tune from Jeff and Rick Goehring in Ohio. Lynn Fredrick also played it and it was a regular tune at jam sessions in Northeastern Ohio when I lived in Cleveland.

Old Bell Cow (3 parts) – From the playing of Benny Thomasson. What a great version. If you play it in calico tuning (AEac#) the plucked (left hand pizzicato – LP) high strings are the C# and A notes. If you don’t retune for this it won’t work! The words fit this one well too.

“One of these days and I know how, I’m gonna milk me the old belle cow

Oh, the belle cow catch her by the tail, Oh the belle cow milk here in the pail.”

BTW, I have it on good authority that it is NOT a good idea to catch a cow by the tail…belled or otherwise!

Old Bunch of KeysThis might be one of the first tunes I learned to play on banjo years ago, from a rockin’ version played by the Bubba George String Band. Bob Carlin’s Banging and Sawing was another early source for me. They both start on the low part so that is how I wrote it out. Many folks play the parts in the other order.

During my days with The Boiled Buzzards, we squared it up so we could use it as a dance tune. We often played the low part in a modal way with at G natural (most folks play it major with the G#). I have written it with the G# in the main transcription but also give you the G natural version as an alternate low part. That makes the “other” chord in the low part a G instead of an A. AND, btw, another possibility for that last measure if the high part is to use a G instead of an E. So many choices!

Old Horse and Buggy Art Stamper. I think this is one of fiddlin’ Martila’s favorite tunes! I love playing it wih her.

Old Joe Clark I have sourced this version to Edden Hammons though I will admit I have taken some liberties with the notation but not the “mode” of the tune. OJC is often played as a full on major tune, especially when sung as a song but it is also often played “modally” with a flatted third (C natural in the key of A) throughout. Edden is unique in that he plays the G natural the first part but the G# in the second part. That means a G chord in the first part but an E in the second part. I will also tell you that I often play it with all G naturals and others with all G#’s so do what the group does in sessions and what you love on your own. I’d love to know you have listened to Edden for this tune as well as many others. He was a remarkable fiddler.

Old MelindaMel Durham

Old Molly Hare Truly one of the first song I remember hearing as a child. On a Seeger family album. Great words for kids! Miss Jennifer used to feel bad for that poor ol’ bunny rabbit.

Old Molly Hare, Whatcha doing there,

Sitting by the fireplace Smoking my cigar

Jump back jump back, Daddy shot a bear,

Shot him in the eye and he never touched a hair!

Old Mother Flanagan I can’t say I remember where I first heard this one but it was Franklin George who got me to play it as a three-part tune instead of just 2. It isn’t any different or additional melody, rather he broke the second part up into 2 parts. Most folks still play it as a two-parter but I love it as 3 and so does my Tucson banjo buddy Greg Smith. We just played it last week and were both surprised that we BOTH played it as 3 parts. Yay Greg! Yay Franklin.

I have lots of recordings of the older musicians playing it in my music library include Wilson Douglas, Ward Jarvis, Glen Smith, Lester McUmbers, and Kenny Hall. Modern clawhammer banjoist Joel Mabus plays a killer version on banjo and my band, The Boiled Buzzards, did that three-part version with harmonica player David Rice and yours truly playing clawhammer banjo on my recording Fine Dining.

Finally, while many folks play it in G, I learned it in A and that is the key it is usually in these days.

Old SavannahA beautiful new tune used by permission of composer Beverly Smith who wrote this in honor of the City of Savannah, Georgia. She had made up the tune around Christmas and heard the story of Sherman’s letter to Lincoln telling him “Cheer up, I got you a Christmas present – Savannah!”

I was turned onto it over the summer of 2020 (Covid summer) when only a few folks at a time could gather to play outside and with masks. Amy S, of Bend, OR sent me the video of Beverly fiddling it with her partner John Grim playing guitar at a house concert. Amy wanted me to learn it so we could play it at a jam session in Bend the week I was there. I was quite taken with it and have spent the time since spreading this wonderful tune to folks such as yourself. It is a wonderful gentle tune that you should play with feeling! Thank you, Amy, for introducing me to this marvelous tune. AND Thank you Beverly for permission to include it in this collection.

Old Yellow Dog Come Trottin’ Through the Meeting House aka The Old Grey Mare – Many of you may recognize this one as The Old Grey Mare but Charlie Acuff called it Old Yellow Dog… Either title works and it is a very simple nice tune to play for dances or in concert. You can even sing either set of words!

The Old Grey Mare she ain’t what she used to be…


Old Yellow Dog come trottin throught the meeting house…

(The Celebrated) Opera Reel Love this one! Pete Sutherland is my first source for it. I wrote the 3rd and 4th parts out long so I could put in some cool variations. There is a lot of history about it at the Traditional Tune Archive if you want to know a WHOLE lot more!

Ora Lee This is not the song (usually spelled Aura Lea) but a fiddle tune that is quite popular at our Tucson, AZ jams. I first heard it on Bob Carlin’s Banging and Sawing played by fiddler James Bryan. James says he had gotten it from old Tennessee fiddler, Edward Winter. Don’t play it too fast.

Orvetta Waltz This waltz is attributed to Vesta Johnson, but in the recording’s notes she says someone told her that the title was Orvetta. A web search does bring up an old manuscript of another waltz by the same name but it is not the same tune. If anyone finds the true name of THIS waltz I would love to know. Probably my favorite recording of this comes from Skip Gorman on his Greener Prairie recording. Worth a listen!

Remember to put some sweetness and swing into it when you play it.

Over the Waterfall An oldie but a goodie! Everyone knows this one. It inspired a whole tune book from me! (See Beyond the Waterfall – MelBay 30518)

Pig Ankle Rag Many of us know and reference the Highwood’s version of this one. I also loved how Michigan fiddler Les Raber played it. I was so glad to have gotten a chance to know and play with him in his later years. Forrest Wogomont was another older fiddler from Ohio whom I got to play with in Yuma, AZ had a cool variant of the tune as well. Unfortunately, to my knowledge there is no recording of him and recordings of Les are likewise hard to come by. I don’t think I have ever been brave enough to write it out before. AND it does look harder than it really is. I hope I have included enough of Les while keeping true to the Highwoods SB version as well.

One significant fact is that both Les and the Highwoods folks put the crooked raggy twist into the tune that SO many folks leave out. SO, even if you play it as a reel, it is better not too fast and with the twisted tags included. You may have to work with the folks you play with to get a version figured out but it is way worth it!

Pike’s PeakI have even played this one on Pike’s Peak! Don’t let the high C and D notes throw you. A little practice is all it takes. (And, hey, this will get you all ready for Quince Dillion’s High D tune!)

Policeman– Tommy Jarrell is usually considered the source for this one. A classic!

Police come and I didn’t want to go this morning.

Police come and I didn’t want to go this morning.

Police come and I didn’t want to go,

Shot ‘em in the head with my forty-four this morning!

Polly Put the Kettle On I originally heard this three part version on Andy Cahan and Lisa Ornstein’s album Ship in the Clouds, an early Folkways recording. A great take on such an old nursery rhyme tune! I also have a wonderful version by Bruce Molsky and band at a dance!

Porter’s Reelaka Porter’s Two-Step – A great bouncy little tune! Stafford Harris is the source for this tune but it comes to most of us through playing of Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer. Interestingly Spencer and Rains recorded it in C on their album The Old Texas Fiddle vol.2 even though the recording by Stafford is in D and he called it Porter’s Two Step – which is more descriptive of the style of the tune. D is the key it is played in at jam sessions. SO – listen to that album for a great rendition but note the key difference.

Stafford died in 2010 but his recording should be available too and has good sound quality and playing so try to find that one too. It is transcribed here in D.

Possum In The Well This one comes from the Easy Street String Band album Money in Both Pockets – a still available must have recorded in 1980. A WONDERFUL band from the 70’s featuring Frank Hall and Bob Herring on fiddle, Mark Feddersen on bass, Teri Klassen – guitar and Randy Marmouze’ on banjo. There is also a cool 1987 version from the Bumping Uglies of Ithica, NY with Faith Dominy fiddling that is worth a listen. This D tune shares a B part with another Possum tune in G, Possum On A Rail which is also transcribed in this volume.

My jam buddie Ernie tells me, “Chances are you know this already. But in searching for a recording of Possum in the Well, I found several sites that credit it as a composition of banjo player Randy Marmouze, who is since deceased. https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation: Possum in the Well. I know you already published that in another book.” Thank you Ernie!

Possum On A Rail This one is from the Mississippi Possum Hunters – a great old time band form 1930! Other great tunes recorded by this band were Mississippi Breakdown, Last Shot Got Him and Rufus Rastus. I had a band mate once that misheard the title and thought I called it Pasta Monorail – which could indeed be a catchy alternate title! We do in fact now often refer to the tune by that name!

It is transcribed here as most of us play it today but quite in line with the historic recording as well. Notice I wrote out the entire first part instead of repeating it. I did that because of the climb up to the high B note on the E string which you should know about even if you don’t care to play it that way.

Quince Dillon’s High D – We often refer to it in jest as Quince Dillon’s High C# because it takes a bit or work (dare I say practice?) to get that high D note on the E string just right! It comes from the playing of Henry Reed via Alan Jabbour and all of the stories indicate that Henry learned it directly from fifer Quincy Dillon. Alan played it as a four-part tune on his recording, A Henry Reed Reunion which included Bertram Levy and Henry’s relative James Reed. I thought I had a recording of Henry playing all four parts but alas, I have been unable to find it.

Most folks play this as a two-part tune, and there are differences as to which part comes first. The Tucson crowd usually plays all four parts thanks to friend and once Tucson musician Steve Langford who worked hard to preserve all four parts to the tune. I like to play the high D part first but Alan historically plays that as the second part so I have chosen to transcribe the parts in the order he played them on the Henry Reed Reunion recording with the high D as the second part. 1, 2, 3, or 4 parts, and which part first is entirely up to you and your group. Just get up to that high D!

Rachael(See Texas Quickstep)

Ragtime Annieaka Raggedy Annie – Here’s a fun one! It’s the 3-part version. I credit my playing of it to both Les Raber of Michigan and Forrest Wogemont from Ohio via Yuma, AZ. They were two wonderful old fiddlers I was privileged to know and play with.

If you play all three parts, you would play through all 3 parts then got back to the start and end on the second part. Just leave that C natural off (second half note) to end the tune. Likewise if you only play two parts, drop that last C natural half note off the end.

Some call the two-part version Ragtime Annie and the three-part one Raggedy Annie but I almost always play the 3-part version.  So many folks leave out the third part, which I think is such a loss! It goes to the key of G but with a C natural in the mix!

Railroad Through The Rocky Mountains aka Marmaduke’s Hornpipe – This one comes from the playing of both Jim Bowles and Cyrill Stinnett. It is usually the third tune in what I like to call the Rocky Mountain Trio. Rocky Mountain Hornpipe to Rocky Mountain Goat to Railroad… Maybe it should be referred to at the Rocky Mountain Suite?

(The) Rainy DayThis one comes from Melvin Wine though there are several good recorded sources from fiddlers with my favorites being the one by Jimmy Triplet and another from Jake Krack (who studied with Melvin). Melvin varied how he played the tune a lot and has some cool slides into notes that don’t represent well in the written form.

Bottom line is that this transcription is intended to get you going and listening to the recorded versions will give you a lot of options as you firm up what you want to play. I think Jake’s recording of it on his Second Time Around is the best one to listen with a band and Jimmy’s solo for slow clean playing.

Why did I write it out of the G key signature? It is interesting to note that while the tune is said to be in A (what we commonly call A modal), even Melvin played it out of standard tuning (GDae low to high strings) and the notes lay out right in the Key of G on paper so that is how I have chosen to transcribe it. Then there are the chords. Just A to G and back again. (I-VII if you hear it in “A”). I imagine some of them might sound harsh to the western classical ear but that is how I hear it accompanied and how the Jale Krack’s recording has it. Sounds kind of cool to me.

(The) Rattlesnake – From the playing of Kenner “K.C.” Kartchner, an Arizona fiddler from the very early 1900’s. A simple quick tune that I like to pair with Kenner’s Walk Along John to Kansas.

Rattlesnake Bit the Baby – I have two great recordings of this tune. One comes from John Ashby & The Free State Ramblers – often considered the source for the tune – and the other comes from Kenny Hall & The Long Haul String Band. Both are wonderful but Kenny tends to be notey-er than John. Both do require you to reach for that high C though! I do that by sliding my pinky up from the A note before it.  And I land somewhere in the middle, notey-ness-wise so I have written it with enough notes to get you sounding good but not so many that you lose the tune. You do have to swing it, though, to get that rockin’ old time sound.

Oh, yes, and this one has words. Kenny sings ‘em good!

Rattlesnake Bit the Baby, foreign girls drive me crazy,
Rattlesnake Bit the Baby, ha, ha, ha, the baby.

Red Bird – My version comes from the playing of Clark Kessinger – a West Virginia fiddler from Kanawha County who was greatly influenced by fiddler Ed Haley. Clark was born in 1896 and lived until 1975. He, unfortunately, passed away before I had moved to southern Ohio where I was only about an hour and a half from his home. His biography in Wikipedia is well worth the read.

He was well documented when he was alive and most of his recordings are included in the Kessinger Brothers Complete Recorded Works vol. 1-3 on Document records with his nephew Luches (they recorded and performed as “the Kessinger Brothers” and even had their own radio program!) and on his own represented on several Rounder recordings. You might want to check out their bio on Hillbilly-Music.com. It has a complete discography of the brothers.

Clark’s version is VERY notey but I love it! You may hear a similarity in the first two parts to Wake Up Susan, I did, but I assure you this one is a much more intricate and interesting tune that is well worth the time to learn it. The third part is a bit more me than Clark, and I often hold the first note of that part longer and loose the run down to the A but listening to Clark will definitely help you decide what to play. You can find Clark’s recording of this tune on Rounder’s Classic Old-Time Fiddle recording. VERY quick! WAY fun!

Red Fox Waltz I have old recordings of Charlie Walden, Uncle Dick Hutchison, Earl Collins and Cyril Stinnett playing this one. Of those I love Cyril’s version as it is a bit more upbeat or a “blue skirt” tempo as my old friend and fiddle builder Clifford Hardesty would say. That is the tempo that is supposed to make your skirt flow out when you dance. But believe it or not in this case I have come to prefer the more modern version played by Greg and Jerry Canote. They like to refer to it as the Texico Star waltz since you can sing the words to the commercial with the second part of the tune! They play it pretty much as the older fellows played it but the beginning is a little bit different. So, with my own styling incorporated here I have based my version on theirs. Feel free to listen to the older ways and play the variations you prefer.

Red Haired Boy aka Little Beggar Man – I don’t have a particular source for this one, it’s just the way I have heard and played it for years. As often is the case, the chord selection can be a bit personal. For some, G’s the rule. For others, the D and E’s are required instead. I do like to mix it up.

Kenny Hall played it under the Little Beggar Man title and that has nice vocals. Brendon Manogue of Youngstown, Ohio used to sing the words VERY fast! You can find the words pretty easily on the internet these days but here are the first two lines. See how fast you can sing em!

            I am a little beggarman and begging I have been
            For three score or more in this little isle of green…

Richmond See Cuckoo’s Nest 2 in A

Richmond Cotillion aka Waiting in The Kitchen Till The Cook Comes In –While there are a lot of variations of this one most follow this basic transcription. I got to play it with Charlie Acuff some years ago under the Waiting in the Kitchen… title that he knew it by.

A cotillion by definition switches keys in the second part. This one starts in D and goes to A. Some folks play the parts the other way around so community rules on that.

Rickett’s Hornpipe Usually thought of as a more New England tune than old time, I have a surprising number of references for this one including Brad Leftwitch. We really should play it more in the old time world so here it is. Pretty notey and I likely have more chords than are needed.

Roaring River An Alabama tune from the playing of Monte Sano Crowder on the Possum Up A Gum Stump recording (Alabama Traditions 103). The band Red Mountain White Trash also plays a rousing version on their Fire In The Dumpster recording, though they reverse the parts.

This one is all about timing and chords. And that slide up from the Bb to the B is key. Yes, THOSE chords. Listen to the recording of Monte Sano Crowder to get the most out of this tune.

Rochester SchottischeSort of like Western Country with a little crooked twist! John McCutcheon may be the first source for me on this. It is track 12 on my first album with the Boiled Buzzards Salt and Grease which is still available from me in cd or digital download via my website.

Rock That Cradle Lucy– Skillet Lickers! Yes, yes. Great words too:

Rock that cradle Lucy, Rock that cradle long,

Rock that cradle Lucy, keep that baby warm

Rock that cradle Lucy, Rock that cradle spry,

Rock that cradle Lucy, don’t let that baby cry…

Rock the Cradle Joe1 This is the common version everyone is used to hearing and playing.

Rock the Cradle Joe2This version is more like it was collected by Myles Krassen years ago. Just a few little twists but they do change the chord progression a bit so stay alert!

Rocky Mountain GoatOne of my favorite Doc Roberts tunes. There is a lot of the feel of Whiskey Before Breakfast so you may find the need to work a bit to make sure you don’t slip into that tune.

Rocky Mountain HornpipeThis is a tune I first got from Tony Holmquest though it is sourced from the playing of Art Galbraith. This version here is based upon Tony’s and pretty much which is how I play it these days. Tune 1 of my Rocky Mountain Suite!

Drew Besser’s book Ozarks Fiddle Music (Mel Bay 21123 pg 41) says: “Galbraith learned this tune in the 1920’s from his uncles Tobe and Mark, both fiddlers. They had told him it was the oldest piece they knew, and that they could trace it back to the 1820’s. Galbraith said he and his mother used to envision an Indian dance with this tune, perhaps because of the thumping quarter-note passages that appear throughout the piece. A similar tune is called “Zack Wheat’s Tune” by some Missouri fiddlers. Fiddler’s Companion has linked the tune to the ‘Sweet Ellen’.”

Rocky Pallet This tune represents the Skillet Lickers at their finest! And while I don’t think anyone will ever truly play what they did exactly (which time?), this will give you that flavor and point you in the right neighborhood!

Rocky Road to Jordan This one is attributed to Dwight Lamb of Onawa, Iowa and comes to me partly through the hands of Chirps Smith. But it is Greg Smith (no relation) who turned me onto it first and now a Tucson Jam favorite.

Rolling RiverThere are a couple of tunes by this name but this is the one from comes from fiddler Delbar Edgar Tarpley, of whom I had previously not heard. Delbar was born in Richland County, Illinois, in 1900, and died in the same county 95 years later. He made his living as a farmer. He was recorded by Garry Harrison and the Indian Creek Delta Boys in the late 1970s. Two of Delbar’s tracks are included on the “Dear Old Illinois” set – Can’t You Hear Jerusalem Moan and Rolling River. I do have a version played by the Volo Bogtrotters fiddled by Lynn “Chirps” Smith, which will knock you out!

I was reminded of it in a little jam session I had with Ray and Barb Leach in August of 2020. Ray runs the Centralia Campout in Centralia, WA at the beginning of August each year. Unfortunately, that was the summer everything was cancelled due to the pandemic, so there was no festival but I was still able to get a little bit of music in with them on my travels that summer as I happened to be up there for the month renting one of Ray’s houses in hopes of the festival being able to have happened. It did not.

Musically the chords are in concert with minimal minor chords but I think I like to hear a Bm instead of the G for the second chord (4th measure of both the A and B parts). I will leave this decision up to you.

Roscoe I won a fiddle contest with this tune once in Roscoe, OH. Just like that tune! I have a few recorded versions of this one including a killer jam session version from Woody Woodring and Rafe Stefanini as well as one from the Bumping Uglies recording from 1987 featuring Faith Dominy on fiddle. I also remember a recording of it on the A. Robic & The Exertions album though I believe they reversed the parts from how the other folks (including myself) play them.

Run Down Boot– A fun tune that goes back to my days playing this music in Cleveland, OH with the likes of Dave Rice, Dave Bass, Mark Olitsky, Kevin Enoch and a host of others! I like to medley it with another “sole-ful” tune Walk Old Shoe With a Heal Come A’ Dragin’” – also in this collection.

Run Rabbit RunFrom is said to come from the repertoire of Ohio fiddler Ward Jarvis. You can hear him play it on the field recorders’ collective album FRC402. The second part reminds me a lot of John Henry or Sleepy-Eyed John and when Ward plays it, it sounds to me a lot like another tune, Brandywine. And yes, they all sound alike except that they don’t.

I think the coolest version I have comes from a Canote Brothers repertoire class recording. And that C chord in the first part is kind’a optional. They also use a C instead of the D in the second part, 3rd measure but I admit I don’t care for that so I put the D in there.

Rye Strawaka Joke on the Puppy – This version is based on the Tommy Jarrell one which he calls Joke on The Puppy because of the ugly things that happen when a dog chews on and eats rye straw. It is usually played out of standard tuning and is considered a D tune though the majority of the tune plays as though it is in the key of A. It is often called Joke on the Guitar player because the chords are anything but expected. Some of you may still be unhappy with the chords I have chosen. Feel free to find better ones.

Saddle Up The Grey – aka – Never Seen the Like Since Gettin’ Upstairs – aka – Not (Ain’t) A-Gonna Have No Supper Here Tonight  – aka – Getting Upstairs – There are several tunes by the name Getting Upstairs but this is the one from the playing of The Carter Brothers and Son. The Skillet Lickers (Document 8058 – Volume 3 – 1928-1929) recorded it under the title Never Seen the Like Since Gettin’ Upstairs. It seems most of the older recordings including the Skillet Lickers are in the key of G – especially when recorded under the Saddle Up… title but the more recent recordings such as the one by The New Southern Ramblers (very nice!) seem to be in A. John Alexander Brown (Mississippi version) tuned his fiddle GDad low to high which is a great sound! I’ve transcribed it here in G but feel free to move it over a string if you like and play in A.

There are a bunch of words for this one! Here are a few I’ve been able to make out from the old recordings:

Never seen the like since I’ve been born,

Big cow jumped in the little cow’s horn.

Never seen the like since getting upstairs,

Never seen the like since getting upstairs.

Saddle up the grey, better get away

Ain’t gonna get no dinner here today

Haul out the jug and put out the lights
Ainna gonna get no dinner here tonight.

Sailing Over England – I get this one from the playing of West Virginia fiddler Lee Triplett via the Canote Brothers. I had heard about this tune often over the last few years but no one I knew seemed to be able to draw it up (remember how it goes) until I got east in the summer of 2021. Some folks there played it but it just didn’t stick. Then Greg Canote came to one of my Tucson jam sessions and he played a wonderful version of it which stayed with me (well, recording it on my phone didn’t hurt either). So here it is with some of my expected ornamentation but pretty straight and a good core to work with. You can add or subtract to make it your own, or play it just as written.

The chords also reflect how I like to hear them. I don’t know that that first A is needed and some folks don’t hear the A I like in the 4th full measure but hey, as long as you and your peeps agree, go for it.

Saint Anne’s Reel This is a must learn. Cliché’ but important for all to know. J. P. Fraley, Buddy Thomas or Cyril Stinnett would be good recorded references for this classic tune.

Sally Ann Johnson Another of those fine Johnson girls. From my first album Salt and Grease with The Boiled Buzzards. Put some swing into it!

Sally’s Got Mud Between Her Toes aka Sal’s …– This one is where my playing gets morphed with the version from Bruce Greene’s playing of the tune as  he got from Pat Kingery of Nabob, KY. It has gone through a bit of growth from the original from Pat, but I love how Bruce plays it. Phew! There can be some discussion on the order of the parts but, it is old-time music after all.

Salty River Reel– Cyril Stinnett, Charlie Walden and Dwight Lamb all have great recordings of this tune. I remember playing it first on mandolin and it did take a bit to get it over to fiddle but I love this tune! Hey, I love a lot of tunes!

Sandy Boys– This is a pet peeve tune for me. Both Edden and Burl Hammons (long considered the sources for this tune) start on the low part like I do here. Edden also clearly plays a G natural note for the melody in 1st and 4th full measures indicating to me a G chord and modal sound. The D will work but I just like the G better more often than not. Somewhere along the way, the parts got reversed and version major-ized so you have to decide whether it is the source or common playing that you prefer. It seems to me that the banjo version played by Burl was the one that folks keyed in on but even so he played the low part first.

The tune is a descendent of a minstrel banjo tune, originally published in Phil Rice’s Correct Method for Banjo in 1858 (pg. 50) as Sandy Boy. This tune can be heard played under the name The Quail is a Pretty Bird by John Hartford on his Hamilton Ironworks recording and was sourced by him from Gene Goforth who learned the tune from his father, Richard. Gene seems to be the first person use of the Quail title for this tune. While there are some variations between the versions, to me it is certainly the same tune.

Notice that squiggly line thing between the first two notes? That is a slide. I use my second (middle finger) to do it. It gives the beginning of the tune that slippery slide-y feeling that Edden plays on his recording of the tune. Was it the notes he played or the machine spooling up to speed? I don’t know but it sounds cool. If you don’t like it just play the pickup notes as written in the first ending to start the tune. Consider adding those trills or Scotts type “snaps” when you play the second part.

Sandy River Belle I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I first heard this tune played by Alan Block – a great Boston area fiddler and father of blues singer Rory Block. I met him at NEFFA (New England Folk Festival). I already had two of his albums and was quite excited to meet him. His recording of it is on his Alive and Well and Fiddling album and it sure that stuck with me as I developed my playing of this tune. Ward Jarvis recorded a very nice version and Henry Reed plays a version as well, which has a unique first part.

Sarah Armstrong aka Sarah Armstrong’s Tune aka Old Reel – Originally collected from Sarah Armstrong – a Fayette County, PA fiddler – by Samuel Bayard for his book Hill Country Tunes – Instrumental Folk Music of Southwestern Pennsylvania (American Folklore Society 1944) titled Old Reel, this Pennsylvania tune is a favorite nationwide.

As you can imagine it has morphed some from its “original” form but not too far. I use a few more chords than some folks but I think they fit. We play it a lot in Tucson! Enjoy.

Saturday Night Breakdown aka Mississippi Breakdown – This comes from the Leake County Revelers, The Skillet Lickers and The Mississippi Possum Hunters who call it Mississippi Breakdown in one recording but play a DIFFERENT tune with that title on another album of Mississippi tunes. I could swear I have The Skillet Lickers playing it with Riley Pucket singing “Mississippi Breakdown…Yeah…” but sure can’t find it now in my library.

You can play a C# or C natural in that opening phrase (the pickup and in measures 4, 8 and the tune repeat) or slide up from natural to sharp. I wrote it with a C to start and a C# in the other places but it could work either way. You choose. The chord stays the same.

Seneca Square Dance aka Waiting For The Federals – I have heard a lot of stories about this one over the years but there is remarkably little historic information on it. Larry Warren’s Slippery Hill website lists Sam Long as the source for this wonderful tune. According to the liner notes on Echols Of The Ozarks – Vol. 1 “Fiddlin’” Sam recorded it on November 22, 1928 along with Roy Kastner on guitar.

So, about those chords; I don’t know where I first heard the Em passing chord. It might have when I was playing with Christian Wig in my Ohio days, but I really like it, especially in the first part. If you don’t care for it at all, leave it out. You can even try the C chord where the Em occurs in the first part if you like.

Shepherd’s Walk From the playing of Wayne Liller via Jimmy Triplett. We like to medely it with Rocky Mountain Goat but then we refer to it as Shepherd’s Wok. (Groan here…)

Shoes and StockingsA tune from Henry Reed. You can hear Henry on the Library of Congress recordings of him made by Alan Jabour years ago or you can hear Alan play it with Bertram Levy and James Reed (Henry’s son) on their album A Henry Reed Reunion.

Shoo Fly Truth be told I remember this from my childhood! It was a play party tune we sang in nursery school! We even sang the same words. I also heard the Seegers sing it. I have recorded versions from the playing of Henry Reed, Rufus Crisp, Brad Leftwich, Sidna & Fulton Myers (as a one-part tune), The Kessinger Brothers, and a few others.

I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star

I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star oh, 


Shoo Fly, don’t bother me, Shoo Fly, don’t bother me
Shoo Fly, don’t bother me, ‘cause I belong to somebody

(Doc Robert’s) Shortnin’ Bread Another Doc Robert’s tune and equally as difficult to write out as his others. Doc plays amazing notation and never quite the same way twice. SO much so that folks today probably don’t play “his” version of the tunes he recorded even though he is the source for so many tunes. I have strived to keep some of his flavor, and the parts in the order he plays them, but that doesn’t mean this is how you will hear or play it in your community.

Double bars mark the “parts” and only the first part officially repeats. The fourth parts is really a different versions of the third part so use this as a guide. Depend on Doc’s recording for the full effect and your “local” folks as your roadmap. Chords too. Let your ear be your guide. You can hear Doc play it on Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts volume 3 1930-1934 of the Document recording CD 8044.

Shove (Push) That Pig’s Foot a Little Further Into the Fire I first hear this played by Bruce Molsky with A. Robics and the Exertions. Marcus Martin is most likey the source of this one and it crosses over between our old-time folks and what I refer to as the old-time fiddlers association folks who tend to play the more western swing contest style old-time fiddle style. I play a more melodic version than most folks or than Marcus played but that is how I hear (and play) it. A very fun tune! Chords can be different as well.

The Canote Brother, Britney Hass, and Billy Mathews are other good recorded references for this as well.

Shuckin’ the Brush– Funny stories here! I got this at the Centralia Campout a few years ago and there was some confusion about the title. Shuckin, Chuckin, Brush, Bush. We even called it Chuckin’ the Roast for a while (chuck, roast, get it?), but Shuckin’ the Brush is the title Earl White recorded it under so we can go with that.

That said, there is a Benny and a Lewis Thomasson tune, Bush in the Shucks also as Dry and Dusty – which, on first listen seems unrelated though the first part is a very close cousin if not the true source.

Shuffle About – Squared out for a dance (most don’t repeat the B part). A and B’s often reversed. Sources: Pete Sutherland, Boiled Buzzards, Billie Mathews.

Silly BillI first heard this one from Claudia Green the Mt. Airy Fiddlers’ Convention back in 1989 or 90. Just re-stumbled upon it and realized how much the first part sounds like Ain’t Got No Sugar Baby Now. But, it’s not. (LOL!!! The A tune, the D tune, the G tune and the C tune.) Variations, of course, exist, especially to the second part but this is pretty much how I learned it back then. As far as recorded references, I like the one from Kirk Sutphin and Riley Baugus’s Long-time Piedmont Pals recording as well as the one from Andy Cahan, Laura Fishleder and Lisa Ornstein’s Ship in The Clouds album (still available through Folkways Recordings).

And I couldn’t help but put in the double stop to force a C chord in the first two measures of the second part. You can just play the G but holding the second finger across both the e and a fiddle strings makes a challenging but very cool addition!

I do love how the second part starts on the C chord so I wrote the double stop there to make sure your guitar player hears it. A little unusual to double stop two strings with one finger but it does make it sound so nice!

Sleepy Eyed Joe Key of E! 4 #’s! Here ya go. John Ashby recorded this one some years ago on his recording Fiddling on the Hearth. More recently the band Bigfoot decided to give it a go and WOW! Hear their version on the I’ve Got A Bulldog recording. So I never thought I’d play an E tune either but here it is! The high register (as written) is not too hard once you get the basic pattern down but the lower register will take a bit. And it is indeed worth the work. AND please note, I use the B7 instead of a true B partly to keep the guitar un-capoed and avoid the bar chord B. Choose either as you prefer. I think it sounds great with the B7th.

Sleepy Eyed John I first heard and learned this one as Sleepy Eyed John played by Ray Alden and Friends on his Marimac recording Old Time Friends. It was one of my favorite recordings that had Ray playing banjo with a virtual who’s who of old time musicians – different folks on each cut. This tune stood out. He played this one in D – which is the key I wrote it out here. Elder fiddler Red Wilson also plays this tune though he plays the chorus as the first part and his second part (first part as written here) and his version is a little sparser. There is killer version by Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, (disc two of 25 Years of Bluegrass on Rounder Recordings) which is as expected, more bluegrass style, and played in A. It works in that key very well. I could write it out that way too but you just have to move over one string to the right to make the same fingering work out. I also note recordings by John Ashby Bigfoot, and Melvin Wine. Give it a go!

Some references tie this version to fiddler Tex Atchison who likely based it on another tune called Get Up, John or just Sleepy John. (See Wikipedia for a longer story).

Sleepy eyed john, better get your britches on
Sleepy eyed john, better tie your shoes
Sleepy eyed john, better get your britches on
Try to get to heaven ‘fore the devil gets you

Snake River Reel (Peter Lippincott) – I have long loved this tune! It is one of the few newly written tunes I have included in this collection and I myself have recorded it several times solo and with The Boiled Buzzards. I even got to play it live for the composer – Peter Lippencott – at his annual square dance and pottery sale outside of St. Louis. You see, Peter is not only a musician/composer but also a dance caller and potter. His Mud Puppy Pottery Studio is now in Guatemala but his tune lives on here as one of the most popular tunes of recent date. I did get to ask Peter how he came up with the tune name and he told me, “well, it just sounded like that” (the river). I guess since it twists around so much!

I have always liked a G chord in the 3rd measure to drive the tune. Many folks leave it out and use a D instead but that just doesn’t sound right (to me!).

SnowbirdThere are SO many good variations within this one that it was hard to pick exactly how to write it out for you here. The bow rocking in both parts is pretty cool so I had to have that. I got this from Bruce Greene who also plays a ton of variations throughout this tune, which he says he got from the playing of Sammy Dyer. I would urge you to listen to Bruce play it and add and subtract from that guide. I will say I don’t hear that 7 (C) chord in the B part of the tune in his Fiddler’s Dozen recording (he doesn’t do that on his Vintage Fiddle Tunes recording) and I wouldn’t recommend it in general jams, but you will decide as will the groups you play it with.

Soldier’s Joy– Not your average Soldier’s Joy! Check out the Skillet Lickers when they play this one. I have indeed taken liberties (pun intended) but it should get you going if you are a newer player and might get you back to this one if you have lost interest in it.

Spotted Pony aka Snowshoes – Where to begin! Short version. Both Ron Buchannan and Dolores Heagy – Pittsburgh, PA old-time greats – used this tune as their first teaching tune. It starts with a scale. I also now use this as my first old-time tune to teach students and wrote both Clawhammer Banjo From Scratch and Fiddle From Scratch instruction books based upon this often played tune.

When I started hanging for some time with the Old-Time Fiddlers’ Association crowd, they called it Snowshoes, but to me it is the same tune! Are there some differences and variations on each? Of course, but whatever you call it, it’s a pretty cool tune even if my students will never play it again!

Star of BethlehemJames Bryan would be my source for this one. (Sherman Hammons also has a tune called Star of Bethlehem but it is not this tune. Sherman’s is actually his version of Edden Hammons’ Queen of the Earth and Child of the Skies). I know little else about this variant of the tune but I LOVE James’ playing of it. There is a Canote Brothers recording from one of their repertoire classes from some years ago and they add a lovely lilt to it.

Staten Island Hornpipe – We old time folks almost, well, never play tunes names as hornpipes as, well, hornpipes. We play them as reels. Really! What can I say? And this one is no different except it is also NOT named for the Staten Island in New York State but most likely the Staten Island aka Isla de los Estados off of the coast of Tierra Del Fuego where the Duke of York wrecked in 1787. I could also propose that it is named for an early reference to New Zealand when Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, named the islands Staten Land, believing they were part of the Staten Landt that Jacob Le Maire had sighted off the southern end of South America. Ain’t the internet grand!

I recorded a low and slow version on low pitched fretless banjo on my Barenaked Banjos album. Henry Sapoznik played a fabulous banjo rendition of this tune (with piano accompaniment) on Melodic Clawhammer Banjo and John McCutcheon has a great one on his Wind That Shakes the Barley recording with fiddle, hammer dulcimer, guitar and banjo. BTW it is that second part C chord that really makes the tune for me!

Step Around JohnnyTraditional Tune Archive says this comes from Sam Taylor of Alabama. I think I heard it from Rick Thum some years ago but it really set in my repertoire when I got to play it with Emily Phillips in Mountain View, Arkansas. I loved her playing of it and it can really rock if you play it just right! I like to medley it with, you got it, Johnny Don’t Get Drunk! I’m still figuring I’ll write Johnny All Fall Down soon to be the tune between the too! Stay tooned!

Sugar HillIt’s a Tommy Jarrell classic and one of the most played tunes in the old-time world. I have at least 40 in my digital tune library. The one by Oscar Jenkins with Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham is my favorite. I wrote it out simply here, but getting that bow rockin’ and shufflin’ will making it cook. This one can be more rhythm than tune. Simple and still fun to play. AND sing! Best to let Tommy sing it for ya!

If you want to get your eye knocked out

If you want to get your thrill

If you want to get your head stoved in

Go up on Sugar Hill!

Sugar in the Gourd This is the common one from the Skillet Lickers. There are many good recordings of this one so listen away! Lots of speculation as to the meaning of the title. Just enjoy the tune! Tune up the fiddle and dance it all about.

Sugarbaby This is another one from Melvin Wine (he spells the title out as one word) and I have played it for years without knowing the name until now. Melvin plays it in GDad tuning but I find it works fine in standard GDae. The first part reminds me of both Dance All Night With a Bottle in Your Hand and Waiting in the Kitchen Till the Cook Comes In. I also find that the version by Christian Wig, Whit Mead and Joe LaRose on their Lost Indian Fiddling On the Frontier recording to be an excellent source.

There is some fun bow rocking possible and of course, many variations so I have tried to vary the parts a bit to give you some options.

Tater PatchHighwoods String Band and Charlie Lowe (on banjo) have good recordings of this one. Both play the second part of the tune as “modal” with a G natural and G chord instead of a G# note. Brad Leftwich plays it with the G# and E chord. Over the years I have heard and played it both ways so I have provided both “versions” here. First with a G chord in the second part and a G natural which makes it a modal sounding tune. Then, as chorded with the G# notes and the E chord in the second part. Very cool.

Temperance Reel aka Teetotaler’s Reel aka The Devil in Georgia – The first two titles refer to the use of alcohol or rather the LACK of its use. According to Wikipedia, “Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of complete personal abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler.” Kind of the opposite sentiment of “Give the Fiddler a Dram” – as another tune’s lyric professes.

A bit of a finger twister and definitely melodically showing its Celtic roots, I might suggest listening to Franklin George, Ward Jarvis or Wilson Douglas for old time versions and Benny Thomasson for a cleaner more notey version. Doc Roberts played a version of it he called The Devil in Georgia where he has a C and D chord in the first part instead of the Em.

I definitely play it as more of an old time as opposed to Irish styled tune. BUT, that’s what happens to a good Irish tune when you put it in my old timey hands. When playing it with Mark Tamsula as The Boiled Buzzards we referred to our version as Totally Reel Dude!

Tempy see Mole in The Ground

Texasaka New Castle– I first heard this on Ray Alden’s “Old Time Friends” recording back in the mid to late 1980’s. I still enjoy the tune which I recorded on my “Traveling Home” recording. Henry Reed called it New Castle but we all mostly know it as Texas. I recently discovered Melvin Wine’s version which he called Charleston Girls. Melvin played it in A but this one also has been heard in D lately.

It is a bit crooked by way of the long first part.

Texas GalsC tune time! Texas Gals is a very fun three-part tune that with a little work you will get a finger workout and a great addition to your repertoire. I know I have several versions of it including the Skillet Lickers, Tommy Jarrell, the Freight Hoppers and The Highwoods String Band. I recorded it on my Barenaked Banjos recording and again on Traveling Home so you have a bunch of references available to you for this one.

The chords are pretty straight forward:




Texas Quickstep aka Rachael – This one is another finger twister for sure! Today, it is often called Rachel, and associated with the wife of Andrew Jackson though I was unable to find any particular reference to that.

The oldest recording I can find is from the Red Headed Fiddlers and can be found on the county recording, Texas String Bands Vol. 1. Melvin Wine also played it under the title Rachael and it is slightly different but the same tune. Other recorded versions include Mel Durham, Frank Reed, Earl Collins, and The Lewis family.

That’s My Rabbit, My Dog Caught It– The tune title just may be more entertaining than the tune but around we go! Fun little ditty. The Walter Family recorded this one. You may like the G chord or you could leave it out. I don’t think it would hurt much.

Thread the NeedleI have (and love) an old Galax festival recording (fiddler not identified) which goes totally minor/modal in the second part. I LOVE ending it as the recording where the notes descend to the low D then jumps up an octave to the D on the A string to restart the tune. Very dramatic! Yes, there is a version that goes major at the end but that always just sounds too “pretty” to me.

Three Forks of Reedy– This lovely little G tune comes from the playing of Ward Jarvis – an Ohio fiddler. My band, The Boiled Buzzards, recorded it on our album Early Bird Special with Mark Tamsula fiddling. A bit notey and it does cover a lot of the fingerboard! You may not want to play it as fast as we did back in the early 1990’s. Enjoy.

Three Thin Dimes– This was a Boiled Buzzards String Band favorite! We played it a lot and recorded it on our first album, Salt and Grease. I also have a great recording of it by the Arm and Hammer String Band from the Visits, Volume 2 album. A quick web search says it came from Ohio fiddler John W. Hutchison (1915 – 1979) who was recorded in 1977 by Jeff Goehring.

Three Way Hornpipe– From the playing of John Sharp (yes, the same fellow known for Sharp’s Reel). They play it SO fast on their recording but you don’t have to play it that fast. Just don’t play it too slow. I kind of like to play it half…slow.

Tom and Jerry– I got this version from Brad Leftwich and it is the familiar version most folks recognize. There is also an old source recording from Smith’s Garage Fiddle Band on the Old Time Texas String Bands Vol. 2 from County Recordings.

The version I have written out is what the tune has become over many years and through many hands. I’ve chosen Brad Leftwich’s playing– an excellent fiddler and one of my favorites – as the listed source in the score and blended it with my own playing for the transcription in this book.

But, there SO many variants in its recorded history that it has morphed quite a bit from its 1929 recording by Smith’s Garage Fiddle Band (which you can find on the Old Time Texas String Bands Volume Two – County CD 3525), through fiddle masters Eck Robertson (sometime around1959) and Benny Thomasson (about 1965).

This transcription is according to how I might play it today and is mostly based on a dance band recording I have of Brad Leftwich from sometime in the late 1980’s.

Since there are a couple of variations I do that I wanted to get across to you, the first part is written as two short phrases instead of one long one but you could choose to play the first phrase twice and skip the second, or likewise the second one twice and skip the first or ??? Well, I have 25 different recordings of this in my library. I think I would advise you to look some up and get a grove you like going on this one with your best music mates, watch some cartoons and have a drink! And remember, 32 bars for the modern contra dance set.

TomahawkI got this one years ago from the playing of Christian Wig – the fiddler on my third Boiled Buzzards album Eat at Joe’s (where we did in fact eat at after recording the album – their restaurant window is even the cover photo!). BUT, I digress. It came up again in a small, socially distanced jam session in the covid summer of 2020 so I looked it up and found that Lonnie Seymour is the source for this wonderful tune. I play it the way I learned it from Christian – starting with the low part first. Lonnie and Ward both start on the high part. Ward Jarvis recorded his version of it (with David Brose on banjo). Billy Mathews starts on the low part like I do so you get to choose in your area. A great Ohio tune and it is way worth a listen.

Tombigbee Waltz I first heard this waltz played on a James Bryan album and have loved it ever since. I play and write it in G, as on my Eat At Joe’s album with the Boiled Buzzards which is also the key James plays it in. Chirps Smith plays it under the title Tombigbee River. There is another related waltz that uses the name Gum Tree Canoe played by John Hartford as well as Tom, Brad, and Alice, and while I hear the similarities, I would consider them different tunes but the words work in both. This tune also plays well in the Key of A!

Too Young to Marry aka Sweet Sixteen – 1; My Love is But a Lass; Soapsuds Over the Fence; Love Somebody; Chink-y Pin; (and probably several others!) – I am going to put two versions of this tune in since there are several variants that while most likely the same tune root, have very different first parts. Also some play the high part first (as written in this volume) while others play it second. I do both. Look to Roscoe Parrish, Charlie Walden or Mel Durham for good recordings of this version.

Too Young to Marry aka Sweet Sixteen – 2 (et. al.) – This is the version I heard Bob Carlin play on his Bangin’ and Sawing album with Judy Hyman fiddling. If you want to hear a knock-down, drag-out version of this one listen to that. No way I will ever match Judy’s attack and rhythm but what a resource! An no one better at that banjo than Bobby C! It is also the way I played it on banjo on my Boiled Buzzards album Fine Dining with Dave Rice on harmonica.

Train on the Island A cool old song which was recorded by J. P. Nestor and Norman Edmonds as part of the original 1927 Bristol Sessions. There are also great modern recordings of it including ones by Kevin Fore, The Hellbenders, Brad Leftwich and an updated one from Run Boy Run. Like a lot of songs, this is a one part repeating phrase. Many discussions exist about the words.

Here’s Nestor’s first verse:

Train on the island since I heard it squeal
Go, tell my true love I can’t hold the wheel
I can’t roll the wheel, Lord, it’s I can’t hold the wheel
Thought he heard it blow, Lord, he thought he heard it blow

Triangle Blues (aka Under the Parasol – but not!) – I got this from a Canote Brothers repertoire tape some years ago. Greg Canote tells me that he got the name as Under the Parasol, which was wrong, from his source. Triangle Blues comes from the playing of the Roanoke Jug Band and originally in Bb. There is a short recording of Jon Bekoff, Jim Burns, Bill Dillof, and Paula Bradley playing it in C on the Slippery Hill website, but we play it in D as I first heard it from the Canotes.

Simple but tricky at once due to the syncopation. And there is a lot of ornamentation possible if you want to jazz it up a bit. I wrote it out in a way that should let you get your hands around it but feel free to take liberties with it. I sure do!

Trot Along My Honey– Yes, yes I get that the title is pretty bizarre and maybe should be changed for modern sensibilities, but the Kentucky fiddle tune is way cool! Howdy Forrester is the likely source but James Bryan does an excellent job of it as well.

Enjoy the twists and turns and even the minor chords! It is a C tune after all.

Trouble On My Mind– This tune is just not as crooked as it sounds, though the first part is shorter than the second. That makes it pretty cool in my book. From the playing of John Morgan Sayler (one of my favorite old dead fiddlers) you and also hear it played by Art Stamper, Bruce Greene and the band Gandydancer with Jerry Milnes and Dave Bing.

I also think it plays and sounds best in A cross (AEae low to high) on the fiddle. It gives you much better drones and overtones that ring throughout the tune.

Valley Forge While the original source for this tune is Jimmie Driftwood via the playing of Ramona Jones Valley Forge the way it is played today has made it a very different tune. Don’t get me wrong; we still have the same core melody in spite of those changes. For instance, while we usually play the tune in the key of D, Ramona played it in A cross (AEae) and as a modal tune but with more major chords and feel and the parts played all short – ABCB. None the less I love what it has become so while I have transcribed it pretty much as we play it today, you might find it cool to go back to the source for a bit of perspective.

On the chords you have some options. In the first part you could leave out that A at the end and go right from the C to the D. Then, in the second part, you could use the A instead of the C in that part’s final measure. Likewise in the third part you could put an A at the beginning of the last measure as I wrote in the first part. So many choices!!!

Waiting For The Boatsman This one comes from Melvin Wine who says it was originally a hymn that his mother used to sing to him when he was young. Melvin played it in D though I have also heard it played in A.

Wake Up Susan 1– This version comes from Franklin George – a West Virginia fiddler. John Summers, an Indiana fiddler plays a similar version. I love the way they pluck the E and the A in that first measure sometimes and I do that myself. Mine is a bit more notey and can be found on my Eat at Joe’s recording with my band, The Boiled Buzzards.

Fiddler Benny Thomasson also plays a VERY ornate contest style of this tune that is quite melodically something in between Wake Up Susan and the tune Clark Kessinger tune Redbird – a longer three-part variant. Indeed, you may notice that this tune sounds a LOT like the first two parts of the Clark Kessinger tune, Redbird (3 parts, also in this volume), and indeed that may be Clark’s very fancy version of THIS tune. Don’t get confused and do what I did for a while. I just played this one and added the third part until I learned better!

Wake Up Susan 2 – When you look up this tune, you will find at least two distinct versions. This one is the one that is more like it is played in Michigan. I first got this version from Michigan fiddler Les Raber. Jeff Anderson – a Scandinavian fiddler living in Washington state has a fabulous recording of this on his Fiddling in the Family Tradition recording from several years ago. The first part is pretty close to Wake up Susan 1 but I think you will notice that the second part is quite different. I love the way that part jumps the strings! Enjoy!

Waldorf Reel– One of my favorite G tunes! I think I first heard this one and played it with John Grimm in Dahlonega, Georgia. It is a deceptively simple tune in structure that so depends on your attack and syncopation to bring it alive.

Jacquie says she remembers Gus Mead playing it and that it may have been written by Gus. Bruce Greene says yes, Gus composed the tune and was living in Waldorf, MD at the time hence the name of the tune.

You can hear Gus play this tune on Slippery Hill at https://www.slippery-hill.com/source/gus-meade

Walk Along John To KansasThis one comes from Kenner “KC” Kartchner. Kenner was an Arizona native born in the late 1800’s in Snowflake, AZ. He had long and interesting life as you can read in the biography, Frontier Fiddler written by his grandson Larry V. Shumway and drawn from Kenner’s notes and diaries after he had passed. It is a great read about his life and the old southwest and it includes Kenner’s transcription of this tune as well as others from his repertoire. Kenner also left a great body of recordings so you can hear how he played, though I am not sure how one gets a copy of it these days.

He says in his recording (done with his daughter in the 1970’s before he passed away) that this one is also known as Rabbit Where’s Your Mammy. I love that you can play it in either high or low register if you cross tune to AEae as Kenner did.

I have written the parts in the order Kenner played them. I like them in that order and play them that way, though a lot of sessions have reversed it. In his recording he rarely plays a part the same way twice. And while I feel I have given homage to his version, this has a fair amount of my styling in it.

Walk Old Shoe, (With a) Heel Come A’ Draggin’– Volo Bogtrotters, Charlie Walden

Walking In My Sleep This was a song with words. Tommy Jarrell sang it and in addition to Tommy it was recorded by a lot of folks including Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith, Roy Acuff, and in 1936 by the Dixie Reelers. It is reported to go back to at least 1800.

Here are Tommy Jarrell’s words:

            Pain in my fingers, pain in my toes;
            Pain in my ankle bone, I ain’t a-gonna work no more.

            CHORUS: Walkin’ in my sleep, baby, walkin’ in my sleep;
            Just down the Dixie line, just walkin’ in my sleep.

            When you see that gal of mine, just tell her if you can,
            When she goes to make that bread, to wash those dirty hands.

            When you see that gal of mine, just tell her if you please,
            Its when er’d you go to make up dough, roll those dirty sleeves. 

Washington’s March– This Edden Hammons tune is best played out of DDad tuning on the fiddle. Sometimes referred to as d-dad or dead man tuning. The growl of the low D string really adds to the overtones and earthiness of this march.

Waterbound– The traditional version of the tune and song!

Ways of The World – There are a couple of tunes by this title but this is the one that was recorded by William H. Stepp in the late 20’s or early 30’s. He played it in G (likely cross G – GDgd low to high) but today most folks play it in cross A. It is a wonderful tune and can really rock out! I love the Red Hots version of this as well as Wm.’s.

West Fork GalsNot much to say on this one yet. Stay tooned!

Whiskey Before Breakfast “Lord preserve us and protect us, We’ve been drinking whiskey ‘fore breakfast…” Those are some of the words of this oldie but goodie! Lots of references, so take your pick. And those chord changes are quick but necessary!

Whistling Rufus aka Way Down South – This tune is difficult to write out for several reasons. My favorite version of this tune is the one recorded by The Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts Trio (Doc Roberts, Asa Martin and James Roberts) on August 28, 1934 under the title ‘Way Down South. It is beautifully notey, twisted and crooked; especially his tune ending. BUT, almost no one plays it quite that way.  There can be a crooked tag on one part or both that some use and some don’t (most don’t these days).

It is played in many styles from what we refer to “old-time” to bluegrass to a cool almost cakewalky version played by the Lewis Family. It is a common contest tune and one that is fun to play but varies widely among fiddlers in all styles. SO, this version should get you going or at least point you into the right direction. It has a lot of notes, but not too many, so I did leave the crooked tags off even though I often play them.

Likewise, the chords. There are probably more here than most old time folks feel they need – especially that turnaround before the chorus and the extra C before the end – but I love them when I play it. Whatever you decide, feel free to bake a cake and enjoy!

You may find it difficult to play this one after YZ Hamilton’s Special Breakdown (or visa versa!) Go ahead, give it a try. You’ll see what I mean!

Whitesburg– This is a tune that “eats its own tail” as I find that the first part just flows right into the other without a hard break between them. All of a sudden you are just there!

I got this one from The Rhythm Rat’s album Pretty Crowin’ Chicken. That is my favorite recording of the tune. The Rockinghams also have a good version of it too as does Fiddle Fever. Named for Whitesburg, KY, the Traditional Tune Archive says, “Kentucky fiddler Santford Kelly recorded a tune called “Whitesbury of Old Kentucky,” which was later recorded by bluegrass musician Ricky Scaggs on a Rebel LP as “Whitesburg.”

I have written it out pretty much as I tend to play it. I vary the second part enough that you might consider it a C part and I just go from one into the other, so I have written it out as A BB CC but you could choose to just play the B part 4 times in place of playing the C part. Make sure you listen to this one. And you can play that first part in the high or low register if you cross tune (AEae low to high) as I do.

Wild Hog in The Woods– IN F! And not the song. I have recordings of this one by Bruce Molsky and another by the Horseflies. Billy Matthews has a nice clean version of it on his Old-Time Archive volume 3, though he starts on the other part from me. You probably are not going to get to play it often, but it sure is a fun tune.

Wild Horses at Stony Point – aka Stony Point – aka Wild Horses – aka Pig Town Fling – I can’t be sure when I first hear this one but it has gone through several growth and discovery periods since then.

I play it with 3 or 4 parts depending upon whether or not I break the first part into two versions (as written) or repeat the first 8 measures to make a full part twice and go onto the second part from there (skipping the next 8 measures).

Ah the confusion of the parts. To help clear that up, I have numbered the parts 1, 1a, 2, and 3. You either play 1 with the repeat OR just one of 1 then 1a instead of repeating 1. One sign of a great guitar player is that they can follow their fiddler through a tune even if they are not sure what the fiddler will do next!

Woodchoppers Reel– There are many recorded resources for this tune. You don’t often hear it at our traditional old-time jams, but I have long heard this tune played in other venues, especially at modern contests but it was John Hartford’s version that made it a tune I could play. I had tried before but his playing really helped. The tune dates back to the early 1900’s and is attributed to New Brunswick fiddler Ned Landry of St. John.

There is a certain swing to this one that most contest players just, well, miss. There is a lot you can do to ornament this one too, so add triplets, break up the slurs, do some bow crossing. Hear it and play it for the full effect. It is notey and quite the finger twister however you play it!

Y. Z. Hamilton’s Special BreakdownThis is a wild tune! And it actually comes from the playing of Y.Z. himself on the Possum Up A Gumstump album. Some folks think they hear Whistling Rufus within the melody. I can hear that but still consider this to be a distinct tune.

Friend Paul loved that alternate third part. He once asked, “Do you play the birds part?” I admit I was stumped until he told me that he meant the alternate high part, which, upon considering it, I had to admit, does sounds like birds! Some are wont to consider the trick section of Listen to The Mocking Bird; others just think it is for the birds. Jeanette said it is the chickens!

Personally, I like the G-E-A-D chord turn around at the end of the parts. You may not so feel free to experiment. But if playing it with me…

Year of Jubiloaka Lincoln’s Gunboats – An old standard. Nothing fancy here and well known by most old-time fiddlers. I consider it to be on the list of first tunes everyone should learn.

Yellow Barber– A very cool tune and pretty notey if you play it the way Doc Roberts and Buddy Thomas played it. They both varied their playing of it almost every time through the tune, but this will get you into the swing of it. Too often I hear it so stripped down it is hard to distinguish the two parts from each other. In fact, once upon a time I had a caller request a change of tune from it as SHE couldn’t tell where we were. SO I learned it better. This way. Take your time to get the notes and swing.

Yellow GalsI got this one from Mark Tamsula back in the day. Not much to say about it other than I really like the way you drag out the extra beats at the end of the second part both in the repeat and the tune repeat. The chords are written as most people play.

I do remember two variations. Once upon a time I Mark and I tried a G chord in the third measure of the first then the E in the fourth measure of the second part. The other variation involves going to the G chord but staying on it and playing a G natural instead of the G# in the 4th measure. Cool sound but not for everyone.

Yellow Rose of Texas A classic! Nothing fancy here. Just a common simple OLD D tune. It is overplayed in some communities, but giving it an occasional play now and then can’t hurt.