Beyond the Waterfall - Sound Files

Solo fiddle reference tracks of the tunes presented in the book, Beyond the Waterfall: Extraordinary Tunes for Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 30518). There will not be banjo tracks, these are your references.

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PLEASE NOTE: If you order the book directly from me I will include a CDR of the sound files at no additional charge.

Beyond the Waterfall: Extraordinary Tunes for Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo

Sound Files on Solo Fiddle by Dan Levenson

Tunes: Ask That Pretty Girl to Be My Wife, Been All Around This World, Been to the East, Been to the West, Blackjack Grove, Blue–Eyed Susan, Chattanooga, Chinquapin Hunting, Dusty Miller, Elkins (Larry Unger), Flying Clouds, Flying Indian, Free Little Bird, Froggy Went A’ Courting, Get Off Your Money, Gilsaw, Glory Medley, Goodbye My Little Darling, Greasy Coat, Happy Hollow, High Yellow, Indian Corn, John Hardy, Johnny Walk Along With Your Paper Collar On, Leaving Home (aka Frankie and Johnny), McMichen’s Reel (aka Hog Trough Reel), Milwaukee Blues, Old Bell Cow, Old Melinda, Rattletrap, Red Bird, Red Fox Waltz, Reuben’s Train, Rocky Mountain Goat, Sadie, Sail Away Ladies, Shady Grove (in A major), (John) Sharp’s Hornpipe, Tippin’ Back the Corn (Jordan Wankoff), Trot Along My Honey, Woodchopper’s Reel, Over (and beyond!) the Waterfall

This recording is a simple unvarnished recording of the tunes presented in the book, Beyond the Waterfall: Extraordinary Tunes for Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo (MelBay 30518). At the moment, Mel Bay has opted not to provide recordings with new publications so while this is at additional cost to the book, I have kept the price as low as possible.

The tunes have been recorded directly to computer with Audacity – a free audio editor available through I play each tune one time through on fiddle much as, but not exactly as written. No processing, eq or other “mastering” techniques have been applied to the recordings. These are just the raw reference version.

You may ask, “But, Dan, what about the banjo tracks?” to which I reply, Clyde Davenport once told me, “Dan, the banjo’s job is to follow the fiddler note for note” which means you don’t need me to play a banjo version since you will (as best your can) follow the fiddle version then draw upon the written versions to create your own banjo version. In other words you don’t need a banjo recording to hear the tune, the fiddle plays it. You are big girls and boys now, off you go, listen, sing, play. The book will guide you with tunings and keys but otherwise, you should be ready and able to learn the tunes from the fiddler, as you will in real jam sessions.

These tunes are some of the less-often-played variety but sure are fun to play! Several of you have already commented that there are only one or two tunes in the entire collection that you have ever heard. That is a good thing in my mind and is the intent of the book. The only problem is for many of you is that you have never heard them or can’t find some of the references I guided you to in the book. So this recording is intended to give you a recorded reference to help you through the transcriptions.

My primary mantra when learning any style of music is, “Listen, listen, listen,” because if you don’t hear it, you will not be able to play it and have it sound like old-time music. These audio recordings of my playing these tunes are your chance to hear at least one rendition of these tunes. I do feel you should go out of your way to find multiple recorded versions of these tunes in order to get the flavor in addition to my playing of them. Remember, my version is my version and, while I strive here to remain true to my sources, these versions may not be the ones others play or those you prefer. I consider myself A source for these but not THE source — an unusual admission, I’ll confess. In the long run, I want you to play the tunes like, well, you, but still be able to adapt and fit-in when playing with others.

The versions on this recording do not necessarily follow exactly the transcriptions in the book. But, the truth about written music is that written music has many limitations when it comes to accurately representing true music. And played versions of the tunes will not be exactly the same as my transcriptions OR recordings of them. There are many subtleties and inflections that cannot really be represented by the limited palette of written music or one pass through any tune (written or recorded). There are countless variations of notes and techniques that likely would not ALL be played in one pass through the tune. You have many options to choose from when you play a tune. Find other (I often look for the oldest) sources whenever you can. You should listen long enough that you can sing the tune before you ever try to play it.

These recordings and the transcriptions in the book are intended to be a starting point, not an ending. In reality, there is no one right way to play any of these tunes. Everything is open to your interpretation. HOWEVER, if you are going to play with others - a goal of most but not all folks - then the right way will be the one you agree on in your group no matter how large or small.

If you don’t yet have the book, you can order it at my here or find it anywhere they carry Mel Bay publications. If you have the book, I hope you enjoy learning the new tunes and spreading them throughout your community.

BTW, If you order the book directly from me, I’ll include the sound files on a disc at no charge.

Play Nice,


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