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"Sambo" old-time fiddle tune

musician/member name:
Duration: 00:03:37
Brian on fiddle, Steve on guitar, Lisa on banjo. November 2010 at Steve's house in NY, playing the fiddle tune "Sambo". This fiddle tune was adapted by our friend Pat Conte, inspired by an old song by W.W.West. It has continued to evolve and change since then.
05/19/11 06:27:21AM @sam:
The music is good. I enjoyed the video a lot. I think what I enjoy most is the contentment of the musicians. You guys can be very proud of the harmony of your instruments and little group in this one.
02/15/11 10:47:30AM @strumelia:
No of course not Dusty, i totally understand what you are saying, it's true, you were sharp to catch it, and there was a specific reason for it that is interesting!
Dusty Turtle
02/15/11 10:36:25AM @dusty-turtle:
Strumelia, I hope you didn't take my comments as criticism. What I heard Steve doing at the end really complements you two very well. Its clear, whatever the volume, that he understood he was part of a whole and not the centerpiece (we guitarists sometimes forget that).
02/15/11 10:22:45AM @strumelia:
Dusty, Steve was actually being really considerate for those videos- he deliberately backed off on the volume on his guitar because I had said I wanted an example of my banjo playing to Brian's fiddling. I have almost no recorded examples of myself playing music where you can hear anything I'm doing. Steve's a GREAT old-time guitar player, and he was just being super considerate for these two recordings. He's a good friend and we play with him regularly at parties and gatherings.

Jim Fawcett
02/14/11 02:53:00PM @jim-fawcett:
That was great! Saw it posted and this was the first time since then that I could get somewhere that had a high speed connection. Hate dial-up!!!
Dusty Turtle
02/10/11 11:27:56PM @dusty-turtle:
Very nice. You all play with such steady patience and respect for one another. Only towards the end did I realize Steve was adding some nice bass runs on the guitar. If that was going on the whole time it doesn't come across with the audio. Happy might be too strong a word, but you all keep that moving with such an upbeat, contented rhythm. It sounds really nice.
Sue Simms
02/06/11 09:59:02AM @sue-simms:
Love this !
02/05/11 12:40:19PM @strumelia:

Randy, yes it's a very special banjo, one of two I have the privilege of owning that Ray designed. (the other is my white formica "Cockerham Model' fretless). Here is a pic of the great headstock design by Ray:Both of my Ray-designed banjos were built by Jim DeCava. This one has an old Slingerlands tenor pot and Jim refinished it and built the neck for it.

But yes, all the banjos in the world don't amount to a hill of beans compared to having been a friend of Ray. Brian and I would take a yearly trek down to the old Italian neighborhood in the Bronx with Ray (where he grew up) and buy olives, pinoli nuts, apricots, olive oil, prosciutto, and sopresata at the open Italian marketplace there. Then we'd go to Ray's favorite Italian restaurant on Arthur Ave., all the staff knew and loved him, and Ray would order all the food in Italian, making sure things were just right- real buffalo mozzarella, etc. The wonderful stories he would tell! Ray was truly bigger than life and we miss him a lot.

02/05/11 12:20:57PM @strumelia:

Bucko, I sold a banjo and bought two jouhikkos, from two different makers in the UK. One is by Corwen of AncientInstruments, and one is by Michael King (who is also a member here on FOTMD). They are very different from each other but both fun to play.

Randy- yeah the rock start thing....I also got into head shakking, but people told me it was a little 'over the top' so I had to stop. LOL!!

Bucko Futreal
02/05/11 11:50:24AM @bucko-futreal:
Where'd you get yourjouhikko, Strumelia?
02/05/11 08:52:57AM @sam:

This was just great. Had my toe tappin' right from the start. Much enjoyed.


Randy Adams
02/05/11 08:34:53AM @randy-adams:

Yeah that's exactly what I was referring to.....that rock star showboat thing.... : ).....ha!....just kidding ya know...very effective, very personal/original.....saw you use the technique on the dulcimer but was surprised to see you employ it w/banjo.

What an honor to have a banjo designed by, and a friendship with, the great field recorder Ray Alden. Who built it?

02/04/11 07:50:48PM @strumelia:

Robin, Brian learns all his tunes by ear, either from other fiddlers live or from old recordings. He doesn't read music. I can learn tunes either way, but I always accompany Brian's stuff by ear. Crooked tunes are kind of problematic to write down anyway, like trying to catch smoke in your hands.

Randy, that syncopated thing that I *think* you are referring to seems to be a personal thing I've developed. You mean when my hand goes up and there's kinda silence for that beat? You can also see me doing it on my dulcimer, in that Hell up Coal Holler video- watch for it there too. Interestingly, I have never seen anyone else doing it, though syncopation is certainly nothing new. It just sort of started happening naturally, and it's a big part of my playing on both banjo and dulcimer --and hopefully will be on my bowed jouhikko too when I get the hang of it! ;D

That banjo is the 'fanciest' one I have of my 5 banjos. It was designed by our wonderful friend Ray Alden, who died last year. I bought it 10 years ago from the original owner who commissioned it from Ray years before that. It's a sweet banjer.

Randy Adams
02/04/11 06:35:05PM @randy-adams:
You guys have a hot little combo goin' there Lisa! That's a catchy tune...a good one...I like that syncopated rhthym thing you do between the parts....with your parts.... : )....that's a nice looking and great sounding banjo you have there.
John Henry
02/04/11 05:34:17PM @john-henry:

Thank you, just great


02/04/11 04:06:06PM @folkfan:
I think I've got the problem fixed. I stopped the video after a minute and pull the red indicator all the way to the end and started it to replay. No pauses this time. Grin.gif Great tune.
02/04/11 04:02:11PM @folkfan:

I'd love to hear it all the way through with out the pauses. About every 8 seconds or so it stops to load. Frown.gif

Sounds like a neat tune otherwise.

Robin Thompson
02/04/11 03:53:55PM @robin-thompson:

You all weaved this tune together nicely, Lisa. And I love the way you all talk to one another.

What this has got me thinking about is how tunes get passed from one person to another. I've mostly learned tunes from recordings and try to tell heads from tails in what I hear. . . But crooked tunes especially are really hard for me to get straight. And you & Brian know lots of them. Do you work from ear solely? Or do you use written music sometimes? Maybe I ought to move these questions to a discussion thread. 7.gif