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Carve That Possum

musician/member name: Music
Duration: 00:03:47
The great Dave Kirchner singing and playing a banjo he made. I accompanied him on bones, ankle rattle, and chorus.
This fun old song from the 1800s "Carve That Possum".
This was at the public concert at Appomattox Courthouse National Park during the Joel Sweeney History of the Banjo weekend in Sept 2017. A bunch of us early banjo enthusiasts attended from various states. A fun gathering for sure. "Carve him to the heart!" =8-o
Terry Wilson
03/24/18 02:30:53PM @terry-wilson:

Love it!!!  Coolest I've seen in a long tine.  Big smiles...

John W. McKinstry
11/25/17 10:49:43AM @john-w-mckinstry:

Loved hearing :"Carve That Possum". It brought back a lot of good old memories. Thanks

Jennifer Ranger
11/01/17 07:04:20PM @jennifer-ranger:

YAY, how cool this is!!  Love it.  Thanks for sharing with us.

10/09/17 11:03:19AM @strumelia:

Irene, I just made my anklet with stuff on it to make festive noise.  I use a velcro strap and attached little bells, flattened bottle caps, and goat hooves (which rattle like dry nut shells).

Go ahead and have fun making one for yourself!  jive    Just be warned- some jam musicians don't love it, so you need to be considerate as to when you pull it out of your bag.  ;)

10/08/17 11:01:06PM @irene:

How Totally fun to watch and sing along.  and yes, sadly I think that the digital world has left folks like a batch of blobs....sitting on a log.  Seems they don't know HOW to respond.  I too love performing for folks over 65.  This would make an interesting study.  Now I want to get some jingles for the feet....oh oh.  where did you get those?  I missed this site soooooooooo much on my vacation to see our I can't get away from it as I'm trying to "catch up" and you put all those sites for me to listen to..............hoooooooooooo boy. thank you so much.  aloha, irene

Ben Barr Jr
10/08/17 10:14:09PM @benjamin-w-barr-jr:

Oh, that looks like too much fun!

Mary MacGowan
10/08/17 09:49:37PM @mary-macgowan:

oooo, this is so fun! Love the clickety click of those bones, and that steady ankle beat. The two of you rocked it!


About audiences... I used to perform children's songs for the under-7 age group about 30 years ago. They LOVED it! Now? Eh. They are so uninterested and unimpressed! My theory is that kids are swamped now with music and tv shows so seeing it live doesn't thrill them at all. Maybe it's similar with adults? The last time I performed solo for adults was about 3 yrs ago and I sort of hated it because of all the blank stares!

Also... the pop stars of today don't perform "real" shows - nothing about their shows feels "live." Everything has to be perfect and polished. In the "olden days" musicians on stage would take a long time tuning and chatting with each other and the audience and they'd eventually get around to the next song. So real! I miss that. And nowadays audiences I think expect that kind of perfection from every performer. 

And that's my theory and I'm stickin' with it howdy  ! 

10/01/17 11:22:41AM @strumelia:

Thanks my buds!   :)

You know it WAS great fun hamming it up in accompanying Dave here... he had asked me to join him in order to add some bones and foot percussion and sing the chorus.  I was trying my best to get the crowd to show some signs of life.   lol    surprised


I find it interesting to observe audiences' reactions these days, and i watched this particular crowd of about 130 or so listening to various musicians and to varied kinds of genres that day.  Children under five and very old people seem to respond to music and singing in a very lively way.  I also find that dancers (such as contra dancers) and musicians respond well to live music in an everyday daytime setting too.  But I must say it's a bit hard to wring enthusiasm from some crowds these days- is it maybe that they are used to hearing ubiquitous piped in music without live musicians everywhere they go, thus used to not having to respond?  Are they all on medication?  shocked

I don't want to seem unappreciative of our audiences- thank goodness for them!  And I know for a fact that such audiences  enjoy the music and are listening... they often come up and tell me so later.  But to get them to clap or tap their feet or sing a few chorus lines along with us or even nod along with their heads can sometimes feel like pulling teeth.  Mostly they sit perfectly still with no expression during songs.  Sometimes i can illicit a little chuckle or two if I give it my all.  Is it my imagination or has this become more of a thing lately?

10/01/17 06:27:27AM @sam:

This HAD to be FUNNNNN !!!!

Cindy Stammich
09/28/17 10:12:13PM @cindy-stammich:

OMG I love it!!!  My feet are sure aren't staying still!

Love the spoons joyjoy

Robin Thompson
09/25/17 05:53:13PM @robin-thompson:

I'll check-out the links after the old folks go to bed, Strumelia.  Thanks! 

09/25/17 09:36:04AM @strumelia:

Robin, the Leftwich version is pretty much true to the original, just with some filling out of more modern sounding guitar chords and added harmonies.  It's beautifully done, but IMHO it loses some of the raw charm and gets too folky when you add lots of chords and pretty harmonies.  It's about hunting and carving up a possum, after all!  It was a very popular song in its day.

Here is some more specific info on Lucas and his music:

Horace Weston (b.1825) was another celebrated African American musician of the 1800s- mostly known as one of the top banjo players of the stage during that period.  He was a contemporary of Lucas.  He endorsed and was sponsored by the reknowned S.S. Stewart banjo company. A few years ago, I was excited to find out that for the last part of Weston's life he live only a couple doors down from where i lived as a little girl on Bleecker Street in New York City, and he apparently died there as well.

Robin Thompson
09/24/17 10:11:02PM @robin-thompson:

Thanks for the links, Strumelia-- I'd like to know more about Ohio-born Mr Lucas!  

The cover of the recording I have looks like this:

09/24/17 04:32:47PM @strumelia:

Robin, I never heard that version.  It was written in 1875 by Sam Lucas, an African American composer and musician/performer:

Robin Thompson
09/24/17 04:22:11PM @robin-thompson:

Strumelia, I'd only heard this from the Tom, Brad, and Alice record of the same name-- until now!  Way cool. 

09/23/17 04:24:00PM @strumelia:

Thanks Patty!

Actually, the weekend of Sept 8-10 was unseasonably lovely weather in Appomattox- I think it was a high of 75-79 most of those three days.  We were lucky!  I was wearing all cotton and linen, so not all that hot. And of course the evenings were all cool, and this outdoor concert started at 6pm.  happys

Patty from Virginia
09/23/17 03:18:47PM @patty-from-virginia:

So, were you at Appomattox Courthouse recently? If you were I bet you were a bit warm in the costume. Nice job to the both of you.

Charles Thomas
09/22/17 09:04:15PM @charles-thomas:

Lisa, that was fun!! Shake dem bones !!

Gordon Hardy
09/22/17 05:36:32PM @gordon-hardy:

Great old time music, Strumelia. Looks like you and Dave were having a heck of a good time, really like that ankle rattle!