More Fiddles, A Caribbean Trip, and a Tribute to J.D. Dawson
Written by Randy Black on January 18, 2016
Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton
Natalia Burgess and J.D. Dawson
Viking Twang Episode 74, January 19, 2016
Good morning, welcome to Viking Twang Episode 74. My name is Randy Black; happy to be with you as always! We had a great Portland Old Time Gathering, so we’re going to continue with some more great fiddle playing here on the Twang. The first set is from a 2007 Smithsonian Folkways album named Classic Old-Time Fiddle, along with a couple of acts I saw at the Gathering.
We’ll also hear some classic Caribbean music in the second set, and a tribute to my friend J.D. Dawson in the third. Here to show us how it’s done, Tracy Schwarz and Mike Seeger, along with their friend, Black Eyed Susie.
1 – Turkey Red, W.C. Beck and the Portland Country Underground.
2 – Black Eyed Susie; Tracy Schwarz and Mike Seeger. This is the New Lost City Ramblers with Tracy Schwarz joining them to play the twin fiddles with Mike Seeger, from 1961. They learned the song from the version recorded at the 1927 Bristol Sessions by J.P. Nestor.
3 – Sugar Hill; Tommy Jarrell with Frank Bodie. Tommy’s on the fiddle and Frank’s on the guitar and vocals. Apparently about drunken binges during the “sugaring off” during the preparation of maple syrup; first recorded by Crockett Ward and his Boys in 1928.
4 – Muddy Roads; Gaither Carlton with the Watson Family. That’s Gaither Carlton on the fiddle with his son-in-law, Doc Watson. Doc learned it from his uncle, fiddler Ben Miller; this is from 1990.
5 – Wednesday Night Waltz; Clark Kessinger. Kessinger was one of the many 1920-30s performers who was rediscovered in the Great Folk Revival of the 1960s. He originally recorded this in 1928; this version is from 1966.
6 – Spinning Wheel; Aarun Carter and Jonathan Trawick. Our local favorites; this is a song by Texas-style fiddler Randy Elmore, from the 2014 album, Deep End Sessions Vol. 1.
7 – It Looks Like It’s Never Gonna Rain; Brainstormers. Mark Graham wrote this song after hearing stories from a Dust Bowl survivor who went seven years without seeing rain. The band is Graham, Tom Sauber, and his son Patrick.
I really love old Caribbean music, so we’re going to take a trip to the Bahamas, Trinidad, and Jamaica, long before Bob Marley.
8 – If I Won a Sweepstake; Atilla the Hun with Gerald Clark and his Caribbean Serenaders. His real name is Reymond Quevedo. Recorded sometime in the 1930s; from a Smithsonian Folkways album called Tbe Real Calypso Vol. 2, Send Your Children to the Orphanage.
9 – We Will Understand It Better By and By; Edith, George and Raymond Pinder wth Joseph Spence. Recorded in the Bahamas in 1966 by Jody Stecher. Spence is a Bahamian superstar, with his sister, Edith Pender, her husband Raymond, and their daughter Geneva.
10 – God Locked the Lion’s Jaw; Frederick McQueen with Shelton Swain and Stanley Thompson, also from 1966.
11 – John Crow Say I’m Wan’ a Decent Woman; Valerie Walker. From a 1981 Smithsonian Folkways album Jamaican Music of Faith, Work and Play.
12 – Won’t That Be A Happy Time; Joseph and Louise Spence. From 1965, Spence and his wife playing for folklorist Samuel Charters.
I told you about a month ago that my friend J.D. Dawson was seriously ill after a pair of strokes. J.D. passed away on Saturday; a great loss to the bluegrass community. J.D. was not only a great musician, but a community builder, who encouraged many of us to reach for higher goals with our music. I’m going to play you a set of songs from his 2010 album, Hearts and Highways.
13 – Sweetie Pie
14 – Loser’s Hall of Fame
15 – Baking Powder Blues
16 – Wild Flower
17 – Guitar Tango/Azul
18 – Tribute
19 –Twang Theme