Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

That’s amazing. It’s interesting to see Pete in the background, too.

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

Open tuning and everything double-stopped. Sounds nice enough. The coarseness of the bow reminds me of an erhu bow, which is similarly low-tension and suited to droning as the need arises.

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

Found a bit of bio:

"The Beers Family was a traditional folk group active between 1958 and 1972 led by Bob Beers b 1920 — d May 26 1972 and featuring his wife Evelyne and their daughter Martha who joined in 1964 They played traditional Scots-Irish music on traditional instruments like the psaltery In 1966 they began hosting the Fox Hollow Festival on their farm in the Adirondacks Bob Beers was killed in an automobile accident in 1972 but his wife and daughter continued to perform and to stage the festival William Ruhlmann All Music Guide"

Jigs have been part of Northern US fiddle music since Europeans settled there, but are comparatively rare in the South/Midwest. The Adirondacks and Appalachians aren’t quite the same, either!

Bob Beers could obviously afford a fiddle, wonder why he didn’t buy a new bow? Maybe he preferred the homemade variety.

Curiously enough I got a book in the mail today about Native American bows - the kind you hunt with, that is.

There’s a site about Maine fiddler Mellie Dunham, who recorded some 78s in the 20s and was Henry Ford’s favorite fiddler: www.dwsanderson.com/mellie_dunham.html He recorded a few jigs too.

Thanks for this, great stuff! Here’s a listing of all the vids in the Rainbow Quest series: http://www.peteseeger.net/videogra.htm Hope they all wind up on YouTube, even as excerpts.

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Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

I’ve seen fiddlesticks before, but never played on the body of the instrument. When I’ve seen it done, the sticks strike the strings.

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

I can’t wait to see the first fiddlesticker turn up at a session and try hitting someone’s fiddle during a tune

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Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

Good grief, SWFL, that’s fantastic! There he is, just singing as nicely as he can. I wish modern singers were a bit more like that, instead of being all precious and stylised about it.

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

I remember Bob Beers and that bow. I haven’t watched the video yet, but I remember that he often played all four strings together. My first conscious exposure to Haste to the Wedding was from Bob Beers playing it as a slow lament with lots of droning, as he did for his mother’s funeral.

His psaltry wound up in the hands of an old friend of mine, Betty Smith – the only other psaltry player I ever knew of.

Fiddlesticks, by the way, are not really sticks, exactly. More like thick straws, and they’re normally used just on the strings. My wife has played a few fiddlesticks gigs.

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

Man…I about fell on the floor when he whipped out that bow! That’s hard-core.

There are, of course, plenty of overlaps between British Isles fiddling and old-time Appalachian mountain fiddling. My understanding is that mountain fiddling is a cross of old British and old German fiddling traditions. And the Child ballads are alive and well over here, too. It’s a living tradition — come to Madison County, NC sometime.
Although you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bow like the one Bob Beers has. Fiddlers weren’t even using bows like that in the Middle Ages.

Re: Old School Fiddling (YouTube)

LOL benhall!

But that sort of approach would force you to concentrate on the song itself and not the person singing it. "Look at me! I’m so theatrical! I’m singing a song! Ooo ooo ooo!"