Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Hello!
(This is my first time on this site in like over two years, bloody hell. Last time I came on here it was like murky orange everywhere)

I’ve been asked to play at a friend’s wedding in August. His exact words were "Will you play mad fiddle for my wedding?", and I said "totally!". I’d been planning to play some Irish and Scottish stuff (cos that’s what I know best) and some klezmer (cos it’s a Jewish wedding). But I just realised now - the girl my friend is marrying is from Texas, so I would love to give a musical nod to the bride and her family by playing some tunes from there.

Is there a style of fiddling that’s specific to Texas? I know a couple of Old-Time tunes, but as far as I know, they could be from anywhere in America. I’ve heard that Texas likes to be a little distinct from the rest of the U.S., so I’d expect them to have their own fiddle style, no? πŸ˜›

So if you could tell me anything about Texas tunes or style, or point me to some sites or YT vids, that’d be amazing.
Also, if there are any Texan wedding tunes, that’d be extra-amazing!

Thanx y’all πŸ™‚

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Midnight On The Water is a pretty popular Texas Fiddle Tune:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XahhzJU18os

and Tom and Jerry as played by the same fiddler :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF4xn3-_hyQ

O’Connor recorded his first album when he was 12 and it’s a gem, and he got better from then on!
I don’t know a lot about this fiddler,Amanda Kerr, but I just love a Texan version of "Sally Johnson"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VDidN3vFbw

and Byron Berline makes a great job of " Sally Goodin"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zszJMroJIwY

There’s also a tune called "Beaumont Rag". Beaumont is in Texas?

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Well the nice easy tunes we here in S Texas play on the fiddle include, ‘Faded Love’ Bob Wills; ‘Ootpec Waltz’; ‘Tenessee Waltz’; Slightly challenging ’ Ragtime Annie’. ‘Ashokan Farewell’.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Oh gawd, please do not play Ashokan Farewell - great tune and everybody is sick of it

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

For the broad sound of Texas swing, listen to your Bob Wills and Johnny Gimble… San Antonio Rose, Beaumont Rag, Liza Jane, Amarillo Waltz, Yellow Rose of Texas, etc.

But Texas is a big place. Some of its vast repertoire is shared with old timey or songster traditions, blues, cajun, gospel, cowboy music, and corridos all get a fair shake. There are a lot of styles (it’s a republic, remember?). East Texas is a different animal than downtown San Antonio. Dallas different from Austin. Austin different than everywhere.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

"Oh gawd, please do not play Ashokan Farewell - great tune and everybody is sick of it"

Unless there is reason to suspect that the wedding will be mostly attended by jaded session burntouts I would think that picking great familiar tunes is actually a GOOD idea.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

How about that one that Flaco Jimenez does, "Seguro Que Hell Yes!" I mean, it’s a wedding, right? πŸ˜€

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Cajun fiddling probably counts too, right?

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

I might able able to give you an alternative, Joe, without you having to learn a completely new style. Last week in Ballyvourney, Conal O’Grada taught the flute classes one of his own jigs, which he called "Deep In The Heart Of Texas". The tune didn’t have a name for a while, but Conal was invited to teach flute at some festival in Texas, so he thought his hosts might appreciate him giving the tune that name. If you’re interested, send me a PM, and I’ll forward it to you.
Otherwise, I’d say that irrespective of whether or not it’s been done to death, "Ashokan Farewell" would be very suitable for such an occasion. It’s quite often a good idea to play a tune that people might know.
As an aside, I’m a great fan of Texas comedian Rich Hall. He said once in a TV programme, if you’re from Texas , there’s only 2 places in the world - Texas, and "TOFT" - which stands for " This Ain’t F***ing Texas".
You should also check out "Kinky Friedmann and His Texas Jewboys", if you haven’t heard of them. He had a song called "They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore" - πŸ™‚

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Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

PS - actually, Conal’s tune could go in a set with "Patsy Geary’s" - the Irish jig version of "The Yellow Rose Of Texas".

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Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

yes, I grew up in Texas, and the Yellow Rose of Texas would be recognizable to anyone from there. That would be a good choice

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

"Cajun fiddling probably counts too, right?"

I don’t know about that. That would be like trying to pass off Edith Piaf as a German.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

" ‘Cajun fiddling probably counts too, right?’

‘I don’t know about that. That would be like trying to pass off Edith Piaf as a German.’ "

Why not? Cajuns in Texas are Texans, they’re a part of Texas. Texas is almost the same size as all of Europe. It’s incredibly diverse. Let’s take Max Baca, Elvie and Geeshie, Roky Erickson, Victoria Spivey, Mance Lipscomb, and my brother-in-law who works for IBM and brings his laptop to Stubbs…. all Texans. There is a strong Cajun pocket in East Texas (which is right next door to Lousiana) and the music made there is every bit a part of Texas’ musical culture as, say Willie Nelson. Blues, rock, songster, bluegrass, cajun, jazz, psychedelic, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, cowboy, conjunto, gospel, western swing, outlaw, old-timey… these are all unique products from Texas.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

OK - I stand corrected. Maybe the odd 13th Floor Elevators number, then.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Yes! An Irish fiddle version of I’ve Got Levitation with your bodhran player doing Tommy Hall’s electric jug part.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

I used to play a lot of Texas tunes. Too many, in fact. It got to be a problem. I thought I could quit whenever I wanted, but I just got deeper and deeper into the habit, and my hats and belt buckles got bigger and bigger. My family and professional life fell apart, the Bureau of Land Management wanted to confiscate my cattle, and I almost got kicked out of my home on the range.

I ended up having to join a two-step program.

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Is there a style of fiddling that’s unique to Texas?

Is there a style of Poping that’s unique to Catholics?

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

My family all came from Texas, and I heard a lot of Bob Wills and Hank Williams growing up. I learned the two-step as a kid. (Thankfully my folks also had a large collection of Irish trad albums.)

Re: Texas fiddle style/tunes?

Texans are pretty ecumenical about their fiddle appreciation. It’s a big state with many established immigrant populations (German, Mexican, French) and lots of spill-over from neighboring states (Cajuns in East Texas, OK/AK pickers in the Panhandle, etc.) It’s not unusual to see someone two-stepping to an Irish air or swing-dancing to Tejano.

In other words, you’d have to work pretty hard to do any wrong with a Texan. As long as you can scoot your boots to it, we’ll be happy.

That being said, it’s a nice gesture to include some Texas songs as a tribute to the bride. I second many of the suggestions you’ve had so far, especially Bob Wills and the Yellow Rose of Texas. Also, if the bride attended the University of Texas I guarantee you a fiddle arrangement of the UT song "The Eyes of Texas" will raise the roof.

If I were to pick a song specifically for a wedding, I’d go with the recent Sarah Jarosz song "Build Me Up From Bones". Perfectly lyrically appropriate and written by a Texan. It would make a lovely accompaniment to a first bride&groom dance. More sweet&pretty fiddle than mad fiddle, but it sounds like you have plenty to bring on the mad tip already.

p.s. There’s an old tune called Fatal Wedding on one of my collections of old Texas string bands, but something tells me that would be inappropriate. πŸ™‚