Line Notes for Florida Banjo Cd

Notes for Florida Banjo (for the inside of the CD panel) Mary Z. Cox 2008 1. Ponce de Leon (gCGCD#) Guitar: Ellen, Banjo: Mary Z., Bass: Jim Ponce de Leon came to the Americas on Columbus's second voyage. He was a wealthy Spaniard, who not only discovered enough gold in Puerto Rico to increase his own wealth, but sent enough treasure home to make the king of Spain a rich man too. As a reward he was appointed governor of Puerto Rico and allowed to lead expeditions north in search of additional treasure. Everyone knows of the quest for gold and the mysterious waters of eternal youth. Instead, the Prince of Lions found a land of flowers. Somehow, the Gabriella seemed the right banjo for this tale of a quest for golden treasure. Played on a Deering Gabriella banjo. © Mary Z. Cox 2006 2. Spanish Fandango (aDADE) Mandolin: Ellen, Bowed Bass: Jim, Banjo: Mary Z. We learned this traditional tune from dulcimer players in the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association in jams. Mary began playing it successfully in dulcimer contests and we liked it so well, we recorded it on our “Dulcimer Fandango” CD. This time, we recorded it on banjo, mandolin, and bowed bass and hope you will enjoy this version too. Played on a Custom Deering GDL banjo 3. Cluck Old Hen (gDGCD) Cigar box banjo: Mary Z. We’ve played this traditional fiddle tune for years. It just seemed the right tune to play on my fretless Joe Masel cigar box banjo that is strung with electric guitar strings. I played it in G sawmill instead of the more traditional A modal because it sounded better on the cigar box. “My old hen, is a good old hen, she lays eggs for the railroad men.” Can’t you just imagine those railroad men smoking cigars and turning those boxes into banjos and egg baskets? 4. Ragtime Annie (aDADE) guitar: Bob, banjo: Mary Z. This old time fiddle tune is a popular jam and dance tune. The earliest documented recording was in 1922, by Texas fiddler Eck Robertson, playing three parts. It is more often played with two parts for dancing. It seems that whenever we hear a third part played by fiddlers—it is seldom the same, and we suspect it got tagged on by different fiddlers as the tune was passed along. Here, we added our own third part because we don’t think fiddlers should have all the fun, and that banjoists should be able to add third parts too. Played on a Cedar Mountain A2 banjo. 5. Yearlings In the Canebreak ( c#AEAB) Fiddle: Kerry, Banjo: Mary Z., Bass: Jim Kerry Blech taught me this tune and sent these notes for it. This tune came from a 1925 commercial recording (on the Victor label) by Captain Moses J. Bonner (born in Alabama in 1848,though later lived in Arkansas, but most of his life in Texas -- He had been in the Civil War and the Texas Rangers. I think his rank was from the latter). This tune is the antecedant to "Cattle in the Cane," which has been popular amongst bluegrass and Texas-style contest fiddlers. Played on a 12” Ramsey Woody banjo. 6. Shenandoah Falls (c#AEAB ) banjo: & mountain dulcimer: Mary Z., bass: Jim We learned this old time breakdown jamming at festivals and playing at dances. I recorded a track in low A on a gut strung banjo. Then Marshall Goers showed me how to tune the mountain dulcimer in E AA to play the tune in A . I played two tracks of dulcimer (melody and a freelance harmony) to go with the banjo as a duet. Played on a Goldtone EC-1 banjo and a Kurt Simmerman mountain dulcimer. 7. Frankie’s Blues (dADF#A ) banjo: Mary Z. This tune began as the traditional “Frankie and Johnnie”, but after tuning the fretless, gut strung, Hunchback Wunder Banjo in low D for this tune, it took on a bluesy feel. 8.Yellow Rose of Texas (aDADE ) Banjo: Mary Z. This is the old time string band fiddle tune version—not the one from the movie. This is such a pretty tune that I slowed it down and added three banjo tracks so you could hear how pretty banjos sound played together. Played on a Custom Deering GDL banjo. 9. Chinquipin ( gDGBD) fiddle: Kerry, banjo: Mary Z., Bass: Jim Kerry Blech taught me this tune and sent the notes. “This Chinquipin is from the playing of Roscoe Parish of Coal Creek, Virginia, near Galax. Tommy Jarrell played the tune, nearly the same way, but called it "Sail Away Ladies" and sang to it.” Played on a Custom Deering GDL banjo 10. Waterbound (c#AEAB ) banjo: Mary Z. This traditional tune is played in low A on a gut strung banjo and recorded on two tracks. It is a traditional fiddle tune that we learned jamming at festivals. Although it isn’t a Florida tune, it always seemed to me that the words could be rewritten a bit and it would be an excellent state song. Played on a Goldtone EC-1 banjo. 11. Wind That Shakes the Barley (aDADE) banjo: Mary Z., bass: Jim This is a Celtic tune that may be Scotts or Irish. I don’t remember where I first learned this tune, but I began playing it one day on the banjo and loved the melody. Then I asked Jim about playing bowed bass with it, and here it is—a banjo/bass duet. Played on a Custom Deering GDL banjo. 12. Peach Bottom Creek (f#DF#AD ) Banjos: Lo & Mary Z. Lo taught me this tune and tuned both banjos in this tuning for this recording. I play the melody and Lo plays the harmony on our Cedar Mountain banjos. Jim just seemed to know the right bass to play with this. 13. Hail Agin' The Barn Door (c#AEAB) Fiddle: Kerry, Banjo: Mary Z., Bass: Jim Kerry taught me this tune and here is what he says about it. “ Hail Agin' the Barn Door comes from the playing of Lum (short for Columbus) Hawkenberry, from a 1947 field recording of him that is in the West Virginia University State and Regional archives. I forget where in WV he lived.” Played on a 12” Ramsey Woody banjo 14. Turkey In the Straw (gCGCE) banjo: Mary Z., bass: Jim I learned the basics of this tune many years ago from a tab in the John Burke book. Of course, my version is quite a bit different after all this time. By the way, I loaned my copy of that book to someone over 35 years ago and never got it back. I can’t even remember who I lent it to—so I hope they enjoyed it and learned to play lots of tunes from it! Played on a 12” custom Chuck Lee banjo. 15. Loch Laven Castle (aDACE) mandolin: Ellen, banjo Mary Z., bass: Jim This is an old Scott’s reel that Ellen taught us. She plays the lead and I offer backup on the banjo in this version. This tune goes by many other Celtic names, but this one is named after a castle in Scotland from which Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped. Played on a Custom Deering GDL banjo
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