Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fiddle Favorites: Fiddlin' the Blues

No look at fiddle music would be complete without mention of the fiddle’s role in the early blues. The role of the fiddle in the blues was often overlooked by early musicologists and folklorists.

Fortunately, the good folks at Old Hat Records have released two absolutely wonderful collections of African-American fiddle and string band music.

As our friend and fellow rider, John, pointed out in his comment to yesterday’s post, Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow! Vintage Fiddle Music 1927-1935: Blues, Jazz, Stomps, Shuffles & Rags is not only an amazing collection of rare fiddle recordings, but the 32 page booklet that accompanies the 24 track CD is a treasure of information.

Also from Old Hat is another collection of rare fiddle blues, entitled Violin, Sing The Blues For Me: African-American Fiddlers 1926-1949. Of course this incredible collection also comes with a detailed 32 page booklet.

Both of these outstanding collections with their informative booklets are available from as one of their “Better Together” deals for US$37.96.

Andrew & Jim Baxter – K.C. Railroad Blues.mp3

Jack Kelly – Red Ripe Tomatoes.mp3

While we are at it, our friend, KJK(aka Ken), also left us a couple of great links yesterday to two great contemporary African-American string bands.

Check out The Carolina Chocolate Drops. This young trio from Durham, North Carolina are headlining the First Annual International String Band Festival in Calhoun, Georgia May 5th, and have earned the support of such greats as Taj Mahall. The Carolina Chocolate Drops have a few videos, photos and articles here.

The Ebony Hillbillies were new to me. I was so impressed with what I heard, that I ordered their CD, Sabrina’s Holiday right away. This wonderful trio plays Old Time string band music on banjo, dulcimer, bass, and fiddle. Their new CD, I Thought You Knew, will be available soon. I’ll be checking back often.

Thanks to John and Ken for sharing these great finds with their fellow riders.


Blogger kjk said...

I like the ebony hillbillies website in itself. i gather they are street musicians in NYC and blog about where they will be playing.

April 04, 2007 9:31 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 05, 2007 2:36 AM  
Blogger CabinWriter-- said...

So glad to find your site. I didn't know how much I missed string bands until I heard a local guy on a NY station tell the history of string bands. Lo, one of them was from my home state, Mississippi. I think they played in Hattiesburg. I will use your suggestions to add to my pitifully small music library.

April 05, 2007 9:41 AM  
Anonymous john said...

You can shave a few more bucks off the price by going to where they've got both CD's for $14.56 and free shipping.
They take a bit longer to get them to you but the savings is worth the wait. A good company to deal with. Their discounts really are "deep"!

April 05, 2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I’m glad you shared them with us. I, too, like the format of their site.

April 05, 2007 10:56 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Hi Cabinwriter,
Welcome aboard the Old Blue Bus.
Indeed, Mississippi has a wonderfully rich string band history.

April 05, 2007 11:11 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Ah, John,
I see we have much more than a love of good music in common.
Thanks for the link.

“Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything.”
- Ben Franklin

April 05, 2007 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Laurel from Chicago said...

I just got my Ebony Hillbillies CD. It's really great! Thanks for leading me in their direction. Great site-- keep it up!

April 10, 2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Hi Laurel,
I got mine this weekend also and you are right, It is really great!

April 10, 2007 8:50 PM  

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