Liner Notes

VRCD 347 Vivian & Phil Williams, Live!

We've lived in Seattle since we got married in 1959, and have been performing old time music together ever since, for dances, shows, festivals, workshops, and fiddle contests. These tunes and songs were recorded live in concert at the Malo Grange (near Republic, Washington) on October 12, 1995, at the Fiddlers Inn in Seattle on June 4, 1995, and at the Echo Valley Ski Lodge (near Chelan, Washington) on April 18, 1998.

1. Ragtime Annie We've known this tune forever. Ever since we heard the lesser-known third part, the tune feels incomplete to us without it.

2. Splice the Mainbrace/Fittro's Folly (V. Williams) "Splicing the mainbrace" on the old sailing ships meant having a nip of rum. Fittro's Folly took its name from the notorious incident where the captain of the ferry Elwha ran the boat up on a rock in the San Juan Islands.

3. Phil's Blues Phil's version of a tune he heard Bill Monroe and Doc Watson jamming on in 1969.

4. Sally Put a Bug on Me Variants of this tune have many titles, including Richmond, Plaza Polka, and Jackson's Fancy.

5. Jealous Hearted Me An old Carter family song which Phil's father used to sing, although Phil actually learned it from Fred McFalls up in Darrington, Washington.

6. Ferry Bridge Hornpipe Learned from the playing of Jerry Holland.

7. Starry Nights & Candlelight (V. Williams) One of our very favorite waltzes.

8. Back Roads of Time (P. Williams) Phil composed this mandolin tune, which is reminiscent of Bill Monroe's style.

9. Mason's Apron This version came from an old Graham Townsend record.

10. Corina A popular old blues song.

11. Iron Springs (V. Williams) One day Vivian was playing all the tunes she could think of in DDAD cross-tuning, and when she ran out of tunes she didn't want to quit, so she made up another one.

12. Stone's Rag This tune is sometimes called Lone Star Rag.

13. Texas Quickstep Phil plays this old fiddle tune, which he learned from Bill Monroe and from an old 78 rpm record of the Red Headed Fiddlers, on the mandolin.

14. Green Tomato Blues (V. Williams) Anyone who has ever tried to grow tomatoes in Western Washington's short summer will vouch for the truth of these words!

15. Smash the Window A well known Irish jig. Another name for it is Roaring Jelly, which always seemed strange until we found out that "roaring jelly" means dynamite.

16. Cripple Creek Phil plays a gut-strung fretless banjo from the Oregon Trail era on this old mountain tune.

17. Up Jumped the Devil A great tune for square dancing.

18. Shannon Waltz This beautiful waltz is popular all over the U.S. and Canada.

19. Hard Luck Blues (R. Ginther) Our old friend and former bandmate Ron Ginther wrote this song. We hope it's not the story of your life!

20. Fiddle Fingers Schottische Vivian learned this from one of her fiddling mentors, the great Northwest fiddler Joe Pancerzewski. There's a place in this tune where you're supposed to clap your hands, but we're not telling you where - you'll have to figure it out yourself!

21. Yellow Barber A Southern hoedown.

22. Early Rising (V. Williams) The first three parts of this tune started running through Vivian's head when she went to bed before catching a plane early the next morning. The only way she could go to sleep was to get up and write the notes down. The last two parts came to her while waiting in the luggage check-in line at the airport. She actually first imagined it as a guitar tune, and Phil plays lead on this performance.

23. Lightning Hornpipe/Earl Mitton's Breakdown (trad./E. Mitton) Vivian learned these tunes from Manitoba fiddler Grant Lamb.

Engineer: Phil Williams. Malo concert recorded by Doug Slagle. Photo by Irene Young. Production assistance: Susie Turner.

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