Liner Notes


Hay there,

I've been lucky to have grown up with fiddle players around me all my life, so far. First time I heard fiddle playing it was my Great Grand Dad W.T. Scott. He lived up on Blackfork Mountain, on the Oklahoma side. I can remember learning 2 tunes, all on my own, on my Dad's fiddle. Only later to go and proudly play them for Grandpa and have him congratulate me and explain to me that the fiddle was all out of tune. I never thought it had to be tuned a certain way. I had one note here, and the next way over there. Well, he re-tuned it and I went back home to start all over learning those tunes. The notes were nowhere near where they used to be on that thing!

My Great Grandpa was a good fiddle player. My dad played, and so did my sister. They never got so serious about it though, just ever once in a while and for church functions. My dad told me when he was a little boy he heard Grandpa playing and he made up his mind he wanted to play the fiddle real bad, he did. Great Grandpa Scott came to the Indian Territory almost 40 years before Oklahoma became a state. Came in a wagon from Tennessee.I remember all of us going up to Mountain View, Ark. and playing on the plywood floor there in front of the courthouse. I always got a little bag of popcorn after I played.

Mom's side of the family were preachers, miracle workers, too. They were from up in Kansas, and luckily I didn't see them too much. My Aunt Mary got cured many a time in church revivals. I always kinda knew that when Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary showed up there was gonna be some miracle working that weekend and my Uncle Kenny would play some boogie woogie piano at some point.

As a teenager I got acquainted with the fiddling of Clark Kessinger through some old 78 records and the old folks talk of his playing. To this day I still love his fiddle playing.

About 30 years ago I was playing the tunes I had run across, tunes from Oklahoma and the Midwest and from Virginia. I left on a trip across the country visiting every fiddler I could find. On the way I ended up at the Weiser, Idaho fiddler contest for the first time. I met the legendary fiddler Benny Thomasson there. Watching Benny play was a big watershed for me. It caused me to change nearly everything I was doing on the fiddle and the guitar. He was the most patient fiddle player I have ever met, and the nicest guy.

Then through the years I took the time to visit and play with many great fiddle players whose music I loved. Their fiddling just "spoke" to me, as folks say. Norman and Betty Solomon were so good to me. As was Herman Johnson, John Hartford, Joey McKenzie, Randy Howard, and Dick Barrett. I don't try to play like these folks but did learn so much from being around them and at least beating guitar for them. I thank all of them for the fun times and the tunes I learnt off them.

Yup, I've been lucky to find so many good long time friends in the fiddle world. But the one fiddle player that's meant the most to me would have to be Mr. Wm. Orville Burns. I had so much fun with Orville, so many memories. Orville was, hands down, the most creative fiddle player I ever met. And he had so many oddball tunes that I'd never heard anyone else play. I think of my dad, and of Orville, every time I stick the gourd under my chin. This record is dedicated to them in every way.
I have put on some of the old tunes I like to play. Many of them I have had for a long time now. They aren't perfect, just how I do them.

I want to thank Pete Martin for getting me into doing this project. And for beating his guitar on every tune. And Rich Levine for helping out also. We all play together whenever we can up here in Seattle. Also, thanks to my buddy Chester Butterworth for draggin' out his banjo. I didn't ask Delmer Dingle, who plays another guitar, he just showed up because he wasn't in jail at the time. LeeRoy Jackson is my half- brother, he plays the tenor guitar. 6 strings were just too much for him to figure out. Wish someone would've had a camera the day these knotheads showed up. Those 3 in one place, scared all the bugs from the garden.

And Phil and Vivian Williams for getting after me for many years now to play some of "my" tunes-even if it only resulted in a moment in time, or a keepsake record of my playing. I never would have done this thing without Phil and Pete.

I've noted where I got each of these tunes here. I have a debt of gratitude to all these fiddle players that took the time to show me these tunes. All those old guys that told me " Here's one you ought to play." Fiddle playing has been a big part of my life, so far.

So thanks for showing an interest in this here recording. And my thanks to all the good fiddle players that came before, especially those who gave their time and friendship to me. I've always thought that the future of good old time fiddling lies in the past… Gary Lee Moore, Feb. 9, 2004

1. Uncle Pig. An original composition by Mr. Wm. Orville Burns (Ok.). He taught me this, and said "It come to me earlier, but I made this one in 1867 because I had to wait till all the shootin' was done before I sat down to do some composin'." Used by permission.
2. 49 Cats in a Rain Barrel. A good old tune I learned from both Orville Burns and Herman Johnson (Ok.).
3. Birdy. I learned this from my Great Grand Dad, W.T. Scott (Ok.). He called it a Parlor Tune, meaning it wasn't fit for much else.
4. Shortenin' Bread. From Doc Roberts (Ky.), to Orville Burns, to Herman Johnson, to me. It's changed some since it left old Kentucky.
5. Everybody to the Puncheon. A fun old tune from Clark Kessinger (W.Va.). I've been playing this one since my square dance fiddling days.
6. Rat Cheeze. Long been my favorite Clark Kessinger tune.
7. Bill Cheatum. I learned this one when I was a kid, from my Dad's fiddling.
8. Steeley's Rag. A.L. "Red" Steeley (Tx.), where else? Red is absolutely one of my favorite fiddle players. By way of Benny Thomasson (Tx.).
9. New Broom. Sorta from Herman Johnson, back in the 70's, sorta.
10. Rose of My Heart. From the fiddling of Old Man Kessinger. No one did it as well as him.
11. The Little Forked Deer. Another tune I got from my Grand Dad and my Dad. Played a lot back in Oklahoma when I was a kid.
12. Kill ‘Em. This here tune I got from the fiddling of Louis Franklin (Tx.)
13. Fort Smith. I got this tune by way of Louis Franklin and Orville Burns.
14. Acorn Hill Breakdown. I learned this song in 1972 from Amos Chase (Ks.), at a fiddling contest in Missouri.
15. Rose of Sharon. An old waltz tune. I think I heard it on a Howdy Forrester record back in the 60's.
16. Luther Lively. Got this one from Dick Barrett (Mt.). Pretty sure he got it from the great Major Franklin (Tx.).
17. Hell Among the Yearlin's. Hell, just a good old tune, everybody plays some version of this.
18. Redskin Rag. Norman Solomon (Tx.) showed me this one.
19. Whoa Mule, Can't Get the Damn Saddle On! My version of a good old Major Franklin tune. By way of hearing Dick Barrett do it so damn nice!
20. George Booker. Got this by way of Orville Burns and Ace Sewell (Ok.).
21. Paddy, Won't Ya Drink Some Good Old Cider. From the great fiddle player Orville Burns. He got it from Claude Mollack (Ok.). He taught me this song but told me to make a 3rd part for it with some "backbow." He liked that about my playing.
22. Too Old to Dream. Again, nobody could do this one like Kessinger. My favorite waltz player. I scratch my way through it.
23. Soppin' the Gravy. Just an old breakdown. I usually play this one for at least 15 minutes. Here's the tidy version.
24. Honey Boy. An original tune made by Louis Franklin. He called Norman Solomon "Honey Boy." Used by permission from this fine fiddle player.
25. Jenny on the Railroad. Norman Solomon taught me this one on a visit to his home in Montague, Tx.
26. The Old Grey Mare Come a'Chargin' Out the Wilderness. Norman and Betty Solomon taught me this one. "An old civil war tune."
27. 14 Days in Georgia. My version of the old tune based on the fiddling of Herman Johnson and Clark Kessinger. I love this tune.

Engineering: Pete Martin, Phil Williams
Photos: Lisa Bias

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