Saturday, January 19, 2008

B-Section Blues

Well, I'm a settin' here tryin' to thaw my biscuits. It's about as cold as it gets here in Ohio, and it's gonna be colder still tomorrow. Today I was sort of "stood up" on an informal ski engagement, so I went out into the woods to get myself moving about. It was still something of a nice day, if bitterly, bitterly cold.

So it's a good night to stay in, maybe light a fire, and learn a new tune. This one is a favorite, it's called Goodbye Girls played here by Rayna Gellert (from the Digital Library of Appalachia archive). So I've learned, it's not to be confused with Goodbye Girls I'm Going to Boston (played here by Art Stamper, from the same blessed archive). Anyway, it's a terrific tune which Rayna writes in the liner notes for Starch and Iron comes from North Carolina. It's been under my skin for about a week, so today I decided I'd give it a shot. After listening to it over and over, I'm still stumbling over the second section.

Oh my poor neighbors.

This might be a job for a slow-downer. I haven't broken down and gotten a slow-downer yet, but unless I do, it's gonna be a real downer to learn this tune.

Anyway, do give it a listen. And if you love trad music, the DLA is one site your favorites folder just can't do without. And if you like Rayna's fiddling, you can go to the DLA music archive, type in "Rayna Gellert" in the search field, and come across the same performance (see photo) at Warren Wilson College featuring John Hermann (banjer), Phil Jamison (guitar), and Meredith McIntosh (bass). Tons of tunes rare and not so rare. All stellar.

Meanwhile I'll be here trying to pull this tune apart for a little while longer until I decide it's time to throw in the bow and crawl under the blanket again with a book. Goodbye Girls will still be here and still under my skin tomorrow, most likely.

Stay warm, wherever you are, and whatever you play.

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