Five Eck Robertson Tunes

I have just uploaded five tunes to the Eck Robertson Collection:

  • Cotton-Eyed Joe
  • Dry And Dusty
  • Forky Deer
  • Run, Boy, Run
  • Tom And Jerry

Of these, I particularly recommend Dry and Dusty and Forky Deer. That Forky Deer will really stretch your abilities as a fiddler!

Happy fiddling!

Dr. Fiddle

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Five Versions of Bonaparte’s Retreat

Today we get to hear from our favorite French dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte. It would seem that he’s not having such a good day today, as he is in retreat. We have five versions of the widespread and well-known tune Bonaparte’s Retreat, from the following fiddlers, all of which may be found in the Bonaparte’s Retreat group:

  • Arthur Smith
  • Clayton McMichen (Skillet Lickers)
  • Eck Robertson
  • Ernie Carpenter
  • William Stepp

Of all these, my favorite is William Stepp’s version. Rather than playing it as a march, as most of the old fiddlers did, he played it as a breakdown. The field recording of his version of Bonaparte’s Retreat wound up being very influential, and was included in Aaron Copeland’s great ripoff Hoedown movement in the Rodeo ballet. Seriously, give Stepp’s version a listen, and then play it for yourself.

If there are any historical versions of Bonaparte’s Retreat that you would like to see here, please contact me. I will take requests for poor Bonaparte. (A nice list with MP3s can be found at Slippery-Hill.com.)

Happy fiddling!

Dr. Fiddle

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Fourteen Doc Roberts Tunes

I have just added 14 reels and breakdowns to the Doc Roberts collection:

  • And the Cat Came Back
  • Billy in the Low Ground
  • Brick Yard Joe
  • Charleston Number One
  • Dance with a Gal with a Hole in her Stocking
  • The Devil in Georgia
  • Johnny Inchin’ Along
  • New Money
  • Old Buzzard
  • Shippingport
  • Shortening Bread
  • Smokey Row
  • Waltz the Hall
  • Who’s Been Here Since I’ve Been Gone?

As you can probably tell, I’m pretty committed to getting all of Doc Roberts’ material transcribed and posted. After this batch, I only have 10 fiddle breakdowns, 4 fiddle rags, and then five mandolin tuns (four rags and one Schottische) left to do, and then we will have all of Doc Roberts’ available material here on DrFiddle.com. I doubt that represents his entire repertoire, but I am very grateful that these 60-or-so tunes are available for us to study.

The other fiddler I’m pretty committed to exhaustively transcribing is Eck Robertson. I’m pretty new to Texas-style fiddling, and Robertson is a great place to start.

I’m preparing a bunch of great tunes to post over the next few weeks, including five excellent and influential versions of Bonaparte’s Retreat, five tunes from the Skillet Lickers, and of course more Doc Roberts and Eck Robertson.

Happy fiddling!

Dr. Fiddle

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Five Eck Robertson Tunes

In addition to the five Indian-themed tunes I added earlier today, I have also added five tunes to the Eck Robertson collection:

  • Chadwick
  • My Frog Ain’t No Bullfrog
  • Sailor’s Hornpipe
  • Ten Cent Cotton (aka East Tennessee Blues)
  • Texas Wagoner

These are all top-notch tunes. I really like Chadwick, and the two rags My Frog Ain’t No Bullfrog (written by Robertson) and Ten Cent Cotton. This is also the finest version of Sailor’s Hornpipe that I’ve encountered so far.

Happy fiddling!

Dr Fiddle

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Five Indian-Themed Tunes

This update is something a little different. Rather than focusing on one particular fiddler or tune, today we have five tunes themed around us American Indians. We’re apparently whooping, getting lost, eating woodchucks, writing rags, and building a nation.

  • Indian Ate the Woodchuck (Ed Haley)
  • Indian Nation (Burl Hammons)
  • Indian War Whoop (Hoyt Ming)
  • Lost Indian (Clark Kessinger)
  • Redskin Rag (Gary Lee Moore)

The first four tunes are all in the Miscellaneous Transcriptions Collection, while Redskin Rag is in the Gary Lee Moore Collection. I hope you enjoy these Indian tunes as much as I have. I particularly recommend Ed Haley’s Indian Ate the Woodchuck and Clark Kessinger’s Lost Indian.

Happy fiddling!

Dr. Fiddle (a proud Cherokee Indian)

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Five Waltzes from Doc Roberts

I have just added five more waltzes to the Doc Roberts collection:

  • Farewell Waltz
  • Honeymoon Waltz
  • Ninety-Nine Years
  • Over the Waves
  • Wednesday Night Waltz

These range from the fairly simple (Ninety-Nine Years, Over The Waves) to the rather difficult (Honeymoon Waltz).

I believe that I have now posted all of Doc Roberts’ available waltzes.

Happy fiddling!

Dr. Fiddle

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