Kansas City Reel

As played by Bob Larkan from the Arkansas region

Reel or Breakdown in A

From the Bob Larkan Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


78rpm Record (Partial MP3 available at slippery-hill.com)


Many of Larkan’s recordings, while awesome, leave you thinking “what the sam hill was that?” Not so with Kansas City Reel. It retains Larkan’s awesomeness but features none of his weirdness. This is just old time fiddling at its finest.

Kansas City Reel is a distant member of the Waynesboro family of tunes. Kansas City’s A part is very, very similar to that of Coming Down from Denver (check out Gene Goforth’s marvelous version, you won’t hear finer fiddling anywhere). The B part of Kansas City is unique, and doesn’t bear any resemblance to any other Waynesboro relative that I know.

The transition from the A part to the B part is crooked, featuring two extra beats. The B parts in the seventh through tenth repetitions of the tune each feature a two-beat passage of Spiccato bowing. Notes to be played Spiccato are marked with Xs. Also look out for a unison As and Es.


This tune is a member of the following groups:

Dr. Fiddle's Favorite Breakdowns and Reels

Waynesboro, Coming Down from Denver, Here and There, Hummingbird Reel

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