In the Wood
Much of the music of the Appalachian Mountains had it's beginnings in the highlands of Scotland and valleys of Ireland. As new people settled the region the music blended with the rhythms of the native people. The fiddle, an instrument from the Old World, became the tune carrier of choice for home and community dance and for a simple reason-it was easy to haul. A hollow log, hoop of wood and a piece of rawhide made a drum and added the heartbeat to the voice of the fiddle. The tunes in the album are played pretty much like they were back then-plain and simple, fiddle and drum, a song and a heartbeat. Sometimes that's all you need. Here is a little bit about the songs on this album: 1. Rosin the Beau crossed the Atlantic with the Irish. The tune stayed the same but changes of scenery allowed for changes of lyrics. In the Appalachians it is called Rosin the Bow. West of the Rockies it becomes Acres of Clams. A good jig wherever the rosin dust flies. 2. Big John McNeil is a popular tune among the old time fiddlers and dancers of eastern Canada and the U.S. Great for free style clogging! 3. The St. Anne's Reel is a standard among the fiddlers of northeast U.S. and Canada. The Opera Reel is the first reel Bev learned to play. 4. You can hear the pipes in the Hills of Glenorchy. It is said that a longing for the sounds of the old homeland prompted fiddlers to imitate the bagpipes on the fiddle through the use of odd double stops and drone strings. Add a drum to the mix and you're back in the fog shrouded highlands. 5. Fiddle and bones create a fine dance tune in the French Canadian favorite the Joys of Quebec. It is well known and often played among the northern fiddlers. 6. The haunting melody of Star of County Down was carried across the Atlantic from Ireland. It is a North Country favorite and takes on a woodland Indian color in this fiddle and drum arrangement. 7. Bagpipe fiddle and drum take on a military tone in the old time dance favorite, Bonaparte's Retreat. 8. Alas! What if the barley crop failed and there would be no whiskey that year? Neil Gow wrote this lament following a drought in Scotland and a year when the people were forced to say just that - Farewell to Whiskey! Then it rained! And so there was Whiskey before Breakfast. This is Bev's signatory arrangement of this traditional Irish tune. 9. Luke is featured on bones (yes, you read right - bones) on this two song medley Soldier's Joy and Liberty. Bones are either real rib bones or wooden slats that are held in the hands and rhythmically shaken and clicked. The instrument goes way back to the days of ancient Persia. 10. Ahoy, mates! Here are a couple of hornpipes to jig to - Durang's Hornipe and for anyone with a desire to take to the high seas, the Sailor's Hornpipe. 11. Another signatory take on an old tune, Bill Malley's Schottische is one of Bev and Luke's favorites. The ringing fiddle tones and sharp drumming get feet moving straight away which is what it's all about. 12. Merrily Kiss the Quaker blends the old world Irish with the Pennsylvania forefathers, bounces into a fast traditional jig, Larry O'Graf and then turns the corner and changes into an original tune by Bev which is known as Beverley's Jig. Fiddle and drum, we poured them into the same jar and call it Jug o' Jigs. 13. The traditional Scottish aire, Loch Lomond leads into the Flowers of Edinburgh, a reel that is well known and often played by the old time fiddlers of the northern Appalachians. 14. A slow reel on fiddle and drum, Miss Wedderburn's Reel comes to us from the Scots that settled this region. 15. Legend has it that this tune was created by a fiddler on a Mississippi river boat who witnessed the death throes of a Lost Indian as he struggled in the swollen waters of a spring flood. Played everywhere on Turtle Island also known as North America.