Pioneer Dance Tunes of the Far West
Dancing was one of the most important recreatonal activities for pioneers in the West. They danced squares, waltzes, mazurkas, schottishes, polkas, and Virginia Reels. Here are some of the many and diverse tunes played for dances in the Far West in the 1850's, 1860's, and 1870's, performed by noted Pacific Northwest traditional musicians Phil and Vivian Williams on fiddle, guitar, fretless banjo, mandolin, and other instruments used in pioneer dance bands. Phil and Vivian grew up in the Pacific Northwest, playing and dancing to tunes from the area's pioneer heritage. They have played traditional music together for over fifty years, including many old-time dances. Besides being an internationally known champion fiddler, Vivian also has a B.A. degree in Northwest History, studying under Northwest historian Dorothy O. Johansen at Reed College, Portland, OR, and an M.A. degree in Anthropology from the University of Washington. The extensive liner notes included with the CD discuss pioneer dances in the Far West and the history of the tune.