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INDIAN CREEK DELTA BOYS – VOLUME 2
DAN BAIRD … GUITAR
GARRY HARRISON … FIDDLE
DAVE MILLER … BANJO
LYNN ‘CHIRPS’ SMITH … MANDOLIN
1 WHERE’D YOU GET THAT HAT? 1:57
2 WILD GOOSE 2:02
3 PRETTY LITTLE GAL 2:35
4 YELL IN THE SHOATS 1:45
5 LOST INDIAN 2:06
6 TOWN HALL JIG 2:32
7 LITTLE BIRD IN THE ASH BROOK 1:43
8 CORY DYE 1:14
9 BEST TIMBER 1:28
10 OLD KENTUCKY WHISKEY 2:02
11 STRAW BONNET 2:07
12 CACKLING HEN 1:23
13 PRARIE DU ROCHER MOTION 2:07
14 MACK’S HORNPIPE 2:09
15 MONEY IN BOTH POCKETS 1:46
16 DUNDAS ROAD 1:44
17 LONE PRAIRIE 1:30
Davis Unlimited Records is again proud to present an album of material by The Indian Creek Delta Boys! Unlike so many contemporary old-time string bands, The Indian Creek Delta Boys have something truly unique to offer: rare tunes and a musical heritage. Their music comes from the state of Illinois - - not well known for old-time music, but judging from their sources once rich in this tradition. Preserving and documenting this heritage is an overriding goal of The Delta Boys. In their presentation of the tunes heard here (and on their first Davis Unlimited album, DU 33029) they have consciously attempted to remain true to the material of their area, but yet have presented it in their own identifiable style. The result? Some GREAT music - - - give it a listen.
Some mention should also be made about the recording session held on August 20, 1977. It was, truly, an “informal,” affair. The music was spontaneous and enthusiastic. Illinois hospitality certainly must rank on an equal par with “Southern” hospitality. Again, our only regret was the absence of guitar player Dan Baird’s brother, Wendell, who was unfortunately detained at his job. To him we fondly dedicate this album.
Davis Unlimited Records
1 WHERE’D YOU GET THAT HAT? – KEY OF A – BOB ROGERS, Merriam. Mr. Rogers was born in Wayne County where he still lives. Though he is blind, he has led an active life as a music teacher and is quite well-known in some areas outside his home county. This tune is partly related to “Kitchen Girl,” which was played by the late String Band. Mr. Rogers learned the piece from his great-uncle and says that it was once common at rural dances in the area between Fairfield Albion.
2 WILD GOOSE – KEY OF G – HARRY JONES, Effingham. Many variants of the “Wild Goose” exist. Each seems to be unique, and most all include the use of harmonics. This version was learned from an old home recording of Harry Jones, a long-time friend of “Pappy” Taylor. Jones, a fine fiddler, died in the early 1960’s.
3 PRETTY LITTLE GAL – KEY OF A – JESSE JAMES ABBOTT, rural Toledo. J.J. Abbott was born in a covered wagon near Old Lebanon, Missouri in 1893. The Abbott family moved to Illinois around 1905, but not before Jesse and his brothers learned some fine old tunes from that area. Several of his thirteen children are musical, and among them play a variety of instruments including the fiddle, banjo, piano, autoharp, and guitar. This tune is a good example of what Jesse calls “one of them old Missouri pieces.”
4 YELL IN THE SHOATS – KEY OF D – CECIL SEELEY, Arthur. Cecil Seeley was born near Toledo in 1897. He is the youngest of four musical brothers, three of whom are still living. Henry, the eldest, was born in 1888. He and another brother, Charles, live near Toledo. A fourth brother, Les, died a few years ago. The Seeley family string band, which was headed by the father, included fiddles, a banjo, mandolin, guitar, and a cello. Each of the brothers played more than one of these instruments. Mr. Seeley played this piece in standard GDAE tuning, simply avoiding, the G and E strings. The fiddle was tuned so low, however, that Garry got the idea of learning the tune in DDAD tuning in order to incorporate the two outside strings.
5 LOST INDIAN – KEY OF A MINOR – ALVA MILLER, rural Oblong. Alva Miller was born in 1889 near Oblong. Several of his older relatives played the fiddle, and this is one of the tunes he learned from them. J.L. Holliday and Garry Harrison first visited Mr. Miller in June, 1977. He hadn’t played the fiddle for about thirty years, so he was understandably out of practice. His voice was still strong, though, and he apparently had done as much singing as fiddling in the past. Consequently, the first recording session yielded vocal renditions of “Lost Indian” and a curious version of “Indian War Whoop,” both of which are animated with Indian-type vocal antics. Mr. Miller also knows a number of old songs and square dance calls. We have found four of five different tunes by the title “Lost Indian,” in C, D and A in southern Illinois, but this is the only one in A minor and the most interesting.
6 TOWN HALL JIG – KEYS OF C AND D – FLETCHER FULK, rural Ingraham, and CLIFF PULLIAM, rural Latona. A number of fiddlers in the Ingraham area each play several tunes which seem to be particular to that area. Beside the two fiddlers mentioned here, others in this group include two more Fulk brothers, Charles, of rural Ingraham, and Everett of Olney, as well as Ben Woods, who now lives in a nursing home in Flora. We first heard this tune played by Fletcher fulk at one of the Friday night musical gatherings held at Sailor Springs. He played the first two parts of the version played here. Later we discovered that Cliff Pulliam also played the tune. His version included one part in C and one in D.
7 LITTLE BIRD IN THE ASH BROOK – KEY OF A – J.J. ABBOT. Jesse says that his mother used to sing this tune, but he couldn’t remember any of the words. The fiddle is tuned AEAC. Another Illinois fiddler mentioned a tune called “Snow Bird on the Ash Bench,” which he said used this tuning, but he could not remember the tune. We have also heard of a tune on a record called “Snow Bird in the Ash Bank,” but, not having heard it, we do no know wheter it is related to this tune.
8 CORN DYE – KEY OF G – JIM REED, Benton. Jim Reed, a retired farmer and barber, is one of a group of older fiddlers who often provided music for dances in the Hamilton County area when Dave Miller was a boy. In fact, the Miller farm was frequently the site of a Saturday night party. This tune is partly related to “The Blue Goose,” which is available on a record by the late Buddy Thomas of eastern Kentucky. Cora Dye was another neighbor from whom Jim reed learned this tune.
9 BEST TIMBER – KEY OF F – HARVEY “PAPPY” TAYLOR, Effingham. “Pappy” Taylor was born in 1894 in Effingham County. His parents sang together at home, and his grandfather played many of the fine old fiddle tunes that Pappy now plays. In addition to relatives, another important influence on Pappy’s fiddling was a fellow Illinois native, Joe Dixon. Dixon, a circus entertainer, was quite a bit older than Pappy. This tune is one of many that Pappy learned from him.
10 OLD KENTUCKY WHISKEY – KEY OF A – NOAH BEAVERS, Elkville. Noah Beavers was born near Hurst, Illinois in 1898. He has lived his entire life in Jackson County. Noah learned this tune around 1915 from a Kentucky fiddler whose name is not known. This is one of several tunes Noah plays in AEAE tuning.
11 STRAW BONNET – KEY OF D – “PAPPY” – TAYLOR. One part of this tune resembles the well-known “Marmaduke’s Hornpipe,” and several other variants probably exist. A tune by the same title was found by Jim and Julia Olin in Missouri, but the melody is not related. Danny learned it from his cousin, Vol Thompson, a “West Virginia native from Ohio.”
12 CACKLING HEN – KEY OF A – JIMMY DAVIS, Eldorado. Mr. Davis learned this tune from his father. It is one of several pieces that his father played in AEAE tuning. Mr. Davis, like many other fiddlers, has abandoned the practice of re-tuning the fiddle from the standard GDAE tuning because of the inconvenience involved. The tune is played haere in AEAE tuning. Many variants of both the tune and the title are know, and though it seems to have been a widespread tune, this is the only version we have found in Illinois. The more common name for the piece seems to be “Cluck Old Hen.” Another chicken-related tune usually assumes the name of “Cackling Hen” or “Old Hen Cackled.” Completely unrelated to the melody given here, it is most always played in the key of G and is till quite common among older fiddlers in Illinois.
13 PRAIRIE DU ROCHER MOTION – KEY OF D – CHARLIE BESE, Prairie du Rocher. This tune was learned from a 1938 home recording made by Mr. Percy Clerc of Prairie du Rocher. Evidently Mr. Bese was somewhat elderly when the recording was made. Mr. Clerc has lived near Prairie du Rocher all of his life. He is well-informed on the history of the French settlement in that area and, himself a musician, has written a commemorative song on the subject. Prairie du Rocher was settled in 1722 and is said to be the oldest town in Illinois. Mr. Clerc’s brother, Bill, also plays this unusual tune.
14 MACK’S HORNPIPE – KEY OF B-FLAT – J.J. ABBOTT. This is another of the tunes that J.J. learned in Missouri. B-flat hornpipes seem to be common in central and northern Missouri. Some good examples can be heard on R.P. Christenson’s two-record production, “Old-Time Fiddler’s Repertory.”
15 MONEY IN BOTH POCKETS – KEY OF A – J.J. ABBOTT. This tune uses the AEAE fiddle tuning to full advantage. Some of the old-timers in Illinois still refer to the G-string of the fiddle as the “bass,” and the D-string as the “counter.” These terms most likely come from the days when bagpipe-like tunes such as this one were common. We have heard the piece played on a record by Charlie Bowman but have not heard it elsewhere in Illinois.
16 DUNDAS ROAD – KEY OF D – HARRY ELIE, rural Ste. Marie. Mr. Ellie is one of the very few fiddlers we have found who comfortably plays many tunes in the keys of F and B-flat. Some of the tunes he plays in these keys are quite unusual. This jig, though not played in the flat keys, is a tune that Mr. Elie learned from some of his older relatives. We have not found any variants of the tune elsewhere in Illinois.
17 LONE PRAIRIE – KEY OF E MINOR – “PAPPY” TAYLOR. Pappy’s version of this tune gives a good example of a melody which at some time became “westernized.” Dave sings one verse of the familiar lyrics. Pappy says the tune is “so lonesome that two people can’t hardly play it together.”
Recorded … August 20, 1977 in Charleston, Illinois
Produced by … The Indian Creek Delta Boys and Steve Davis
Liner Notes … The Indian Creek Delta Boys
Technical Assistance … Bill and Ellyn Trigg, Kim-Pat Enterprises, P.O. Box 654 (Hillwood Dr.), Fayetteville, Tennessee 37334