Tune of the Week for June 18, 2012

It’s Battle Ground week! That is, time for the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in lovely Battle Ground, Indiana, just a couple hours out of Chicago, just off interstate 65. This years festival will be the 40th. I missed the first four, but have only missed two since. Lots of folks look forward to reuniting for a weekend of tunes and friendship. Plus there are concerts on the stage, workshops under the trees and an old-time square dance on Saturday with music by the Bum Ditty Barn Dance Band.

I think the year was 1979 when the Gathering was treated to the music of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, a family band from Tennessee. Their tunes were great. Their spirit infectious. And they hawked their most recent album in LP and 8-track tape formats! (Now available on the CD Down Home.) Banjoists take note of the distinctive left-hand style in the picture below. The Easy Street String Band, an outfit from Bloomington, was inspired by a Hilltoppers original, and included it on their LP Money in Both Pockets. (Originally released on the Prairie Schooner label out of St. Louis, it is now available as a CD from Yodel A-Hee.)

Bill & Joe Birchfield of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Bill & Joe Birchfield
of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Photo by Al Smitley
(click photo to enlarge)
Easy Street String Band
Easy Street String Band
On the right is Frank Hall, who was the source for an earlier Tune of the Week.

Rattletrap by the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers

Rattletrap by the Easy Street String Band

S:Joe Birchfield & the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers
Bc | d2c2 BcdB | e2c4 Bc | d2c2 B2G2 | ABA2 G2Bc |
d2c2 BcdB | e2c6 | g2=f2 d3B | ABA2 G2 ::
(3DEF | G2GD B,2B,D | +C2E2++CE++CE+ +^C2^E2++^C^E++^C^E+ | +C2E2++CE++CE+ D3D | +CE+D+C2E2+ D2EF |
G2GD B,2D2 | +C2E2++CE++CE+ +^C2^E2++^C^E++^C^E+ | +C2E2++CE++CE+ D3D | +CE+D+C2E2+ D2 :|

Paul Tyler, convener

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