Saturday, October 26, 2013
A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div
Still out here in the great Southwest, so thought I'd show that my music is still being played out here.
I haven't the faintest idea of who these folks are and couldn't find any info to help me out, but it's a fairly nice rendition of one of my favorites: Whiskey Before Breakfast. Sorry there isn't a fiddle, but the inclusion of a hammered dulcimer is a nice touch.
Contrary to popular belief, this tune is in no way "traditional" or "Irish."
WHISKEY BEFORE BREAKFAST. AKA and see "Spirits of the Morning." Canadian (originally), Old‑Time; Breakdown. D Major. Standard tuning. AABB. A widely known tune, often mistaken for an old traditional old‑time tune (it was even listed on one album as "an Irish tune which has been popular in America for a number of years”). It has generally been credited to the mid‑twentieth century by Manitoba, Canada, fiddler and composer Andy de Jarlis (known for his fine waltzes) probably on the strength of his copyrighted arrangement (it is a common practice among music publishers to copyright arrangements of traditional tunes). " “Whiskey Before Breakfast” was included in de Jarlis’ book Canadian Fiddle Tunes from Red River Valley (1957), where he is credited for the arrangement only. According to Paul Gifford, the tune’s popularity in the United States is fairly recent, probably stemming from its inclusion on a Voyager Records LP called “More Fiddle Favorites,” by Canadian fiddle champion Lloyd Sexsmith, who probably learned it from de Jarlis (sometimes DesJarlis). It is often used as musical accompaniment for the quadrille 'Reel of Eight' in Canada. Gibbons (1982) notes that “Whiskey” is a favorite of Metis (native American) dance troupes in Western Canada, and in this connection Gifford suggests that de Jarlis learned the tune from Metis fiddler Teddy Boy Houle’s father (de Jarlis himself had Metis blood). It seems that de Jarlis and the elder Houle were up playing till dawn with the aid of libation before finally passing out. On finally awaking, de Jarlis remembered the last tune they played and perhaps gave it the “Whiskey” name. Perlman (1979) identifies it as coming from Canada's Maritime provinces where it is called "Spirits of the Morning." It has been pointed out by several sources that the ‘A’ section is similar to the older melodies “Liverpool Hornpipe,” “Great Eastern,” “Bennett’s Favorite” and the Irish reels “Silver Spire” and “Greenfields of America,” however, the original source for all these tunes may be “Speed the Plow.” Folksinger/multiinstrumentalist Mike Cross wrote words to the melody which have become popular in Bluegrass circles (Bryan Bowers also recorded his song). Sources for notated versions: Frank Lowery (Prince Georges, British Columbia) [Gibbon]; Clem Myers [Phillips]; Dick Barrett [Phillips]. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; pg. 290. Frets Magazine, April 1989; pg. 64. Gibbons (As It Comes: Folk Fiddling From Prince George, British Columbia), 1982; No. 3, pgs. 14‑15 (includes variations). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), Vol. 1, 1994; pgs. 254-255 (two versions). Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; pg. 168. Sing Out!, 198‑, pg. 75. Spandaro (10 Cents a Dance), 1980; pg. 20. American Heritage 19A, Loyd Wanzer‑ "Plain and Fancy Fiddlin.'" Bay 204, "The Arkansas Sheiks." Fretless 103, "Clem Myers: Northeast Regional Fiddle Champion 1967 & 1970." June Appal 003, John McCutcheon ‑ "How Can I Keep From Singing?" (1975. Learned from Ben Hensley, Speedwell, Tenn.). London EBX 4118, Andy DeJarlis ‑ "Backwoods Fiddle Tunes.' Marimac 9017, Vesta Johnson (Mo.) ‑ "Down Home Rag." Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association 002, Taylor McBaine (Mo.) ‑ "Boone County Fiddler." Revonah RE‑924, "The West Orrtanna String Band" (1977). Rounder 0063, Norman Blake‑ "Whiskey Before Breakfast." Voyager 304, Dick Barrett‑ "More Fiddle Jam Sessions."
The Fiddler's Companion Andrew Kuntz