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Cripple Creek

lonesome d string band on January 04, 2014 05:45

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The first time I heard Hobart Smith's 'Banging Breakdown,' I said to myself 'somebody oughtta sample that.' My friend encouraged me to do it. So a few years later, here we are. The percussion loop in this is Hobart banging on the banjo head as recorded by Fleming Brown, clipped out of the larger piece. My apologies to the estates of Mssrs. Smith and Brown, as well as Smithsonian Folkways.

Cripple Creek is another one of the most common old-time standards, and among the recorded versions I know I've always leaned toward the solo versions by Jimmie Strothers and especially Uncle Homer Walker. I tried to borrow their sense of elasticity, as well as their blue notes, and transpose it to a string band setting. There's some irony in this, considering I'm using a straight loop as the rhythmic core, but I envision the loop as the dancers pounding out a rhythm as the band lets everyone play lead for the entire (unrehearsed) last song, which keeps going and going. There's some disagreement occasionally over when the A part and the B part are supposed to come 'round, or overlap? The caller's retired for the evening and the bar's making last call, so drink up and have just a little more fun.

I've been messing with the sample for a while, but did the rest of this tonight and decided that if I waited til tomorrow morning and re-listened to it, I'd probably decide to tinker with it some more instead of posting it raw. So here you go. Playing my gut strung banjo, steel string banjo, bad but fun fiddle, harmonica and harp.


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