Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The All-in-One Old Time Jam Book and Celestial Slow Jam

As someone who learns new tunes through a combination of notation and audio, I’m a sucker for a good fiddle tune book, especially one that comes with a CD or mp3 download.  When I saw the list of tunes in Celestial Mountain Music’s All-in-One Old Time Jam Book and Celestial Slow Jam book I figured that these would be good additions to my collection. 


While a total of 57 tunes between both volumes is not an exhaustive number of selections, the ones chosen do seem to be pertinent old favorites - common enough to be played in most jam circles, but not so common as to be complete duplicates of other fake books.  Because these compendiums were put together by currently active old-time musicians for use in group jam situations, there’s a good chance the arrangements are going to sound very similar to the way musicians in your area play them.


The simplified way these tunes are presented makes it easy for me to learn and retain them with a solid understanding of the tune’s basic melody, shape and chord structure.  I’ve only had the books for a few weeks, but I’ve already learned enough about Chinquapin Hunting, Rock the Cradle Joe, Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss, Little Billy Wilson, Cuffy, Barlow Knife, Fortune and Yellow Rose of Texas to play along proficiently at the various jams I attend.  Never before have I been able to pick up so many tunes in such a short amount of time with such little effort.  What fun!

The books are authored by old-time fiddler and guitarist Mary Gordon, co-owner of Celestial Mountain Music in Brevard, North Carolina, and old-time banjo player Hilary Dirlam.  Each tune is offered in standard notation plus clawhammer banjo tab.  Playing tips, chord diagrams and slow-play CDs are also included.  Click here for page samples and information on how to order.  See below for each book's tune list.

       All-in-One Old Time Jam Book
1.       Arkansas Traveler
2.       Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine
3.       Cindy
4.       Country Waltz
5.       Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
6.       Julianne Johnson
7.       Liberty
8.       Mississippi Sawyer
9.       Needlecase
10.    Over the Waterfall
11.    Rock the Cradle, Joe
12.    St. Anne’s Reel
13.    Spotted Pony
14.    West Fork Gals
15.    Whiskey Before Breakfast
16.    Yellow Rose of Texas
17.    Barlow Knife
18.    Colored Aristocracy
19.    Girl I Left Behind Me
20.    Golden Slippers
21.    Redwing
22.    Sail Away Ladies
23.    Tombigbee Waltz
24.    Boatman
25.    John Hardy
26.    June Apple
27.    My Own House
28.    Poor Liza Jane
29.    Waterbound
30.    Cold Frosty Morning
31.    Kitchen Girl
32.    Red Haired Boy
33.    Altamont
34.    Billy in the Lowground
35.    High Yellow
36.    Saturday Night Breakdown
   
Celestial Slow Jam
1.       Martha Campbell
2.       Chinquapin Hunting
3.       John Brown’s March
4.       Chinese Breakdown
5.       West Virginia Rag
6.       Jaybird
7.       Bull at the Wagon
8.       Briarpicker Brown
9.       Little Dutch Girl
10.    Waiting for the Boatman
11.    Elk River Blues
12.    Cowboy’s Dream
13.    Big-Eyed Rabbit
14.    Waynesboro
15.    Little Billy Wilson
16.    Jenny Lind Polka
17.    Durang’s Hornpipe
18.    Train on the Island
19.    Cuffy
20.    Shove the Pig’s Foot a Little Further into the Fire
21.    Fortune

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