Folk Music

Recorded Live at the

Folklore Society of Greater Washington Getaway in 1976 or 1977

Susan and I attended this "getaway" when we were living in the Washington D.C. area.  We recorded a bunch of songs on a portable tape recorder.  I saved the tapes and a year or two ago transferred the songs to a CD. 

Then I thought they ought to be shared so I'm posting them here...

I started playing the banjo in 1975.  I had been playing guitar for about 11 years at this time but was not playing anywhere near the skill level of these people.  Truly great musicians within this group.  I managed to learn a little frailing-style banjo but never managed to get my thumb over to do the "drop-thumb", i.e., "clawhammer" style.  My main interest was, and continues to be, the three-finger Scruggs-style bluegrass banjo style.  But I do love the sound of clawhammer banjo.  It is as intricate and as difficult as the three-finger style in my opinion although there might be some dyed-in-the-wool Scrugs-style banjo players who would disagree.  :-)

The Getaway, as I recall, was held out at a county park in Virgina in the D.C. area.   There were some buildings there that people were playing music in.  One of them had a very noisy screen door that slammed occasionally.  Sorry about that.  I could probably process that out but I think I'll leave it as is to indicate the atmosphere and of people coming and going.

I know the title to only a few of these songs.  I am making some guesses on some of them as to what the title might be.  :-)

Payday  Guitar and singing.

Hold To his Hand  Gospel song (mostly?) with guitar and harmonica

I'll turn your money green  Blues in the best tradition of the blues.  Great guitar work.

Had a Long Coat On  Another blues type song.

Sweet Little Angel  Wow!  Sung by an older woman that people said used to hang around with Leadbelly.  There are people in the world that look like they have lived what they are singing.  This woman looked that way.  Dishwater blonde - Super voice for blues singing.

Ellis B  Same singer as above.

Saint James Infirmary  Same singer as above.  Again great backup guitar work.

Hoochie Koochie Man  By a big fellow named Jonathan.  Super resonant voice!  Great guitarbackup.  Bluesy.

44th Street and Vine  Jonathan again.  Again, super resonant voice and great guitar backup work. 

Track 11  Guitar song.

Track 12  Blues guitar - Words I cannot make out.

Cumberland  Song about a Civil War sailing ship sea battle involving the Cumberland and an iron-clad frigate.

Goin' across the Mountain  Clawhammer banjo and singing.  Civil War song.

Hard Times Now Banjo and singing.

Track 16  Blues about the draft.  Well-done...

Track 17  Plectrum banjo

If You Knew Susie   Plectrum banjo

Bringing the Georgia Mail  Guitar, dobro and singing

Track 20  Clawhammer banjo and fiddle

The Cuckoo  (Drew identified it.)  Clawhammer banjo.  Screen door banging occasionally.

Track 22  Clawhammer banjo.

Track 23  Clawhammer banjo and fiddle

One of Scott Joplin's Ragtime Songs  Guitar

Dallas Rag  Guitar

Scott Joplin Ragtime  One of his best know songs whose name escapes me at the moment.  Guitar

Scott Joplin RagTime  Another of Scott's ragtime song on the guitar.

Chicken on a Raft  Group sing led by Jonathan.