Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jenks "Tex" Carman self titled LP on the Sage label

Here is a mighty unusual LP, or at least a might unusual performer! Jenks Carmen is one of the most unusual artists. He was popular in California from the 40`s up into the early 60`s and performed on the Town Hall Party TV show with people like Joe Maphis. He played guitar in the old Hawaiian style, that is just a regular flat top type Martin in the laying down position, and was both adept at playing breaks, solos and backing up his singing. What makes his guitar style so unusual was that the stacatto type style he played was popular in the teens up into the mid 20`s. It was the style of the "real" Hawaiians that migrated here from about the turn of the century till the mid 20`s.
His vocal stylings were something to behold too. He sang in a high, nasal toned voice. His singing matched his guitar stylings, stacatto. I`ll admit some people may not like his voice, I like to hear him myself. He was part Cherokee Indian and could speak the Cherokee language. On his song Hillbilly Hula, the words just sound like jibberish but it is in the Cherokee language. Also, he uses a Cherokee word that sounds like "chippeha" that he says sometimes that he said the meaning of is like when we might say "yee-haw" or "whoopee" when we hear something we like.
So---give ole Jenks a chance and listen to this, I think if you try it a couple times it will sort of grow on you.

Click here to download Jenks "Tex" Carman self titled LP

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jimmy Driftwood - A Lesson In Folk Music LP on the Rimrock label RLP-496

This is a pretty neat record as it is presented actually as sort of a lesson. This material was apparently recorded at a old-time music workshop of some kind. Mr. Driftwood talks some an each track (if I remember right) about the song (source, how old, etc.) Or about the instruments he is playing or all of the above.
Anyone that knows anything about at all about Jimmy Driftwood knows he wrote the words to the Johnny Horton hit The Battle Of New Orleans, which is set to the old fiddle tune the Eighth Of January. The eighth of January is the actual date of the battle at New Orleans with "Old Hickory" (who became a national hero and eventually a president by the name of Andrew Jackson) leading the American forces to victory over the English army. The most interesting fact of this battle to me is that it was fought after the war was actually over. A peace treaty had been signed, but since there was no speedy way to relay news then, neither side was aware that the war was already over.
Jimmy Driftwood is still pretty well known around the area where I live in the Missouri Ozarks and in northern middle Arkansas. He is largely responsible for Mountain View, Arkansas becoming an attraction for traditional musicians. He (as well as Grandpa Jones) had a dinner theater in Mountain View for many years. Also, Mountain View has the Folk Center that he helped get going. They have many music and other traditional activities and festivals throughout the year.
Just as a side note, Bookmiller Shannon was very well known in the area around Mountain View as an old-time banjo picker. Jimmy and his wife Cleda, as well as Bookmiller Shannon, have all passed away some time back. I don`t know anything at all nor ever even heard of Barbara Sanders.
I wonder when people quit using the term "folk music" for old-time music, or when the term "old-time music" came into common use for this type music. I have saw many references in articles from the 30`s & 40`s using the term folk music for what we now call Old-time music. Of course we all know what became known as folk music in the 50`s, music mostly played by "city folks" of the older style country material, then evolving into all the protest type stuff and eventually evolving into stuff such as pshychodellic type stuff that my ears can`t even start to tolerate. No offense intended here if you like that type of music. All the early folk type bands singing traditional material sound phony to me. As I said, no offense to people who like that type music, I`m just on a little rant here. To each his own!!
Hope you like this LP, it`s a pretty neat record.

Click here to download Jimmy Driftwood "A Lesson In Folk Music"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Obray Ramsey Sings Folksongs From The Three Laurels

Here`s a another good Obray Ramsey LP. Not that it`s any better or not as good as the others! I like all his music. There really isn`t anything more I can say about him, so if you want to learn a little more about him just check out the other posts of his material. As always, just click on any picture to enlarge it. Enjoy!!

Click here to download Obray Ramsey Sings Folksongs From The Three Laurels

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wade Mainer - First Time In Stereo - Homestead 90002

Here`s a mighty good record if you like Wade Mainer. It`s seems to be the first record made since his 78 days back in the late 30`s or early 40`s. The liner notes explain some about why he had quit the music buissness and such.
I was very familiar with Wade`s old recordings, but just in the last 3 or 4 years heard some of his later recordings. His banjo picking is a 2 finger style, sort of sounding like a pre-Scruggs bluegrass style.
I got to meet Wade about 5 or 6 years ago at Uncle Dave Macon Days where they honored him that year. He was about 94 and his wife about 90. It was about 100 degrees that day and they gave a show about 45 minuets long! Wade and his wife are still living and I believe he is 102!!
If you watch PBS any, you might catch Wade and his wife on a music show (I can`t remember the name of the show at the moment) from a few years ago. I believe Wade is 98ish on this show. It`s also a good show because they interview him some and it`s pretty interesting. Hope you like this one!!

Click here to download Wade Mainer - First Time In Stereo

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5 String Banjo - America`s National Instrument - 10 inch LP

Here is an unusual record. The only one of these pickers I`ve ever heard of is the great classic style player Fred Bacon. It`s odd to have a track by Fred Bacon on here (from an Edison recording from sometime in the teens) with the other artists that were current recordings when the LP was issued (early 50`s I`d say). Fred Bacon of course was one of the best classic banjoists of the early part part of the 1900`s. I`ve never even heard of the other artists.
Now, this banjo music isn`t country or bluegrass, it ain`t even old timey. This is classic style (early finger style) and some plectrum or tenor type playing (with a flat pick). Give it a listen, you may enjoy a style of banjo playing you`ve never heard before.

Track list---
Come On Down South - Ted Shawnee
Southern Coffee Klatch - Alexander Magee
Hungarian Dance #6 - Frank Bradbury
Waiting For The Robert E. Lee - Ted Shawnee
Massa`s In The Cold Cold Ground - Fred Bacon
Dance Of The Hours - Frank Bradbury
Jolly Darkies - Alexander Magee
Dill Pickles - Ted Shawnee

Click here to download 5 String Banjo - America`s National Instrument

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leslie Keith - Black Mountain Blues

Here`s a fine LP. Leslie Kieth was one of those fiddlers that fell between old time and bluegrass. He was a fiddler from a generation sort of after Fiddlin` Arthur Smith and Clayton McMichen in style, but still not quite the hot, breakneck speed of a bluegrass fiddler. I like the singing with the fiddling. I also like his old-time banjo picking on this.
Likely the one huge thing of note about Leslie Kieth is the tune Black Mountain Blues he wrote, which fiddler Tommy Magness turned into one of the most well known show off fiddle tunes today, Black Mountain Rag. I`m pretty sure you`ll all like this one!

I have deleted the download link as I just got an email that this is available from the people who now own the rights to this LP. It can be bought at Sierra Records at