Tiki Parlour, No Number

   Modern American contest fiddling is often described as Texas-style because that’s what is used in many contests, but there’s an older Texas fiddling style that is closer to old-time fiddling in Appalachia and other places. Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer have mined that older style, and this is the third (and they say the last) of their CDs documenting it. Howard and Tricia both play fiddle and guitar, and Howard also plays accordion on one tune. They’re joined by Brendan Doyle on banjo, Nancy Hartness on guitar, Charlie Hartness on ukelele, and Emily Mann on bass. Emily also plays fiddle on one cut, and Joe DeJarnette plays bass on one.

Included are a generous 21 tunes beginning with “Campbells Are Coming,” a sprightly dance tune from J.W. Whatley. Many of these tunes will be unfamiliar to most listeners, though Alton Mead’s “John Booker” seems to be a distant relative of “George Booker.” Mead was also the source for “LeaRay Wolf Chase (1,027 Dogs)” and “Where The Dogwoods Blossom On The Dogwood Trail In Anderson County, Texas, Where I Was Born.” Stafford Harris’ “Gold Rush” is rooted in the bluegrass tune, but has a more sedate tempo with some unexpected chords. Claude Parker was the source for “The Blind Man” (a version of “Durang’s”), “Cattle In The Canebrake,” “Old Crippled John,” “Mace Bell’s Civil War March,” “Clear The Track,” and “Get Your Boots.” Their unique “Lost Indian” comes from Eck Robertson. “Morg Williams’ Cotillion” is from Peter Tomlinson Bell and sounds related to the very crooked “Flowers Of Edinburgh” from Missouri. Bob Wills played “Go Home With The Girls In The Morning.” Fiddle blues are represented here by Jimmy Nelson’s “West Texas Blues.” These are all very interesting tunes very well played—highly recommended. (


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