Peter Feldmann & The Pea Patch Quintet | Grey Cat On The Tennessee Farm

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Grey Cat On The Tennessee Farm

by Peter Feldmann & The Pea Patch Quintet

A bluegrass tribute to the music of Uncle Dave Macon, with Byron Berline - fiddle, Dan Crary - guitar, Dennis Caplinger - banjo, Wayne Shrubsall - banjo, and Bill Bryson - bass.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Intro
0:28 $0.99
2. Old Plank Road
3:06 $0.99
3. Jordan Is A Hard Road
3:18 $0.99
4. Take Me Home Poor Julia
3:15 $0.99
5. Rabbit In The Pea Patch
3:06 $0.99
6. Roll Down The Line
4:33 $0.99
7. I'm Goin' Back To Dixie
3:30 $0.99
8. Grey Cat
3:38 $0.99
9. Bull Moose
0:41 $0.99
10. John Henry
3:23 $0.99
11. Kiss
0:17 $0.99
12. Johnny Gray
1:54 $0.99
13. Rye Straw
2:44 $0.99
14. King David
0:14 $0.99
15. Rise Whe The Rooster Crows
2:27 $0.99
16. Deer Chase
2:10 $0.99
17. Forked Deer
2:44 $0.99
18. Sail Away Ladies
3:25 $0.99
19. Outro
1:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A collection of 14 songs and tunes associated with Uncle Dave Macon, "The Dixie Dewdrop", first star of the Grand Ol' Opry. Performed by Peter with Byron Berline - fiddle, Dan Crary - guitar, Dennis Caplinger - banjo, Wayne Shrusball - banjo, and Bill Bryson - bass.

NEWS FLASH! - "Grey Cat" ranked #5 in the TOP TEN Bluegrass CDs for 2005 by the Chicago Tribune - Dave Royko, columnist.

"YOU'VE DONE IT! ... Great sound, great job, great layout! ..
high quality workmanship, both visually and audio."
- Dave Macon (Uncle Dave's grandson)

"The impact of this extraordinary CD just takes your breath away."
- Al Shusterman, KCBL, Sacramento

"What a wonderful recording ... exceptional!"
- David Holt

"A unique idea! .. well produced by excellent musciains..."
- Mike Seeger

While Uncle Dave was an "old time" musician, we've arranged and adapted these songs into bluegrass format, often with two banjos, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar. Singing ranges from solo vocals to four and five-part harmonies. The musicians here are all top notch, with 3 time National fiddle champion Byron Berline, Dennis Caplinger of "Bluegrass Etc." on banjo, Dan Crary, king of the flatpick guitar players, Bill Bryson of "Desert Rose" on bass, and Banjo Newsletter columnist Wayne Shrubsall on clawhammer banjo.

Peter Feldmann is a long-time bluegrass favorite in California; founder of the Santa Barbara Fiddlers' Convention, the famous Bluebird Cafe (Santa Barbara), with more than 21 years' of experience on radio, television, and recordings. He can also be heard with his band "Peter Feldmann & The Very Lonesome Boys", based in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.

== Review May 15, 2007 ====

The impact of this extraordinary CD just takes your breath away. I have been an Uncle Dave (The Dixie Dewdrop) fan since the late 50s. Every record I had by him was worn completely out. I just couldn't get enough!! There were some shows that showed the old time footage, & that is where it really rocked.

Your project was superb. Everything about it was first class: the singing, & the beautiful instrumental work that pulsated throughout the project.

All of the recordings I have heard of Uncle Dave suggests that he was having a good time. I definitely got that feeling while I was listening to this project. The personnel on this project are in the "Who's Who of bluegrass music". It doesn't get any better than this. This project was entirely too short. I had to play this CD 3 times in a row to fully appreciate the lyrics & the music for this project. You can't just hear this CD once & be satisfied. The song selection was also first rate. I played the entire CD & received many requests to play many of the songs over again. This CD will be my companion for many weeks to come.

Thank you for sharing your fine project with us.


Al Shusterman

== *** December 2, 2005 =====

"When Peter Feldmann's "Grey Cat on the Tennessee Farm - Songs of Uncle Dave Macon arrived in my mailbox, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. After all, Uncle Dave brought a powerful and unique personality to the stage along with his vast banjo tune and minstrel show repetoire. I was afraid I was in for yet another folk revivalist rehash of Mr. Macon's greatest hits.

Instead, Peter Feldmann has put together a very entertaining "concept album" that combines spoken word and some of the West Coast's best instrumentalists in an imaginative yet sympathetic updating of some very tuneful Old Time music. This is truly an album that has "something for everyone". Feldmann serves as lead vocalist and "master of ceremonies" for what is essentially what you might expect to hear if you were lucky enough to attend one of Uncle Dave Macon's tent shows in the 1930's but presented with the musical sophistication demanded by present day audiences.

Though it's accessible enough for the uninitiated, Bluegrass afficianados will marvel at Fiddler Byron Berline and Guitarist "Deacon" Dan Crary breaks and backup-flawless without being stale-they still manage not to overshadow Peter Feldmann's warm vocals. Berline is featured on two fiddle tunes which are worth the price of the album on their own merit. Feldmann provides some good solid Monroe style mandolin and Dennis Caplinger plays impeccable three finger banjo - he neatly combines the melodic and rhythmic content of Dave Macon's banjo with the sparkling drive of Bluegrass style picking and is worth a listen by any student of the five-string.

Old Timey banjoist Wayne Shrubsall pops in briefly on a couple of tunes to remind us that there was a fully developed banjo tradition before Scruggs put the banjo into overdrive and his duet work with Caplinger is exquisite. Most importantly however, this album is a true "family" fare-something both adults and children can listen to without annoying one another. Respectful without being precious, plain spoken with being condescending, these guys obviously had a lot of fun making this album-and you'll have fun listening to it."

- Emily Salisbury Keene



to write a review

Joe Ross

Hot dog, buddy let's go!.... a frolicking, fun-filled, festive time on an earthy
Playing Time – 46:48 -- The first major star of WSM's Grand Ole Opry, Uncle Dave Macon (1870-1952) “The Dixie Dewdrop” (from Smart Station, Tennessee) once introduced “Coming Around the Mountain” by asking, ‘Well, Buddy, How you feeling? Feeling Right. Well, if you ain't right, git right, and let your conscience be your guide. Because I'm going to play with more hetergeneous, constopolitan, double flavor and unknown quality than usual. Make it light on yourself.” With a similar mindset and sure to get you smiling, Peter Feldmann & the Pea Patch Quintet’s album is a strong bluegrass tribute to the old-time songs of Uncle Davy. Bluegrassers should take note of how well these kinds of songs adapt to the genre. Rather than some half-baked folk revivalist effort, the songs were conceptually arranged with bluegrass instrumentation, in fact a few banjos, as well as a variety of vocal stackings. I’m sure Uncle Dave would be proud of the “little hot runs on the banjo” (some with touches of harmony), along with all the other fine musicianship here.

There’s also plenty of quaint advice on the CD too. In “Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel,” for example, “I don't know but I believe I'm right, the autos ruined the country, let's get back to the horse and buggy, and try to save some money.” Not such a bad idea, I’d say, especially if you live in So. Cal.! One of the spoken narratives from Uncle Dave’s own commentaries declares, “King David and King Solomon lived merry, merry lives for they had many many wives, but when old age overtook them, they became very calm, King Solomon wrote the proverbs and David wrote the Psalms.”

Hot dog, buddy let's go! Whether singing about rabbits, dogs, deer, moose, cats, kittens, cattle, horses, hogs, sheep, ducks, geese or roosters, Feldmann has a genial barnyard manner. He also plays his Everett Kettler mandolin or clawhammer banjo (on “Deer Chase”) with cool confidence and composure. Inspired by that “Rabbit in the Pea Patch” [eating all day], the accomplished quintet includes Dan Crary (guitar), Bill Bryson (bass), Wayne Shrubsall (clawhammer banjo), Dennis Caplinger (5-string and 6-string banjo) and Byron Berline (fiddle). Bryson even plays some clawhammer gourd banjo too on the intro and outro that open and close the project. Even though some of the musicians were not initially that familiar with Uncle Dave’s music, they took right to it as if they were from “the land of hog and hominy, pumpkin and possum, and where whiskey is made out of corn, and women don't smell like talcum powder.” Who would’ve thunk that these guys are from California? Actually Feldmann was born and raised in Switzerland and didn’t emigrate to the U.S. until after World War II. His love for old-time and bluegrass music was cultivated as a radio show producer, record label manager and bluegrass performer (with The Very Lonesome Boys).

Feldmann’s goal was to capture some of the excitement that Uncle Dave produced in his 1927 New York session with his band, The Fruit Jar Drinkers. There are solo, duo, trio and quartet vocals, as well as a couple old-time fiddle tunes (Rye Straw, Forked Deer). Peter and the Pea Patch Quintet energetically recorded as a group with little overdubbing or multiple takes. Or are they known as the “Grey Cat Quintete” as spelled out on the back of the CD? Song-by-song musician credits are not in the CD jacket, but you can find them on-line. To help preserve Uncle Dave’s music, I’d also recommend that Peter upload the lyrics he sings, especially for novelty tongue-twisters like “Deer Chase.” I wonder how much the folkloric process has resulted in alteration of Macon’s original lyrics over the years.
You can tell that these guys had a frolicking, fun-filled, festive time making this earthy album. They keep the offerings up-tempo, and the down-home ambiance fits the songs like a glove. While the vocal range required of a song like “Johnny Gray” challenges Peter a tad, it’s nearly impossible to listen to romping songs like “Roll Down the Line” or “Old Plank Road” or “Take Me Home Poor Julia” without tapping toes or singing along. While many have similar tempos and joyous sentiments, the former is probably one of my favorites because it has plenty of shared instrumental breaks and quartet singing. With 14 songs and 5 brief narrative commentaries, the CD re-creates a set of music as Uncle Dave might’ve played it.
In the early-1920, Macon was over 50 years old when the advent of trucking forced him into a career change from mule-drawn freight delivery to entertainment. He claimed to know nothing about the “scientifical parts of music,” but he could certainly play. Macon made nearly 200 recordings, and Feldmann & Co. barely scratch the surface of his repertoire. While they concentrate on those best adapted to bluegrass, it would’ve been nice to include more from his gospel (e.g. "Just One Way to the Pearly Gates"), blues (e.g. "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy"), and novelty (e.g. "She's Got the Money, Too") favorites. Perhaps a second volume is forthcoming. We can only hope. A portion of the album sales goes to the Macon Family to help preserve his Murfreesboro, Tn. gravesite. If you miss hog, hominy, pumpkin and red gravy, then I’m sure that Uncle Peter Feldmann (a kind of Uncle Davy reincarnated) would love to sell you a copy of this album. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

Dave Moran

A wonderful, warm album...Superb "sidemen!!" Love it!!
I first heard one tune — "The Old Plank Road" - on the Web, not knowing who the artists were. I thought, "What amazing "Sidemen"? Who did this, anyway? I followed the links to CD Baby, found that Berline, Crary, and Caplinger were among the "Sidemen," and ordered two copies of the album at once! It is wonderful. Were it vinyl, I would already have worn out the grooves. Keep 'em coming! --Dave Moran, Fiddler with "Colorado Country"