Hog-Eyed Man | Vol. 3

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Vol. 3

by Hog-Eyed Man

Hog-eyed Man's new CD of traditional tunes & songs from western NC and eastern KY, featuring 2016 Clifftop fiddle contest winner Jason Cade, innovative multi-instrumentalist Rob McMaken, and guest appearances by old-time royalty Beverly Smith & John Grimm
Genre: Country: Old-Timey
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Wiley Laws' Tune
2:42 $0.99
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2. Polly Put the Kettle On
2:56 $0.99
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3. Vance No More
3:03 $0.99
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4. Buck Hoard
2:08 $0.99
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5. Bile Them Cabbage Down
3:32 $0.99
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6. Hello John D
1:48 $0.99
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7. Five Miles from Town
3:26 $0.99
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8. Glory in the Meetinghouse
2:20 $0.99
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9. Powers' Patty on the Turnpike
2:47 $0.99
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10. Shady Grove
4:12 $0.99
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11. Rocky Road to Dublin
2:57 $0.99
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12. My Heart's in the Highlands
3:54 $0.99
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13. Old Hen She Cackled
2:04 $0.99
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14. Hog-Eyed Man
1:54 $0.99
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15. Kiss Me Sweetly
3:07 $0.99
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16. Big-Footed Man
2:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Great music, and particularly great fiddling, is a seamless fusion of rhythm and melody, which has the power to reach deep inside us and inspire strong emotional responses. Cade's fiddling does that to full effect, and the other players deftly enhance it.... Even when you think you know a tune from its name, more often than not, you may be surprised at the versions here. There is gold and platinum and plenty of diamonds to mine from this recording, which has this reviewer's highest recommendation.
It's a masterpiece."

— Steve Goldfield, Bluegrass Unlimited

"Well, so here we are, present at the third coming of Hog-Eyed Man ... and the quality has yet to stumble on a single (metaphorical) stubbed toe. To the contrary, it continues to feel rather intimidating, in the way extraordinarily conceived and executed music can creep up and scare you. It's penetrating places of the heart to which mere ordinarily good music doesn't get close. Fiddler/banjoist Jason Cade and multi-stringed instrumentalist Rob McMaken are at once immensely informed students of traditional Appalachian music and supremely able carriers of that tradition. Theirs are what some call the ancient tones.... Not even the novice listener is likely to mistake what emerges from their instruments as bluegrass or country. To the contrary, this is the mountain music of a century ago and decades more, from an electricity-free era when no phonograph records preserved the sound.... The music is infused with an atmospheric and emotional richness of the sort that happens only when art and artist are in perfect alignment. There are other, entirely legitimate ways to present this music, of course. Still, something transcendent happens when Cade and McMaken get together to channel the ghosts of another age."

— Jerome Clark, Rambles

"The haunting magic of the previous recordings has not been compromised. The tightness and richness of Jason and Rob’s playing still shines through and the addition of John and Beverly adds a level of intimacy and gregariousness, especially in the songs where the voices of all the players blend beautifully.... Often, when I hear modern recordings, though I may be greatly impressed with the playing, I feel some raw quality of urgency or intensity can be lacking in comparison. The first thing that struck me when I heard this band was that their music and sound manages to be sublime and stark, profoundly technical and seemingly effortless, tight and relaxed, extremely well produced and timeless. An essential recording for old-time fans."

— Steve Blake, Old-Time News

"The music here is full of strong playing and great taste, not only in the tunes selected but in how they are performed. Jason Cade and Rob McMaken, with help from friends John Grimm and Beverly Smith, treat us to 16 traditional tunes. They play a Manco Sneed tune, "Wiley Laws," with a third part gleaned from a field recording of J. Laurel Johnson, Sneed's son-in-law. There are even familiar tunes in unusual versions. They tap into the repertoire of the late [Byard] Ray, who processed tunes so much between hearing them and playing them, they can be strikingly different.... As with their previous recordings, we are treated to fine versions of a wide range of great old tunes from the South."

— Bob Buckingham, Fiddler Magazine

***

Here are some excerpts from the liner notes of the CD about the tunes:

Welcome (back) to the world of Hog-eyed Man! This volume focuses on traditional music from two areas. Five of the tunes were once regularly played in our homeland, the Blue Ridge Mountain region of western NC, north GA, and eastern TN. Nine more are traced to eastern KY oldtime fiddlers of an earlier era, many of which were learned from or through master fiddler and tune-catcher Bruce Greene of Celo, NC, Jason’s first teacher and main inspiration. There’s also one tune from VA, and another from all over the place.

At its best, oldtime is a kind of musical conversation. For us, keeping these ancient tunes alive helps forge a link between the present era and 19th century Southern Appalachia. We try to hear and honor the past guardians of the craft even as we speak to them, and each other, with our own voices. This time around we invited two of our musical neighbors and pals, John Grimm and Beverly Smith, turning the conversation into a party.

1. Wiley Laws’ Tune (2:43) Manco Sneed (1885-1974), a part-Cherokee fiddler living in western NC, got this distinctive tune from his mentor J.D. Harris (1868-193?), originally of eastern TN, who in turn got it from Wiley Laws, a blind fiddler who immigrated from England in the 19th century and was the source of several regionally popular tunes. We picked up the third part from John Harrod’s field recording of Manco’s son-in-law, J. Laurel Johnson, himself a fine fiddler from Atlanta, GA. Manco may once have played that part too, as it bears the emotive syncopation and intricate phrasing characteristic of his music. (JC - fiddle; RM - mando; JG - banjo; BS - guitar)

2. Polly Put the Kettle On (2:57) Byard Ray (1910-1988) of Madison Co., NC, got the gist of this one from Manco Sneed; another that Manco had learned from J.D. Harris. Over the years, Byard’s version diverged into a few variants, which we have arranged into a single setting here. (JC - fiddle; RM - dulcimer)

3. Vance No More (3:04) A tragic air believed to be penned by a father condemned for the murder of his daughter’s suitor. Our version is based on the playing of eastern KY’s finest oldtime fiddler, John Salyer (1882-1952), and the unaccompanied singing of Bruce Greene and Loy McWhirter. (JC - fiddle; RM - dulcimer)

4. Buck Hoard (2:09) A wild piece with an enigmatic title from Alva Greene (1894 -1976), of Elliott County, KY. Jason played this one solo in the finals of the 2016 fiddle contest at Clifftop, WV, and was honored to take home the blue ribbon. (JC - fiddle; RM - banjo-uke)

5. Bile Them Cabbage Down (3:33) Byard Ray’s rejuvenating take on an otherwise tired chestnut. Byard gave fiddle lessons to Jason’s mom in the early ‘80s and this was the first tune she learned. We pulled the lyrics from all over the place, including a new verse spontaneously composed by Jason during bedtime song hour with his boys. (JC - fiddle, vocals; RM - mando, vocals; BS - guitar, vocals; JG - banjo)

6. Hello John D (1:48) From a recording of Bruce Greene and Don Pedi, who adapted it from Lee Sexton and Dandy Lusk, both Kentuckians. It’s a version of “Cookhouse Joe.” (JC - banjo; RM - mando).

7. Five Miles From Town (3:27) From Clyde Davenport of south-central Kentucky, who learned it from his father Will Davenport (1868-1950). Seems it was a pleasant five miles to travel. (JC, JG - fiddles; RM - banjo-uke; BS - guitar)

8. Glory in the Meeting House (2:21) Alan Lomax recording eastern KY’s Bev Baker (1872-19??) playing a snippet of this tune in 1937. Bev was a friend and mentor of the legendary Luther Strong, whose better-known rendition of the tune was recorded by Lomax on the same day. (JC - fiddle; RM - banjo-uke)

9. Powers’ Patty on the Turnpike (2:47) John Cowan Powers (1877-1953), of Russell Co., VA, was a brilliant fiddler who in 1924 beat out J.D. Harris, Charlie Bowman, and Uncle Am Stuart in a celebrated fiddle contest in Johnson City, TN. Later that year his family band recorded this unique version of what’s more commonly called “Wagoner” for Victor Records in New York City. (JC - fiddle; RM - mando; BS - guitar)

10. Shady Grove (4:13) We learned this lesser-heard melody from Bruce Greene and Don Pedi, who adapted it from banjo-player Lee Sexton. The verses we borrowed from a celebrated 1997 recording by Bruce Molsky & Big Hoedown, on which Beverly Smith’s effortless guitar-work anchored the blistering fiddle- and banjo-playing. We’re delighted to have Beverly play and sing it again with us. (JC - fiddle; RM - mando, vocals; BS - guitar, vocals)

11. Rocky Road to Dublin (2:57) “Rocky Road to Dublin” was recorded in 1924 by Osey Helton (1879-1942), a part-Cherokee fiddler living in the Asheville area. Helton’s contemporaries Bill Hensley (Buncombe Co., NC) and Allen Sisson (Fannin Co., GA) recorded similar versions, suggesting the tune once enjoyed popularity across the Blue Ridge mountains. We pay homage with a three-fiddle rave-up. (JC, BS, JG - fiddles; RM - dulcimer)

12. My Heart’s in the Highlands (3:54) A waltz of undetermined origin found in various parts of North America, Ireland, Sweden, and probably elsewhere. We put the tune in the “sawmill” cross-tuning used here, nudging it into a southern context. (JC - fiddle; RM - dulcimer)

13. Old Hen She Cackled (2:04) Another masterwork from John Sayler of Magoffin Co., KY, which Jason also played in the 2016 Clifftop fiddle contest. (JC - fiddle)

14. Hog-eyed Man (1:55) A children’s song but for the dark lyrics. This peculiar version originates with Theophilus Hoskins (1879-19??), as recorded by Alan Lomax in Hyden Co., KY in 1937. He sang one verse; the others float all over the place. (JC - fiddle; RM - mando, vocals; BS - guitar, vocals)

15. Kiss me Sweetly (3:08) A courtship tune learned from Bruce Greene, who got it from Roy Bennett of Battletown, in Meade Co., KY. Like many fiddlers from communities along the Ohio river, Bennett played a number of tunes with a Scots-Irish flavor. Bruce told us Bennett was likely born in the 1890s. (JC - fiddle; RM - dulcimer)

16. Big-Footed Man (2:43) Another western NC tune from the repertoire of Blind Wiley Laws, played by Osey Helton and Manco Sneed. Manco called it “Newport Breakdown.” (JC - fiddle; RM - mando; JG - banjo; BS - guitar)

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