Brad Leftwich & The Humdingers | The Humdingers

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The Humdingers

by Brad Leftwich & The Humdingers

A rare recording of “one of the tightest and most virtuosic old-time bands ever. ” (Gail Gillespie, editor-in-chief, Old-Time Herald). Winners of the first Clifftop band contest.
Genre: Folk: String Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Dunbar
1:30 $0.99
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2. Rubin
4:16 $0.99
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3. Tennessee Breakdown
2:54 $0.99
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4. Tumblin' Gap
3:33 $0.99
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5. Streak of Fat, Streak of Lean
3:34 $0.99
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6. Lost Indian
2:32 $0.99
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7. Lonesome Road Blues
4:20 $0.99
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8. Plowboy Hop
2:23 $0.99
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9. Indian Ate a Woodchuck
3:20 $0.99
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10. Police
2:16 $0.99
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11. Altamont
3:00 $0.99
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12. Citico
1:52 $0.99
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13. Stagalee
3:30 $0.99
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14. Kansas City Rag
2:53 $0.99
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15. Billy in the Lowground
2:03 $0.99
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16. Open the Gate
3:52 $0.99
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17. Medley of Old Favorites
3:00 $0.99
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18. Speed the Plow
2:45 $0.99
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19. John Brown's Dream
3:00 $0.99
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20. Huckleberry Blues
2:50 $0.99
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21. Tennessee Mtn. Fox Chase
2:29 $0.99
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22. Cumberland Gap
3:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This old-time music supergroup featured the legendary fiddling of Brad Leftwich fueled by the rhythm section of Bob Herring on guitar and Linda Higginbotham on banjo uke.

Twelve of the 22 cuts were recorded on a cassette player in one take at Brad & Linda's home in the early 1990's using a single microphone (except Dunbar which was recorded twice). Originally intended as a family Christmas present, these cuts were later issued as a cassette tape called "First Take." The musicians included banjo player Randy Marmouze and Dirk Powell on bass. Ten more cuts were taken from a live performance with Ray Alden on banjo with Dirk playing bass on four of those cuts. All cuts were remastered for this recording. This CD was dedicated to old-time music lovers everywhere with the assurance that every cut was a real "humdinger."

The Humdingers were the first winners of the Traditional Old-Time Band contest at Clifftop, WV in 1990 and Brad was the first winner of the fiddle contest. The Humdingers performed semi-professionally for several years although they were essentially just a group of friends from Bloomington, Indiana who had known and played together for years and happened to be very good at it.

“this is a gem for old-time fans.” County Sales

“it’s the real stuff--get it.” Pete Sutherland, Old-Time Herald

Liner Notes:
All tunes public domain
1. Dunbar (key of C) - From recordings of Ed Haley
2. Rubin (A) - Brad learned this version from Tommy Jarrell of Mount Airy, N.C.
3. Tennessee Breakdown (G) - From a recording of Vance's Tennessee Breakdowners
4. Tumblin Gap (D) - Based on the Round Peak variant of Cumberland Gap, learned from Tommy
5. Streak of Fat, Streak of Lean (c) - This relative of Hell Broke Loose in Georgia is from Seven Foot Dilly and his Dill Pickles
6. Lost Indian (A) - Brad learned this from various musicians around Galax, Va., and Mount Airy, N.C.
7. Lonesome Road Blues (A) - Learned from Tommy
8. Plowboy Hop (C) - From a recording of the Grinnell Giggers. Thanks to David Rice for turning us on to it years ago!
9. Indian Ate the Woodchuck (D) - From a recording of Ed Haley
10. Police (A) - Learned from Tommy
11. Altamont (C) - From a recording of Gribble, Lusk, and York
12. Citigo (G) - This version is from a recording of Dykes' Magic City Trio, who called it Cotton-Eyed Joe
13. Stagalee (C) - From Ed Haley, with some additional words
14. Kansas City Rag (G) - Brad learned this from Ray "Pick" Johnson of Big Springs, Mo.
15. Billy in the Lowgound (C) - Learned from everywhere
16. Open the Gate (G) - From a recording of the Jimmy Johnson Stringband, who called it Gate to Go Through
17. Medley of Old Favorites (D) - Soldier's Joy / Fisher's Hornpipe / Arkansas Traveler; first two tunes from Tommy Jarrell, last tune draws on numerous sources
18. Speed the Plow (A) - from a recording of John Salyer
19. John Brown's Dream (A) - Learned from Tommy Jarrell
20. Huckleberry Blues (C) - From a recording of Dykes' Magic City Trio
21. Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase (C) - From a recording of Vance's Tennessee Breakdowners
22. Cumberland Gap (G) - based on the common G version, drawn from a variety of sources

Brad took up both fiddle and banjo as a teenager, inspired by the traditional banjo/fiddle duets of his grandfather and great-uncle, as well as the old-time singing and guitar-playing of his father. He later sought out and learned from many of the last great traditional musicians born around the turn of the 20th century. His most influential mentor was Tommy Jarrell whom he met the summer he turned 20. Tommy had known and played with Brad's grandfather's family and his mother-in-law was a Leftwich. It was Tommy who initiated Brad into the secrets and subtleties of old-time style and helped make him the master fiddler he became.
Brad has been performing and teaching traditional music for close to forty years solo and in bands including Plank Road, Leftwich & Higginbotham, the Humdingers, Tom, Brad & Alice, and the Hogwire Stringband. His music has appeared on dozens of recordings and he has instructional materials with Homespun Tapes and Mel Bay.

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Reviews


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Karri Dell Hays

Couldn't ask for better pickin'!
Brad Leftwich is simply awesome on this CD. Loved the harmonies and the great fiddle tunes. Every musician on this CD is stellar in their own right.
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Colm Daly


You may wonder what makes me write...well I've been listening to Sugar In The Gourd webcast on my computer and each time I hear the Humdingers I dive for the volume control to savour it. My ignorance was such that I never realised it included both of you (Brad & Linda), but also the most perfect guitar accompanist too. I know it's ancient stuff to you now but it's everything I aspire to in my musical dreams whether on fiddle, guitar or uke.
(Later) Listening to the full Cd was a pleasure well worth the wait. I would find it seriously hard to make comparisons for it stands out as a classic in it’s own right against which others might be compared with. Well done, and may we have more from the same stable.
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Colm Daly

An absolute classic by which others should be compared with
You may wonder what makes me write...well I've been listening to Sugar In The Gourd webcast on my computer and each time I hear the Humdingers I dive for the volume control to savour it. My ignorance was such that I never realised it included both of you (Brad & Linda), but also the most perfect guitar accompanist too. I know it's ancient stuff to you now but it's everything I aspire to in my musical dreams whether on fiddle, guitar or uke.
(Later) Listening to the full Cd was a pleasure well worth the wait. I would find it seriously hard to make comparisons for it stands out as an absolute classic in it’s own right against which others might be compared with. Well done, and may we have more from the same stable.
Read more...

Jonny Anderson

Unparalleled Old-Time Music
This record is absolutely jaw-dropping, laser-guided, atomic-clock precision, driving old time music; some of the best since the Golden Era. These musicians know Southern Appalachian Old-Time music down to its bones, and they put their own flesh and blood into it to bring it to life again.

Brad Leftwich is one of the great, livings masters of Southern fiddling, and the 22 tracks here are the Rosetta Stone of old-time fiddling. He plays tunes and sings songs culled from a range of sources, from West Virginia's Ed Haley, The Grinnell Giggers of the Ozarks, to Tommy Jarrell of North Carolina, to name a few, but he puts his unmistakable stamp on every one of them. Nobody does it better.

He is accompanied by the most rocking rhythm section in the known string-band universe. They play with an ebullience that is unchecked by their precision and cohesion. Randy's banjo and Bob's guitar provide the rhythmic fabric with Linda Higginbotham's unstoppable linchpin of a banjo uke holding it all together.

Above all, the duties here are performed in service of the music, more than the individual performances, which is a goal rarely achieved by any ensemble in any genre. The Humdingers not only attain it, they triumph.
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David Dwyer

A perfect pick
I'm new to fiddlin' and old time music, and always looking for good music.Brads name seems to come up alot when talking about the great fiddlers of today, so I had to check him out. His reputation is well deserved, he's a great inspiration. This album has a nice intimate feel to it, very lo-tec, just good time jamming.
Dave
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