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Palmer & Greg Loux | In Good Company

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In Good Company

by Palmer & Greg Loux

This is a recording of beautiful instrumental fiddle music, lovingly played -- Palmer and Greg Loux find themselves in good company on this disc, playing with various musicians from home and afar. -- Ray Alden, Producer
Genre: Country: Old-Timey
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Polly Put the Kettle On
3:45 $0.99
2. Washington's March
3:18 $0.99
3. Waltz for the Little Girls (La Valse Pour Les Petites Juenes Filles)
3:16 $0.99
4. Sweet Jenny
2:53 $0.99
5. Jenny on the Railroad
2:27 $0.99
6. Sally in the Turnip Patch
3:12 $0.99
7. Coulter's Rag
2:16 $0.99
8. Cherry Blossom Waltz
2:22 $0.99
9. Sycamore Shoals
2:26 $0.99
10. East Texas Drag
3:12 $0.99
11. Sandy Boys
3:38 $0.99
12. The Horney Ewe
3:19 $0.99
13. Indian Et a Woodcock
2:57 $0.99
14. Paddy on the Turnpike
2:20 $0.99
15. Snakewinder
3:17 $0.99
16. Shades of the Yellow Rose
4:24 $0.99
17. There's a Brown Skin Girl Down the Road Somewhere
4:38 $0.99
18. Georgia Buck
2:43 $0.99
19. Red Bird
3:11 $0.99
20. The Pretty Waltz
3:25 $0.99
21. Chinese Breakdown
3:15 $0.99
22. Rachel
3:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Players:

Run of the Mill String Band (Paul Sidlick, P&G) • Snow Hill (Sue Shumaker, Gordon Arnold, P&G)
Marvin Gaster • Rich Hartness • Beth Hartness

The Project

When Ray Alden approached Palmer and Greg about this recording project, he knew of their association with the bands and other musicians. He suggested that the project center around Palmer and Greg, but should include as many different groupings of musicians as they felt comfortable with. Not a surprising idea from the person who brought us the Young Fogies and the American Fogies, but Palmer and Greg had never considered such a project.

Palmer and Greg were intrigued by the opportunity but as they thought about it, they also wanted the project to showcase the influences that have molded their music over the years.

Clearly, the influences of so many old time fiddlers are at play here ranging from those that they were able to hear for themselves before they passed away and others that all they have are treasured recordings.

Paul Sidlick is here not so much as a Run of the Mill String Band member but more because of his sharing music with them for almost 20 years. More than anyone else, Paul has helped shape their music and at the same time been a close personal friend.

Marvin Gaster has been a major influence for many reasons and continues to be. His patience with Palmer as she was discovering old-time music and the visits with each other each year have strengthened the bond of friendship.

Harper and Wansie Van Hoy's Fiddler's Grove festival each Memorial Day is one of their favorites. One of the most unique features is its twin fiddle competition, which makes two fiddlers work out arrangements of traditional tunes. While Palmer has worked with other fiddlers over the years, it is with Sue Shumaker that Palmer feels took twin fiddling into a whole new dimension. This association with Sue and twin fiddling is the basis for Snow Hill.

Rich and Beth Hartness have quickly become major influences in Palmer and Greg's playing due to Rich's incredible grasp of the techniques of the old masters and Beth's wonderfully rhythmic approach. Palmer and Rich have also collaborated for the twin fiddle contest at Fiddler's Grove.

Other major influences, particularly from 15-20 years ago are Byard Ray, who passed away in 1988, and J.P. Fraley. Both of these fiddlers took the time to slow tunes down, answer questions and spend many hours playing with Palmer.

The last major influence upon Palmer and Greg is the old-time music community, which includes not only many players and listeners, but also a small number of dedicated individuals who spend countless hours researching backwards to bring forth old recordings of those who have gone before us, and to the record companies who sponsor them, the radio stations and the festival promoters.

There you have it. Palmer and Greg Loux: In Good Company

The Tunes

For each tune we've indicated our source, which is not meant to imply that it is the source. In some cases we learned a tune directly from our source, in others from a recording.

1. Polly Put The Kettle On (Trad.)
Source: Byard Ray Key: A modal
Fiddle: Palmer (AEAE) Banjo: Paul (aEADE) Guitar: Greg

Byard played this tune in three different tunings. In the late 1970s, Palmer learned it from him in A modal and would play it with Byard and banjo player Lou Therrell in Madison County, NC. At Fiddler's Grove in 1984, the three of us were playing this tune and Byard heard it and snuck up behind us and began singing into Paul's ear:

Well fetch my horse and I'll go ridin'
Next Sunday evenin' when the sun goes down
Get my Polly and we'll ride double
And we'll get married in the nearest town

Well you oughta been around when Polly put the kettle on
When Polly put the kettle on with a smile
Well you oughta been around when Polly put the kettle on
Smell the 'roma a half a mile

Source recording: Traditional Music of Southern Appalachia (SGS 10401)

2. Washington's March (Trad.)
Source: Edden Hammons Key: D
Fiddle: Palmer (DDAD) Banjo: Paul (aDADE) Guitar: Greg

The Run of the Mill String Band recorded this tune in a medley on their "Along the Way" recording from 1993. Palmer revamped her version after she heard Edden Hammons' version with a cross-keyed fiddle.

Source recording: The Edden Hammons Collection: Historic Recordings of Traditional Fiddle Music, West Virginia University Press, 1984 (Sound Archives 001)

3. Waltz For The Little Girls (La Valse Pour Les Petites Juenes Filles) (Trad.)
Source: Malcom Dalglish/Grey Larsen Key: D
Fiddles: Palmer (ADAE) Sue (ADAE) Cello: Gordon Guitar: Greg

Palmer and Sue have played this tune for years. The harmony parts are traded back and forth between them. Gordon's bowed cello adds to the rich string quartet sound.

We recorded this outside at Ray and Diane's home in New York. During the recording the wind arose and can be heard as a low rumble.

Source recording: Malcom Dalglish/Grey Larsen: Thunderhead (Flying Fish 266)

4. Sweet Jenny (Trad.)
Source: Marvin Gaster Key: G
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Marvin (gDGBD) Guitar: Greg

Marvin learned this tune from Walter Harmon, a fiddler from Greenville, TN. Marvin played this for us on the fiddle. We're asking ourselves, how many more great old tunes does Marvin have stashed away upstairs? Marvin played this tune on fiddle at Clifftop in 1996 and placed in the top three in the seniors contest.

5. Jenny On The Railroad (Trad.)
Source: Carter Brothers & Son Key: A
Fiddles: Palmer (AEAE) and Rich (GDAE) Banjo: Paul (aEAC#E) Guitars: Beth and Greg

Rich and Palmer played this tune for the twin fiddle competition at Fiddler's Grove in 1996 and wound up "in the money".

Source recording: Traditional Fiddle Music of Mississippi (County 528)

6. Sally In The Turnip Patch (Benton Flippen/Happy Valley Music, BMI)
Source: Benton Flippen Key: D
Fiddle: Palmer (ADAE) Banjo: Paul (aDADE) Guitar: Greg

This tune captures so much of the essence of Benton's powerful playing. At the Lake Genero encampment in September 1996, Ray heard us playing another of Benton's tunes and suggested that we learn this one. We are grateful for the nudge.

Source recording: Benton Flippen: Old Time, New Times (Rounder CD 0326)

7. Coulter's Rag (Lotus Dickey/Lotus Dickey Music, BMI)
Source: Lotus Dickey Key: Am/C
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo Mandolin: Paul Guitar: Greg

Paul's playing an old weapons-grade Weyman banjo-mandolin that really packs a punch. It truly makes a difference on great rags like this one.

Source recording: Lotus Dickey - Fiddle Tunes From Orange County, Indiana, Volume One (Marimac 9029)

8. Cherry Blossom Waltz (Tony Ellis)
Source: Tony Ellis Key: D
Fiddle: Palmer (ADAE) Banjo: Paul (aDADE) Guitar: Greg

We are awestruck by Tony's ability to craft such beauties using a 5-string banjo. We are anxiously awaiting more tunes from him.

Source recordings: Tony Ellis: Farewell My Home (Flying Fish 70620) and Masters of the Banjo (Arhoolie 421)

9. Sycamore Shoals (Trad.) Source: Will Keys/Marvin Gaster Key: G
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Marvin (gDGBD) Guitar: Greg

The memory of Will and Marvin playing this tune together on a beautiful sunny spring day in North Carolina inspired us to learn this tune. It is also known as 'Silly Bill' which has words.

10. East Texas Drag (D. Huggins Williams)
Source: East Texas Serenaders Key: D
Fiddles: Palmer (GDAE) Sue (GDAE) Cello: Gordon Guitar: Greg

A cool tune from a hot band from Texas. The original recording has a cello on it, too, but Gordon takes his own approach here by plucking it. Greg is playing a well-seasoned 1945 Epiphone Triumph archtop.

Source recording: The East Texas Serenaders 1927-1936 (County 410)

11. The Sandy Boys (Trad.)
Source: Edden Hammons Key: A
Fiddle: Palmer (AEAE) Banjo: Paul (aEAC#E) Guitar: Greg

A great dance tune from West Virginia's Hammons family. Our version is based upon Edden Hammon's recording of it.

Source recording: The Edden Hammons Collection: Historic Recordings of Traditional Fiddle Music, West Virginia University Press, 1984 (Sound Archives 001)

12. Horney Ewe (Trad.)
Source: Ernie Carpenter via Rich & Beth Hartness Key: A
Fiddles: Palmer (AEAE) Rich (AEAE) Guitars: Beth and Greg

Rich and Beth told us that they played this for folks the day that they were married. The reference to a female sheep in the title is pronounced "Horney-O".

Gerald Milnes included the following verse in "Granny Will Your Dog Bite and other Mountain Rhymes", 1990, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
I plant my corn all in one row;
I feed it all to the horny ewe;
The horny ewe is a very fine sheep,
And the rest of the flock is hard to beat.
Source recording: Ernie Carpenter: Elk River Blues (Augusta Heritage AHR 003).

13. Indian Et A Woodcock (Trad.)
Source: Ed Haley Key: D
Fiddle: Palmer (ADAE) Banjo: Paul (aDADE) Guitar: Greg

Palmer learned this from a tape of Library of Congress recordings of Ed Haley's playing a few years ago. It would have been a lot easier if she had waited for the new Rounder CDs that have just recently become available with the latest noise reduction technology applied. On this new Ed Haley release, this tune is entitled "Indian Ate A Woodchuck".

Other recording: Ed Haley: Forked Deer (Rounder CD 1131/1132)

14. Paddy On The Turnpike (Trad.)
Source: J.P. Fraley Key: G
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Marvin (gDGBD) Guitar: Greg

An Americanized Irish fiddle tune that Palmer has jammed with J.P. Fraley on a number of occasions. It is his version; he gives it a real nice Kentucky feel, especially in the way he bends his notes in the B part.

Other recording: The Red Headed Fiddlers (appears as Paddy on the Handcar), Old Time Fiddle Classics No. 2 (County 527)

15. Snakewinder (Trad.)
Source: Buddy Thomas Key: G
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Paul (gDGBD) Guitar: Greg

Palmer heard this at the Deer Creek Fiddler's Convention in Maryland in the early eighties from an unidentified fiddler who said it was a Kentucky tune called "Sidewinder. We'd been searching for a more definitive source of the tune for years. Bruce Molsky pointed us towards Buddy Thomas, and sure enough he called the tune "Snakewinder"..

Other recording: Traditional Music of Kentucky: Up the Ohio & Licking Rivers (Rounder CD 0376)

16. Shades Of The Yellow Rose (J.P. Fraley/Happy Valley Music, BMI)
Source: J.P. Fraley Key: F
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Marvin (gCGBD) Guitar: Greg

While his fiddling talents go much further, J.P. has managed to make his waltzes warm the hearts of many people, including us. This one is his own, fashioned from the Yellow Rose Waltz. We play this waltz with great appreciation for the many hours of great music he has shared with us over the years.

Source recording: J.P. & Annadeene Fraley: Maysville (Rounder CD 0351)

17. There's A Brown Skin Girl Down The Road Somewhere (Trad.)
Source: Eck Robertson Key: G
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Paul (gDGBD) Guitar: Greg

Years ago, J.P. Fraley heard Palmer's playing and suggested that she ought to learn this tune. Pete Peterson made a tape of the out-of-print recording for us and she began working on it a few years ago.

Source recording: Eck Robertson: Master Fiddler (Sonyatone 201)

18. Georgia Buck (Trad.)
Source: Marvin Gaster Key: G
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Marvin (gDGBD) Guitar: Greg

Marvin is surely known for his banjo playing, but he's also a fine fiddler, even though he won't admit it. Once we were playing this tune with him and he stopped us, asked Palmer for her fiddle, and showed us how to "play it right". Marvin has recorded a banjo/guitar version on his Uncle Henry's Favorites, and we thought people should hear it with a fiddle. Marvin says he learned it from Herman Overton and added the second part.

Other recording: Marvin Gaster: Uncle Henry's Favorites (Rounder CD 0382)

19. Red Bird (Trad.)
Source: Clark Kessinger Key: A
Fiddles: Palmer (AEAE) Sue (AEAE) Banjo: Gordon (aEAC#E) Guitar: Greg

Palmer and Sue worked this one up for the twin fiddle competition at Fiddler's Grove and wound up winning with it a few years back.

Source recording: The Legend of Clark Kessinger - Old-Time Country Fiddle Music (County 733)

20. The Pretty Waltz (Trad.)
Source: Marvin Gaster Key: C
Fiddle: Palmer (GDAE) Banjo: Marvin (gCGBD) Guitar: Greg

Marvin learned this lyric waltz from Earl Wicker, a fiddler from Lee County, NC. He shared it during a visit at the beach in North Carolina a few years ago.

21. Chinese Breakdown (Trad.)
Source: Ernest East Key: D
Fiddles: Palmer (ADAE) Rich (ADAE) Banjo: Paul (aDADE) Guitars: Beth and Greg

This is a tune that we learned from a recording of The Pine Ridge Boys and Patsy, an old time band that features the fiddling of Earnest East from the Roundpeak section of Surry County, NC. At Rich's suggestion, we played this for a dance at the 1997 Hudson River Clearwater Festival in New York. We followed Rich's lead and had such fun playing it that we wanted to include it here, so we could keep the memory.

Source recording: The Pine Ridge Boys and Patsy: Stringband Music from Mt. Airy (Heritage XXIX)

22. Rachel (Trad.)
Source: Lou Therrell Key: D
Fiddle: Palmer (ADAE) Banjo: Paul (aDADE) Guitar: Greg

Also known as the Texas Quickstep. If there is a tune that can stand as Palmer's signature tune, this is it. Lou Therrell played it for Palmer on the banjo. Over the years Palmer has made this tune her own.

Other recording: Bo Bradham: Moving Clouds (BB001)

The Folks

Palmer began playing the violin when she was eight years old. While attending college in South Carolina in 1977, Palmer was introduced to old time music when school buddies took her up to North Carolina and visited a number of festivals there. Upon returning home to the Philadelphia area after college, she played with a number of different groups, one of which included Paul Sidlick.

Greg met Palmer playing music in 1981, married in 1983, and today they are raising a family of five children near Philadelphia. Palmer is a full-time mom and Greg works to support the family. Among other things, learning, playing, and performing old time music has always been at the core of their lives together. They've always enjoyed playing with other musicians and are part of two different bands, the Run of the Mill String Band and Snow Hill, and also maintain long distance friendships with some musicians from North Carolina.

The Run of the Mill String Band was formed in the early 1980s with Palmer, Greg and Paul Sidlick. Later, Paul's wife Margaret joined the band on banjo uke and stayed with the band for a number of years. In 1992 they toured Russia, Czechoslovakia and Austria with a group of singers promoting American music and goodwill. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Run of the Mill has performed throughout the greater Philadelphia area for years and makes annual excursions to North Carolina, West Virginia to a number of fiddlers conventions and string band festivals. Other appearances include the Bethlehem Musikfest, the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, the Hudson River Clearwater Revival, the Philadelphia Old Time and Bluegrass festival, and the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. They self-produced and distributed a recording in 1993 entitled, "Along the Way". They have one selection on the Appalachian String Band Festival (Clifftop) CD also on Chubby Dragon.

Snow Hill, with Sue Shumaker and Gordon Arnold, was formed in August 1993 for the recording session of music used in a film documentary on the life of Andrew Wyeth. Snow Hill is the title of the documentary, the title of one of Andrew Wyeth's paintings. The music of Snow Hill is the culmination of more than a decade of twin fiddling by Palmer and Sue, rounded out with Gordon's cello and banjo, as well as Greg's guitar. They participated in Ray Alden's Young Fogies II project on Rounder in 1994.

Marvin Gaster of Sanford NC is truly one of the first folks who played old time music with Palmer. They met in 1978 at the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival held at Mars Hill College in North Carolina. At that time Palmer knew about five generic D tunes, but Marvin was perfectly happy to play them over and over again that chilly Saturday afternoon with her. Greg met Marvin in 1981 and since then Marvin, Palmer, and Greg make it a point to hook up, jam and swap tunes at festivals each year.

Rich and Beth Hartness of Greensboro NC have become good friends of Palmer and Greg's ever since Marvin introduced them to each other at the 1994 Clifftop festival. Palmer and Rich have worked out a number of twin fiddle tunes, two of which are included here. Rich's fiddling and Beth's guitar playing perfectly complement each other; they can be heard alone together on the Appalachian String Band Festival (Clifftop) CD on Chubby Dragon, and the Young Fogies II CD on Rounder. They also helped Marvin out on his Uncle Henry's Favorites release on Rounder.


Ray and Diane Alden

For loaning their spouses and their support:
Margaret Sidlick
Ken Shumaker
Alison Arnold
Catherine Gaster

For inspiration:
Byard Ray
J.P. Fraley
Tony Ellis
Benton Flippen

For being there:
Fritzi and Bill Wisdom
Don and Donna DiPaulo
Harper and Wansie Van Hoy
Greg O'Steen
Doug Odell
George Mercer
Matt Neiberger
Chris Ferrier
Pete LaBerge

For childcare during the project:
Jane LeRoy
Donna and Ian Hayden
Candace and Bob York
Vince and Sandy Warsavage
Elizabeth and Catherine Casino
Jerry and Sharon Morse
Kathy and Bob Elias
April DiPaulo
Mabel Bankes
Laura Harrison

For love and patience:

The Details
Producer: Ray Alden
Mix: Ray Alden and Greg Loux
Liner Notes: Greg Loux
Graphic Design: Arthur Bromley and his staff at Centre Grafik
Artwork: Bo Bartlett, detail of Homeland
Digital Mastering: Laurie Flannery - Northeastern Digital Recording, Inc.

Chubby Dragon Productions - 124 Quakerbridge Road - Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520




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