Snow Hill Strings | Babes in the Woods

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Country: Old-Timey Folk: Appalachian Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Babes in the Woods

by Snow Hill Strings

Featuring the champion old-time twin fiddling of Palmer Loux and Sue Shumaker accompanied by Greg Loux on guitar and Gordon Arnold on banjo and cello playing old time string band music. A best of live recordings over the last 15 years on the Sassafras.
Genre: Country: Old-Timey
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Indians Are Over the Hill
4:12 $0.99
2. Babe
4:03 $0.99
3. Horney Ewe
2:43 $0.99
4. Coming Down from Denver
4:08 $0.99
5. Rose in the Mountain
3:57 $0.99
6. Hell Up Coal Holler
3:29 $0.99
7. Off She Goes
3:04 $0.99
8. Jenny On the Railroad
3:53 $0.99
9. Meriweather
3:42 $0.99
10. Salty River Reel
4:10 $0.99
11. McMichen's Reel
4:29 $0.99
12. Ohio Waltz
2:59 $0.99
13. Sand Mountain Rag
5:12 $0.99
14. Red Apple Rag
4:31 $0.99
15. Moonlight
4:26 $0.99
16. Wink the Other Eye
3:15 $0.99
17. Wish I Had My Time Again
2:35 $0.99
18. Sweet 'bama
3:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Snow Hill String's music encompasses the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, including Irish, Celtic and American melodies. Their repertoire includes ragtime and swing from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, as well as waltzes and airs with a classical flavor.

Snow Hill extends these musical genres with its unique interpretations and arrangements. Tight double-fiddle harmonies add a new dimension to traditional dance tunes, and the addition of the cello lends a distinctive sound to standard Southern melodies.

The group has contributed music for a public television documentary on the artist Andrew Wyeth, and performs at festivals and dances, for weddings and other private functions in the greater Philadelphia area.

painting by Steve Shumaker, 1994

Babes In The Woods – the project:
These recordings were made over several years at the home of Ken and Sue Shumaker overlooking the Sassafras River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Gordon recorded, edited, mixed and engineered the band while he was also playing in the band. At a recent gig, someone asked if we had any recordings to sell, which we did not. Gordon thought that he might have enough material recorded to put together a CD and after marathon mixing session and subsequent “tweaks”, the results are before you.

Babes In The Woods – the tunes:
1. The Indians Are Over The Hill (trad.)
Key: D Source: John Scotland Hannah via Jeff Goehring & Kerry Blech
We learned this from a 10th generation cassette copy of a “Thanksgiving Jam” with Jeff Goehring and others…subsequently found out that Ray Alden originally recorded it and has reissued it on a Field Recorders Collective CD entitled, “Jeff Goehring”, FRC601. Kerry Blech shared with us a recording of John Hannah playing it.

2. Babe (trad.)
Key: D Source: East Texas Serenaders
We’ve been playing this for years in the key of D even though the original was in E-flat. It’s a great tune regardless of the key.

3. Horney Ewe (trad.)
Key: A Source: Ernie Carpenter via Rich Hartness
Rich spent some time with Ernie Carpenter years ago and was inspired to fashion his own version of this fine tune from Ernie, which he shared with us.

4. Coming Down From Denver (trad.)
Key: A Source: Lotus Dickey
Sue brought this tune to the group a few years ago. Gene Goforth also recorded it.

5. Rose In The Mountain (trad.)
Key: D Source: John Salyer
John Salyer left a rich legacy of tunes , and this crooked tune is a fine example.

6. Hell Up Coal Holler (trad.)
Key: C Source: Henry Reed
Palmer learned this from Bill Christophersen, of the Lazy Aces. Bill has always amazed us with his ability to choose just the right tune.

7. Off She Goes (trad.)
Key: C Source: Mack Blalock via James Bryan
We learned this from Lookout Blues, James Bryan’s first solo album. We have worked up versions of other tunes from James’ repertoire, but only had room for one in this project.

8. Jenny On The Railroad (trad.)
Key: A Source: Carter Brothers & Son
Palmer and Sue have been playing this Mississippi tune for some time. Gordon’s banjo keeps us on the track.

9. Meriweather (trad.)
Key: G Source: W.L. “Jake’ Phelps via Bruce Greene
We first heard this fine Kentucky tune at a fiddle contest in Maryland and the guitar player used a minor chord, which made the tune quite distinctive. This tune is documented in Jeff Todd Titon’s Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes book.

10. Salty River Reel (trad.)
Key: A Source: Cyril Stinnett via Clare Milliner
When Palmer and Greg get together with Walt Koken and Clare, there’s always a tune swap, where we’ll play a tune we hope they don’t know, and they return the favor. This is one Clare shared with us a few years ago at Clifftop.

11. McMichen’s Reel (trad.)
Key: G Source: Clayton McMichen
We first heard this tune, also attractively known as Hog Trough Reel, on Ray Alden’s Visits album from 1981, with Doc and James Roberts playing it. Tony Ellis played fiddle on it in the Masters of the Banjo tour a few years back.

12. Ohio Waltz (Tony Ellis)
Key: C Source: Tony Ellis
Sue is a Buckeye. Tony is a Buckeye. Tony composes the magnificent Ohio Waltz on 5-string banjo. Palmer learns it on fiddle. Sue makes up a harmony that makes the band levitate. It’s a good thing Gordon’s cello kept us grounded, or we might have floated away. Thank you, Tony.

13. Sand Mountain Drag (trad.)
Key: C Source: John Dilleshaw
Georgia’s Seven Foot Dilly, as John was known, was a contemporary of the Skillet Lickers. His band was called the Dill Pickles. This tune is one of their finest recordings.

14. Red Apple Rag (trad.)
Key: G Source: Arthur Smith
There are so many great Arthur Smith tunes and this is one of our favorites. J.P. Fraley’s version influenced our take on it significantly.

15. Moonlight (trad.)
Key: D Source: Bruce Greene
Bruce Greene gave a concert in Wilmington, Delaware a few years ago and played this tune. After the concert we asked Bruce if we could record him playing it, so he played it again for us while we had the recorder going. If you ever get the chance to see Bruce perform, don’t miss it.

16. Wink The Other Eye (W.T. Lytton)
Key: G Source: Hack’s String Band
A Kentucky tune that Palmer and Sue have always enjoyed playing. We changed the chords in the B-part to make it our own.

17. Wish I Had My Time Again (trad.)
Key: G Source: Hatton Brothers
Another Kentucky tune we like because of its walking pace. Not too fast, not too slow…just right.

18. Sweet ‘Bama (trad.)
Key: A Source: Stanley Bailey via Clare Milliner
Clare shared this tune with us and Sue came up with the harmony. We completely forgot about it until we heard Gordon’s recording. Old-timers disease, we suppose.



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