FRC 212 - Tommy Jarrell Volume 2: Recordings from the collection of Jerry Epstein

by Tommy Jarrell

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about

From the collection of Jerry Epstein – With Paul Brown and Mike Seeger

Tommy Jarrell, at the time the oldest living carrier of North Carolina’s powerful Round Peak music tradition, rode with me all the way to Massachusetts in the summer of 1984 to stay a week at Pinewoods Camp. There an annual American traditional music and dance week was sponsored by the Country Dance and Song Society of America. Tommy loved to travel and meet people. But at age 83, he was at first a little hesitant about a two-day journey into New England, and a week-long stay in a place with food and traditions he could only imagine would be very different from those of his longtime Surry County home. When I told him he could live in an old house in the woods at camp, where he could cook as much of his own food as he wanted and keep his own schedule, he said he’d go. We packed fiddles and banjos, and also pinto beans, fatback, country ham and corn meal, into the car for the long ride. Tommy held no formal classes. Instead, he sat out on the porch of the old house each day, often with Mike Seeger and me, playing his fiddle, clawhammering the occasional banjo tune, and reeling out his great yarns to a devoted group of campers. He played in a couple of concerts and dances. And he did sometimes walk over to the camp dining hall. Here, in Volume 2 of this FRC set, you’ll hear more of Tommy’s classics including great performances of “Forked Deer”, “Polly Put the Kettle On”, and “God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign”. Tommy, Mike and I were closest to Jerry Epstein’s microphones. But you’ll hear others as well from time to time, including Jackie Spector on banjo. – Paul Brown

credits

released November 12, 2015

Tommy Jarrell (fiddle 1-29); Paul Brown (Banjo 1-6, 8-19, 22-24, 26-27, vocal 4, 16, 18); Mike Seeger (guitar 1-2, 4-29, mouth harp 3, vocal 4, 12, 16, 18, 20); Jackie Spector (banjo 28-29).

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