THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LINCOLN HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON.
* TIMING...PERIODS OF LIGHT SNOW ARE EXPECTED DURING THE DAY FRIDAY. HOWEVER...THE MORE SIGNIFICANT SNOWS ARE EXPECTED TO OCCUR OVERNIGHT FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY.
* ACCUMULATIONS...5 TO 7 INCHES OF SNOW WILL BE POSSIBLE ROUGHLY NORTH OF A RUSHVILLE TO BLOOMINGTON LINE. JUST SOUTH OF THIS HEAVY SNOW BAND...A PERIOD OF FREEZING RAIN MAY ACCUMULATE UP TO A QUARTER OF AN INCH IN A FEW AREAS BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON.
< SNIP >
* IMPACTS...SNOW AND ICE COVERED ROADS WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS ACROSS THE AREA LATER FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH MOST OF SATURDAY.
It doesn't sound like anything we want to take a chance on. So I'm calling off our Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music jam session for Saturday.
But we have our Prairieland Strings dulcimer club sessions Tuesday, Feb. 4, and Thursday, Feb. 20 (weather permitting). Everyone from the Clayville sessions is also welcome at the Prairieland sessions. I'll keep an eye on the forecast (since they're calling for snow Tuesday as well) and get out a notice on next week's session over the weekend.
Blast email I sent out tonight to the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music list, slightly edited for Web publication with YouTube clips added …
Hi everybody --
Our monthly Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music jam session is coming up this week, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 1, in the barn at Clayville Historic Site. At last month's workshop we had a good turnout, especially considering the weather, and a great time going over some jam session basics and playing tunes like "Five Pounds of Possum (in My Headlights Tonight)." A big hat tip to Mike Anderson for stopping by! I was really impressed by how quickly everyone picked up the tunes, and how much fun we had playing together on different instruments. "Five Pounds" will be back by popular demand at Saturday's jam.
In fact, we'll be building on a couple of the things we did at the workshop. … Ip> I need to ask a favor! I can't find my list of names and email addresses from the workshop (this is really embarrassing), so please help spread the word about Saturday's session by word of mouth, especially to anyone who was there last month. Feel free to forward this email to anybody who might be interested, too. My contact information is in the signature below the three stars at the bottom of the message.
Speaking of Mike Anderson, there's still time to register for the discounted rate of $145 for his Winter Weekend mountain dulcimer workshop Feb. 21-23 in Chilichothe. Details at http://www.dulcimerguy.com.
Information on our tunes for Saturday below:
GRAY CAT ON A TENNESSEE FARM
The tune I want to highlight Saturday has gotten to be kind of a mountain dulcimer standard, but it's a classic old-time string band number called "Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm" by Uncle Dave Macon of the Grand Ole Opry. … Dulcimer tablature, with the melody in standard notation and suggested guitar chords above the notes is available on the Dogwood Dulcimer Association of Pensacola, Fla., website at
To get to the tab for "Gray Cat," click on "Tab/Music Sheets" on the left, and when the TUNE BOOKS directory appears, click on the link that says "Click on Tunes -- alphabetic order." It's in the second column. The web address is …
… but it's a PDF file and you may want to go through the directory if it's balky downloading it. It's in the left-hand column of the TUNE BOOKS directory.
Some clips of "Gray Cat on a Tennessee Farm," as performed by:
Uncle Dave Macon. Uncle Dave was a former vaudeville and medicine show hoofer who joined the Opry in the 1920s and is widely considered its first star. His words to "Gray Cat," even though they're hardly ever performed anymore, are classic.
A dulcimer club. The Silver Strings Dulcimer Society of Garden City, Mich., gets it up to speed at their variety night:
A mountain dulcimer soloist. Randy Adams, who has adapted his own style and is taking the dulcimer in new directions. His only comment on the YouTube clip: "Uncle Dave!!" It's all he needs to say.
MORE DULCIMER TAB (w/ NOTES AND GUITAR CHORDS)
I decided to highlight "Gray Cat" this month when I was looking for the tab for "Five Pounds of Possum," which is also on the Dogwood Association website. There are a couple of other very cool jam tunes, too, "Waterbound" and an old camp meeting song called "Happy Land." You can find them in the same TUNE BOOKS directory as "Gray Cat" and "Five Pounds of Possum." I post clips of both to the blog, too.
- Happy Land http://www.gulfweb.net/rlwalker/dogwood/alltunes/Happy%20Land_DAD.pdf (left column, right below "Gray Cat")
- Waterbound http://www.gulfweb.net/rlwalker/dogwood/alltunes/Waterbound%20(D).pdf (left column)
THERE IS A HAPPY LAND
An old camp meeting tune from the 19th century, a favorite at all-day singings from The Sacred Harp and other shape-note tune books. Two versions below.
Sacred Harp singing at Liberty Church in Henagar, Ala. If you haven't heard it before, this is traditional four-part a cappella choral singing. The nonsense syllables you hear at the beginning -- fa sol, la fa sol sol and so on -- represent different notes of the scale and help singers remember the tune. The little girl beating time in the middle of the square is leading the song.
Athens, Ala., Dulcimer Jam Group. From their series of videos -- Mountain Dulcimer Lesson Series. "These videos are intended to get you used to playing along with a group," they explain.
"Athens," by the way, ain't pronounced too good down there. They say it like some town in Greece, or Georgia, or somewhere like that.
A fine old southern Appalachian string band tune, performed below by a band called String Theory from Athens, Ga., on WUGA-FM radio and TV. (See note on pronunciation of "Athens," above.) Tab is also available in the Dogwood Dulcimer Association directory (left-hand column, down at the bottom). The B part is a little different from the version we'll play. Everywhere I've been, it's played differently. But the A part, the part with the lyrics, is always the same. A fun tune.