Week #6 ~ Squirrel Hunters ~ REVISITED

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I know it's a couple of hours early, but, Squirrel Hunters is winning the weekly poll, hands down.

    Here is TAB from Mandolin Cafe's TAB Section.

    Here are two to chose from from Mandozine.

    Here are a couple of videos... looks like its Mike Compton on mandolin on both videos, just a few years apart!

    I'm guessing this fits the genre of bluegrass..... although, you might get an 'oldtime' version from me!
  2. billkilpatrick
    let's say that i'm ... er ... "drawing inspiration" ... from this version:

  3. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Bill, thanks for finding that one! I might possibly be able to get up to that speed! What key do ya'll think this tune is played in?
  4. OldSausage
    I don't know, I think of it as a more old-timey kind of tune, here's a link to the music on theSession.org, where they call it Squirrel Hunting, but it does seem to be the same tune.


    p.s. the fiddle on Bill's video really rocks!
  5. mikeyes
    Squirrel Hunters is an old time tune.

    SQUIRREL HUNTERS, THE. AKA ‑ "Squirrel Hunting." AKA and see "The Bell Cow [2]" (Pa.), "Dilly's Favorite" (Pa.), "Jenny Put the Kettle On (We'll All Take Tea) [3]" (Pa.), "N....r in/on the Woodpile [1]" (Pa.), "Old Common Time" (Pa.), "The Pennsylvania Quickstep [2]" (Pa.). American, March (2/4 time). USA, southwestern Pa. D Major. Standard. AB. This tune was known in Pennsylvania primarily as a fife "stop‑beat" piece, though Bayard has identified it as a member of "one of the most widespread and ramifying of our British Isles melodic families." This very old tune family has innumberable variants and forms in most of the commonly used folk modes, in quick and slow tempi, and in 2/4, 4/4, 6/8, and 3/4 time, and all resembling each other to the extent that family traits are confirmed yet seemingly not enough to differentiate clear classes and subgroups. Bayard, arbitrarily he admits, has assigned the nomen "Welcome Home" to this family from one of its member Irish airs. He lists a few of the recurrent old‑country titles of members of this melodic complex: "The Oyster Wife's/Wives' Rant," "The Haughs of Cromdale," "Wate You How the Play Began," "The Hillside [2]," "Welcome Home [3]," and "(Fare Thee Well) Sweet Killaloe," and in his note to this tune he cites numerous other references. See also note for “Dan Friend’s Piece.” Sources for notated versions: nine southwestern Pa. fifers and fiddlers [Bayard]. Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 220A‑I, pgs. 174‑177 [9 versions]. Rounder CD 0392, John Hartford - “Wild Hog in the Brush and a Bunch of Others You Might Not Have Heard” (1996).

    T:Squirrel Hunters, The
    S:John Hartford's "Wild Hog in the Redbrush" transcribed by Llarry Brandon
    K: G
    |:"4"e3d .B2 Bd|efed .B2 BA|GABc d2 dc|dBcA BcBA|!
    "4"e3d .B2 Bd|efed .B2 BA|GABc d2 B2|1"4" A8:|2"4" A6|!
    |:Bd|edeg a2ag|edef g2BA|GABc d2dc|dBcA BcBA|!
    edeg abag|edef g2BA|GABc d2B2|1"4"A6:|2"4"A8|

    from <http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/>
  6. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Key? E minor
  7. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I was thinking E minor, but I wasn't sure! Hey, how about the first video, where John dances while he's fiddling! Wow!
  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Hey Joe (sounds like an old song, doesn't it?)... on your ABC, you need to add ":Emin" after the K to make it show up when pasted into an ABC converter! (or :G, as you did!)
  9. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    That abc sounds right with the key set to Em. Just need to get your right hand going and slide everywhere you can (and some places you can't) and you'll have the Compton version.
  10. mikeyes
    I didn't even look at the K: on the abc, but I think it is an Am modal and Eml tune so G would work as well.

    BTW, I graduated from High School in Bardstown, KY
  11. billkilpatrick
    i especially like "the wilders" version in that it's got fidel castro on guitar ...
  12. OldSausage
    I think it's an interesting question as to what key this tune is in. Although the melody is largely played by notes from the G major scale, I wouldn't think of it as an E minor tune, considering the chords in John Hartford's version at least.
    A / G / A / G D
  13. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Mike, like I said, I wasn't sure about the key, I was guessing E minor or a mode, but I am still pretty slow on figuring out if something is minor or modal.... If this is an A minor mode, which mode is it? When I asked my music theory savvy bandmate what key it was in, I only had the notation, no chords. She said that having chords would make it easier to figure out the key.
  14. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Of the versions I've found, the one that falls easiest under my fingers (not in ffcp, sorry to say), is the first one in the Mandozine Tab Edit files. Hey, and anyone want to post the chords they think go well?
  15. Eddie Sheehy
    I'm going with Am... since Am and G are the predominant chords... at least to my ear... I might be able to get it up to that speed too Barb, but my dancing might suffer...
  16. mikeyes
    After playing along for a number of times, the Hartford version is A modal like Old Sausage says. I like this version a lot and it is fairly easy to play.
  17. OldSausage
    I would say that the versions we have YouTubes of above all use this chord progression, all major chords:

    A / A / G / G / A / A / G / D /

    That's repeated twice for both the A and B part, so four repeats in total for the whole tune.

    You could substitute A minor chords for the A major chords, which would give it a less bluesy sound.

    I don't want to muddy the issue, but I think you could legitimately claim this song was in any of the keys A, D or G. I think it's deliberately designed to exploit that ambiguity.
  18. mikeyes
    Here is my version, a little different and some mistakes, but fun to play. I am playing my 1921 Gibson F2 with a Red Henry bridge. Incidentally, Red has this tune on one of his CDs.

    And here is the same tune played on the tenor banjo just for laughs. I am playing a banjo I made from FQMS and Gold Tone parts.

  19. Eddie Sheehy
    I like the Wilders version... I nearly have their mando part down - just working on my head bobbing... might even be able to dance to it - minus the head bobbing of course...
  20. CelticDude
    Hey all,

    AFA key goes, it seems to be some modal A. That is, the chords seem to be:


    (chords in () are maybes...)

    No minor chords that I can hear. Totally foreign to me, as it's very different from Celtic stuff, but these chords seem to fit with what I know of old timey stuff.

  21. CelticDude
    I just noticed that the above ABC has the key as G - one sharp. But the ABC I found (at what looked like an archive of the Mando Cafe's message board), has the key as D, which would fit with A mixolydian. Curiouser and curiouser...

  22. Eddie Sheehy
    Hard to see the guitarist's left hand with that microphone in the way but it looks like:
    AA AA GG DD ad nauseam - I mean for a long time. A and B parts. I had to massage some of the notes in the tab to blend better with tune I'm hearing. This is going to take a little work... and it's probably still going to come out sounding like a jig...
  23. Tracy Tucker
    Tracy Tucker
    Found another couple videos. Don't quite have the melody in my head enough to get it going, so I just need to listen more!

    Found another version, by a group called the Squirrel Hunters. The Squirrel Hunters playing the Squirrel Hunters...

    Another with Mike Compton playing rhythm and then melody
  24. OldSausage
    And weirdly the guy Mike is playing with in the second video is the same guy playing mandolin from the first video, and he's even wearing the same shirt.
  25. Eddie Sheehy
    Naw! He's much taller...
  26. Tracy Tucker
    Tracy Tucker
    You're right! It lists him as Brian Ray, an Australian, in both videos! lol I didn't realize until you pointed it out.
  27. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Hey Mike, both those were great! I'm sure I'll not be able to play them that fast! In comparing your two videos, the one with the mando, you seemed to be a man in control, but with the banjo, you'd lost all control (looking at the table next to you!)

  28. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Brian Ray aka dasspunk is a good old American boy who went to Australia with Compton. They are both snappy dressers, as well as fine mandolin players. Brian posted clips on YouTube from a bunch of shows Compton played down under.
  29. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Their shadows are very squirrel like in that second video, too.
  30. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    I take one little day off to drive to Chicago and the week 6 thread explodes...
  31. Eddie Sheehy
    It's not exactly exploding... Mike Keyes is the only one in so far... although I have laid down my guitar backing track... now if I could only remember the tune...
  32. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Well, I've picked the version I'm going with, and I've played it about 100 times.... almost have it! Eddie, you're gonna multitrack?
  33. Eddie Sheehy
    No, just need something to keep me going while I memorize it...I found that recording a guitar-backing for Whiskey In The Jar really helped on the re-do...
  34. Bill Snyder
    Bill Snyder
    Brain Ray is not Australian. He is a regular (or used to be) on Mandolin Cafe. He goes by the handle dasspunk. He toured Australia about a year ago with Mr. Compton. He chronicled it on the Cafe here.
  35. Tracy Tucker
    Tracy Tucker
    Sorry! Brian has the video with Mike titled (and I quote) "Mike Compton w/ Brian Ray from Margaret River Australia" I thought he was saying that Brian Ray was FROM Australia, not that they were playing IN Australia.
  36. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Okay, here's my version! Played on my Collings MT2 O mandolin.

  37. billkilpatrick
    that was nice barbara - i like those "k'changs" ...

    by far, this is one of the most interesting songs we've done. i'm not at all familiar with the "fiddle tune" repertoire - so i don't know if it's indicative of all the others - but to me it hardly seems like a "tune" at all ... more like a simple "riff" with variations. i like it; i think it's hypnotic and unlike some of the songs we've done, i can hear it easily in my head. but when i whistle it out loud it doesn't seem like much. i'm also aware of constructing this tune. normally, if a song has a good melody, i'll play that and then "noodle" around it for a while. with this, i find there are certain things within the scale which sound ok - while others sound pretty lame. a real interesting song - makes me curious to see what others have done with it ... how they've put it all together.
  38. Eddie Sheehy
    Bill, I'm waiting for something to copy too...
  39. billkilpatrick
    - please to be calling it "research" ...

    no - no, scout's what'sits ... i like the pace of "the wilders" video but anything i layer into my attempt at it will probably be a mish-mash from all over ... i can't read music (yet) - how can i copy someone note for note when most of the performances are done at superstar speed?
  40. Eddie Sheehy
    Then it's just me... I have the music and I've been listening over and over to the Wilders version , but I can't seem to get into it... it just doesn't sound right when I play it...
  41. OldSausage
    Well, I think it's basically a groove, so that's why I've done it here with some multitracking. I'm playing bass and backup mando on this. It's recorded using Sonar 7 on my PC. Again, it's the Eastman 515. But it is all in one take as you can tell from the mistakes and the video.

  42. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Yeah, man, OldSausage, I did notice ALL the mistakes......


    Anyone wanna buy a 1930s model, bottom of the line Gibson? I think I'm gonna pack it up and ship out to, oh, I dunno, Antartica, maybe!

    Nice job.
  43. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    OldSausage, everything about that video was awesome! You sure make it look easy. And, I can see you moving that FFcP all over the fretboard.... and, for sure, it's much cooler with the other backup (Bass sure adds a lot, doesn't it!) Nothing like setting the bar high for the rest of us... Good job!
  44. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I hate to follow up such an awesome video with this, but, this is for Eddie... you said yours would probably end up sounding like a jig....

  45. Eddie Sheehy
    Now I'm totally discouraged... Excellent job!
  46. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    oh, come on Eddie, an Irishman like you should be able to really jiggy this tune up good!
  47. Eddie Sheehy
    Too early in the day for that...
  48. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    OK, do we need to wait till after midnight, pacific time?
  49. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Old Sausage, that rocked!

    Well done on the jig, Barbara - it's funny, when I watched the John Hartford/Mike Compton clip of it I thought that it sounded like a tune that could be "trad-ified"!
  50. billkilpatrick
    david - that was ... really, really, really good.
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