Week #89 ~ Heart of the Heartland

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Heart of the Heartland, which was submitted as an Old-Time tune.

    My only experience of this tune is from Peter Ostroushko... I don't know if this is a tune he composed, or if this is truly a 'traditional' tune.... if anyone knows any more details or history, please post!

    Here is a link to the notation on traditionalmuic.co.uk

    I found this abc transcription:

    T:Heart of the Heartland
    S:Jim Coon to CoMandoList TOW
    C:Peter Ostroushko
    fe |: "D"d4 de | "F#m"f3d fa | "G"b6 | "F#m"a4 d'c' |!
    "Bm"d'2 a2 fe | "D"d3e f2 | "G"B6 | "A7"A4 fe | !
    "Bm"d4 e2 | "D"f3d fa | "G"b6 | "F#m"a4 d'c' |!
    "Bm"d'2 a2 de | "F#m"f3"G"e dc | "D"d6 | z4 fe :|!
    |: "G"d3e fa | "Bm"b3z2a | "Em"b3z2a | b2 d'4 | !
    "F#m"z4 c'b | "Bm"a4 ba | "G"f4 ed | "A7"B6 | !
    "Bm"z4 c2 | "D"d4 e2 | "G"f3d fa | "F#m"b6 |!
    "Bm"a4 d'c' | "F#m"d'2 a2 de |"A7" f3e dc | "D"d4 z2 :|!
    "D"z4 d'c' | d'2 af de | f3e dc | [d4A4] ||
    % Written by ABC2Win 2.2.124 BETA on 9/27/2007
  2. mculliton123
    This an original Peter composition. He has also done the background music for Ken Burn's National Park Documentary, "Mallard Island Hymn" already here in the SAW group.
    I saved 2 .TEF's for this one, Exact same versions but the second one is 1 octave down for those of you, <meaning me> who prefer not to play in the second/third position.
    .TEF Heart of the Heartland
    1: as transcribed
    2: 1 octave lower
  3. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Here's my try on my Sobell mandolin sans the great tremolo playing in Peter Ostroushko's version. I have very poor tremolo skills so I will be looking forward to Manfred's version of this tune.

  4. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Superb, David.
    What a beautiful tune!

    I will try my very best not to disappoint you tremolo-wise

    But I will never be able to come close to your tasteful multi-instrumental playing - and the sound of your mandolin.
  5. Marcelyn
    That's gorgeous, David.
  6. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Just lovely ~ soothing, warm and clear.
    David H.;
    You know I had never heard of this song before, and so when I saw it listed on the SOW poll I googled it. I found the Video that Barbara posted above and Your video you just posted. I was just listening to it again last night. (Yours) and all this time,..I thought that YOUR version was the original! (and the other a live performance). Superb job! I really like your video.
  8. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    David, that is some of your best work. Moving.
  9. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    very lovely indeed, David!
  10. harrywhohaa
    David, that really does sound superb, concertina and mandolin sound so good together!
  11. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Awesome David, and it's just as good without the tremolo as it is with. As Harry said, it's great with the concertina.....wonderful.
  12. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I haven't yet listened to David's version (deliberately, so as to not be influenced and/or intimidated by it), but I made the opposite choice from him and played the tune with more tremolo than on the Otroushko video. That's largely because I play solo unaccompanied, and without guitar backup (or indeed concertina) I think it really needs the tremolo to fill those vast spaces in the tune -- it's a beautiful but quite sparse melody. I've also added a few double stops which I think work pretty well.

    I couldn't quite decide which mandolin suits the tune best, so I've recorded it twice: on my 1921 Ajr and on an F5 (my 1989 Washburn). The Ajr is the more "old-time" instrument, so I put that video up first -- the Washburn video is still uploading.

    Edit: The upload of the clip on the F5 has now finished, so I add the link here. I rather like that Washburn, but I don't play it often enough: most of the music I play is in genres where an F5 doesn't really fit, and when I play American tunes, the Ajr usually gets picked first. However, on this particular tune I think both of them sound nice, but markedly different -- the Ajr is fuller and darker, the F5 brighter and more focussed. Makes a nice side-by-side comparison between oval-hole and f-hole sound.

  13. GKWilson
    Hey Martin. You don't need a concertina. I played your videos together. And with the different instruments it sounded pretty cool.
  14. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Here's my take on "Heart of the Heartland." It's played on a 1913 Gibson F2 mandolin and backed up with a Bauer Parlor built guitar circa 1900.

    Great job David and Martin!
  15. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Lovely versions Martin & Stuche, this tune has a lovely feel to it, great stuff.
  16. Marcelyn
    Martin, that's a great job of making the song sound good without backup. I'm finding it a challenge.

    Michael, that's amazing from beginning to end. What a beautiful finale! And I'm incredibly envious of your tremelo as always. Great version.
  17. Marcelyn
    I'm not sure exactly what qualifies as "The Heartland", but here's some footage of a hike we took in Michigan last fall that might be close enough. This version is played on a Republic resonator mandolin.

  18. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Lots of nice versions everyone!
  19. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Marcelyn, that was a very delightful performance! Resonator mandolins can sound surprisingly mellow which surprises many people. As for "The Heartland", this is some of what Peter Ostroushko wrote in the notes to his CD about Heart of the Heartland:

    "I'm not sure if anyone could truly say where the heart of the heartland truly exists, but a world of images flood into my mind when I think of that phrase...the Harvest Moon... the first kiss... the taste of the first sweet corn... the smell of your baby's hair as she sleeps... your wife in the early morning hours... All these things dwell in the heart of the heartland. It is not a place a map can tell you how to get to, unless the road is paved with love."

    It's obvious that you know exactly where the heart of your heartland is!
  20. GKWilson
    Very nice Michael.
    I'd play it like that. If I could.
    Marcelyn. You are blessed.
  21. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Marcelyn, great video and I think it's one of your best playing wise, you have caught the feel really well. I'll have to keep working on this to get the essence of it. Anyway I'm amazed by the speed of your dog as I have only seen him relaxing on the back of the chair !!!!!!
  22. tnt2002
    Here's my version. May have over done it on the tremello. I played it on a Eastman 815, with backup guitar on my Martin 000C-16RGTE
  23. mculliton123
    Well, I put down the mandolin for the last 3 months to see if I could get a handle on the fiddle. Guess it's time to face the music (pun intended) and set some sort of benchmark. The fingering came fairly easy but, as you can tell, I still struggle with the darn bow. It'd be much easier finger pickin' my guitar or plucking the mandolin.
    Here goes nuthin'.

  24. Marcelyn
    That was really pretty, TNT. I didn't think the tremelo was too much at all. You've got that steady relaxed kind of tremelo that I've been trying to get down for so long.

    The fiddle is really coming along Mike. It's fun to finally hear it.
  25. GKWilson
    Nice job TNT. Mike I decided to fiddle around a bit too.
  26. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    That is just an awesome job with the left hand there. All of your hammers, slides and pulls are clear and very lyrical. It sounds almost like you could strum the first note and play a whole song if you wanted to.

    Of course due respect for your uber-responsive Octave although I suspect it takes more than just a wonderful instrument to pull off that performance (pun intended). It's almost a guitar-istic sound, very full and fine.
  27. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    Thanks for posting, just what I need...something else to remind me how bad I wish I could play the fiddle. I know what you mean about the bow. If that darned thing would just point iteself straight across the strings and stay there we could really fiddle up a storm, couldn't we?
  28. Marcelyn
    Gary, that's beautiful. Such a lot of feeling you got into it. What instrument are you playing there?
  29. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    RE Gary's instrument, you might consider the initials "M" and "B" along with the number "6"...
  30. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Heart Of The Heartland pretty raw!

  31. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    The view makes me dizzy! It's like having one of those experiences where your consciousness floats out of your body and you gaze down from above with ineffable sadness. Except it's floating above somebody else's head...
  32. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Hey Mic, you're coming along on the fiddle. That sounded pretty good (way better than I think I could ever do on that darn contraption). Since you don't have frets you've got to listen extra good and roll your fingers to microadjust notes to be in tune. You did pretty well, but there were few that were out of whack. Good job for only three months work. Keep at it.
  33. mculliton123
    Nice versions all around,here. Marcelyn, your video sounda like one of those "Pure Michigan" commercials we hear all the time

    I felt that I had to redeem myself after that poor attempt on the Fiddle. It took me 3 months to get that bad and I think, with a little effort, I can achieve Awful without any problem.
    Here is my go on an Eastman 915-D.

  34. Ten_or_Fifths
    Nice fiddling Mike! I hear some good phrasing in there, so you must be getting that bow under control. The only tip I have for bowing is stay relaxed in the wrist and elbow. Your technique looks great.
  35. Marcelyn
    It's good to see your mandolin is still speaking to you after three months of neglect. All those lovely chords really filled in the tune. Great version.
  36. GKWilson
    Nice job Tosh and Mike. I love this tune. And all of our variations. I can't think of an instrument that it couldn't be played well on. Even an accordian. [just kidding accordian players]
    Marcelyn. I was playing my Mike Black O.M. It's my Christmas, Birthday present [probably for more than one] to myself.
    Brent your right. #6 almost plays herself. Sounds more zoukie [is that a word?] if I pick closer to the bridge.
  37. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    When you've got an instrument that "almost plays itself" the key must be to just keep it smooth and easy and let it happen. I tend to try to put way too much into hammers, pulls and slides.
  38. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice versions and playing by everyone, especially Peter O.

    Michael P., What medium did you use when you recorded your guitar part around 1900?
  39. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Mandfred, it was recorded on a Edison cylinder phonograph by Tom Edison himself in the year 1904 (I hitched a ride to that year with Dr. Who...) The cylinder was then placed in storage deep in an unused coal mine to preserve it until it was needed for this Song of the Week. I then just overdubbed the mandolin part... (seriously, my post should have read "built circa 1900")

    Good job everyone on what I think is a really hard thing to accomplish... that is, play a really slow song well.

    Tosh, your video looks and sounds especially good.
  40. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
  41. Eddie Sheehy
  42. Marcelyn
    Ah ha, thanks for clearing that up Gary. After Brent's hint, I was pretty sure you had a Mike Black, but I didn't want to eliminate Marlon Brando and Mel Bay out of hand.

    It definitely sounds lovely. Happy Christmas/birthday.
  43. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    I keep coming back to this thread. Really beautiful song, well performed by all. It's soothing the savage beast of tax season for me. Thanks all!
  44. Eddie Sheehy
    The last time we had a tune as beautiful as this one it was "Ashokan Farewell". I rushed to learn it and produced a rendition that since then I haeve come to regret. I revel in this tune each day and hope to record it soon. Even though it may not sound much better than if I had rushed it, I will feel that at least I appreciated it all the more.
  45. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    more great versions - well done to you all! Only problem now is that I'm getting a hankering for a GOM!
  46. sgarrity
    Here's two versions. First on the mandolin, second on the mandola. One of these days I'm gonna learn how to do a backup track!

  47. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    Sounds great as to be expected from you, Sean! Love those Kimbles.
  48. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    I really like the mandola version. It's not as dainty and pretty as the way Peter O. does it. And I don't mean those to disparage the original version which is just gorgeous. But your slightly bluegrass-flavored feel and the meatier voice of the mandola bring a lot to the tune.

    Your other version is nice, too. ;-)
  49. dustyamps
    Revisiting some of the past song of the week highlights. Played on my Gibson A0 with heavy 41 26 17 11.5 straight up strings and a ct55 pick.
  50. woodenfingers
    Very nice Dusty. Must practice my tremolo...
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