Wednesday, July 28, 2010
FIDDLER HOWARD JOINES 2
Hearing Howard Joines play fiddle and Jr Maxwell banjo. It's a jam at somebody's house. No idea who is playing guitar and bass. Both are good. Jr had told me he'd made a lot of music with Howard. Here it is. Probably it's Clifton Evans on guitar. I believe it came from his reel-to-reel tape Lucas Pasley is transferring to computer. Evans went to see as many musicians in the county as he knew of who made music. Fortunately, his tapes found Lucas. Jr is now playing banjo Bear Tracks. Bass and guitar are going along with him. Next, he plays one I don't know the title. It's really a beautiful banjo piece. Good bass and guitar with it. Pardon me while I sit here and listen to the music. Howard's fiddle is playing something I'd love to be seeing him play. Sounds like his bow is bouncing on the strings. Mandolin came in playing with the fiddle. Might have been Richard Joines. They're layin it to it, whatever it's called and whoever they are.
Howard's fiddle is going all over Bill Monroe's Just Because. They're tearing it up. Howard Joines is fulfilling every praise I've heard of his fiddle over the years. This is some dynamite music. I want to play it Saturday morning so bad. But I'll do better than that. Don't know what it will be yet, but it will be. I'm not going to stop searching for music of our county. I am painting portraits of these people. From here on I pay tribute to the music of Alleghany and surrounding counties. It will manifest in different ways over time. At this moment Howard's fiddle is illustrating for me what Richard meant when he said of his dad's fiddle, "bears down on it, gets it out of it, doesn't just tickle it." Suddenly Lucas has tapes from different sources of Howard Joines and the different musicians he made music with over time. Quite a lot of the songs have good sound quality. The musicianship on everything is good as it gets.
We have been talking about putting together a cd of Howard Joines to get several copies printed and out in the world, like with Jr's, to family, friends and musicians. At least get a cd of this music to the library for their regional music collection. I'll put together something from what I have and get it to the library as first step. I like making the music videos too for Youtube. There is some really good music in every one. One of my ways of making the music here available to as many as want it, these videos are a testament of a moment. On Youtube anyone who wants to download it into their own computer is welcome to it. Wide open and free to the world. I want this music available to the people who need and want to hear it. I'm not looking at making anything from it. My reward is this music out in the world. That's it. Just because is what they're playing now, just because the purpose and the reward are the same. These musicians are too good for their music to go to the grave with them. I can't do a lot, but I can do a little bit. Lucas does a little bit. Two of us gets two little bits done. That's better than none. Keeps a momentum going that is already in motion.
Involvement with getting this music out into its own world has become important to me. Alleghany County having a rich musical heritage that continues to the present day has a need to be heard by people of the county. The Crouse House Pickers on Monday nights is a place to hear music by musicians of the county and nearby counties who drive to Sparta on Monday nights to play. The Jubilee Tuesday and Saturday nights. Mountain dance music is what it is. What Jr and Howard are playing is dance music. It's meant to make you move. Them playing Sally Goodn together is a hard one to follow. Richard had told me Howard's playing of Sally Goodn was just right. It was. Jr's rolling notes weave in and out of Howard's long fiddle notes like duck feet splashing over the water, wings flapping taking off. Hearing this music takes me to the radio station studio where I had a ball every Saturday morning. Good associations. Good music. Good vibes. It's music from a time when the notion of being an individual was held to without question. As I heard an old feller say one time, "in them days people thought somethin of one another." It's true. They really did. Seems kind of inconceivable there was such a time.
It's also inconceivable that I'm listening to Howard Joines and Jr Maxwell making music. Just as inconceivable as it was hearing Cleve Andrews and Art Wooten with Jr. I never dared dream there'd come a day I would hear any of them. These recordings are surfacing a little bit at a time. I regard every one a treasure. On the radio show I would introduce this music I'm hearing as one of our county's treasures. It is, indeed. The best part is I'm not pushing it. This is really good music. Music so good it needs to be heard for the music itself. That it's people of our county makes it all the better. I might look for a place online to put some of it, just to give people who chance upon it an earful of the music of Alleghnay County. It's the real deal, hillbilly as hillbilly music gets, from up in them hills. Mountain goats. A billie is a goat, like in the fiddle tune, Billy In The Lowground. It's a billy that aint in the mountains where a billy belongs.