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Chittlin' Cookin' Time In Cheatham County


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I've just added another entry to my Tune of the Month blog... for the first time in over three years. Seeing as how it's not monthly anymore, I suppose I should change the blog name. Until then, here it is, text, photo and an mp3 of me playing Chittlin' Cookin' Time In Cheatham County. Here is the posting text.

 

Yum! These raw chittlins can be boiled or fried. Either way, this delightful dish smells the way you would expect, being the intestines of a hog. Just like a stinky cheese smells like rotten milk, yet delicious... these pig innards are good eating if you go for that sort of thing.

 

Fiddlin' Arthur Smith recorded this song back in 1936 to the tune of St. James Infirmary Blues. According to Kirk McGee, these new words were written by him and "a fellow named Busby." Read all about that story here.

 

I’ve recorded my version of this charming Tennessee song, accompanying myself on a Morse C/G 30 button Anglo concertina.

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You know Jody, I don't remember them smelling (or tasting) that bad. You cleaning them good before cooking them?

 

Alan

Hi Alan,

 

To be truthful, I've only eaten them once. It was long ago at a church potluck supper somewhere in the South. I was just a little kid but the aroma, flavor, texture and the sight of that mess of chitterlings before me was an unforgettable experience. They tasted pretty good, if distinctive. I remember cleaning my plate... but for seconds, I went for the fried chicken.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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I've just added another entry to my Tune of the Month blog... for the first time in over three years. Seeing as how it's not monthly anymore, I suppose I should change the blog name. Until then, here it is, text, photo and an mp3 of me playing Chittlin' Cookin' Time In Cheatham County. Here is the posting text.

 

Yum! These raw chittlins can be boiled or fried. Either way, this delightful dish smells the way you would expect, being the intestines of a hog. Just like a stinky cheese smells like rotten milk, yet delicious... these pig innards are good eating if you go for that sort of thing.

 

Fiddlin' Arthur Smith recorded this song back in 1936 to the tune of St. James Infirmary Blues. According to Kirk McGee, these new words were written by him and "a fellow named Busby." Read all about that story here.

 

I’ve recorded my version of this charming Tennessee song, accompanying myself on a Morse C/G 30 button Anglo concertina.

Love the song Jody!!! Excellent!!

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Love the song Jody!!! Excellent!!

 

Wow!!! Double and triple exclamation marks!!!!

Thanks, I'm so glad you liked it that much!!!!!

 

Really, this kind of raggy syncopated blues is fitted nicely for the Anglo, and it's so much fun to play that way on the little hex box. If anyone of you is in NYC this Sunday I'll be doing some of that kind of stuff with fiddler Paul Friedman at 3:00 PM. Details on my web site schedule page.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jody,

 

I just realized that you posted this here. I like your choice of tune and performance. The concertina has an attractive, thin air about it in this tune, and the style of music works well with concertina accompaniment. Thanks for the tune.

 

There's another approach that you also might consider, and that is to play the instrument as a solo instrument, along with other backup instruments. This will be an entirely different animal, as far as concertina playing goes. The need to provide rhythm and lead on the same instrument means that the lead part can be constrained, and it comes out very different from a lead taken as purely ad lib, without such constraints. I'd be curious what that would sound like. In the discussion of the other thread on blues music, comparisons were made with the harmonica. Harmonica blues, however, are primarily - though not always - based on harmonica soloing. For an even further movement in that direction, you can even try miking the concertina very close up to the instrument, but of course, this might also require ramping up the volume level of the whole band.

 

Best regards,

Tom

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Hi Jody,

 

I just realized that you posted this here. I like your choice of tune and performance. The concertina has an attractive, thin air about it in this tune, and the style of music works well with concertina accompaniment. Thanks for the tune.

 

There's another approach that you also might consider, and that is to play the instrument as a solo instrument, along with other backup instruments. This will be an entirely different animal, as far as concertina playing goes. The need to provide rhythm and lead on the same instrument means that the lead part can be constrained, and it comes out very different from a lead taken as purely ad lib, without such constraints. I'd be curious what that would sound like. In the discussion of the other thread on blues music, comparisons were made with the harmonica. Harmonica blues, however, are primarily - though not always - based on harmonica soloing. For an even further movement in that direction, you can even try miking the concertina very close up to the instrument, but of course, this might also require ramping up the volume level of the whole band.

 

Best regards,

Tom

Hi Tom,

 

I'm so glad that you like my rendition. Yes the C/G that I'm playing here has a "thin air" about it and I agree that it's attractive but I generally like a thicker concertina sound. That's one reason why I mostly play the G/D which sounds a 4th lower and a 40 button one at that, with its added abilities. I used the 30 button C/G in this case to show what it is capable of, being the kind of Anglo most players have.

 

As for the other approach you mention, I completely agree with you. Two musicians make ten times more music than one player alone and a band is exponentially richer. As you can hear though, I'm not really trying to sound like a harmonica or anything other than an Anglo concertina. I do borrow a few tricks from the harmonica and the piano and I'm mighty glad to have 'em. I wanted to play it alone so that the instrument could be clearly heard and my treatment unobscured to show what the Anglo can do solo in the blues department.

 

Still, I have always thought that part of what makes the Anglo sound "right" in an unusual genre is the company it keeps. When I play old-time music I like to play with fiddle, banjo and guitar. Solo old-time concertina can be done, but with a string band it sounds more... right. The same with the blues... Southern hillbilly country blues in this case, which is also a string band sound. So, for this recording I'm using my singing to help place the concertina in the right context.

 

If you want to hear a trio with fiddle, concertina and piano playing a Southern fiddle tune that is not "the Blues" but certainly moves in that direction you could listen to one of my bands playing Benton's Dream at a dance.

 

Or, if you are still curious, here is another vocal/concertina solo of me singing Walk On Boy.

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