I’ve often been asked what are good recordings to listen to. One reply that I often give as an absolute “must own, listen and learn” is the first Fuzzy Mountain String Band album.
This great album was recorded in two living rooms live to a a two track tape recorder and was one of the first albums released by the Rounder label in 1972 (ROUN0010).
There are so many things that I love about this album. The spirit in which it was made, the choice of tunes, the instrumentation, the totally shoestring manner in which it was recorded, the album packaging, and on and on. If you’d like to learn more about the musicians that made this and the various bands that were spawned by what was originally a gathering of friends getting together at local homes to play and enjoy old time music then visit the site of the original Red Clay Ramblers.
There are twenty cuts largely taken from the Henry Reed repertoire. These tunes were collected by the great fiddler Alan Jabbour. These tunes show up regularly at every jam that I’ve ever attended. If anyone wants a good place to start in building their own list of tunes that they can feel comfortable playing on, there could hardly be a better place to start.
Rounder combined thirty-three cuts from their first two albums on a CD release in 1995 (ROUN11571).
Some of my favorites from this venerably vinyl disc are Old Mother Flanagan, Magpie, Protect the Innocent, Frosty Morning, West Fork Girls, Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, Santa Anna’s Retreat, Quince Dillon’s High D Tune. If you’d like to listen to me playing some of these tunes with my friends, I’ve posted a bunch of MP3’s on my Banjo Hangout music page.
This is a video of me playing one of my favorite Henry Reed tunes that I learned from the Fuzzy Mountain String Band album.