Gathers No Moss
A Raw Fiddle Album vol. 2
Engineered by Brandon Bostic
Spring Hill, TN
Design by Mary Sue Englund
Photos by Adam Chowning
Thank You - To my husband Adam, my family, all my students and campers, Mary Sue, and Tristan Scroggins. Thank you for your support and inspiration. I'm so lucky to get to work with all the people I love most in the world.
To The Violin Shop crew. Thank you for keeping me and my fiddle so happy.
To D'Addario Strings. You make the best strings.
Megan plays an old German fiddle revoiced by Ronnie and Frank Stewart of Paoli, IN.
Megan plays an Arcos Brazil bow.
Megan uses D'Addario strings. Helicore heavy gauge A, D, and G with a Kaplan non-whistling E string, to be specific.
1. Obama's March to the White House (Greg Canote)
2. Paris Waltz (Arthur Smith)
3. Candy Girl/Candy Gal (trad./Kenny Baker)
4. Fort Worth Rag (trad.)
5. Roxanna Waltz (Bill Monroe)
6. Peacock Rag (Arthur Smith)
7. Bonnie Prince Charlie (trad.)
8. Swedish Rhapsody (Hugo Alfvén)
9. If Ever You Were Mine (Maurice Lennon)
10. Shove That Pig's Foot a Little Further in the Fire (trad.)
11. Uncle Herman's Hornpipe (Johnny Durocher)
12. Denver Belle (trad.)
13. Henry's Dream (Henry Goodman)
14. Benny and Bea's Waltz (Brenda Wallace)
15. Whiteface (Joe Thrift)
Before I recorded this album, I asked a bunch of people on Facebook and Instagram to suggest tunes to record and they really stepped up with fabulous ideas. Some of the tunes that ended up on the album are tunes I had already planned to record and the rest are from the list of suggestions. I have enough responses to fill at least three more albums so if your tune didn't make it on this one, don't despair! I can see more volumes coming soon.
Obama's March to the White House (C#AEA)
One night at a house concert in California an audience member requested this tune of my touring partner Adam Hurt and I just musically swooned. What a lovely melody! Then I found out it was a Canote Brothers tune, which makes sense because of the “calico” tuning. They're rather fond of that tuning, for good reason.
I've taught this beautiful tune to several students over the years. I ran across it in the Phillips Collection and always enjoyed playing it. But my student Leo Hickman really loves this tune and this one is for him. I'm not entirely sure about the F# versus the F♮situation in the A part, in terms of what's correct. I like to go back and forth between them. I say do what you think sounds awesome.
Candy Girl/Candy Gal (EAEA)
Candy Girl is a common old time tune (requested by Kristen Treger), and this is pretty close to the classic Bunt Stephens version. It's great for jams and I really enjoy the zen nature of playing it about 30 times in a row, although I didn't quite do that here. Candy Gal is a Kenny Baker tune, from what I can tell, and learning it was inspired by a question from the previously mentioned Leo Hickman who wanted me to clarify the difference between it and Candy Girl. The answer is, they're just different tunes. I can't find any evidence to suggest any relationship between them. However, I found that they do go really well together, so that's what I did.
Fort Worth Rag
Growing up, I often heard this tune called Texas Serenade but I'm pretty sure it's actually Fort Worth Rag. I played this in contests for years and learned different licks and ideas from everyone from Benny Thomasson to Jimmie Don Bates. It's a quintessential Texas style rag and I love it.
This Bill Monroe tune is a favorite at fiddle contests all over the country. It was requested by Hailey Bryant and I'm delighted to get to put this on an album so I can actually play the entire tune, rather than having to chop it up to fit into a fiddle contest time limit. There's no way to shorten it without mangling the beautiful structure and chord progression. Here it is in all its modulating glory.
I used to hate this tune. But then one day in the warm up room in Weiser, ID at the National Old Time Fiddlers' Contest, someone mentioned that they were going to play it in the contest and then my friend Bryan asked me if I knew it and I said I did and he asked me to play it so I did and it was the most fun ever. Then I played it in the contest and I won. So now it's basically my favorite tune of all time, as you can imagine. Ashby Frank requested it, and I'm happy to include it.
Bonnie Prince Charlie
Adam Hurt created this version of Bonnie Prince Charlie and people always love it, from the very first time they hear it. Including me.
I learned this one from one of my musical mentors, Lisa Barrett, when I spent a week with her and her husband, the legendary Dick Barrett. It quickly became one of my signature contest tunes but I always wondered where it came from. One day I was working at a coffeehouse in my hometown of Redding, CA and a lovely classical piece caught my ear, coming over the Muzak station speakers. It was the tune I knew as Swedish Rhapsody. I did a little research and found out it was a Swedish symphonic piece called Swedish Rhapsody No. 1 (Midsommarvaka, Midsummer Vigil) from the turn of the last century which was somehow discovered and recorded by Chet Atkins. Oh, and it was the identification music for Radio Sweden.
If Ever You Were Mine
Natalie MacMaster recorded this already so I probably should have left well enough alone. But I couldn't help myself. It's so lovely.
Shove That Pig's Foot a Little Further in the Fire
Peter Jackson requested this one and it's a great choice. This tune always makes a jam a little more joyful and whenever I can't think of what to play, I go with either this one or Red Wing. I strongly recommend everyone learn it. People can't be unhappy while playing this tune.
Uncle Herman's Hornpipe
I have no recollection of actually learning this tune. It just feels like it's always been around, under my fingers. Ross Holmes requested it and I was glad to dust it off and get it back in rotation. The way I play it is fairly close to the Benny Thomasson interpretation. Its original title is Miss Supertest's Victory Reel and I would like to suggest we maybe go back to that title because it is awesome. Johnny Durocher wrote it in honor of the first Canadian-owned boat to win the Harmsworth International Trophy for speed racing, in 1959. See what I mean? Awesome.
My good friend Jon Weisberger requested this one and it's rather ridiculous that I didn't already know it. Glad I rectified that. Kenny Baker popularized it, but no one really seems to know who wrote it. No matter. It's really fun to play and it's in C so everyone should add it to their repertoire, because good C tunes are awfully fine but too few.
Bryan Jimmerson asked me to learn this one, in honor of the late Smokey Butler, a truly wonderful man and great fiddler. Smokey's friend Henry Goodman claimed he dreamt up the melody and hummed it to Smokey until Smokey could play it the way Henry heard it in his dream. No one else has ever played this tune and I love its crooked, swingy style.
Benny and Bea's Waltz
This tune has been a contest favorite since Brenda Wallace wrote it a few decades ago. People always comment on its memorable melody and they also love that it's a tribute to the great Benny Thomasson and his wife Bea. I never played it much growing up, but when my husband heard Tony Ludiker play it at Weiser and immediately declared it to be his favorite waltz of all time, I figured I better start playing it a little more regularly.
I found this Joe Thrift tune on YouTube while stalking the fiddle playing of Rachel Eddy. Something about the combination of the really crooked structure and the way it goes back and forth between E minor and G just hooked me. It's one of the great “new” old time tunes.