Liner Notes

FIDDLER: VIVIAN WILLIAMS

VRCD 323, VRCS 323

1. Fire on the Mountain This is from a live performance of Tall Timber, who often opened their show with this tune.

2. Rocky Mountain Goat Vivian learned this from Missouri fiddler Pete McMahan at a jam session at Weiser in the '60's.

3. Country Waltz A Don Messer tune learned from Grant Lamb, a great Manitoba fiddler.

4. Lee's March Learned from Bill Mitchell, a great fiddler from Tupelo, Mississippi.

5. Sandy River Belle From the playing of Buddy Pendleton.

6. Loggerman's The correct title is Logger's Breakdown, but Grant Lamb, from whom Vivian learned it, called it Loggerman's. Joe Pancerzewski insisted that this is a corruption of Corn on the Cob.

7. Little Burnt Potato A common Northern tune, learned from Grant Lamb.

8. Brandon Waltz Grant Lamb told a story about hearing a fiddler on a street corner in Brandon, Manitoba playing this tune. Grant didn't know the name, so he called it Brandon Waltz.

9. Done Gone Vivian thinks she probably got this from John Burke, but the "folk process" has changed it over the years.

10. Katy Hill From Bill Mitchell, who got his version partly from Byron Berline.

11. Shannon Waltz From Grant Lamb.

12. Old Joe Clark Recorded at a Tall Timber live performance.

13. Fortune From the playing of Otis Burris.

14. Carroll County Blues Vivian is not sure where this version of the tune came from.

15. Red Fox Waltz From Harold Allen, a great old time fiddler who used to live in Eastern Oregon.

16. Cluck Old Hen This version of the tune came from Howdy Forrester. It is played in open D "Bonaparte's Retreat" tuning, with the E string tuned down to D and the G string tuned down to low D.

17. Sunflower Schottische From one of the Howe fiddle tune collections published in the 1800's.

18. Burnt River Named for a river in Eastern Oregon, where the Oregon Trail left the Snake River to avoid Hell's Canyon.

19. Black Velvet Waltz This is a popular tune among Western Canadian fiddlers, and is usually played in C. Grant Lamb suggested trying it in B flat.

20. Martha Campbell From Buddy Thomas.

21. Clarinet Polka This version came more or less from Joe Pancerzewski.

22. Over the Waves Popular with many fiddlers in the West. This version includes parts from the original sheet music.

23. Kansas City Railroad Blues From a recording of Buck Ryan.

Vivian Williams has been fiddling in the Northwest since 1960, and has a well deserved reputation as one of the Northwest's top fiddlers. She has won many fiddle contests, plays bluegrass and old time dance music, and teaches fiddle. Her principal mentors include fiddlers Joe Pancerzewski, Bill Mitchell, Grant Lamb, and Benny Thomasson, though she has learned tunes from dozens of fiddlers.

Vivian played with the Seattle based oldtime and bluegrass band The Turkey Pluckers in the early 1960's. For twenty years she played with Tall Timber. Since 1985 she has been performing with the bluegrass band Williams & Bray. She has been playing square dances since the early 1960's, and plays with several square dance, oldtime dance, and contradance bands.

Vivian also is a composer of fiddle tunes and publisher of the Brand New Old Time Fiddle Tunesbooks presenting fiddle tunes written by contemporary fiddlers. Her tune Burnt River, which appears on this recording, was selected as the best original fiddle tune at the Smithsonian Fiddle Contest in 1973, which she won. She also has co-produced over thirty records featuring the playing of over eighty fiddlers.

The recordings presented here were made in the late 1970's with Tall Timber. Nineteen of them were released on LP; also included here are four more selections never previously released, two of them from live performances.

Dick Marvin, guitar. Barney Munger, banjo. Grant Lamb, piano. Phil Williams, mandolin, bass. Lou Harrington, bass, dobro.

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