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VRCD 353 LEROY CANADAY: OLD DAN TUCKER WAS A FINE OLD MAN

I love regional collections of traditional music. The unusual twists and turns of the melody or the variation in accompaniment or chord structure are all part of the regional variation.

Leroy Canaday is a Missouri fiddler. Born in 1928, Leroy began fiddling at age eight and learned most of his tunes from a variety of sources. Initially he learned from hometown bandleader Virgil Goodman as they performed for dances and on the radio. Eventually he learned from Tommy Jackson records and Howdy Forrester's performances on the Grand Ole Opry. He won his first contest in his early teens and became a local celebrity. He chose to leave the family farm and moved west. hat followed was a string of contest championships and professional bands. Today he fiddles mostly in contests, jam sessions and in church.

Leroy's son Norman contributes guitar to the recording along with Howard Marshall on second fiddle and banjo and Forrest Rose on bass. In a lighter note, Leroy's wife Betty is given credit as a nutritional specialist. After all, musicians have to eat!

Old Dan Tucker Was a Fine Old Man includes tunes from all sides of Leroy's playing career. Contest tunes are represented by "Leather Britches," "Grey Eagle" and "Sally Gooden" each with traditional contest guitar accompaniment. His sacred side is captured by the unusual medley of "Amazing Grace/Old Rugged Cross/What a Friend We Have in Jesus" featuring some wonderful arco bass. Jam session favorites include "Ragtime Annie," "Arkansas Traveler," and eight beautiful waltzes.

These selections may seem ordinary at first glance but the assured style and grace of Leroy Canaday and his fellow musicians give them new life and make you want to play along! (Sing Out!)

The Voyager Records label is consistently releasing great collections such as Leroy Canaday's collection of Missouri fiddle tunes. Players in this state certainly developed their own distinctive style of fiddling. Many of the tunes recorded here are fiddling classics, period: "Leather Britches," "Old Dan Tucker," "Grey Eagle," "Ragtime Annie," "Devil's Dream," and "Orange Blossom Special." It's a veritable hit parade with rediscoveries like "Whistling Rufus." There are 30 great tunes in all. Essential listening for old-time devotees and fiddle students alike. (Dirty Linen)

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