At the 2015 Grey Fox Music Festival Tim and I were able to attend a workshop on The Mountain Music Project with Abigail Washburn, Tara Linhardt, and several Nepali musicians -one who was playing the sarangi. The sarangi is carved from a single piece of wood with goat skin stretched across it. It has 4 strings like a violin and the middle strings are tuned in unison to create a droning sound. My ears interpreted it as a cross between a violin and a dulcimer.
The Mountain Music Project – from Appalachia to Himalaya is effort supported by Tim O’Brien and Abigail Washburn that creates awareness of mountain music in other cultures. It was interesting to learn that the Nepali culture has many songs similar to traditional Appalachian tunes. For example, Honira Salala (Water Flowing Slowly) has a similar melody to Going Across the Sea; Deri Phul Paareko (So Many Eggs) has the same concept as our very popular Cluck Old Hen.
Below is a delightful rendition of Cluck Old Hen by The Blackberry Bushes Stringband. Jes Raymond (guitar) takes the vocal lead and the song has fun creative mandolin (Daniel Ullom), banjo (Alex Genova) and fiddle (Jakob Breitbach) breaks. Between 2:30 and 3:00 the band has some complicated timing changes with bassist Forrest Marowitz keeping the groove and then everyone in the band joins vocals for a final a cappella verse.
The Blackberry Bushes Stringband will be performing original tunes on Friday, September 25 at Chestnut House Concerts – but we may get them to sing a few traditional tunes like Cluck Old Hen. If you’d like to attend please contact Tim at email@example.com or call/text 7179 409311. Potluck at 6:00 pm, Music at 7:00.
OK, I’ll be there! Bill Gulvin