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CD130 -

Howie Bursen - Banjo Manikin

Jay & Molly's Wedding
June Apple
Bursen's Fancy
Bay of Fundy Reel
Beat the Reaper
Behind the Haystack
Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine
Bursen's Fancy
Don't Go Yet
Dying Ranger, The
Fisher's Hornpipe
Forky Deer
For Pete's Sake
Hull's Victory
I Think My Brains Fell Out
Jay and Molly's Wedding
Job I Left Behind Me, The
June Apple
Little Beggarman
Malana's Jig
Maya's Bounce
Mysteries of a Hobo's Life
Pretty Saro
Sally's Upstairs With the Hog-Eyed
Shenandoah Falls
Slow Down
Tommy Thompson
Train On the Island
Tune of Mystery
Vandy, Vandy
Wild Bill Jones
Wimbush Rag


Sandy and Caroline called up to ask if I would like to do a recording for Folk Legacy. Of course I said "yes". That was in the snowy Winter of 1978, when I was trying, (without noticeable success), to be a telephone lineman. Folksinging sounded like a great idea. That's how Cider in the Kitchen (FSI 74) was hatched.

Twenty-two years later, I called Sandy and Caroline to ask if they would like me to do another recording for Folk Legacy. So what was I doing during all that time? To be sure, I have been busy: singing and recording, planting a hundred acres of vineyard, courting (with some success) Sally Rogers, designing six wineries and building two of them, making, at last count, 950,000 bottles of wine, changing lots of diapers, trying to be a good dad to my two wonderful daughters (mixed results on that one - depends on which day you ask) and generally living off the fat of the land. I am deeply grateful to Sandy and Caroline for believing in my music. It's good to be home again.

Howie Bursen - March, 2001

Thanks to the musicians:

Jay Ungar, fiddle
Molly Mason, bass and guitar
Bob Pasquarello, piano

Thanks to neighbor Jeff Davis for his help in making these notes scholarly

1. Jay & Molly's Wedding ©1991 Howard Bursen/Fisher's Hornpipe (trad.) /Bay of Fundy Reel (trad.)

Jay & Molly's Wedding: I arrived late at the wedding, put my two-year-old to sleep in our room, and need buck to the dance floor. Too late - the party was mostly over. So, in lieu of dancing on a tabletop with a lamp' shade over my head, I wrote this tune as my contribution to the festivities. Fisher's: This old-chestnut turns out to have been written around 1780 by a dancemaster, one J. Fishar, in London, England. It's been played so many times that his ghost is probably a millionaire.

Bay of Fundy: Is this a Maine tune or a New Brunswick tune? Not wishing to start an international incident, thereby giving our current Commander-In-Chief an excuse to invade Canada (which I know he's just ITCHING to do), I'll just say that this great tune straddles dance floors on both sides of the border.

4. June Apple (trad. tune)/ Train on the Island (trad. words)

J.P. Nestor recorded Train on the Island for Victor in the late 20s. It was reissued on volume III of the great Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music. Don't know where I learned to play the wrong tune with these words, but it's been at least 25 years since I learned it that way. I always thought they were just variants of the same original piece of music. In fact, I still think that.

Train on the Island, headed for the west
Me and my girl we fell out, perhaps it's for the best

Show me the crow that flies so high, show me the one that falls

Ifl can't have the girl I love, don't want no girl at all
Train on the island, hear the whistle blow
Go and tell my own true love, I'm sick and 1 can't go

Built me a banjo from a gourd, strung it with the finest twine
Only tune that it would play was I wish that girl was mine

Train on the Island, headed for the west
Me and my girl we fell out, perhaps it's for the best

12. Bursen's Fancy © 1980 Jay Ungar/ Dusty Miller (trad.)

In 1979 and 1980, I played a. lot of dances with Jay and Molly and a. bunch of other fine musicians. Jay wrote me this tune, and I tried to learn it. It is not a banjo tune. 20 years later, when I had finally learned it, I asked him if he'd record it with me. He said "What tune?" So I bad to teach it back to him. Dusty Miller I learned from fiddler Judy Hough, now Professor Hough, entomologist of note. It has been recorded by many, including J.P. Fraley and Eck Robertson (on County). You can find it in the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes.

Howie Bursen with Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and Bob Pasquarello

Jay & Molly's Wedding
Pretty Saro
Malana's Jig
June Apple
Mysteries of a Hobo's Life
I Think My Brains Fell Out
Tommy Thompson
For Pete's Sake
Maya's Bounce
Wild Bill Jones
Bursen's Fancy
Sally's Upstairs With the Hogeyed Man
Beat the Reaper
Hull's Victory

Total Time: 52 minutes of great banjo


Our Price: $14.98

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Category : American Folk Music

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