Mar 31, 2015 by

From the Yew Pine Mountain Range in Pocahontas County WVa: Black, Kennison, Cranberry, Viney, Caesar, and Droop Mountains.

It has been suggested for some time now, “dllr begin a blog”. There has been so much sickness that I have not been able to pull together a newsletter. This, then, is a new direction. But I didn’t know what a “blog” was.

“Collection of posts…short, informal, sometimes controversial, and sometimes deeply personal…with the freshest information at the top.”  says google.

As in all my teaching over these 44 yrs, my goal will be to help in the search for a rhythm which resonates with each individual’s own interior pulse.

And to then to try to discourage the foolish attempt to imitate another person’s way of playing Music. If s/he is to be a Musician, it must come from her/his deep internal pulse. With this connection intact, there will be an “IT” which rises to the surface. “IT” = cultural messages to whomever








It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing
It don’t mean a thing, all you got to do is sing
It makes no difference if it’s sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm everything you’ve got





More swing from the same era.

Listen to each person’s dialect and the music/Music they play.  If it is honest, “IT” will follow the same rhythm.

To refuse to play who we are in our depths, usually results in an insult to the Personhood of Music. To attempt to imitate, bow stroke by bow stroke becomes a fraud. To learn from another person. Usually, one person is far better; so choose carefully. Mose Coffman: “Pick out a tune, whistle/hum/sing it until it takes on you [internal pulse or dialect] and then start to learn it on your instrument and not before.”



Four young men from the eastern panhandle of WVa. Pay close attention to the fiddler. As a young man, Ben Townsend’s Music already carries the all important “West Virginia Grit.



Edn Hammons 1876-1955 was a fiddler all his life. His ‘Way’ of playing this tune is a bit different from the other way he played the other tunes. But the “Way” of Edn’s playing carried with it cultural messages the Hammons and Roberts brought with them when they left Kentucky. It also has that “18th Century Frontier Grit” shining forth. Edn was born in and lived his life among our Yew Pine Mountains of Pocahontas County

‘Rhythm is where you find it’?

I have included three men who have spent many years OJT to gently and very precisely respond to the sound of their musical instrument. This seems to put the cart before the horse. No matter, proper rhythm is the goal.










 The size is not what carries the day. A 6 oz fife or a 90 ton loaded truck or the cargo ship w/ 3000 Toyotas each drives with its own rhythm.



This last link is your assignment? Please “Catch the Context”

What are the different rhythms?
How do they intermingle?
The explosive sound of iron and steel on iron and steel?
The scream from steam?
Is there any help here for your music rhythm?




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