Tune of the Month: Nine Miles
Congratulations and thanks to Laura Farr and all the hard working crew for a wonderful workshop at our new home in Moses Lake. One thing I always love is hearing all the tunes that our other teachers bring to the camp. My Seattle area students always come back with something fun and interesting. This year Oliver Knaphus and I were both particularly taken by a tune that Vivian Williams taught, Nine Miles. Itís a good strong hoedown and one that I look forward to playing for square dances. Itís straightforward enough to play at a pretty good clip and is easy enough to pick up to make it a good one for jam sessions. Besides, it just makes me happy.
Vivian in turn stole it fair and square from John White, Missouri fiddler extraordinaire who you can enjoy on his Voyager cd (# 372). I have enjoyed visiting and playing tunes with John as he and his wife, Betty, made trips out to Seattle from their home in Hallsville, MO to visit their daughter. Weíve featured him on stage with the Fiddlers Showcase Concert at Northwest Folklife.
As per the liner notes, which you can read if you buy the cd, or if you just go to voyagerrecords.com, John was born in 1936 in Ethel, MO and grew up in a very musical family, chock full of fiddlers. He played for many a square dance in the one room school house as a youth. In the 1960s he moved to Columbia where he studied Agricultural engineering at the University of MO, receiving his masterís degree there and continuing to work for the university until his retirement in 2005. Along the way he met and learned tunes from many of the wellknown fiddlers of that area Ė Cleo Persinger, Pete McMahan (VRCD # 366), Taylor McBaine, Cecil Windsor and of course Howard Marshall (VRCD # 344). He continues to play for square and contra dances in the Columbia area and wherever his travels take him.
Please contact me if you have questions or requests.
Stuart Williams, Music Editor
Updated September 3, 2014