Category: Video (page 2 of 3)

Playing with Kweskin and Traum

G Burns Jug Band had the privilege of opening for folk revival icons Jim Kweskin & Happy Traum and then joining them on stage for a few numbers. We closed the show with the Memphis Jug Band’s classic tune, Stealin’ Stealin’.

Bull At The Wagon

Bull At The Wagon is an old time fiddle reel from the southwest. The earliest known recording of it was made by the brothers Dempson and Denmon Lewis in 1929 for Victor Records. Born in San Antonio they lived their adult lives in New Mexico working as cattle ranchers, but occasionally returned to their native state to play dances and record in El Paso.  I learned of this tune when Batya played with the contra dance group Crooked, and I became so enamored of it that I began adding it into my sets. After trying a few different instrumentations, I settled on a mandolin-fiddle duet to add some variety to a concert.



Uncle Dave’s Beloved Solo

“Uncle” Dave Macon was a much-loved banjoist, a performer of so-called ‘old time music’ in the early 20th century, and a seminal figure in the foundation of roots, folk, or country musics as we think of them today. Macon was born in 1870, only a few years after the end of the Civil War, when minstrel shows had reached their peak popularity and made the whole country crazy for banjos, though unfortunately stereotyping and denigrating African American culture in the process. Macon grew up as American audiences shifted away from the rough-hewn comedy and entertainment stylings of minstrelsy towards a newer, more family-friendly form of entertainment, vaudeville, and became one of its greatest stars.

The many recordings and few videos capturing his performances showed him to be a boisterous, exuberant performer, even into old age, but occasionally a more genteel side comes to the fore. In the 1926 recording of his “Beloved Solo”, Macon begins with perhaps a nostalgic gesture, quoting the popular 19th century hymn “Rock Of Ages, Cleft For Me” as assurance that he is, like the presumed listener, a man of God. With that assurance, he then delivers a beautiful, poignant, and still virtuosic performance I’ve tried to recapture here.


Music Course Highlights

Wrapping up my Music of Multicultural America course at UCSD! Thanks to all of the wonderful performers who lent their support!

Videos from Country Club show

‘Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie’ and ‘Rake and Rambling Boy’ with Anna Levitt and Batya MacAdam-Somer assisting on fiddles.

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