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The Year of Ward Jarvis: Tune Collecting

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Ever since embarking on my Year of Ward Jarvis, I've made a concerted effort to collect as many recordings by him and by those who were influenced by him.

I already owned the Field Recorders' Collective release (FRC402) of tunes collected by the late Red Mule String Band fiddler Jeff Goehring in the 1970s. And as mentioned in a recent post, I received digital copies of the David Brose recordings from some charitable folks at the Fiddle Hangout. The files also included the associated albums Brose produced "Rats Won't Stay Where There's Music" (1979, Ohio Folklife OF-1003) and "Traditional Music of Central Ohio" (1979, Ohio Arts Council TALP-001).

I'm still looking to acquire physical copies of these albums, as well as "Visits" (1981, Heritage Records), produced by Ray Alden. I believe that would complete my collection of the recordings made of Ward Jarvis. I have not heard of any others.

In the meantime, I've also tried to collect Ward Jarvis tunes played by others, most notably Goehring and the Red Mules. On the Field Recorders' Collective release (FRC601) "Jeff Goehring with Friends & Family," he plays Jarvis's "Head of the Creek," "Sally Coming Through the Rye" and "Pretty Little Indian."

Over the course of the last couple months, I've secured two more Jarvis-inspired Red Mules tunes: "Tomahawk" and "Icy Mountain," both recorded for compilations released in the 1990s. "Tomahawk" came from "Old Time Music in the 90s, Volume 1" produced by the Indiana Fiddler's Gathering. "Icy Mountain" came from "Young Fogies, Vol. 2" (1995, Rounder Records), produced by Alden.

I also came across recordings of "Tomahawk" played by another Ohio-based old-time musician, Lynn Frederick, who played in numerous bands over the years, including the Red Mules. The recordings were part of a workshop Frederick conducted for the Chicago-based Fiddle Club of the World. "Tomahawk" just so happens to be the next tune on my list.

All these recordings have been helpful in picking up Ward Jarvis's style, and it's been an adventure tracking them down and building my tune collection.

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