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The Year of Ward Jarvis: Tomahawk

My latest Ward Jarvis tune is "Tomahawk." Jarvis learned this tune from Tommy Jackson, either on record or radio, according to the field recordings David Brose made in the 1970s. Jackson was a prominent Nashville session fiddler during the 1950s.

The tune appears on Jackson's "Square Dance Tonight" album, released in 1957. Jarvis can be heard playing it on the Field Recorders' Collective album (FRC402), from the recordings of Jeff Goehring. Brose's recording of Jarvis can be heard on the Slippery-Hill website.

Jarvis plays "Tomahawk" in AEAE tuning and is credited for making the tune old-time. There's another variant usually attributed to Missouri fiddler Bob Holt, available on the 1998 Rounder release "Got a Little Home to Go To."

I took my first crack at "Tomahawk" on June 18. Below is my first attempted recording of the tune, which is only twice through because of a major flub in the third repeat of the A part. (Here's a link in case the embedded player doesn't work.) I'm pretty happy with the progress so far. I'll continue to refine my playing as I start working toward my next tune.

"Tomahawk" is the third tune of my Year of Ward Jarvis project. The previous two were "Head of the Creek" and "Icy Mountain." Next, I'll be moving on from AEAE tunes, to either "Three Forks of Reedy," "Pretty Little Indian" or "Cattle in the Cane," which I believe are all in standard GDAE tuning.

Considering this is supposed to be a banjo blog, I should mention that I've been transferring these tunes to the ol' five-string. Once of these days maybe I'll even provide recordings of my banjo interpretations. But that will have to wait until later.

As always, I appreciate any input on my playing. Thanks for reading and listening.

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