The first time I heard this tune, Snowbird, I was sitting in the all-purpose room of an elementary school in Gainsborough, England, and the guy playing it was a fiddle/banjo player from Vermont. I had recorded it then, back in 2004 with just me and him playing it, and have loved the tune ever since. But I’ve never found anyone else who knows it, so I’ve kept it to myself, just played it maybe a few times on my own, but never in a session… until yesterday. Fred, Ouida, and I paid a visit to Lucy Long’s cabin at the Breakin’ Up Winter festival in Lebanon, TN. We brought instruments and the birthday bourbon, sat down and had us a few great tunes. Luke of Lawrenceburg was also there pulling out all kinds of tricks on the guitar, banjo, and harmonica. I was so delighted when Lucy started playing Snowbird!
I recorded it on my iPod, experimenting for the first time with the new Belkin recording attachment I just got for it. I wasn’t using an external mic, although I think it would sound better if I had. Still, not a bad job for just a little guy.
What do I like so much about this tune? It’s rather plain… not crooked, not in the key of A, no surprise key changes in the second part… I don’t really get what gets me about it, but I’m got. It’s a sweet tune.