Billy in the Lowground

I’m thinking that one of the highest insults you can pay a banjoist is to ask “What was that tune?” when they stop playing, when all the while it was Soldier’s Joy.  That’s one of the first things I ever liked about the banjo,  how the melody gets cooked into a casserole of counter melodies, so even “Three Blind Mice” would sound fresh… But it’s been a while since I’ve spent a lot of time with a banjo player who does this trick so masterfully.  Seems like when Matt Evans plays, even the old tunes sound new again, like I’m hearing them for the first time.  So today’s magic tune was Billy in the Lowground.  I’m a goober for not recognizing it, but when Matt plays tunes in the key of C, I just assume it could be anything.  We played it beautifully inside the house, and then relocated to the great outdoors and tried to recreate the moment.  It’s just not the same when I actually know that I know the tune we’re playing.  But anyway, it’s a nice version all the same.  Perfect weather in Chattanooga today for the key of C.

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4 responses to “Billy in the Lowground”

  1. Phil says :

    Great piece, but I’d love to know what you are looking at in the distance for the first 30 seconds or so 🙂

    Also, I have a feeling you emailed or otherwise messaged me recently, but I can’t find any such record so if there was a question in there, sorry for not responding 🙂

  2. dulcimergirl says :

    Hey Phil!
    I was watching my neighbor come out of his house with his iPod, wearing flip flops, and smoking a cigar. He definitely had the look of a guy about to jump into some yardwork, and sure enough, he was getting the lawnmower ready… How’s this for good neighbors, though? He came over and quietly listened to us until we were finished because he noticed we were recording. What a guy!

  3. fiddlepitch says :

    Beautiful! I listened to it once through and had to take my fiddle back out of its case.

    I also really appreciate this: “Listening truly is an act of love”.

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