From the recording Paoli Junction Reel
If you’re reasonably familiar with the RF camp and the music I do, then you’ve probably heard tell of the new music I’ve been working on.
Lots of time lately spent studying and listening to a lot of Appalachian Folk, traditional Scottish and Irish music, and solo acoustic guitar. My thought has been to put together a collection of songs that take all of these elements and fuses them together into a Scots-Irish-Appalachian style of rustic guitar instrumentals. (Now that’s a mouthful.) This will also work together with a lot of the local/regional historical research I’ve been doing too (more on that to come).
The result is a new CD project entitled “Down Home in the Promised Land”, coming soon. Down Home will feature songs that celebrate the rural and traditional people, places and images, locally, nearby and otherwise, that are a part of my life and experiences and memories. Places that mean something to me. People who have influenced me. Things that have a unique connection for me. And hopefully, the song titles and resulting music will bring to mind your own set of similar thoughts and memories.
“Down Home in the Promised Land”, the entire CD collection, is due to release later this year, but we’ll be highlighting individual tracks, one at a time, as we get them recorded and mastered.
“Paoli Junction Reel” is one of the songs from this collection.
If you’re from or familiar with Madison County, GA, then you surely know where Paoli Junction is. We used to live right up the road from there…beautiful area. Very surreal and wide-open. Then the old building/store sitting there on the corner. (I understand that it may have once been an old school house.) Paoli has a ton of history behind it and it is one the most iconic names and locations in the Madison County and surrounding areas.
This is very simply recorded, done in the traditional style of a single instrument. Much of the traditional rural music was made on whatever instrument the person or family happened to have. And in an era and area of little money and even “littler” frivolity, it might be a luxury to even have a musical instrument, much less two or three. So a “band” was many times, just out of the question. But a lot of the vernacular music was highly melodic and could “carry itself” so to speak, with or without the accompaniment of other players.
“Paoli Junction Reel” is heavily Irish influenced, obviously, and my guitar is tuned to DADGAD, which is one of the more popular traditional tunings for Scots-Irish folk and some Southern American (Mountain) Folk songs. The tuning is a moot point however, being that it is also played only on one string, throughout. Another testament to the resourcefulness of early families who could make the most of any situation…even one that only gave you one string to play on.