New Book: Play Me Something Quick and Devilish

Play Me Something Quick and DevilishOur very own Dr. Howard Marshall has released a new book, “Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Old-Time Fiddlers in Missouri,” published by the University of Missouri Press.

From the University Press:

“Play Me Something Quick and Devilish” explores the heritage of traditional fiddle music in Missouri. Howard Wight Marshall considers the place of homemade music in people’s lives across social and ethnic communities from the late 1700s to the World War I years and into the early 1920s. This exceptionally important and complex period provided the foundations in history and settlement for the evolution of today’s old-time fiddling.

Beginning with the French villages on the Mississippi River, Marshall leads us chronologically through the settlement of the state and how these communities established our cultural heritage. Other core populations include the “Old Stock Americans” (primarily Scotch-Irish from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia), African Americans, German-speaking immigrants, people with American Indian ancestry (focusing on Cherokee families dating from the Trail of Tears in the 1830s), and Irish railroad workers in the post–Civil War period. These are the primary communities whose fiddle and dance traditions came together on the Missouri frontier to cultivate the bounty of old-time fiddling enjoyed today.

The physical version of the book includes a fantastic CD produced by Voyager Records featuring 39 tunes from Missouri fiddlers such as George Morris, Art Galbraith, Gene Goforth, Taylor McBaine, Pete McMahan, Warren Helton and Travis Inman.

Isabelle Waltz

Players: Warren Helton, fiddle; Howard Marshall, banjo; David Cavins, guitar

Warren’s father, Vernon Helton, often played this at dances in Brinktown; the tune is related to an untitled central Missouri melody called “Kemp’s Waltz,” or “Norma Lou’s Waltz.” Recorded by David Cavins. Included on the “Play Me Something Quick and Devilish” CD.

Golden Eagle Hornpipe

Players: George Morris, fiddle; Dan Foster, accordion

From a 1955 recording. Included on the “Play Me Something Quick and Devilish” accompanying CD. Courtesy Charlie Walden.

Monkey in the Dog Cart

Players: Jim Herd, fiddle; Laura Smith, banjo; Vivian Williams, guitar; Phil Williams, bass

Recorded by Phil Williams at a jam session at Weiser, ID, during the week-long National Contest. Included on the “Play me something Quick and Devilish” CD. Courtesy Voyager Records.

It’s available directly from the University Press and from online retailers, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.