Online liner notes on Nail That Catfish To The Tree / Forked Deer 


    The story I got on Steve Rosen’s 1985 composition, Nail That Catfish To The Tree, goes this way:  The author was on the banks of the Mississippi River watching a fisherman who hauled out, after a tremendous struggle, a huge channel catfish.

    Now, I mean catfish are ugly but a channel cat is that ugly and really big.  We’re talking 300-plus pounds or more!  Steve involuntarily exclaimed, “I wonder how you skin one of those monsters?”  The fisherman overheard and, without missing a beat, said…

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Online liner notes on Acres Of Clams / Rosin, The Beau 

    Acres Of Clams was written by Judge Francis D. Henry in 1874 in the Pacific Northwest.  The tune he used was that of a much older song, Rosin, The Beau.  Both the song and the tune have alternate titles such as The Old Settler’s Song and Rosin The Bow but these are the titles I like best.  There are many more verses but we shortened it down to the bare bones.

    Acres Of Clams was, for a little while, the state song of Washington State.  It was deemed too frivolous and disrespectful, however, and so…

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Online liner notes on Rustic Reel / Top O' Cork Road / Calliope House 


I got Rustic Reel from our collaborator and dance master, Dr. Briant Bohleke.  He has been invaluable in providing authentic period music for us to play at many Civil War dances.  He also provides authentic choreography for the dances, including the one that is the namesake of this tune.  His expert prompting and engaging teaching are always a treat to play behind.

Top O’ Cork Road is a great old dance tune from the Emerald Isle both Patty and I already knew from many sessions over the years.  I like…

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Online liner notes on Maggie In The Woods / Little Flower / The Year Of Jubilo 


        Maggie In The Woods is an old traditional Irish polka.  For some reason Irish musicians always seem to feel constrained to say “Kerry polka” when introducing polka sets even though almost every polka from Ireland is from County Kerry.  Who am I to mess with tradition?

        Little Flower is technically an American polka since I wrote it in 2010 while residing in Pennsylvania.  I did check with every Irish musician I came across for a year afterword to see if I was just remembering one of those…

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Online liner notes on Hard Times Come Again No More 

         “Hard Times Come Again No More: Published by Firth, Pond & Co., the song was copyrighted January 17, 1855, but the title page bears the date 1854.  It was probably published late in 1854 and then copyrighted in January 1855.

         Morrison Foster tells the story of Olivia Pise, a maid in the Foster household, who was a member of a church for coloured people.  He writes, ‘She was permitted to often take Stephen to church with her.  Here he stored up in his mind ‘many a gem of purest ray…

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Online liner notes on Linda's Schottische 

       Linda’s Schottische is a tune I’ve had for several years, going back to a now defunct Harrisburg-based band named Tea & Spice.  I don’t know who wrote it, for sure, or who Linda is but it’s a great melody that brought out my Norwegian / Swedish heritage a bit.  Everyone liked it so much we all wanted a piece of it; thus, everyone took a lead.  We played it a little down tempo for Civil War dancers who like to do a dance called “The Danish Dance” to this type of tune.

Online liner notes on Shove The Pigsfoot A Little Further In The Fire / Spotted Pony 

       Shove The Pigsfoot A Little Further In The Fire was featured in the movie Cold Mountain, a Nicole Kidman, Jude Law vehicle set in the southern US during the Civil War.  I first ran across it at a jam session in Elkins, WV in a set of tunes billed as “the animal cruelty set.”  The pigsfoot referenced in the title is a blacksmithing tool shaped like a pig’s foot, however.  No pigs were harmed in the making of this CD!

       Spotted Pony is another great Old Timey dance tune I got from Mike Rovine…

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Ragtime Annie Lesson