Briarpicker Brown

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Briarpicker Brown

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  1H653 5525
 Also known as    
 Composer/Core Source    
 Region    United States
 Genre/Style    Old-Time
 Meter/Rhythm    Reel (single/double)
 Key/Tonic of    D
 Accidental    2 sharps
 Mode    Ionian (Major)
 Time signature    4/4
 Structure    AA'BB'
 Editor/Compiler    David Brody
 Book/Manuscript title    Fiddler's Fakebook (The)
 Tune and/or Page number    p. 56
 Year of publication/Date of MS    1983
 Artist    Buddy Thomas
 Title of recording    Kitty Puss - Old Time Fiddle Music From Kentucky
 Record label/Catalogue nr.    Rounder 0032
 Year recorded    1976

BRIARPICKER BROWN. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA; Ky., Ohio. D Major. Standard or ADae tunings (fiddle). AABB. Presumably one picks briars as a consequence of hunting; either from oneself, or from any canines involved. It should be noted that 'briar' and 'briar-hopper' were a derogatory terms for whites from Kentucky and West Virginia (from the briar bushes found in Appalachian states) who came to look for work in the factories of Ohio. The melody is known as a Kentucky tune in modern times, largely due to an influential recording by fiddler Buddy Thomas (who died at age 39 in the mid-1970's). Thomas had the tune from an elderly Portsmouth, Ohio, fiddler named Morris Allen. The tune structurally resembles West Virginia fiddler Clark Kessinger's "Everyone to the Puncheon," and Allen was in fact a friend of Kessinger. Jeff Titon (2001) points out the low part of the tune is the same as that of the English country dance melody "Rose Tree (The)."

Sources for notated versions: Norman Blake (Ga.) [Brody]; Bill Christopherson (Conn.) [Phillips]; Buddy Thomas (Emerson, Lewis County, Ky.), 1974 [Titon].

Printed sources: Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 56. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 36. Silberberg (Tunes I Leaned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 16. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; pg. 41. Titon (Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 16, p. 49.

Recorded sources: Flying Fish FF 266, Malcolm Dalglish & Grey Larsen- "Thunderhead" (1982). Rounder 0032, Buddy Thomas (Northeastern Ky.) - "Kitty Puss - Old Time Fiddle Music From Kentucky" (1976). Rounder 0122, Norman Blake- "The Rising Fawn String Ensemble." Rounder 0172, Bob Carlin - "Where Did You Get That Hat?" (1982).

See also listing at: Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1].

T:Briar Picker Brown
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
fe | d2B2A2F2 | ABAF E2 AB | d2 dd edeg | fedA BABc | 
d2B/d/BA2F2 | ABAF E2 FE | D2 dA Bded | [de] [d2f2] [de] [d2f2] :|
|: de | f2 af a2 aa | beae fe d2 | f af a2 ff | eBdB ABde | 
f2 af a2 aa | beae fdBd | fgfe dBAB | e d2d [d2f2 ] :|
T:Briar Picker Brown
S:Buddy Thomas
N:From a transcription by John Lamancusa, by permission. See
Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion
AB |: d2 (3BcB A2F2 | ABAF D2D2 | dcdf edea | fedA (3BcB AB | 
dABd A2 FG | ABAF DB,A,D | ABdf Bc d2 |1 e2 [(d2f2][d2)f2] AB :|2 
e2 [(d2f2][d2)f2] fg ||: a2 ab a2f2 | bfaf eafg | a2 ab a2f2 | 
e2d2 BdAA | a2aba2f2 | abaf edge | fedB A2 Bd |1 e2 [(d2f2][d2)f2] fg :|2 e2 [(d2f2][d4)f4]||