Bull at the Wagon

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X:1 T:Bull at the Wagon S:The Lewis Brothers (Dempson & Denmon) M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel N:Charles Wolfe (The Devil's Box" 1997, p. p. 43). says that "Bull at the Wagon" is related N:to Clark Kessinger's "Red Bird" and "Billy Wilson." D:County Records CD 3524, Lewis Brothers - "Old Time Texas String Bands, vol. 2" D:Victor V-40172 (78 RPM), The Lewis Brothers (July, 1929, El Paso, Tx.) F:https://www.slippery-hill.com/recording/bull-wagon-0 Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:A (3EFG [E2A2] |: AB|cecA cecA |ceag fecA|BcBA BcBA|Bcfg fecB| cecA cecB |AAce ecBA|[E3B3]e agfe|cABG A2:| |:+slide+[A2A2]-|[AA]cee agfb|gefg fecA|fgfe cBAF|B2FB- B2 (3EFG| Acee agfb|gefg fecA|fgfe cBAG|A2[GA]-[A2A2]:| |:A,2-|A,6 A,C|B,6B,2|EFGA Bcdf|edce Aec2| A,6 A,C|B,6B,2|EFGA BcdB|cABA A2:|]



BULL AT THE WAGON. American, Reel (cut or 2/4 time). USA; Texas, Oklahoma. A Major. Standard or AEae (Lewis Brothers) tunings (fiddle). AABBCC. Recorded in El Paso, Texas, by the Lewis Brothers (Dempson, b. 1891, on fiddle and Denmon on guitar [1]) for Victor in July, 1929, who are the source for the reel. Oklahoma fiddler Earl Collins learned his version from the Lewis Brothers (or, as some say, from Tom Sauber), but altered it somewhat, especially in the 'A' part. See also the related tunes "Karo" and "Red Bird."

Dempson Lewis, 1959

The Lewis Brothers were originally from San Antonio, Texas, although the family relocated to Crow Flat, New Mexico, in 1902, when they were still boys. Denmon Lewis (1894-1977) played the guitar but also played the fiddle. In 1969, when interviewed by Charles Faurot for liner notes to County Records 517 ("Texas Farewell: Texas Fiddlers 1922-1930") at the age of 75, he still worked daily on his cattle ranch in Otero County, New Mexico. Isaac Dempson "Demp" Lewis (1890-1960) was the duo's primary fiddler on recordings but they both played the instrument for local dances and organized dances at Liberty Hall, El Paso. It was through an entrepreneurial woman who ran some of these dances that they were introduced to the Victor A & R representative, who had the duo record four sides on July, 11th, 1929 (all of which were released), including their most famous tune, "Bull at the Wagon."


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Dempson Lewis (Texas) [Brody]; Earl Collins (Oklahoma) [Milliner & Koken, Phillips]; Hank Bradley (Seattle) [Silberberg].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 58. Clare Milliner & Walk Koken (The Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes), 2011; p. 86. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; p. 41. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 19. Welling (Welling's Hartford Tunebook), 1976; p. 1.

Recorded sources : - Briar 0798, Earl Collins- "That's Earl" (learned in 1966 from a 78 RPM recording of the Lewis Brothers) {1975}. County 517, Dempson and Denmon Lewis- "Texas Farewell." Heritage 054, The Hotmud Family - "Brandywine '83: The Music of French America" (1984). Rounder 0320, Bob Carlin & John Hartford - "The Fun of Open Discussion."

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear the Lewis Brothers' 1929 recording at Slippery Hill [3] and youtube.com [4]
Hear Earl Collins' 1975 recording at Slippery Hill [5]



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