Flat Foot in the Ashes

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FLAT FOOT IN THE ASHES. Old-Time. USA, central West Virginia. GDgd tuning (fiddle). The tune appears to have been common in Braxton County and other areas of central West Virginia. It was mentioned by William Byrne who described a chance encounter with West Virginia fiddler 'Old Sol' Nelson during a fishing trip on the Elk River. The year was around 1880, and Sol, whom Byrne said was famous for his playing "throughout the Elk Valley from Clay Courthouse to Sutton as...the Fiddler of the Wilderness," had brought out his fiddle after supper to entertain (Milnes, 1999). The reel is mentioned in William Christian Dodhill's book Moccasin tracks and other imprints (1915, p. 62):

Colonel Isaac Gregory settled on the Gauley just above the mouth of Beaver Run in 1800. On the hill overlooking the Gauley, he erected a two-story log house of hewed timber by thirty-six feet, with a cellar underneath, walled with cut stone. A large crowd of people came from Greenbriar, Bath, and Allegheny counties to "the hanging of the crane." The first meeting of Free Masons in Central West Virginia was held in the house at that time. After the meeting the women and children were invited in and all joined in a regular "Old Virginia hoe-down." To the music of two violins playing such lively tunes as "Leather Breeches" and "Flat Foot in the Ashes" they danced until daylight.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources: Augusta Heritage Records AHR 004C, Harvey Sampson & Big Possum String Band - "Flat Foot in the Ashes" (1986/1994. Learned from Noah Cottrell, Calhoun County, W.Va.).

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