Muddy Water (2)

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MUDDY WATER [2]. Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Arkansas. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. No similarities to "Muddy Water (1)." The title appears in a list of traditional Ozarks Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. Randolph may have been referring to either or both the "Muddy Waters" tune played by Frank Waters (although most Mid-west fiddlers know that tune by the title "Malindy" or "Old Melinda") or the (present) Skeeter Walden tune. "Skeeter Jim" Walden was an elderly fiddler recorded in the field in 1951 by Irene Carlisle and Dow West. He earned his nickname as a young boy, who, as his permanent teeth had not grown in, garbled the pronunciation of 'skeeter plane' and was teased for it. Also, in 1951, Mary Celestia Parler (1904-1981), folklorist wife of Vance Randolph traveled to Busch and made field recordings of Walden, and Vance Randolph himself interviewed Walden in 1953 . "Muddy Water (2)" was one of some 90 tunes recorded, however, the tune was identified at the time by the fieldworker as "General Clayborn," while Walden himself introduces it as "Muddy Waters" on the recording.

Source for notated version: Jim 'Skeeter' Walden (1879-1956, Busch, north Arkansas, just south of the Missouri line) [Beisswenger & McCann].

Printed sources: Beisswenger & McCann (Ozarks Fiddle Music), 2008; p. 153.

Recorded sources:




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