Nail that Catfish to a Tree

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NAIL THAT CATFISH TO A TREE. Old-Time, Breakdown. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB' (Songer). A modern composition (1985) by the band Volo Bogtrotter's member Steve Rosen [1] who wrote the tune on a fishing vacation to Florida. It seems he received advice from an old black man on how to clean catfish, notoriously difficult because of their tough skin -- 'nail its head to a tree and pull the skin off with pliers'. The tune has become quite popular among old-time fiddlers, especially in the Mid-West. Interestingly, in the southern tip of Indiana, pan-fried catfish are known as 'fiddlers'. The reel has become a staple of the old-time fiddle repertory.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 146.

Recorded sources: The Volo Bogtrotters - "The Volo Bogtrotters"

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Hear/see the Volo Bogtrotters playing the tune, c. 1985, on youtube [3]
Hear Steve Rosen's clip of himself playing the tune [4]




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