BUCK MOUNTAIN. Old-Time, Breakdown. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB' (Phillips, Silberberg): AA'BB (Songer). Buck Mountain is in northwestern Albermarle County, Virginia, the only peak in its vicinity and a fairly prominent local feature. The tune is sourced (by Pete Vigour) to a fiddler from Woodridge, in southern Albemarle County, Virginia, by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte "Uncle Nip" Chisholm, active in the 1930's. "Uncle Nip" derived his nickname from his drinking habits, says Vigour, and not from a shortening of his given name. The tune was popularized regionally by a group called the Virginia Vagabonds, formed in 1932, whose guitar player, Earl Smith, was related to Chisholm and learned the melody from him (the elderly fiddler was perhaps his great uncle). Remarkably, the Virginia Vagabonds survived as a band, with some original and near-original members, into the 21st century. Fiddler Armin Barnet, the source for the tune in The Portland Collection and who is credited with popularizing it among 'revival' fiddlers, went to graduate school in Charlottesville, N.C., in the early 1970's and picked up the tune from regional players. The Vagabonds, however, played the tune in the key of G Major with the parts reversed from the printed versions, and with a more old-fashioned feel, says Vigour.
Sources for notated versions: Pete Sutherland (Vermont) [Phillips]; Armin Barnett (Seattle) via Sally White (Scio, Oregon) [Songer]; Gary Moore (New Jersey) [Kuntz]; Peter Boveng [Silberberg].
Printed sources: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 39. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 18. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997; p. 41.
X:1 T:Buck Mountain M:2/4 L:1/8 S:Gary Moore Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz K:D |: d/B/ | AF/F/ Fd/c/ | BG/G/ Gc/d/ | e/f/e/d/ B/A/B/c/ | d/c/d/e/ f/d/d/B/ | A/FF/ FA/=c/ | BG/G/ Gc/d/ |e/f/e/d/ c/A/B/c/|d>e d:| (e |: f/)e/d/B/ A/B/d/d/ | (e/f)(e/ f)a/g/ | f/e/d/B/A/B/d/e/ | (e/f)(e/ f)e/f/ |1 g/f/g/f/ e/A/f | g>a ge/f/ | aa2b | a>b a(f :|2 g/f/g/f/ ec | a>b ae/f/|g/f/g/f/ e/A/c|d3||
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