Heritage captures the music of early America, featuring the ballads and toe-tapping dance tunes that livened up social gatherings in the back woods and along the expanding frontier.
Using authentic arrangements and instrumentation of fiddle, banjo, guitar, whistle, spoons and other percussion implements, this trio reintroduces the "handmade" music of the 18th and early 19th centuries to a 21st century audience.
As you listen to the music, imagine sitting by a remote campfire or on a front porch in the backwoods, or attending a frolic or barn raising on the early American frontier.
Welcome to our Musical History Tour.
- St. Anne's Reel / Liberty St. Anne's is of French Canadian origin and played here in honor of the voyageurs who plied the waters of North America, including the the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and who claimed St. Anne as their patron saint; Liberty is an American fiddle tune played here in honor of colonists who fought for independence from the tyranny of imperial rule
- Old French another French Canadian tune, dedicated to Pierre Cruzatte, the one-eyed fiddler with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's Corps of Discovery and the man who shot Capt. Lewis in the buttocks after mistaking him for an elk
- Rosin the Bow a ballad of European origin (claimed by the Irish and British) and introduced to the United States in 1838; also known as Old Rosin, the Beau, several politicians, including Abraham Lincoln, adopted the melody for their campaigns
- Leather Britches / Ebenezer Leather Britches dates from the late 18th century, said to be derived from the Scottish tune, Lord McDonald's Reel, 1790; as the name suggests, it reflects the buckskin clothing we wear, or it may refer to dried beans; Ebenezer, also known as West Virginia Highway, is said to have originated in what is now West Virginia
- The Gum Tree Canoe mintrel song written by S.S. Steele, Esq., and first published in 1847 in Boston
- Sally Ann traditional song and dance tune; also known as Sail Away Ladies
- Coming Through the Canebreak (to Shoot the Buffalo) / Mississippi Sawyer Canebreak (or Canebrake) comes from the playing of California fiddler Mel Durham; Mississippi Sawyer is thought to be of French origin, derived from the Downfall of Paris, which dates from the French revolution (1789), and one legend claims the tune was renamed after being played at the 1839 opening of a sawmill on the shore of the Mississippi River in western Kentucky
- Shenandoah also known as Across the Wide Missouri, this 19th century folk song tells the tale of a trader, possibly a French-Canadian voyageur, who courts an Indian chief's daughter; we dedicate this song to Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who joined Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery at a Mandan village on the upper Missouri River in 1805 and later helped save the expedition from a potential massacre
- Cuffy / Turkey in the Straw Cuffy is known as 19th century minstrel tune, with the title an English derivation of "Kofi," a traditional name of the Ewe tribe in Ghana (east Africa); the ancestry of Turkey in the Straw reaches back to the old country, having similarities to 18th century Scottish and Irish reels and in the U.S. often played for the Virginia Reel, a contra-style dance popular at the time
- Flop-Eared Mule / Grasshopper Sittin’ on a Sweet Potato Vine Flop-Eared Mule is of disputed ancestry, with melodic themes reminiscent of 19th century polkas, schottisches and quadrilles ranging from the Ukraine to Ireland to the southern United States, but there is no dispute over its popularity; the lesser-known Grasshopper SPV comes from the playing of Luther Davis (1887-1986) of Galax,Virginia
- Gentle Maiden / Pretty Maid Milking Her Cow Irish airs/waltzes
- Golden Vanity 17th century British folk song/sea chantey that may have originally been about Sir Walter Raleigh
- Soldier’s Joy dating from the mid-18th century, this is still one of the most popular fiddle tunes; also known as Payday in the Army
- Damon’s Winder / Yellow Barber a pair of hoedowns believed to have originated in Kentucky; a "winder" (pronounced "wine-der") was a snake-like line dance popular in 19th century America; the term "yellow barber" refers to a mulatto barber at a time when barbers were also known to be dance fiddlers
- Wayfaring Stranger 18th century spiritual ballad thought to be of British origin; it's within the "shaped note" or Sacred Harp repertoire and remains popular today
- Greensleeves / Manitoulin Thunder (© 2001, Larry Edwards) we call this our Shakespeare Set, which blends the old with the new: the 16th century melody Greensleeves, attributed to England's King Henry VIII, serves as the prelude to Manitoulin Thunder, composed by Larry "Friar" Edwards during a thunderstorm at Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada, in 2001, with the minor/modal melody based on the traditions of its forebears
Larry "Friar" Edwards
Chuck "Strummer" Preble
guitar, banjo, mandolin, flutes, vocals
Mike "Hat Man" Robinson
spoons, washboard, tambourine, vocals
The Heritage trio is dedicated to perpetuating the rich tradition of the music of the early American frontier. The group has been performing together since 1999.
Recorded at Friar's Roost
Produced by Heritage
Arrangements © 2011, Chuck Preble and Larry Edwards
Manitoulin Thunder © 2001, Larry Edwards
The Heritage CD is available from:
What people are saying about the Heritage CD ...
LOVE IT. The CD is amazing such perfect and clear sounds, like I am having one great lesson after another. That is such a bonus. Everyone will enjoy it and I can't wait to see you in person. Good Job !!! :)
Nancy B., San Diego, CA
We love it. Your music gives my soldiers happy feet. They can't stand still.
Commanding Officer, Civil War reenactment unit
I gave my husband your CD this a.m. for his birthday and he LOVES it. He was playing it while he was eating breakfast. I expect to hear a lot of it, which is good, cause I like it too.
Cathy L., Carlsbad, CA
My bandmates love your outfits on the cover of the album as well as the music.
Judi G., Jerusalem, Israel
I listen to it in the morning on the way to work. It's my cheer-me-up music.
Bobbie C., Spokane, WA
For additional information or bookings, contact:
Larry "Friar" Edwards
(858) 292-9232 (San Diego, Calif.)
Chuck "Strummer" Preble|
(760) 765-2827 (Julian, Calif.)
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Copyright © , Larry M Edwards