Tunes from the Thumb (MSOTFA 120)

by Edward Kranz - Michigan Fiddler

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about

This recording is from a five-inch reel recorded September 28. 1972. It features unaccompanied fiddle playing by Michigan's Edward Kranz. Traditional music aficionado Paul Gifford recorded Kranz and has provided s few tracks at his website: www.giffordmusic.net. He also indicates that Kranz was born 15 Oct. 1912 in Sherman Twp., Huron Co., Mich., and died 18 June 2003 at Harbor Beach. He also remarked that Kranz was an admirer of Don Messer and that he once had a regular radio show at a "Thumb" radio station. The "Thumb" by the way, is that region of the lower peninsula in the northeast that looks like a thumb!

The material presented presents a good example of old-time fiddling of the early to mid-20th century in the upper Midwest and is reminiscent of the playing of Uncle Bob Walters of Nebraska. This approach to playing is characterized stylistically by clean, separated noting with an emphasis on melodic interpretation rather than bow shuffling as in styles associated with Appalachia. The repertoire contains numerous tunes in 6/8 time, some waltzes, and reels & hornpipes, which bear the hallmarks of those found in published collections of tunes from the mid to late 1800s. This music of the Victorian era is another important distinguishing characteristic of Midwestern fiddle playing. Books such as Ryan's Mammouth Collection (later published as Cole's 100 Fiddle Tunes) and various violin tutorial books distributed with thousands of mail-order violins spread these complex medolies throughout the region.

This tape is from the field recordings collection of Delores "Fiddlin' Dee" DeRyke of Lincoln, Nebraska. Ms. DeRyke was an avid promoter and collector of field recordings. Among her methods was to send blank tapes to fiddlers she met or heard of and ask them to fill the tape with their favorite tunes. Dozens of players from all corners of North America responded.

MSOTFA obtained these original reel-to-reel recordings, several boxes full, from Jack Shaw of Lincoln who bought them at an estate auction. We have painstakingly digitized and processed the material for your listening enjoyment and educational pursuits.

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released May 7, 2016

Digitized by Charlie Walden for MSOTFA May 7, 2016.

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Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association Missouri

The Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association works to promote and preserve the traditional fiddle music of Missouri and the surrounding region. Your purchase here supports those activities.

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