Old Long Island was a hotbed of tunes, and there are at least two collections to prove it: William Sidney Mount (1807-1868), the famous painter of The Banjo Player and The Bones Player, was also a fiddler; his collection spans music from English marches, Irish jigs, to tunes learned from the minstrel stage and from black fiddlers. The collection of Bellport’s Captain Isaac Homan (1816-1901) — recently uncovered by Dave Ruch — also contains a huge variety of tunes—reels, hornpipes, cotillions, waltzes, and much more. Both reflect the intense swirl of influences upon fiddlers living near the growing vortex of New York City in the mid-Nineteenth century. This workshop is brought to Old Songs by the Folk Music Society of New York, Inc.
One of America’s most respected collectors and interpreters of traditional music, Jeff Davis has traveled far to visit “source singers”–farmers and miners who remembered the old songs and tunes — and closer at hand to libraries and archives, always looking for the best of the music that was once common in our towns and villages. Jeff plays fiddle, banjo, mandocello, guitar, spoons, jaw’s harps and a few instruments hand-made by folk craftsmen. His repertoire includes New England ballads sea songs, African-American banjo tunes, cowboy ditties, rare Yankee fiddle tunes and more. jeffdavismusician.com