Archive for the ‘Jeb Puryear’ Category

Money in Both Pockets

June 8, 2014

Jeb Puryear (fiddle), Richie Stearns (banjo), Jordan Puryear (guitar), Shane Lamphier (mandolin)

Growing up in Ithaca, New York, I heard old-time music a lot, saw it played, danced for hours to it. As a boy who liked to shake it, I was drawn to its energy and menace, the dark, hypnotic beat the bands could set up and let spin for hours. I watched the musicians start up a tune and get possessed by it, their bodies contorting, their eyes rolling back in their heads. (from

Fiddler Jeb Puryear began fiddling in the 1970s in the Ithaca, NY area, surrounded by the best of 1970s upstate New York old time fiddling:  John Specker, Danny Kornblum, Walt Koken, Bob Potts, Bob Naess, Sandy Stark, Tara Nevins, and (later) Judy Hyman.  His approach also seems influenced, in spirit, by Earl Johnson, Georgia fiddler of the 1920s and 1930s.

“Money in Both Pockets” was first recorded Feb. 20, 1929 in NYC by Charlie Bowman and His Brothers.  It comprises part of a skit including two fiddle tunes called “A Moonshiner and His Money.”






Jeb Puryear and Mark Olitsky

June 17, 2013

John Brown’s Dream: The Devil is Dead

October 30, 2012
by  Jesse J. Gant (

On December 8, 1859, Brown was buried near his small cabin at North Elba, New York, following his one-week journey from the gallows at Harper’s Ferry.  Blacks and whites, men and women, came together in the Adirondacks to remember and mourn those executed for the raid on Harper’s Ferry.  Yet we rarely associate John Brown and the other conspirators in the raid with the hills and valleys of his upstate New York farm.

The lands near North Elba deserve space alongside the other frames of John Brown’s life–Harper’s Ferry and Bloody Kansas. On December 8, 1859, Brown’s body returned for the last time to a farm he had purchased in 1849.

Though the majority of Americans remain unfamiliar with this story, Brown had purchased the property with the explicit intention of living with and among freed African Americans, whom he hoped he could help in farming and living sustainably on the land.

The Adirondack lands were made available through the efforts of wealthy abolitionist Gerrit Smith, who hoped to distribute his lands to freed people. Brown believed that living in an interracial society was the most important step in overturning slavery.

John Brown’s memory is still alive in the hills and valleys of upstate New York. 

Listen to this tribute to John Brown played by Jeb Puryear, of Trumansburg, NY : “John Brown’s Dream”
                                                                                                                     Jeb Puryear