Blackjack Grove: Walter McNew (cassette tape, $8.00)
Walter McNew is a fiddler from Rockcastle County, Kentucky. As a boy, he listened to his father, a telegraph operator for the L&N Railroad, play late into the night at the train depot. His music idol, however, was Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts from Madison County.
As a young man, Walter won a fiddle contest in Louisville but passed up a chance to enter show business on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, preferring to lead a quiet life at home. Walter’s music reflects a mixture of styles but stands apart from “modern” or “contest” fiddling commonly heard today.
Some rare tunes like Blackjack Grove and Pinetop are included, and Doc Roberts’ fans will be amazed to hear Walter’s rendition of pieces like All I’ve Got’s Done Gone and Brickyard Joe. Also included: Cluck Old Hen, The Cat Came Back, Rickett’s Hornpipe, Waynesburg, Billy in the Lowground, The Lost Girl, Hawk Caught a Chicken, Martha Campbell, Callahan, Dreamy Georgiana Moon, Goodnight Waltz, Mamie Potts’ Schottische, and ten other great fiddle solos. Field recordings and liner notes by Stephen Green.