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MP3 Jim Wood and John Hartford - The Bullies Have All Gone To Rest

Jim and John perform classic banjo-fiddle duets.

18 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk

The fiddle music of a given area tells a story. If you listen carefully, you can hear not only the story of the people and their joys and sorrows but the story of the land itself. Fiddle music seems to spring forth from the living earth as God calls creation to arise and celebrate life, and a fiddler''s job is to give some tangible form and expression to this creative energy so others in his community can share in this celebration. As remuneration, fiddlers are given the opportunity to experience the inherent satisfaction of playing the fiddle. This line of work requires some special attributes such as humility, respect for tradition, imagination, the willingness to perfect the craft, and the desire to have a good time. John and I both owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the older musicians who possess these attributes and who have guided us along the right path.

John has a special group of folks from Missouri who have inspired him over the years, but this recording is really the story of some of the old-time musicians in and around Williamson County here in Middle Tennessee. Some of the big names, the stars of fiddling, so to speak, such as Howdy Forrester, Arthur Smith, and Paul Warren, were from my neck of the woods, and John and I certainly have learned a bunch from these fellows, but the values of traditional music I have learned from some

I must thank my dad, Jimmy Wood, first and foremost; I grew up exposed to music through his playing with local string bands and bluegrass musicians. Before I got Fairview, where I grew up). We have gone to a couple hundred fiddle contests together over the years, and he is still one of my favorite guitarists.

I did not understand what was happening when I was a kid, but some of the local musicians gave me exactly what I needed most. I learned not only new tunes and style but friendship and the way music connects everybody and everything together. I do not have the space here to tell the stories I want to tell about the talent, generosity, and humanity of the many friends with whom I have had the time of my life; all I can do here is mention a few names and say special thanks to Bennie Pewitt, Edward Pewitt, Lloyd "Pee Wee" Buttrey, W. T. Mangrum, Vester Turman, Benton Sullivan, Frazier Moss, Sam Liggett, Shorty Mangrum, Mitch Neely, Ernest Ferguson, Richard Hoffman, Charlie Turner, Clyde Hartman, and Billy Womack. I also need thank two of Nashville''s top studio fiddlers, who are largely responsible for my being a professional musician: Buddy Spicher and Hoot Hester. These fellows lived close to me when I first started playing, and I had the best role models I could have dreamed of knowing.

John Hartford has given me so much over the years that I cannot begin to thank him enough. His direction and production experience gave shape to this entire project. John is intensely creative and inspirational, and at the time of this recording he was seriously ill battling a life-threatening bout with cancer. He has since recovered, and his strong commitment to life is evident in every note he plays. No one loves old-time music more than John.

John and I recorded this live to two-track with no studio funny business; we simply set up a stereo pair of microphones between us and let it rip. What you hear is the two of us playing the way we do with funkiness and all. This is a musical snap shot of a couple of afternoons in Fairview, Tennessee in the spring of 1997; capturing the right feeling was the sole criteria by which all cuts were selected. (By the way, Edward Pewitt, pictured on the right of the cover, dropped into the studio to assist in the vibe.)

This recording is dedicated to my mom, Faye, who passed away not long after we finished. Thanks also to Inge Schlager for her support. Thanks, ultimately, to God for all gifts, music being amongst them.

John wishes to thank Marie Hartford, Earl Scruggs, Gene Goforth, Benny Martin, Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor, Lawrence Haley, and Jim Wood.


Jim Wood

Christmas 1997

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