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MP3 Camp Lincoln String Band - Counting Stitches

Historic 19th century string band music from before and during the American Civil War, with minstrel, Celtic, and oldtime Appalacian mountain influences, featuring authentic oldtime banjo, flute, fiddle, bones, and vocals.

19 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, COUNTRY: Country Folk

What fire doesn''t destroy, it hardens, and gives shape and definition. The American Civil War, the great crucible of American history, was just such a fiery force, not only with men, women, and ideas, but with music as well.
The Civil War was profound in the way it gathered Americans together -- sometimes by the hundreds of thousands -- in Army camps, aboard Navy warships, in hospitals, and at bustling railroad stations. For the first time, the Civil War brought people together in such numbers from tidewater shacks and plantation mansions, from hamlets in New England, from hollers in Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, from the hills and farms of Wisconsin, from the prairies of Minnesota and Kansas, and from the recently cleared forests of Missouri. They also came from across the Atlantic -- from Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe, where they fled from famine and religious persecution, or were simply searching for a better life for themselves and their families.
In the course of human history, few events before the American Civil War blended so many people from different backgrounds together, where they shared their experiences, their passions, and their languages. They also shared their instruments and their songs. The result is a unique art form that we now call American music. This music, heard in the mid-19th century around Civil War campfires, on farms, in cities, along the rivers, and on emigrant wagon trains, echoes its most profound influences -- the blackface minstrel shows, river boatmen''s songs, plantation tunes, jigs and reels from Ireland, New England contra dances, and the lonesome notes of a mysterious fiddler wafting down from the hills of Appalachia.
Here, then, is Counting Stitches from the Camp Lincoln String Band, a group of musical historians and re-enactors from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This collection of tunes and songs from the American Civil War might have been heard in Civil War army camps from Maine to Mississippi, from Georgia to Missouri, and on to the Western territories.
This collection of music is the second venture of the Camp Lincoln String Band into the music of 19th century America. Band members have attempted to capture the different presentations of the band as around the campfire, in the concert ball, and in the front parlor. These were the popular songs of the American public from the era of the Civil War.

The tunes are:

1. Keemo Kimo
Author and composer are unknown today, but among the first performers of the tune Geo. Christy and Wood''s Minstrels in 1854. This classic nonsense song was popular on the minstrel stage in the mid-19th century, and was heard often around Civil War campfires on both sides.

2. Feed Her Candy (and tell Her Lies)
Comes from an old traditional Eastern Kentucky mountain fiddle tune best known as "Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy."

3. Jine The Cavalry
The song became associated with General J.E.B. Stuart of the Confederate cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, and was probably sung quite often in his camp, if not by Stuart, then by his personal musician, Sam Sweeney. Sam''s older brother, Joel, is credited with inventing the American banjo.

4. Do They Miss Me At Home
Published in 1852 by S.M. Grannis ... and affectionately dedicated "to the circle at home." Mrs. S.M. Grannis collaborated with lyricist Charles W. Glover. It is uncertain, from the lyrics, if the singer is separated from family or is calling from the "great beyond." A typically morbid bit of Victorian sentiment set to a lively tune.

5. Arkansas Traveler/Turkey In The Straw
Printed in New York, circa 1850, with the words credited to David Stevens. It was later reprinted in The Arkansas Traveler''s Songster (1864) with credit given to Mose Case as author and composer. In 1896 Century Magazine credited the music to Jose Tasso, a famous fiddler of the time.
The Arkansas Traveler was a hit play in the mid 1850s in the taverns of Salem, Ohio, where travelers stayed. In the play a traveler finds a squatter at a cabin playing this tune. The squatter is having trouble remembering the end of the tune, which he learned in New Orleans. The entire play revolves around the squatter''s efforts to remember the end of the tune and it is played in different keys to different times with much improvisation. The play would vary according to the skill of the musicians and their ability to improvise.
Other sources, however, credit the words and music to Colonel Sandford C. Faulkner, who died in 1875 -- a "well-known Arkansas character." The story revolves around Faulkner, who was traveling on a political mission in Pope County, Arkansas, in 1840 when he met a mountain fiddler who figures in the song. Faulkner told the tale at banquets and in barrooms. It was often repeated and Faulkner himself became known as the Arkansas Traveler. Several pictures of the Arkansas Traveler were done, and the likeness is that of Col. Faulkner. The play Kit, the Arkansas Traveler, by Edward Spencer of Baltimore, was first performed in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1869. Wrecker''s Daughter:
Made popular as a result of a theatrical performance by Ellen Tree as the character of Mariane in "The Wreckers Daughter," New York, C. Shepard, 1837. "The Whig Rally" (4 Jun 1844) As Sung by Mr. C. S. Duffield -- The Celebrated Whig Vocalist. Original Words adapted to the popular Air of the Wreckers Daughter by John Hill Hewitt, 1801-1890. Appears in "Howes School for the Fife" Published by Oliver Ditson Co. 1851.

6. Durang''s Hornpipe
A German dwarf named Hoffmaster composed this tune in 1785 for popular stage performer John Durang (1768 - 1821), who was sometimes called "the first American dancer." Durang claimed to have danced a hornpipe on 13 eggs blindfolded without breaking one.

7. My Old Kentucky Home
Composed probably in 1852, and published in January 1853 by Stephen Collins Foster. Several legends connect this famous song to Federal Hill, the summer home of Judge John Rowan in Bardstown, Ky., although no documentary evidence proves that Foster had much connection with the place. Foster''s manuscripts reveals the original title of the poem was "Poor Uncle Tom, Good Night," when he may have been trying to capitalize on Harriet Beecher Stowe''s recently published best seller Uncle Tom''s Cabin. My Old Kentucky Home became the official state song of Kentucky in 1928.

8. Wrecker''s Daughter:
Made popular as a result of a theatrical performance by Ellen Tree as the character of Mariane in "The Wreckers Daughter," New York, C. Shepard, 1837. "The Whig Rally" (4 Jun 1844) As Sung by Mr. C. S. Duffield -- The Celebrated Whig Vocalist. Original Words adapted to the popular Air of the Wreckers Daughter by John Hill Hewitt, 1801-1890. Appears in "Howes School for the Fife" Published by Oliver Ditson Co. 1851.

9. Camptown Races
Composed by Stephen Collins Foster probably in 1849 in Cincinnati, and published by F. D. Benteen of Baltimore in February 1850. The original title was "Gwine to Run All Night, or De Camptown Races." The latter phrase rapidly caught the public''s imagination and became the popular title. The physical setting of the horse races detailed in the song is the kind of community that sprang up on the outskirts of frontier cities in the mid-19th century. Here the Negro laborers and transients lived in shanties and tents -- a camptown. Foster quite carefully tailored the song for use on the minstrel stage by composing it as a piece for solo voice with group interjections and refrain.

10. Rye Whiskey Waltz
A variant of the 17th century Irish tune "Bacah Buidhe" (Lame Yellow Beggar) of which there are several 18th century British variants. This version played here is in the key of A and uses the fiddle cross-tuning AEAC#.

11. Ring The Banjo
By Stephen Collins Foster, 1851. "Ring de Banjo" appeared in 1851 a few months prior to "Old Folks at Home." It is a minstrel piece that tells of life on another of Foster''s mythical plantations. The story serves as a gentle suggestion -- and it is perhaps unique in Foster''s works -- that life was not all roses and sunshine ''way down south.'' This song also is distinguished by a brief guest appearance of Foster''s celebrated Susanna, who is cast as the slave''s lover.

12. When Johnny Comes Marching Home/Jefferson & Liberty
By Louis Lambert [Patrick S. Gilmore] said to be "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" but no positive resource has yet to be found. This song is generally credited to the Union Army bandmaster, Patrick S. Gilmore, who wrote it in 1863. It is similar to the Irish song Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye (a tale of a maimed soldier returning from war). Which version came first is debated.
Jefferson & Liberty, meanwhile, follows the melody of "The Gobby O," an English song used as a campaign song for Thomas Jefferson, and thence its title. "Jefferson and Liberty" was published under that name in Howe''s Musician''s Companion, Part 2 in 1843. Paul F. Wells reports that the poem was written by ornithologist/painter Alexander Wilson, who originally intended it to be sung to the Scots tune "Willie was a Wanton Wag," which sometimes appears in early 19th century American tune books as "Constitution March." Jefferson began his first term as president in 1801, though Wilson did not publish his song until 1804.
Paul Gifford remarks that Edgerton, Mich., hammered dulcimer player Chet Parker (1891-1975), played the tune in A minor on his dulcimer at a local gig about 1969. When Gifford asked him the name of the tune Parker replied there were two names, of which he could only remember one, "The Old Lady, She Shit in the Haymow," and said it was a song the Civil War soldiers sang:

A rippety make and away she went
Her ass stuck out like a Canada cent
With every jump she took, she spent
The old lady, she make in the haymow.
(These lyrics have also been set to "The Raw Recruit")

13. Lubly Fan
Composed as a song by Cool White, a blackface minstrel with the Virginia Serenaders, and published in 1844. The melody, usually known as "Buffalo Gals," or in the Upland South as "Round Town Girls," and appears under this title in some mid-19th century publications. Some sources say the tune had folk origins but was published in 1848 as a minstrel tune.
In the 1840s Cool White (real name: John Hodges), a blackface performer, sang a tune called "Lubly Fan, Won''t You Come Out Tonight" with the Virginia Serenaders. He claimed to have composed it, and credit is often given to him, but it was first printed on sheet music in New York in 1848 with "author unknown." One tune has been found called "Midnight Serenade" in George P. Knauff''s Virginia Reels, volume IV, printed in Baltimore in 1839, that is a set of "Buffalo Gals," and since it precedes the minstrel era or at least publication of "Lubly Fan," the tune may have been at the time in oral tradition at least in the Upland South.
A feature of the tune has long been the multiplicity of place names attached to it in the title. It has been called "Jimtown Gals," "Brown Town Gals," "Alabama Gals," "Roundtown Gals," "Johnstown Gals," "Lushbaugh Girls," "Louisiana Gals," "Bowery Gals," "Cincinnati Gals," "Hagtown Gals," and "Hagantown Gals," as well as "Buffalo Gals." Buffalo, N.Y., may have become the primary city name attached to the title because it was a common terminal point for the minstrel circuit from New York city to Albany across to westernmost Buffalo, the city''s name and its frontier reputation made it an easy and appropriate substitute for performances of Lubly Fan.

14. Flop Eared Mule
This is a variation of the tune "Detroit Schottische," first published in Detroit, Mich., in 1854.

15. Polly Wolly Doodle
Traditional American song of the pre-Civil-War era. Author and publication date unknown.

16. Pig Squeal Schottische
A traditional tune from the Wisconsin and Michigan region. This tune may have been played in Union camps of the Iron Brigade.

17. Columbia The Gem
The words and music of Columbia The Gem of the Ocean were published by David T. Shaw in 1843. The tune also is credited to Thomas Becket. The song is not about a ship as one might assume from listening to the words but about the United States itself.

18. Minstrel Boy
The Minstrel Boy is by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of The Moreen, an old Irish air. Many believe that Moore composed the song as a memorial to several of his friends he had met while a student at Trinity College and who had participated in the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. One of those friends died in prison, another was wounded, and a third was captured and hung. Due to its popularity, the song was a favorite of the many Irishmen who fought during the American Civil War, primarily on the Union side. It was at this time that a third verse was added by unknown authors.

19. Marching Through Georgia
Words and music by Henry C. Work, and published in 1865.

The Camp Lincoln String Band is:

Pete Emerick -- vocals, tin whistle, and wooden Irish flute.
The flute he plays on this recording is an original Asa Hopkins, made in Litchfield, Conn., in 1826. His tin whistle is an original 1842 Clark design. Pete learned to play the old fashion way ... from his father and other family influences; growing up in Uxbridge, Mass., he says, there wasn''t much else. As a youngster, he took eight years of rudimental drum instruction ... then got lazy and learned to fife. Pete Emerick spends a great deal of time researching folk music of the 18th and 19th centuries, and learned a lot about why people did it. He performs regularly with the Camp Lincoln String Band, as well as with the 15th Massachusetts Regimental Field Musick, the AA Sherman Camp 18 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and as the Martial Musick for Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass. His performance venues have ranged from historical tourist traps to backyard swamp battles, yet he insists that he has never played on a train.

Tom Emerick -- bones and percussion.
The bones he plays on this recording were made from animal rib bones, dried and smoothed. He plays them in sets in both hands. Although the bones heard on this recording are not "period" original, they were original to the cow that had them perhaps 30 years ago. Tom Emerick, Pete''s brother, also is a schooled rudimental drummer with an interest in preserving the style and sounds of historic rhythms. He lives in Uxbridge, Mass., and performs frequently throughout the Northeast. Like his brother, Tom Emerick has had many fife and drum affiliates throughout the years and maintains association with the same groups as his brother, Pete.

Charlie Grossimon -- banjo and vocals.
The banjo he plays on this recording is a tacked skinhead, fretless gut-string model built by Camp Lincoln String Band members Steve LeClaire, Pete Emerick, and fellow reenactor, Carl Hutchinson. Charlie played the Tuba in high school, but it was not what he would call an "around-the-campfire" instrument. He has been marching, one way or the other, for the past 25 years. "I''m not exactly the military type, but, for some reason, reenacting is a real escape," he says. Charlie loves American History, best of all during an evening of music around the campfire. He grew up in Lexington, Mass., and is a member of the Lexington
Minute Men and 25th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

John Keller -- fiddle.
The fiddle he plays on this recording uses gut strings for an authentic 19th century sound. John is a native of El Segundo, Calif., and now lives with his family in Milford, N.H. He studied classical violin from age 6 to 12, and then put the instrument down for 30 years. When he picked the instrument up again, he picked up the fiddle, not the violin. The difference? A fiddle is a violin that''s had beer spilled on it accidentally (or on purpose). Changes it completely. For John Keller, historic music is a time machine; it echoes voices from the past. John also plays fife in revolutionary war and Civil War field music groups.

Steve LeClaire -- vocals and banjo.
The banjo he plays on this recording was hand-made in 1997 by George Wunderlich of the Wunder Banjo Co., in Meyersville, Md. It is a faithful reproduction of a William Boucher model, found and researched in the Smithsonian. The Boucher model was produced in volume in the late 1840s. This fairly plain banjo would have been available to the "common" musician, and also would have found its way to the 19th century minstrel stages. Steve was born in Sutton, Mass., in 1959, and majored in music education, minor in performance and arranging at the University of Lowell. He also is proficient on saxophone, piano, bass, and many other instruments. Steve LeClaire performed in many New England R&B and jazz bands throughout the 1980s and ''90s. He is past member of Sutton Historical Commission, a board director of Sutton Historical Society, and recipient of many grants for historic preservation in the Town of Sutton.

Andy Mansfield -- guitar and vocals.
A resident of Newton, N.H., Andy not only signs and plays guitar, but also collects cheap frying pans. After 30 years of working in bars and dealing with various and sundry drunks of all types, he decided to become a historical reenactor.

Mark Slayton -- guitar, harmonica, and vocals.
The guitar he plays on this recording is a restored original Parlor Guitar made in Germany - circa late 1800s. He began playing Civil War-era music around the campfire about 10 years ago. He is a founding member of the Camp Lincoln String Band, which started in 1996. He began playing music in the 1960s, but now prefers music of the 1860s. Mark is also a Civil War reenactor and is currently a member of the 25th Massachusetts Infantry and serves as Captain and Company Commander of the Regiment. He is also a member of the Millis, Massachusetts, Historical Commission and is the Military Coordinator for the Millis Civil War Reenactment held annually.

For booking information please contact:
Camp Lincoln String Band, 222 Causeway St., Millis, Mass. 02054. https://www.tradebit.com.

Recorded in 2003 at Starfleet Audio, 27 West Sutton Road, Sutton, Mass. 01590.
Engineer: Brad Pierce
Copyright December 2003. All rights reserved.

Cover design by: Creelman Advertising Inc., Auburn, Mass. 01501
CD packaged by: New England Compact Disk, 68H Stiles Road, Salem, N.H. 03079

Special thanks to all the reenactors historians, family, and friends who have supported us over the years at back yard swamp battles, mega events, tourist traps, grange halls, encampments, concerts, and weddings from the North to the South.

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