Buck Mountain Band

Buck Mountain Band is an old-time string band based in Grayson County, Virginia. They are resident musicians at the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, VA, playing every Monday in the summer season. They have produced three CDs of their music, including Bull at the Wagon, their latest in 2015.

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Chicken in the Snowbank, the second CD from the Buck Mountain Band, continues in the spirit of the band’s first, featuring lively breakdowns, two-steps, and sweet waltzes, as well as the powerful singing of Larry McPeak, who contributes traditional songs along with originals that sound hauntingly traditional. Amy Boucher joins the group and adds significantly to the mix of tunes and songs here with her high-spirited singing and banjo picking.  

 

Fiddler’s Reel comes from Benton Flippen of Surry County, NC.

Last Days in Georgia was recorded in the late 1920s by Melvin Robinette and Byrd Moore.

Widow’s Lament (Larry McPeak)   Larry sings this original composition, a song so beautiful and sad it could be true.

Oklahoma Waltz, from the fiddling of Earl Collins, is done here in trio fashion by Bob, Sue, and Dan.

Johnson Boys Fools or heroes? Depends on where you’re from, I guess. Here, as sung by Amy, they’re, well, nobody’s darlings. Amy also plays banjo on this one.

Red Hawk Waltz, a Missouri tune, recorded by Art Galbraith in the 1980s, is one of our favorite waltzes.

Ladies of the Lehigh Valley comes from a cassette recording Bob made at a fiddlers'  convention thirty years ago.  At the time of the recording of this CD, Bob didn't recall the name of the tune, but thought that the fiddler was from the Lehigh Valley, and so he improvised the title "Ladies of the Lehigh Valley."  His memory was jogged by Pete Peterson, who, in reviewing the CD in The Old Time Herald, pointed out that the tune bears a remarkable resemblance to one called "Upper Lehigh," as played by a Pennsylvania fiddler named Peter Kraus.  

Green Grows the Laurel, an old song of murky origins and even murkier meaning, is sung here in spirited fashion by Amy; she’s playing the banjo on this one, too.

Rock The Cradle, Lucy is one of a number of cradle-rocking tunes surely meant for dancing.

Kiss Waltz  Composed by Luigi Arditi in the mid-19th century, this lovely operatic song became at some point a favorite of American fiddlers, sometimes called "Kiss Me Waltz."  Our version comes more or less from Charlie Poole.  We do it as a trio: Bob, Dan, and Sue.  

Wild Horses at Stony Point sometimes goes by the name of “Old Dad” or simply "Stony Point."  Some say that the tune goes back to the Revolutionary War, referring to a battle occurring at Stony Point, NY.  Where the wild horses of the title enter into the story isn't clear.

Nobody’s Darling (J. Davis) was a hit in 1935 for Jimmie Davis, who went on to become governor of Louisiana. Larry, who sings beautifully here, assured us he had no political ambitions.

Forks of Sandy was recorded by Charlie Poole, with Posey Rorer on fiddle.

Nachusa Waltz is a Midwestern tune from Chirps Smith, done here by Bob and Amy, with Sue and Dan on guitar.

Foggy Mountaintop was first recorded by Samantha Bumgarner in 1924. Larry sings it with appropriate abandon.

Black Hills Waltz is transcribed in Kenner Kartcher’s lively memoir, Frontier Fiddler. Rafe Stefanini’s version inspired Bob to learn it.

Chicken in the Snowbank, a James Bryan tune, is great fun to play.

Orvetta Waltz   Bob, Sue, and Dan play this lovely Missouri tune.

Black Mountain Rag, a descendant of “The Lost Child,” was a favorite of Blanche Nichols, in whose kitchen in Independence, Va., Bob learned it.  Charles Wolfe, in his excellent book The Devil's Box, points out that though several fiddlers have claimed to have composed the tune (Leslie Keith, Curly Fox, and Tommy Magness among them), the tune's exact origins, as with the thousands of tunes that have become designated simply as "traditional," remain a mystery.

Sweet Marie, a sentimental love song from the 1890s, is seldom sung these days, but as a tune, it’s played fondly by a number of fiddlers in Southwest Virginia and western North Carolina.  You can hear it sung sweetly by Sam Gleaves, lyrics composed by Larry McPeak, on our third CD, Bull at the Wagon.