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Old-Time Fiddle Tunes And Songs From North Georgia
Skillet Lickers
Old-Time Fiddle Tunes And Songs From North Georgia
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Decades before rock & roll, the Skillet Lickers blasted through raucous old-time romps that still sound as fresh and edgy as they must've sounded back in the 1920s, when they emerged as hillbilly music's leading artist. Fi...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Skillet Lickers
Title: Old-Time Fiddle Tunes And Songs From North Georgia
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: County Records
Original Release Date: 7/24/1996
Re-Release Date: 4/16/1996
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Classical
Styles: Bluegrass, Classic Country, Traditional Folk, Instruments, Strings
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 009001350923

Decades before rock & roll, the Skillet Lickers blasted through raucous old-time romps that still sound as fresh and edgy as they must've sounded back in the 1920s, when they emerged as hillbilly music's leading artist. Fiddles endlessly blaze and soar over dance calls and raw, down-home hollers while Riley Puckett's guitar work keeps it all anchored. Puckett was probably the first star guitarist of old-time music and his unique, single-string style of rhythm guitar--harmonically fluid but rhythmically adventurous--proved essential to the development of bluegrass, not only for early rhythm guitarists, but later on for lead flat-pickers like Doc Watson, who enhanced it and moved it to the foreground. The songs, from "Soldier's Joy" to "Cackling Hen" to "Dixie" to "Leather Breeches," fiddlers' standards even then, remain so today thanks in large part to these historic recordings. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Shlomo Pestcoe | 06/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dave Freeman's bluegrass and old-time country label, COUNTY, has been churning out "essential-listening" reissue albums for sometime now, all of which are classics that should be in every devotee's music library. A case in point is this 1996 compilation, THE SKILLET LICKERS: OLD TIME FIDDLE TUNES & SONGS FROM NORTH GEORGIA. Here we have on one CD 16 choice numbers, culled from the 88 sides recorded between 1926 -1931, by that great old-time string band, GID TANNER & HIS SKILLET LICKERS. Our musical journey back in time starts off with the classic North Georgia-style fiddle tune, ROCKY PALLET, recorded in 1929, and ends with fiddle aces Clayton McMichen and Lowes Stokes, in true Skillet Licker fashion, wildly ripping through their 1930 rendition of that old-time warhorse, LEATHER BREECHES (the American version of LORD MACDONALD'S REEL). The Skillet Licker's unique sound was characterized by the interplay of the harmonizing fiddles (anywhere from 2 to 4 at a time, played by Clayton McMichen, Bert Layne, Lowe Stokes and/or Gid Tanner), Riley Puckett's inovative running bass lines on the guitar and Fate Norris' or Gid's rhythmic 5-string banjo accompaniment. Their highly syncopated, driving North Georgia style reflected the heavy influence of the African-American pre-blues fiddle and banjo tradition.It was the Skillet Lickers, perhaps more than any other of the early old-time greats, that informed the evolution of the modern old-time string band sound in the 1970s and 80s. While seminal Revival bands like the Highwoods String Band and Bubba George drew their repertoires from many different sources and Southern regional traditions, it was the Skillet Lickers' fun-loving, raucous approach that truly inspired them and served as a model on which to base their own distinctive styles.As always, this COUNTY album reflects that label's high standards. The original 78 rpm recordings have been remastered nicely and sound great, even to the virgin ears of listeners uninitiated in the mysteries of the raw, scratchy essence of these musical time capsules. The liner notes include highly informative essays by old-time musicologists Norm Cohen and Rich Nevins (though I have to disagree with Rich's dismissal of Fate Norris' banjo playing) and full discographical information on each cut.If you want to turn on your friends outside the old-time fold to the inherent joys of your favorite music, this CD would be a good starting place. Likewise, I would recommend it to novice old-time musicians looking for some great classic tunes to add to their own repertoires."
Incredibly rollicking sounds from long ago and far away.
Shlomo Pestcoe | 12/21/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One of the finest old time fiddlin' bands, ever. A collection of old time ("hillbilly") 78's from 1920's and early 1930's. Artists include Lowe Stokes, Clayton MacMitchen, Gid Tanner, Riley Puckett, Bertie Layne and Fate Norris (usually inaudible, unfortunately), this CD is guaranteed to either get your feet moving uncontrollably, whether it be dancing or running as far away as you can get from it.Numbers on this disc include "Hell Broke Loose in Georgia", "The Broken Down Gambler", and a very rollicking version of "Dixie" (hey, they WERE from Atlanta!)All in all, a CD to please the old-time enthusiast, and annoy just about everyone else.IMPORTANT NOTE: As with many "country" bands of the time (1920's), these guys had their share of songs that would be considered embarassing and even unacceptable today. NONE of those numbers are on this disc."
As Good As It Comes
Shlomo Pestcoe | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This very fine cd - from County Records of Virginia - is superb!
County have once again produced a well balanced selection from the archives and have presented it to the public for their delectation. I would recommend this item to all lovers of traditional American Country Music. Don't let it pass you by."