Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bob Walters "The Champion"

A new two-CD album of Bob Walters music is available.  Entitled "The Champion", the album features Walters playing 80 tunes in a style particular to the Missouri Valley Region.  You can read more about Missouri Valley style music at Missouri Fiddle Traditions.
Walters is a seminal figure in Midwestern fiddling whose influence on the tradition was considerable during the 1940 and 50s, the heyday of agricultural broadcasting in the Central states.  Walters, a Nebraska native, performed over numerous radio stations in the region and was widely admired and imitated by such well-known performers as Cyril Stinnett, Lonnie Robertson and Dwight Lamb. 

The recordings, most dating to the 1950s, are from Dwight Lamb's personal collection.  The Walters and Lamb families were close friends when Dwight was growing up and he became Walters protege, ultimately learning much of his repertoire.  If you liked the two recordings of Dwight released by Rounder (Hell Agin the Barn Door and Joseph Won A Coated Fiddle) then this album will be of great interest.  Incidentally, Mark Wilson, who produced Dwight's CDs and many other great recordings in the North American Traditions Series, had a hand in this work.  Included on the CD is an extensive set of notes by Mark in PDF format.

Bob Walters appeared on two cassettes issued by the Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association and figured prominently on the U of MO Press two-record LP The Old Time Fiddlers Repertory.  All of these recordings are out-of-print, so this new release of Walters music is of particular importance.  It is worth noting that transcriptions of Walters' music outnumber all others in R. P. Christeson's two volumes of The Old Time Fiddlers Repertory

To order write to Missouri Valley Music, 511 South Pleasant, Canton, South Dakota 57013 or send an email to
--- Charlie Walden

Tunes included are: Adrian's Hornpipe, Art Wooten's Hornpipe, The Beaux of Albany, The Bell Cow, Bill Cheatum, Bob Walter's Tune in G, Boys Around the World, The Bucking Mule, Casey's Irish Hornpipe, Champion Hornpipe, Clyde Durst Tune, Coming Down from Denver, Cowboy Waltz, Cuckoo's Nest, Dick Sands Hornpipe, Durang's Hornpipe, The Dusty Miller, The Drunken Wagoner, Duncan's Reel, Eli Green's Cakewalk, Five Miles Out Of Town, Flannagan's Polka, Friendship Waltz, Give the Fiddler A Dram, Good for the Tongue Hornpipe, Guilderoy, Gypsy Hornpipe, The Inimitable Reel, Irish Hornpipe, Jake's Best Reel, Jefferson & Liberty, Johnny, Don't Come Home Drunk, Jump Fingers, Katon's Reel, Lady on the Green, Lazy Kate, Leddy's Hornpipe, Long John, Lost Indian, Mahoney's Reel, Missouri Mud, Money Musk, Mother's Reel, Natchez Under the Hill, Old Dubuque, Opera Reel, Padgett, Pretty Lies, The Prodigal Son, Purcell's Reel, Quadrille A, E, & D, Rocky Road to Jordan, Rose Waltz, Sally Johnson, Salty River Reel, Shaw's Reel, Shoal Creek Breakdown, Silver Lake Quadrille, Sleepy Joe, Smith's Reel, Steamboat Round the Bend, Tennesse Wagner, Tobacco Hills, Topeka Polka, Trombone Rag, Trouble Among the Yearlings, Turkey in the Straw in A, Two Bits, Wart on the Pumphandle, Woodchopper's Breakdown and a handful of tunes for which no title is given.