From a workshop presented at the KDHX St. Louis Folk School on October 31, 2015. With Patt & Possum - Charlie Walden (fiddle) and Patt Plunkett (piano). The workshop focused on tunes that can be attributed to African American fiddle players of the early 20th Century from Callaway and surrounding Central Missouri counties.
Callaway County in Mid-Missouri, in addition to once being a hotbed of Civil War secessionists, is known for its many great old-time fiddlers. Among these was legendary African-American Bill Katon of Tebbetts, the namesake of Katon’s Hornpipe. While I never knew Katon, as he passed away in 1934, I heard many stories about him and a lot of the old-timers could play his tunes or tunes referenced to other Black musicians in Callaway County. So we’ll explore this tradition with tunes I derived from Jake Hockemeyer, Taylor McBaine and Keith Orchard.