Our friend Hawken Horse — Andrew Scott Wills — has an article in the current edition of Guns of the Old West Magazine on Frontier Music. I’ll need to grab a newsstand copy. Guns has absorbed some of the content from the recently defunct publication American Frontiersman.
Andrew is the man to write such a piece — he is, after all, an accomplished musician himself. The FP interview with him will post right before his new album, Longhunter, drops on May 19.
Music was a vital element of frontier culture. On the early frontier, the primary instrument was the fiddle, and the tunes came largely from Ireland and Scotland, though there was also a strong French tradition. A Frenchman who was part of the Corps of Discovery deployed his fiddle with great frequency, as www.lewis-clark.org notes:
The principal catalyst for their musical diversions was undoubtedly Private Pierre Cruzatte, whose official duty was as a boatman, but who also played the fiddle. George Gibson, who specialized as a hunter and sign-language interpreter, played the fiddle too, on at least one occasion—at the party and dance the Wallulas held for the Corps on 19 October 1805.
Fiddlers like Pierre Cruzatte played popular dance tunes—most of them of unknown origin—by ear, and probably had comparatively limited repertoires.
Lewis Wetzel was purported to be a good fiddler, and David Crockett played as well. I’ve always appreciated this scene…
WAY prettier than ol’ Davy — and boy can they play….
I am quite smitten with that .54 caliber Rock Island Auctions 1850 full-stock Hawken, which goes on the block on May 21. Anybody want to front me $65,000? Taylor Sheridan, you out there?
Everything about this pleases me — it’s an unadorned, functional working man’s rife, but damn good lookin’ for all that.
Jack Carr’s new thriller, Only the Dead, drops on May 16. Think I’ll fire up the sneak preview while I get on the spring chores this weekend.
I’ve developed a new obsession. I want a Technical (Non-Standard Tactical Vehicle). I mean, who doesn’t?
Fun build, right? And it doesn’t have to be expensive…