Fiddle & Banjo perform a stark cover of the old Appalachian folk tune “Red Rocking Chair”, featuring Joey Landreth on vocals.
With their new album Tunes From the North, Songs From the South, prairie duo Fiddle & Banjo want to bridge traditional music from both their native Canada and from America as well. Saskatoon native Karrnnel Sawitzky brings his Ukrainian Canadian heritage to his fiddle playing, while Winnipeg’s Daniel Koulack has built a reputation as one of the best clawhammer banjo players in Canada, and the pair bring vast knowledge of traditional folk music to this aptly-named project. There’s no better way to introduce the duo than with this stark cover of the old Appalachian folk tune “Red Rocking Chair”, featuring Joey Landreth on vocals, which we are very happy to premiere at PopMatters.
“All the songs we have on the album were from old vinyl from Daniel’s collection,” they say. “‘Red Rocking Chair’ came from the Red Clay Ramblers' vinyl, A Lie of the Mind. We were almost against recording this since it’s such a common tune, but then when we were listening to our shortlist of songs we wanted on the album, Daniel had the idea of putting ‘Red Rocking Chair’ with ‘Chinquapin Pie’, which is an old Appalachian fiddle tune. He thought of rebooting the song by starting really slow and we wanted the track to sound really different. We started slow, and sprinkled the elements of ‘Chinquapin Pie’ on top. Then we just told Joey to do his thing. It’s remarkable, since he’d never sung any old-time before. We had this vision in our head of what the song usually sounded like from the vinyl, but he had a very different interpretation that came out great.”
Tunes From the North, Songs From the South is out now.