Here’s a cut by one of my favorite true clawhammer masters, Glen Smith of Hillsville in Carroll County. Here he plays a fretless banjo in an energetic and very danceable style. He implements great slides and hard driving right hand technique in the cool g#BEBE tuning. He carried the same energy to his fiddle when he was recorded on banjo and fiddle along with many other distinctive players for Folkways LP’s 3811 and 3832. I will feature his fiddling along with Wade Ward’s banjo as a killer duo whenever I start including Grayson County in my local source search area for my tune of the week effort.
These LPs were dedicated to documenting some of the active string music of Grayson and Carroll Counties still happening in the early 60s. Then Round Peak happened and ‘stole the show’ some might say. I didn’t say it! Anyway, Glen Smith’s music (banjo and fiddle) is a MUST in the collection of every fan of straight ahead old-time dance music from “up on the mountain” in Southwest Virginia’s Blue Ridge area. Going Back To Georgia is the same melody asOld Susanna which my Dad occasionally played on harmonica.
By the way, the Glen Smith heard on fretless banjo here is not to be confused with another fiddler named Glen Smith who was associated with West Virginia in the later part of the 20th century.
Thanks to the late Charlie Faurot who released this track as a bonus cut when the County Clawhammer Banjo LP’s were finally re-issued on CD. I guess it didn’t make the original cut.