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Black Velvet Waltz / Poor Girl Waltz by Old Time Fiddler Clay Barker

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Uploaded on Jan 11, 2009

This is a nice pair of waltzes. The first one was actually the first one I played for my waltz at the first fiddling contest I went to back in 1972. Graham Townsend (North American Fiddle Champ) told me that no matter what, don't be afraid to play that black velvet Waltz every contest, he did for many contests appearantly, but he said it was the best suited for contests. He would always accompany me on the piano.

The second waltz was one my grandfather always liked me to play. He especially liked me to test out all of his fiddles with this song because he said it had a good range to see if the fiddle was ok in both extremities. One time we went to a music store where the guy had well over 200 fiddles all hanging on the walls of the store. Grandpa wanted me to test them all out and so did the owner, so I played that song on them. The owner had a really nice looking Bologna fiddle (lol, that was what it was called) and wanted it to sell so he thought it would be the best one to start with...it sounded like it was strung with fence wire instead of violin strings, very harsh sounding and hard to play...needless to say, I set in down and went on to other fiddles I thought were much older and possibly sweeter sounding, meanwhile that Bologna laid on the table in front of me.

After testing out about 20 fiddles, the owner was confused why his expensive and rare Bologna fiddle sounded so crappy compared to all the old and rough looking ones that were hanging on the wall.

He asked me to try playing it again, so I played the exact same song, but this time it sounded refined and had potential..WOW, I thought. Just a few minutes of music passing through the soundbox and around the sound post resonating through the instrument while it layed on the table was enough to sweeten the sound of that rare Bologna

He always kept that fiddle in a case and in a different room than the rest...that was the difference. He kept it away from sound and the melody of all the rest of the fiddles in the store. My grandfather always believed that and that's why my grandfather always set his fiddles in a row on the top of a piano with a radio continuously playing beside it 24/7.

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