We play five tunes with Gilles on this wonderful CD. He is a fantastic fiddler and violinist. He also plays with lots of other friends of Apap on this CD. Gilles says: “All the people involved in this CD are and have been close to me for the past twenty years. They have been a source of inspiration and also have been the greatest friends somebody could have. I just wanted to pay tribute to them and thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
Gilles Apap: Friends
The Music and the Players
(J.S. Bach) 0:28 – Eric Holle – banjo
We don’t think Bach originally wrote this tune for the banjo!
2. Cluck Old Hen
(Trad. Old-Time) 1:56 – Gilles Apap – fiddle; Eric Holle – banjo; Clifford Landis – vocal
A standard old-time favorite recorded by many players, notably Tommy Jarrell from Mt. Airy, North Carolina, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
3. Wheel Hoss (Bill Monroe)
3:13 – Phil Salazar and Gilles Apap – fiddles; Roger Phillips – banjo; Scott Micale – guitar; David Jackson – bass; Peter Feldmann – Mandolin
Named for the team of horses closest to the wheels of a wagon, it is an upland southern term for someone who does the hardest and most consistent work.
4. Git Along Little Dogies
(Traditional Cowboy) 2:13 – Gilles Apap – viola; BAYOU SECO (Jeanie McLerie – fiddle and vocal; Ken Keppeler – fretless banjo and vocal)
We Learned this version from the wonderful fiddler, Monroe Gilmore, in Elida, New Mexico. Ken made Jeanie’s 5 string fiddle.
5. I’d Rather Have Jesus
(Traditional Gospel) 2:18 – Jimm Wimmer, Clifford Landis, Tom Wolverton, and Gilles Apap – vocals; Clifford Landis- guitar; Tom Wolverton – dobro
This was taken from a recording by Rose Maddox, Gilles was given a crash course on singing gospel bass.
6. Lonesome Moonlight Waltz
(Bill Monroe) 3:59 – Phil Salazar and Gilles Apap – fiddles; Roger Phillips- banjo; Scott Micale – guitar, David Jackson- bass; Peter Feldmann – Mandolin
Monroe wrote this instrumental waltz sometime in the early ’60s, first performing it with Doc Watson. The chordal setting of this tune varies.
7. Jerusalem Ridge (Bill Monroe) 4:28 – Phil Salazar and Gilles Apap – fiddles; Roger Phillips- banjo; Scott Micale – guitar, David Jackson- bass; Peter Feldmann – Mandolin
A showcase tune for fiddler Kenny Baker, it was named after a ridge near Bill’s home at Rosine, Kentucky where he often went fox hunting.
8. Ship in the Clouds
(Traditional Old-Time) 1:58 – Gilles Apap and Jim Mueller – fiddles;Amber Roullard Mueller – bass; Jerry James – banjo; Stuart Mason – guitar.
This crooked little gem is from Taylor and Stella Kimble of Laurel Fork, Virginia
9. Two-Step de Fiquetaiaque
(Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie) 2:37 – Gilles Apap – viola; BAYOU SECO (Jeanie Mclerie – fiddle; Ken Keppeler – cajun accordion); Tom Lee – bass
We lived on the Prairie Fiquetaique east of Eunice, Louisiana. This is a story about finding each other there, and saing each other from a life of drinking and gambling. Ken made Jeanie’s five string fiddle.
10. Run Johnny Run
(Lyrics; Jimmy Driftwood/Traditional Old-Time) 3:38 – Gilles Apap – fiddle, GAPTOOTH MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS (Jim Wimmer – fiddle; Peter Feldmann – Mandolin; Michael Mendelson – guitar; Tom Wolverton – banjo and vocal).
Run Johnny Run is based on a traditional Georgia fiddle tune having to do with runaway slaves. This version of ‘Rye Straw’ comes from the fiddling of John H. Summers of Indiana, recorded in 1963. It is related to an older British tune called ‘Rolling in the Rye Grass’.
11. Mercredi Soir Passe/Passez-Moi la Bouteille
(Traditional Cajun) 3:43 – Gilles Apap – viola; BAYOU SECO ( Ken Keppeler – harmonica and fiddle; Jeanie McLerie – fiddle and vocal)
The Cajun version of ‘Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot’. The second song was learned on the back porch of the Buvette, from legendary fiddler, Dennis McGee (1893-1989) Ken made Jeanie’s 5-string fiddle.
12. Old Dangerfield
(Bill Monroe) 4:34 – Gilles Apap and Phil Salazar – fiddles; David West – banjos; Mike Mullins – guitar, Tom Lee – bass
First recorded in 1981, Monroe wrote this piece after visiting the town of Dangerfield, Texas.
13. Kangra Valley Two-Step
(Clifford Landis) 2:13 – Clifford Landis – vocal and guitar; Jim Wimmer – guitar; Gilles Apap – fiddle
This tune ws composed in 1989 in Dharamsala, India, in a hotel room overlooking the Kangra Valley. It was inspired by the Tibetan celebrations and festivities surrounding the Dalai Lama’s return home after winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
14. Granny on the Treadmill
(Jim Wimmer) 2:23 – Jim Wimmer and Gilles Apap – fiddles
Jim wrote this tune on a hot day while riding his mountain bike, in an attempt to get the classical players in his class to retune their violins to AEAE. Both fiddles being played on this tune were made by Jim Wimmer.
15. Out on the Texas Plains
(Stuart Hamblin) 3:57 – Gilles Apap – fiddle, GAPTOOTH MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS (Jim Wimmer – fiddle and vocal; Peter Feldmann – Mandolin; Michael Mendelson – guitar; Tom Wolverton – banjo).
Born in Texas in 1908, Hamblin had an illustrious career as the first singing cowboy, first in Texas as a radio personality an later in Hollywood where he appeared on the big screen with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne. Also recorded by Riley Puckett in 1939.
16. Chinquapin Hunting/Lacy Brown
( Traditional Old-Time) 2:24 – Gilles Apap – fiddle; GROWLING OLD GEEZERS (Jim Mueller – fiddle; Amber Roullard Mueller – bass; James Bolton – banjo)
The first tune in this meley is from Norman Edmonds (1889-1976) of Hillsville, Virginia. Chinquapins are a type of dwarf chestnut used for food by early Native Americans. ‘Lacy Brown’ comes from the legendary eastern Kentucky fiddler John Morgan Salyer (1882–1952) of Magoffin County.
17. Vals Emiliano
(Traditional New Mexico) 3:05 – Gilles Apap – viola; BAY0U SECO (Jeanie McLerie – fiddle, Ken Keppeler – accordion)
We learned this tune from the great violinista of Bernal, New Mexico, Cleofes Ortiz (1908 – 1992). Cleofes learned it from his cousin, Emiliano Ortiz, who ws a well-known fiddler in the area when Cleofes was a young man. Ken made Jeanie’s five string fiddle.
18. Purple Lilies
(Traditional O’odham from Arizona) 2:22 – Gilles Apap – fiddle; BAYOU SECO ( Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie – fiddles); Tom Lee – bass.
We learned this tune from Elliott Johnson, a great Tohon O’odham fiddler from Cababi, Arizona. In france they like to ling “la la la la la” along with the B Part, while doing the polka at a fast pace! (Ken made his and Jeanie’s fiddles)
(Traditional Old-Time) 3:35 – CHILDREN OF THE BARN (Gilles Apap, Chuck Aronson, Noel Montleone, and Gary Atkinson – fiddles; Jim Mueller – fiddle and vocal; Arnold Feldman – mandolin; Jerry James and James Bolton – banjos; Jonas Richardson – tenor banjos and harmonica; Bruce Powers – hammered dulcimer, Carol Atkinson and Stuart Mason – guitars, Amber Roullard Mueller – bass)
Another Tommy Jarrell tune, ‘Waterbound’ (AKA ‘Stay All Night’) is from the Round Peak area of North Carolina. Jim Mueller dedicates this tune to his mother.
0:14 – Nellie Flanagan – gong
21. Hangman’s Reel
(Traditional Old-Time) 2:43 – CHILDREN OF THE BARN (Gilles Apap, Chuck Aronson, Noel Montleone, and Gary Atkinson – fiddles; Jim Mueller – fiddle and vocal; Arnold Feldman – mandolin; Jerry James and James Bolton – banjos; Jonas Richardson – tenor banjos and harmonica; Bruce Powers – hammered dulcimer, Carol Atkinson and Stuart Mason – guitars, Amber Roullard Mueller – bass)
Probably originated as the French-Canadian tune ‘Reel du Pendu’, but has now been thoroughly conscripted into the old-time repertoire.
22-34. Bonus Tracks
– These are just a few tunes you might enjoy that friends have left on the answering machine. I simply record them onto my Walkman and learn them. Thin I do the same for my friends whin I came across a good tune. Some of them might be a little obscure! – Gilles
Special thanks to musicologist Peter Feldmann, for his paternal guidance and musical advice over the years.
Most of all, thanks to Nellie Flanagan, without whom this wouldn’t be possible.
David West Studio, Santa Barbara, California
The Tompound, Tom Lackner, Santa Barbara, California
Painted Sky Recording Studio, Cambria, California
BareFoot Studio, Joseph Doyle, Silver City, New Mexico
Drew Daniels Studio, Los Angeles, California
Gilles Apap Plays a fiddle of unknown origin; his viola was made by Amiran Oganezov. The bow Gilles used in these recordings was made by Gary Leahy of Newport, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
Production: Nellie Flanagan and Gilles Apap
Bluegrass produced by: Phil Salazar
Mixing and mastering: Drew Daniels
Cover artwork: Jerry James
Design: chris barnes design, inc.