SunnySide
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  • February19th

    Jim Lloyd and Trevor McKensey

    Carol Phillips' Grandfather's fiddle

    The SunnySide Band changed it’s mind completely and went to Blue Ridge Community College Friday night instead of The Stone Soup.  The College presented a program of Old Time Mountain Music by Jim Lloyd and Trevor McKensey from Rural Retreat, Virginia.  Great music and story telling.  Jim Lloyd played acoustic guitar and banjo and Trevor McKensey played acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle.  Hands were clapping and toes were tapping everywhere!

    The SunnySide Band would like to invite you to visit their Home page and their Music page and listen to a few of their favorite old time and classic country selections.  The Band would also encourage you to have them play for your next event — just visit their Book Us page and leave your information.

  • May25th

    Bill Monroe / 1947

    Carol Phillips and Jim Lilly

    “Back in those days, it seems every trip we made was from Kentucky to Florida driving back and forth.  I always thought about Kentucky, and I wanted to write a song about the moon we could always see over it.  The best way to do this was to bring a girl into the song.  I wanted words to this, because most of my songs were instrumentals.  ‘Kentucky Waltz’ had come earlier and I knew I could write both words and music, so I wrote it in the car on the way home from one of those Florida trips.”  — Bill Monroe

    This song is a favorite of Jim Lilly, the acoustic guitar player with The SunnySide Band.  The Band doesn’t have a fiddle player, but whenever Jim can snag one from another band, he and Carol Phillips, the autoharp player with SunnySide always sing this song.  If you would like to hear some other favorite songs of The SunnySide Band, just visit their Music page, and then visit their Feedback page and leave them a comment.  SunnySide would encourage you to consider having them play for your next gathering — fill in the blanks on their Book Us page and they will be in touch.

  • April29th

    Traditional Music Goes to City Audiences

    Carol Phillips' Grandfather's fiddle

    During the 1920’s, the record companies began sending recording crews to the American South to record traditional music by Black and White musicians.  Records by African-American blues singers and songsters were typically marketed as “race records.”  Those by White fiddlers, banjo players, and family singing groups were sold as “old familiar tunes” or simply “old time music.”  Among those who were recorded during the heyday of the ’20’s were Clarence Ashley, Uncle Dave Macon, Mississippi John Hurt, the Carter Family, Furry Lewis, and Dock Boggs.  The record companies did an extraordinary job of documenting rural Southern music through the late 1920’s until their activities were sharply curtailed by the Great Depression.

    The SunnySide Band would invite you to visit their Home page and their Music page to give a listen to some of their old time music selections, then browse on to their Gigs page to see where they will be performing next.  The Band would also invite you to visit their Feedback page to leave a comment or two.  The SunnySide Band would like to meet you and share their music with you, and what better way to do that than to have them play for your next event.  Just visit their Contact page and fill in the blanks–they will be in touch.

  • April18th

    Lonesome Tunes

    Posted in: Music

    Seventh in the Series of Old Time Songs

    Carol Phillips Grandmother

    Carol Phillip's Grandmother – Posted on The Wall of Music in the Old Homestead Museum

    Life in the mountains was often a lonely existence.  Although there were dance tunes to perk things up, many of the slower songs had a mighty lonesome sound.  To get this sound, the banjos were often tuned in “sawmill tuning” (gDGCD) and the fiddles in “cross tuning” (AEAE).  The singers would shade their voices toward the minor sounding songs.  The results might be called “mountain blues.”  An example of one of these lonesome tunes is called Shady Grove, and it just so happens that Jim Lilly is teaching The SunnySide Band that tune this month.

    The SunnySide Band invites you to visit our Home page and our Music page to hear a sample of the other Roots Music tunes that we play.  We would also like for you to visit our Gigs page to see where we will be performing in the near future — come join us — we have lots of fun.  We would encourage you to visit our Feedback page to leave us a comment and then visit our Contact page and consider having The Band play for your next fun-filled event.  Thank you for stopping by and reading my Blog!!

  • April12th

    Fourth in the Series of Old-Time Songs

    Back Are You From Dixie

    A “knockdown tune” is a rough and tumble banjo song that is likely to be played at breakneck tempos.  Banjoists who played these old-time or roots tunes generally played in a style variously known as clawhammer, thumb-cocking, rapping, frailing, and banging the banjo.  It is also known as the “knockdown style.”  This rhythmic style was created to back up the fiddler at dances long before mail order houses made acoustic guitars available.  Knockdown banjo playing was far more versatile than merely providing rhythm for dances, it could easily be used to accompany all manner of songs by laying down a firm rhythm foundation while at the same time playing melodies to compliment the singing of the old songs.

    The SunnySide Band doesn’t use a banjo in their performances, but I have heard Jim Lilly do a fabulous job of  “clawhammer” style banjo playing.  We invite you to visit our Home page and our Music page to listen to some of our favorite old-time tunes.  We also invite you to visit our Gigs page to see where The SunnySide Band will be performing in the near future and then visit our Feedback page to leave us a comment about the band and our Website.  We would like to meet you and share our music with you, so we encourage you to consider having The SunnySide Band play for your next event.  Leave us your information on our Contact page, and we will take care of the rest.

  • April10th

    Ballads

    Posted in: Music

    The Third Category

    Carol Phillips Grandmother

    According to Wayne Erbsen, the singing of old ballads was the first old-time music or roots music in America.  Brought over from England with the early immigrants, these ballads were sung unaccompanied, usually by women, and told stories of home.  Apparentley the men were more interested in getting a squawk or two out of the fiddle.

    We hope The SunnySide Band doesn’t do any squawking, but you can be your own judge, if you visit our Home page and our Music page to give us a listen.  We also invite you to visit our Gigs page to see where we will be performing in the near future and our Feedback page to let us know what you think of the band and our Website.  We would love to share our music with you and play for your next event, please visit our Contact page and leave us your important information.

  • April7th

    2nd Old Time Music Category

    Carol Phillips' Grandfather's fiddle

    The fiddle is the backbone of old-time music or Roots music.  Brought over from Europe with the earliest settler, it was portable and could be tucked under the arm or stowed under a wagon seat for a westward journey.  Though some God-fearing people thought the fiddle was the instrument of the devil, many others held the fiddler in high esteem.  Not only could he accompany some of the old ballads, but he could also provide the music for dances.  In the years before the guitar and banjo became popular, the fiddle was often the only instrument that could play for dancing.  The tunes the first fiddlers played were brought over from Europe.  It wasn’t long before fiddlers composed new tunes and gradually added words to some of them.  Occasionally the fiddler would holler out a verse or two to break up the monotony of playing for the long dances.  Many verses were made up on the spot and others called “floating verses,” drifted carelessly from tune to tune and became the bases of the old-time tunes that The SunnySide Band sings.

    The SunnySide Band invites you to purchase one of their CD’s so you can listen to some of these old-time tunes.  We encourage you to visit our Home page and our Music page to get a preview of our favorite old-time tunes.  While you’re browsing, please visit our Gigs page to see where The SunnySide Band will be performing in the near future.  Please leave us a comment on our Feedback page and let us know what you think of the band.