Welcome to the Arthritis Brothers third CD "Ride An Old Paint" . We play old time music. Stuff that was popular in the early 1900's; music that postdated the minstrel era and preceded bluegrass. Banjo picker John Clabourne was raised rural Sussex County, Virginia. Fiddler John Beland was raised on a Mitchell County, Iowa farm. Earl Rigg was born in the mountains of Virginia and grew up in Eastern North Carolina on a tobacco farm. Clabourne is retired from both the U.S. Army and the Sierra Vista police force. Beland is a retired electrical engineer and contractor. Earl Rigg spent 30 years as a technical expert for a Wisconsin phone company.

The Arthritis Brothers are located in rural Sierra Vista Arizona where the weather is always sunny and the plants are mostly thirsty. Technically, we may not be Hill Billies, but we do live among the mountains and have pickup trucks and dogs. Check our web site at http://members.epowerc.net/ arthritisbrothers/ for our schedule and contact information. Stop by and jam with us.

------------------------------------the tunes-------------------------------------------

1 Cumberland Gap D Cumberland Gap is a pass in the Appalachians between Tennessee and Kentucky. Daniel Boone led pioneers through this passage in the 1770s. The tune has a long life and has been recorded dozens, perhaps hundreds of times including once by Allen Sisson on an Edison cylinder. It is a great tune for singing, make up your own lyrics.

Me and my wife and seventeen chaps,

Walked all the way to Cumberland Gap.

Lay down, boys, and take a little nap.

Ten more miles to the Cumberland Gap

Me and my wife and my wife's pap.

We all live down in the Cumberland Gap.

chorus: Cumberland Gap, Cumberland Gap.

We all live in the Cumberland Gap.

2 Green River Waltz G This tune was probably composed and recorded by fiddler Clifford Gross in the late 1930s. Clifford replaced Bob Wills in the Light Crust Doughboys at the radio program’s sponsor’s insistence. Big pair of shoes to fill. We learned our version from Betty Vornbrock of the Reed Island Rounders.

  1. Angel Band G This tune was originaly written as a hymn by Rev. Jefferson Hascall in 1860. The original title was "The Land of Beulah". The melody was written by William Batchelder Bradbury in 6/8 meter but has since become a graceful 3/4.
  1. Michigan Pioneer D We learned this from a Californian who got the tune from an Missouri family that moved from Oklahoma to California. It is said to be an Arkansas tune hence the title: "Michigan Pioneer". Tom Sauber reports finding the melody in South America. We learned it from a field recording of Tom Sauber at the Turquoise Valley Old Time Music Festival in 2007 and also from a cassette recording made by Roscoe and Ossie White.
  2. Off to California G This tune is thought to have an Irish origin as the tune strongly resembles parts of several Irish tunes. It is in many of the old Tune books including Peter Beemer’s 1860’s manuscript recently published by Vivian Williams of Voyager Recordings and Publications. In the Beemer manuscript it carries the title Freemount’s Reel. Perhaps some ‘49ers did whistle the tune on their way to California as the melody is documented in that era.
  3. Citigo G Alternate titles are Citaco and Citgo This tune is common in both Tennessee and Georgia. Lowe Stokes with the Skillet Lickers called it "Down to the Wildwood to Shoot the Buffalo." This tune is a mantra to be enjoyed on the banjo.

7 Duck River D This is in the family of tunes with Dubuque and Muddy Road to Ducktown, The seminal version came from John Salyer; our version is adapted from field recording of Bruce Greene playing Salyer.

8 Ride an Old Paint G This tune has been recorded by a herd of performers including Arlo Guthrie, Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Johnny Cash, Burl Ives, and Linda Ronstadt. It was likely first documented by Jess Morris of Dalhart TX who said he learned it in the 1880s from a black cowboy named Charlie Willis.



  1. Buffalo Gals G This tune was popularized on the minstrel stage under the title "Lubly Fan". There is a lot of speculation as how the name was transformed to Buffalo Gals. It has become traditional to change the words to include local names. Huachuca Gals is not so easy to sing, but it can be done.
  2. Buffalo gals, ain't you comin' out tonight,

    Ain't you comin' out tonight, ain't you comin' out tonight;

    Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight

    And dance by the light of the moon.

  3. John Browns Dream A John Brown’s Dream comes from the Blue Ridge mountains. We play it in cross tuning AEAE. Among its many alternate titles is Herve Brown’s tune (close) and Jimmy Johnson Bring the Jug Around the Hill (a bit more of a leap). Dwight Diller prefers the alternate title and is of the opinion that the "Jimmy" melody is superior.

11 Sandy River Belle G We learned this tune from the playing of Henry Reed. There is some great Henry Reed music at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/reed/

  1. Angeline the Baker D This tune started life as a Stephen Foster tune. Originally called and presumably named for Angelina Baker, the melody had evolved to require IV chords in each part.
  2. Grey Eagle A Crosstuned in AEAE. Don’t be fooled as there are several tunes that go by this title; this is the tune documented in Marion Thiede’s ‘Fiddle Book’ and is not one of the other tunes with the same name. There was a famous horse race in the outskirts of Louisville in the late 1830's between horses named "Grey Eagle" and "Wagner." The race was a huge event attended by over 90% of the population of Louisville. Several traditional melodies tunes were named/renamed to commemorate the event.

14 Margaret’s Waltz A This was composed in the 1950’s by English collector Pat Shuldham Shaw and was dedicated to Margaret Grant, an employee of the English Folk Dance and Song Society on the occasion of her retirement. We play it in AEAE cross tuned.

  1. Sugar Hill D A popular dance tune. It is believed to have been composed by George Washington Dixon some time prior to 1827. A version was published in New York in 1855 in Christy’s Negro Songster.

16 Bill Cheatum A This tune is commonly played by Old Time, Bluegrass and Contest style musicians. It is robust enough for our AEAE crosstuned playing.

  1. Kicked Up a Devil of a Row G We learned this crooked tune from the playing of Kerry Blech and Clarence Rigdon On the Rounder recording #376 Clarence demonstrated that there is more than one way to play this tune; we feel lucky to be able to play it this way.
  2. Needlecase D Sam McGee popularized this tune with his banjo version. There are recordings of the tune with Arthur Smith and the McGee Brothers and also by Bob Carlin with Pete Sutherland. The tune has been popular at old time festivals for several years and that is likely where we learned our version.
  3. Old Mother Flannagan A Another fine West Virginia A tune – cross tuned AEAE The tune is widespread in the OT community and we no longer have a single source.

20 Yew Piney Mountain A We listened to Wilson Douglas and this is what we remembered. No one can play it like Wilson except Wilson! We play the tune with the fiddle in AEAE cross tuning and the banjo in double D tuning.

21 Home Sweet Home C Home Sweet Home was composed by Sir Henry Bishop and appeared in the 1823 play "The Maid of Milan" by John Howard. It is now widespread in many cultures. Early Northern Arizona fiddler Kenner Kartchner played it as the closing tune. New Mexico fiddler Cleofes Ortiz traditionally played it as the last tune of the evening; first played as a waltz and then in 6/8 time.