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Author Topic: Carolina Tar Heels  (Read 2323 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Carolina Tar Heels
« on: August 15, 2007, 12:04:00 PM »
The other day, I was rather surprised (to say the least) to hear Got the Farm Land Blues by the Carolina Tar Heels playing over the piped-in music system in my very French, local boutique grocery store. I stood there soaking in the weirdness of that experience and came out of it requiring the complete (or near complete) recordings of the Carolina Tar Heels in my collection. Which turns out to be easier said than done. 

The only CD I've managed to track down is the "The Carolina Tar Heels" OH-4113-CD available from County Sales here. Any Tar Heel aficionados know whether this is the one to get or is there something else I should look for?

I have a number of Carolina Tar Heels tracks spread across various compilations, but I need more...

Offline Stuart

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 01:34:46 PM »
Probably not much help, UB, but here it goes...The cuts that I have on iTunes are spread across "Good for What Ails You," and the JSP sets "Mountain Blues:..." and "Serenade in the Mountains" (in addition to the two AAFM sides). I probably have a couple of others on the Yazoo compilations that haven't been imported into iTunes yet. I couldn't find anything out there other than the CD-R you mention--both County and Elderly stock it. Juneberry78s has a similar compilation available with 23 cuts. And Folk Legacy has a LP available from the 60s:

http://www.folk-legacy.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=53

And the fact that "The University of North Carolina Tar Heels" cross when doing a search doesn't simplify matters. You might shoot Joe Bussard an e-mail. Keep us posted.

Offline frankie

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2007, 01:50:36 PM »
I have only one CD on Old Homestead - quality is ok...  since there's very little else on CD for the CTH, it's kind of your only bet, although contacting Joe Bussard is a good idea.  The personnel in the group was Clarence Ashley, Dock Walsh and Garley Foster.  I think Gwen Foster may also have been a CTH (not sure), but he definitely recorded some fantastic duets with Ashley.  There's a good overview of Clarence Ashley's music on County Records:

CLARENCE ASHLEY 'Greenback Dollar: 1929-1933'

It includes many of his sides done solo, with the Carolina Tar Heels, Blue Ridge Entertainers, Gwen Foster, and Byrd Moore and His Hot Shots.   Once in the player, it tends to stay there for a long time.

Offline Cambio

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2007, 07:14:59 PM »
I'll second the Clarence Ashley motion.  It's a must.
The Carolina Twins are also worth checking out.  That's Gwen Foster and David Fletcher.  They play a little more sophisticated stuff than the Tar Heels did. They almost make it sound like Doc Walsh was holding Gwen Foster back a little bit in the Tar Heels.
I think it's worth noting that both Gwen and Garley Foster played in the Carolina Tarheels.  The really odd thing is that both of them played harp in a rack and guitar, and they played in very similar styles, but they were of no relation.  What are the odds?  Clarence Ashley was a rotating member of the Tarheels.
The Blue Ridge Entertainers was made up of Tom Ashley, guitar; Clarence Green, fiddle; Gwen Foster, harmonica; Will Abernathy, autoharp and harmonica; and Walter David, lead guitar.  Three guitars and two harmonicas.  I know it sounds like a jam gone wrong, but they manage to make some really beautiful music.

Offline fictioneer

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2007, 04:14:05 PM »
The Juneberry collection (their second Old Time compilation) actually has 2 CTH sets, several pages apart in the listing.  Between them they include all the issued sides by the group.  As far as I can see in the Russell discography, no unissued or alternate takes have surfaced.  It likewise has 2 harmonica solos by Gwyn Foster, recorded during a CTH session, but none of Doc Walsh's solo recordings.  Another set in the same comp features all of the Fletcher & Foster sides (bonus is that it also includes the complete recorded work of Dave McCarn, which I highly recommend), and yet another has much of Ashley & Foster, including the (I think) never-otherwise reissued "Rising Sun Blues."

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 08:48:32 AM »
This is perhaps the most informative page i've come across

http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/carolina-tar-heels.aspx

there was an album in 1964 too with Dock Walsh, his son Drake and Garley Foster

Offline Lignite

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 01:42:11 PM »
Uncle Bud,
This feller has a webpage devoted to exploring the various artists featured on the Harry Smith compilation Anthology of American Folk Music. He's offering 16 Carolina Tar Heels tracks for download and possibly has some more.

http://oldweirdamerica.wordpress.com/2009/01/

Offline Mike Billo

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 04:17:47 PM »
Cambio wrote: "I think it's worth noting that both Gwen and Garley Foster played in the Carolina Tarheels.  The really odd thing is that both of them played harp in a rack and guitar, and they played in very similar styles, but they were of no relation."

   Not to mention the fact that they both have uncommon first names that both begin with the initial, "G" and they even looked alike.
  Yet, everybody insists they're not related.

  To my ear, their styles (The absolute best in Old Time Country Music IMO) are practically identical.
  The only way I can tell the difference between them is that, Garley, occasionally breaks into those whistling bird calls, that seemed to be popular with rural audiences of the day (Charlie Poole did them too), but are a rather annoying sound effect to the ears of modern listeners, including myself.
       

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 08:24:39 AM »
Uncle Bud,
This feller has a webpage devoted to exploring the various artists featured on the Harry Smith compilation Anthology of American Folk Music. He's offering 16 Carolina Tar Heels tracks for download and possibly has some more.

http://oldweirdamerica.wordpress.com/2009/01/

Thanks Lignite. The oldweirdamerica site is a good one. He has another general old-time blog, I believe. Since posting in 2007, I've managed to put together a decent Tar Heels and Co. collection. It's surprisingly how little was officially available (though somewhat better now), given that Clarence Ashley had some postwar success as well, and Dock Walsh also recorded in the 60s. The best way to acquire all the early stuff is still on the Juneberry collection as fictioneer noted above, it seems. Haven't done that myself yet. So much music, so little brain time.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 08:25:40 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Carolina Tar Heels
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2012, 12:31:38 PM »

 


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