The Lilly Brothers and Don Stover: Little Annie

Yesterday, March 6th, was banjoist Don Stover’s birthday. I wanted to share one of my favorite recordings of his, made with The Lilly Brothers, Everett and Bea. The song is from the romantic period of the late nineteenth century, and was first recorded by county music patriarch Earnest Stoneman with autoharp. He did it in archaic-sounding¬† 4/4 time. It was charming enough, but here we have it in all its 2/4 glory!

If I were to be asked to describe Don’s picking, I’d call it some of the cleanest and most inventive I have heard. “It sparkles!” The instrumentals feature both Don’s banjo and Everett’s mandolin picking. Both have great drive. Since Everett is singing, he doesn’t do much instrumental fill during the verses, but Don more than makes up for it, including some nice harmonics (what country pickers call “chimes”) during the third verse.¬† What got me excited was Don’s “tag” or ending of his banjo break. It’s four beats of pure delight, sort of going off sideways like a plot twist in an Alfred Hitchcock film! Don also adds a great tag to Everett’s mandolin break. Combined with the fine singing and harmony work, this cut is just plain fun to listen to.

If I’m not mistaken, the record was first released as a 78, but I heard it on one of Dave Freeman’s Lps from County/Rebel Records.

 

About Peter Feldmann

Peter Feldmann has long been a musical mainstay in Santa Barbara and Southern California. Besides actively performing bluegrass and old time music with a variety of groups, Peter is also known as a bluegrass historian, collector, music consultant, teacher, and producer, both of live concerts and radio/tv programs throughout the area. His music has been heard in clubs, concerts, saloons, universities, pre-schools, at weddings, wakes, parties, barn-raisings, calf-ropings, rodeos, auctions, fund raisers, wine tastings and chili cook offs.

Peter founded Santa Barbara’s Old Time Fiddler’s Convention (1972), UCSB’s Old Time Music Front (1964), and The Bluebird Cafe (1971). Through these and other outlets, he was the first to bring many prominent folk, blues, and bluegrass artists, including Bill Monroe, Mance Lipscomb, The Stanley Brothers, The New Lost City Ramblers, Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis, Rose Maddox, the Balfa Brothers, and many others to the Santa Barbara area. Peter also helped others access the music by teaching privately, and in group classes for Santa Barbara Continuing Education, UCSB Extension, and McCabes Guitars. He was the first on the West Coast to produce and market instruction Lps – three on How To Play Country Fiddle, and one each on Clawhammer Banjo, and Maybelle Carter Style Guitar. He still presents lectures on country music history at UCSB, Santa Barbara area libraries, and for various interest groups, festival workshops, etc. In 2006, he presented his monograph titled “The Big bang Of Bluegrass Music” (describing the origins of bluegrass 1938 – 1946) to the worlds first International Music Symposium at the University of Kentucky at Bowling Green. He has also been very active in radio, television, and film work, producing weekly shows on country and bluegrass music over a 21 year period on various commercial and public stations. Peter currently maintains three music-related websites, a music blog, and an entertainment service company, “BlueGrass West!”, based in the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California.

Peter performs tunes and songs from the heart of America’s musical treasure chest. His shows can include fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Well-known as a historian and teacher, Peter is first and foremost an entertainer, sharing his respect, energy and love for the music with his fellow musicians, friends, and audiences.

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