Pig in a Pen

18 Dec

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[gDGBD tuning]

This one comes from Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith (1898-1971) from Bold Springs, TN. Smith was an extremely charismatic and entertaining fiddler whose enigmatic style has influenced each generation since his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in 1927. It can be argued that Smith (perhaps along with fiddler Clayton McMichen) is the seminal “transitional” figure between “Old Time” and bluegrass style fiddling. But maybe that’s a conversation for the “experts”. Suffice it to say, Fiddlin’ Arthur was a monster of a musician who wrote more than a few enduring pieces which continue to be interpreted by both OT and Blugrass musicians alike.

“Pig in a Pen” was recorded (as “Pig at Home in the Pen”) in February, 1937, in Charlotte, North Carolina, by Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith accompanied by Alton & Rabon Delmore (recording as “The Arthur Smith Trio”). HERE’S A LINK to this version.

HERE’S A VERSION from the 1970s Bluegrass supergroup Old and In the Way.

Flatt and Scruggs did a GREAT VERSION on the Grand Ole Opry. Man I love Paul Warren’s fiddling!

There are many, many more versions floating around out there; most of them are Bluegrass but that’s OK. Earl Scruggs was an Old Time banjo picker after all 😉



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