Howard Marshall

Now That's a Good Tune

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Folk music in Missouri has always been a melting pot of American styles. In addition to Germanic and French influences, Missouri's music shows influences ranging from the Appalachians to Texas and Louisiana. This holds true, especially true, for Missouri fiddling. Now That's a Good Tune, an album organized by the well-known folklorist Howard Marshall, collects documentary recordings of fiddle players from around the state captured between 1984 and 1989. This two-record set features 14 masters of traditional music, including such respected names as Bob Walash, R.P. Christeson, and Charlie Walden. All of the players have been carefully recorded and they're most often accompanied, usually with piano or guitar. The songs contained here run the gamut, including the solidly traditional ("Soldier's Joy"), the forgotten ("Ford One-Step"), and the commercially popular ("Whoa Mule"). A 64-page booklet, with an essay by Marshall, bios of the fiddlers, and tune annotations, accompanies the record. Now That's a Good Tune was the recipient of two Grammy Award nominations in 1990.