A couple months ago, I promised in a previous post to share some of the brilliant music I heard this summer at the Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. One of my favorite discoveries is the duo of Ben Hunter (fiddle) and Joe Seamons (banjo, guitar). Their most recent album Take Yo Time was released almost a year ago and they were kind enough to pass one to me at the festival. This record is one of those that grows upon you with each successive listen: delightfully accomplished and deceptively simple, yet belying the skill and maturity required by the duo to pull off this broadly selected playlist of blues, folk ballads and early jazz.
Fiddle Tunes happens annually in the first week of July, when it takes over the former military barracks at the scenic Fort Worden State Park. One evening I was taking a stroll at dusk, enjoying the sight of a full moon rising over Puget Sound and the sound of music in the distance. I was drawn like a moth to a flame and upon rounding a corner in the evening dark, I came upon a scene that might have transpired on a warm humid Mississippi river bank in 1900. Someone had moved a table, chairs and lamp outdoors and the lamp cast a warm glow over the round table scattered with playing cards, ash trays and whiskey glasses. Laughter and profanity erupted as the poker gamers were entertained by Ben and Joe on guitar and fiddle, playing some jaunty rag from the old days. This is the kind of magic one might stumble upon any time and any place at Fiddle Tunes.
Here are two cuts from the album and a video. Enjoy!
LISTEN: Banks Of The River
LISTEN: Goin to German
Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons perform Captain Haney Blues at the Fretboard Journal magazine offices.