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Chicken-Fried Possum

Chicken-Fried Possum: Them's Good Eatin'!

Welcome to Chicken-Fried Possum's CD page! This page is provided as a source of information for our new CD release entitled Them's Good Eatin'!, complete with backstory and liner notes (in excruciating detail, at times)...

The full CD is now available for purchase at a bargain price of only $15 - and that includes a free instrument case (or bumper) sticker of the logo!!!


Neither Bradford nor I grew up listening to old-time music so it isn't part of our DNA like some artists we know. I grew up listening to the music being played by my other family members until the late 50s when I began to develop my own "tastes". This led to a variety of artists from Elvis and The Everly Brothers to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino and then into some Do-Wop vocal groups. But all that changed with the Great Folk Music Scare of the 60s. The rest of my musical upbringing can be found elsewhere (and I assume that Bradford's is on on his website) and won't be repeated here. But let it be known that I found my way to old-time music through my association with Celtic music, which I took up as a form of ear-training. Through it I learned that many of the Celtic tunes had come to America with the early immigrants and many had settled in Appalachia where jobs in the mines were plentiful. The music was passed down from generation to generation not in written form but by in the form of learning by doing. Consequently, many changes probably occured well before any of them got recorded. Bradford and I both subscribe to this form.

Neither of us claim to play these tunes in traditional style. We learned many of them from people who do play them traditionally but that only lasted for about as long as it took us to learn the basic tune and then we began making it more of our own. My rhythm playing is in no way intended to be in the traditional style - rather, it is more of a reflection of the emotions I feel when I am playing. Consequently, my part may well vary from performance to performance based on my mood (or attention span, for that matter...). Thankfully, Bradford puts up with that and, for that, I am truly thankful. I hope you enjoy these tunes because I had a lot of fun playing them! Rj

Them's Good Eatin'! - Liner Notes

The back-story for the CD title is relevant (sort of - at least to me) so here we go. On the way home from the first visit my wife, Rocky, and I made to Brevard, NC, we stopped at a roadside produce stand in South Carolina for some peaches. While Rocky was selecting her peaches I wandered around the stand and came across this enormous turtle wading in a tall, wide bucket. I asked the proprietor if it was a snapping turtle (which is what it looked like to me) and replied, "No, that there's a mud turtle!" He then proceeded to inform us in great detail and enthusiasm about the many virtues of the mud turtle, including the fact that it has seven different type of meat in it. Each type was described regarding the taste and best application (sadly, no suggestion for the best wine selection to accent it was offered). At the completion of his presentation, the gentleman leaned back against the shelves of produce, gave a reflective sigh and issued the succinct summary, "Yup, them's good eatin'!". And there you have it - there's 16 different tracks on this CD, each with it's own character; enjoy them all!!!

The following are the particulars of the individual tracks on the CD Them's Good Eatin'! - enjoy!

Fly Around Fly Around/Arkansas Traveler - Traditional Arkansas Traveler

These are two traditional fiddle tunes played at almost any jam session of old-time music that you might ever attend. As with most old-time tunes that have been passed down through the generations by "word of mouth", these may vary from the versions you are more familiar with... JR

Texas Gales Texas Gales - Traditional

Another traditional fiddle tune that Bradford taught me. JR

Carolina Spring Carolina Spring - Bradford Carson

A lovely tune Bradford wrote and played for me when we first started playing together. I like it better each time we play it... JR

Cold Frosty Morning Cold Frosty Morning - Traditional

Just a great old traditional fiddle tune that is incredibly fun to play - even as a rhythm guitarist. There's lots of room for improvisation which I am still exploring. This makes it ever changing and always fun! JR

Spotted Pony Spotted Pony - Traditional

Another tune learned from Mary Gordon - though not exactly the way she taught it to me... JR

Myah & The Goose Myah & The Goose - Bradford Carson

Another original tune by Bradford that has an interesting back-story that helps the listener better understand what the two instruments are trying to imitate and infer - but I'll let Bradford tell you all about that ... JR

Whiskey Before Breakfast Whiskey Before Breakfast - Traditional

A great traditional fiddle tune made popular by Doc Watson on guitar. Fun, fun, fun!!! JR

Snowdrop Snowdrop - Traditional

I had never heard this tune before Bradford played it for me a few weeks ago; it was so much fun to play that I figured out an arangement for the rhythm part and we recorded it a week later - and here it is! JR

Red-Haired Boy Red-Haired Boy - Traditional

This is actually an old Celtic tune that made its way across the Atlantic and, at some point, settled in Appalachia where it became part of the fiddle and bow tradition. The version with words is known by the title "Little Beggar Man" and other similar titles. I originally heard the song version by Ian & Sylvia back in the mid 60s but never thought I'd be playing it as an instrumental. Wow, you never can tell! JR

Waynesboro Waynesboro - Traditional

I believe that both Bradford and I learned this tune from Mary Gordon and the Celestial Music Store Tuesday night jam sessions. I loved the chord progression that walked down from the G chord to the A-minor with the D and C in between. It keeps you on your toes, rhythmically, and keeps you smiling regardless of how you play it. I sometimes get a little carried away in sections but have finally found my "favorite" arrangement, which is presented here. JR

Beaumont Rag Beaumont Rag - Traditional Old-Time Tune"

I believe that the only person I had heard play this was Doc Watson - then Bradford sprung it on me... JR

Shenandoah Falls Shenandoah Falls - Traditional

One of the tunes I learned playing at the Monday-night Oskar Blues Old-Time Jams. Yee-Haaa! JR

Cluck Old Hen Cluck Old Hen - Traditional

Another of those dark, modal tunes and seep into your subconscious and stay for days at a time... JR

Long Black Veil Beaumont Rag - Danny Dill & Marijohn Wilkin"

I first heard this done by Joan Baez back in the early 60's and then by Johnny Cash and others. I had always thought it was a traditional love/murder ballad until I did some further research; it turns out it was written around 1958 by the Nashville songwriters credited above. One for the ages, regardless... JR

The Road Back Home The Road Back Home - Bradford Carson and John Rollins

Bradford wrote the 'A' and 'B' parts of this one weekend and brought it to practice the following Tuesday where he couldn't wait to play it for me. I loved it right away and we started playing it through while I played around with some different chord structures that fit the feel of the tune better than the more "traditional" ones. After playing it about three times through I said I thought it felt like it wanted some sort of bridge - so we jumped in and wrote the 'C' part together, with me providing the framework of the chords and Bradford improvising over the top. I think it came out great and hope you do too! JR

Walk In Peace Walk In Peace - Bradford Carson

Another one of Bradford's reflective banjo tunes - I believe it speaks for itself... JR

Please remember that your comments and suggestions are always welcomed. We take requests; we won't promise to play them but we'll take them, none the less... Keep those electronic cards and letters comin', folks!

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Changes last made on: Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 10:53am