Scarlet Runner String Band

Scarlet Runner String Band No. 1

Because of limited printing space on the cover of our CD and the wish to provide some information about the tunes and songs on the CD, we have added this page. If you have additional information about the tunes or songs listed here, please let us know and we will update accordingly.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this CD, either contact us by email using the Contact Us tab of this web site or see our events and attend an event we are playing, or contact any band member individually, or click on the Buy Now button below. We are selling this CD ourselves for $13.00 including Michigan state sales tax. It may be available at other locations at different prices. This CD is available from Elderly Instruments.

Sample excerpts of some of the tracks on the CD are provided below. Double click on the titles preceded by an * to listen to a sample of that track.

The instrumentation for all tracks on the CD are as follows unless noted otherwise in the information about the specific track: Mike Ross, fiddle; Brian Hefferan, ukulele; Larry Johnson, guitar; Dave Langdon, upright bass.

Track 1 - * Dixie B Line (Mike Ross, harmonica; Brian Hefferan, banjo, Mike Ross, lead vocal)

This song comes from a recording by Uncle Dave Macon. Vernon Dahlhart recorded it and so did our source, George Tucker.

Track 2 - Bumblebee in a Jar/Crockett's Honeymoon/Dusty Miller (Brian Hefferan, banjo)

Mike learned Bumblebee in a Jar from Dave Husic when they played in Hard Tack and Pigs Feet. the oldest source for this tune is George Lee Hawkins who calls it Bumblebee in a Jug.

From liner notes from the CD "Lost Indian: Fiddling on the Frontier" with Christian Wiig, Whitt Mead, Joe LaRose and Laura Lewis, "on Nov. 12, 1928 Crockett’s Kentucky Mountaineers also known as Crockett’s Family Mountaineers recorded a medley of tunes all but one of which was easily recognizable. It may have been Pete Sutherland who noticed that the unnamed tune was the Honeymoon as collected in Ryan’s mammoth collection 1050 Reels and Jigs and began calling it Crockett’s Honeymoon signifying from whom it came. This tune also has other names. All of these other names are collected in Ryan’s originated in Ireland in the late 18th and early 19th century. According to Jack Horkheimer the name honeymoon may be a reference to the month of June which is reportedly the best month to begin collecting honey from the hives." Mike probably learned this tune from Mark Sewell and Dave Husic.

There are many tunes with the title Dusty Miller in various keys. This version was learned from the Fuzzy Mountain String Band who may have learned it from a recording by Frank George.

Track 3 - Carve That Possum (Brian Hefferan, lead vocal)

This song came to us from a recording by Clarke Buehling. We met him at the Midwest Banjo Camp when it was at MSU and he was kind enough to play it for us. Written by Sam Lucas in the 1870s. Uncle Dave Macon also does this song.

Track 4 - Lewis Brothers' Calliope

Whitt Mead sent Mike some tapes recorded from old 78s which included this tune.
Whitt identifies it as The Calliope from the Lewis Brothers. Dempson Lewis played the fiddle and Denmon Lewis played the guitar but also played the fiddle. This tune is a schottische. Some people call it the Calliope Schottische.

Track 5 - Leaving Cheyenne (Mike Ross, harmonica; Larry Johnson, lead vocal)

This song is a good old chestnut performed by everyone from Burl Ives to Ian Tyson who is our source for this song.

Track 6 - Trio for Deborah Hyland #2 - Our Next Door Neighbor Has a Potbelly Pig/Putting in at Babcock's Landing/What If We Were Llamas (Brian Hefferan, banjo)

Deborah Hyland is a dance caller from the St. Louis, Missouri area who came to Lansing to call dances several times. She would always ask the names of the tunes we were going to play and announce them to the dance audience. After getting some unusual responses for titles, she insinuated that we were making up the titles of the tunes. The next 3 times she came to Lansing to call a dance, probably sometime in the 90s, Mike made up a trio of tunes with intentionally unusual names for each dance. This trio is obviously the second one.

Track 7 - Bay Rum Blues (Mike Ross, harmonica, lead vocal; Brian Hefferan, banjo)

This song comes from Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster. Clarence Ashley was the guitar player and supposedly the singer and Gwen Foster played the harmonica. This comes from a Yazoo record “Harmonica Blues Great Harmonica Performances of the 20s and 30s”.

Track 8 - Ladies on the Steamboat

This fine tune comes from a recording by Leonard Rutherford and Dick Burnett.

Track 9 - Walking in My Sleep (Brian Hefferan, banjo; Larry Johnson, lead vocal)

Mike learned this tune from Mark Sewell. The words come from a recording by Bill Clifton & the Dixie Mountain Boys. Note that the melody is slightly different on the singing part of this song as opposed to the instrumental part.

Track 10 - Auger in the Ditch (Brian Hefferan, banjo)

This tune comes from Dave Husic from a tape he brought back from Glenville in the early 80s and the two main players on the tape were Pete Sutherland and Jon Beckhoff. Pete was contacted and does not recall this tune. We have tried to find out more information about the origins of this tune but have not been successful. Any additional information about its origins would be appreciated. Also note that Mike plays this tune slightly differently, (better?) than it is generally played around East Lansing, Michigan.

Track 11 - Gooseberry Pie (Mike Ross, harmonica, lead vocal; Brian Hefferan, banjo)

This song comes from a recording by Bradley Kincaid. We learned it so we could play it for Linda Hundt the proprietor of the Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe in Dewitt, MI, who is one of our biggest fans.

Track 12 - * New Money/Skyland Rag (Mike Ross, harmonica; Brian Hefferan, banjo)

Mike learned New Money from Mark Sewell. It comes from a recording by Doc Roberts

Skyland Rag comes from a recording on County records "Ridin' In An Old Model T:Toddles, Wobbles, Rags & Blues". We play this tune in G although some people think this tune should be played in F. The John Rector Trio performs this tune on the record.

Track 13 - Papa's on the Housetop (Mike Ross, lead vocal; Brian Hefferan, banjo)

This song was written by Leroy Carr who was a blues piano player. Mike first heard it from Jim Kweskin and from the Lost World String Band.

Track 14 - * Possum on a Rail (Brian Hefferan, banjo)

Mark Sewell learned this tune from a Marimac tape of tunes compiled and edited by Bill Dilloff. The source for this tune is the Mississippi Possum Hunters. Mike learned it from Mark.

Track 15 - * Drop That Sack (Brian Hefferan, lead vocal)

This song comes from a 1925 recording of Papa Charlie Jackson who played a guitar-banjo.

Track 16 - Sal Won't You Marry Me/Anna Lovisa Reel/Jump in the Well, My Pretty Little Miss (Brian Hefferan, banjo)

Sal Won’t You Marry Me was recorded by Melvin Wine and also Ed Haley. Our version reflects the fiddling style of Mark Sewell.

Anna Lovisa Reel was composed by Mike when he starting thinking he should be able to play in the key of E. It is named after the Anna Lovisa Tree Farm in Bath, Michigan where some friends of ours live.

Jump In the Well, My Pretty Little Miss comes from a recording by the Indian Creek Delta Boys. This version is also influenced by the fiddling of Dave Husic, Mark Sewell and Mark Gunther.

Track 17 - Down by the Railroad Tracks (Mike Ross, harmonica, lead vocal; Brian Hefferan, banjo)

This is another great song from Bradley Kincaid.

Track 18 - Another Curtain Call on the Stages of Farewell (Brian Hefferan, banjo)

Noon time Sunday at the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, Michigan. You say goodbye to friends and go to pack up to leave. Six hours later you see the same people again because neither you or they have left yet. So you end up saying goodbye over and over again to the same people. Mike composed this tune in the 90s.