I’ve been practicing the fiddle this morning, “Ragtime Annie,” “Put Your Little Foot,” “Midnight on the Water,” “Rosin the Bow,” “Cajun Waltz,” and a few others.. I don’t sound “sweet” or “true” yet, but I’m better than I was a year ago. Pearly, the resident critic cat, sometimes stays in while I practice. Lily, our hound/lab mix has always been tolerant. She’ll lie in the floor and fall asleep. She has some nice traits.
While listening to versions of “Put Your Little Foot,” I relearned the steps, and also learned a little history about that dance form and that particular tune. According to one on-line source (see the video) the dance, a varsouvianna, started out as a mazurka over 250 years ago and spread. It’s also played as a polka, and is in A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s the same melody. I can do that dance now! In a speedy search, I found it had been recorded by Bob Wills, Stacy Phillips, Calvin Vollrath, and many, many more well known fiddlers. Missouri’s Charlie Walden plays a sweet version (of course) and has provided a three part arrangement which I am taking to today’s Sunday jam.