Tuesday, December 21, 2010

four pines, five strings

jason’s album dropped!

he ended up recording twelve tracks, five of them originals.

here’s the story he wrote for the liner notes:

In July 2010, whilst on an adventure through the Boise Basin, Emily and I wandered into the Pioneer Cemetery in Placerville, ID, to appease our affinity for old graveyards.

Since we happened to be hauling our instruments with us on this journey (Emily's accordion & my banjo), we decided to wander the cemetery playing our musical devices for whatever souls still rested in (or on) the grounds.

After meandering separately through the gravestones playing our musics, Emily and I reunited in the middle of the cemetery, banjo and accordion in arms.

We paused there together, glancing down to read an unusual grave marker…..my heart stopped and I heard Emily gasp. We stood before a plaque representing the gravesite of a fiddler and a banjo player, murdered over 140 years ago.

As the story goes: Fred Cursons (Fiddle) and L. Moulton (Banjo) were traveling on the road from Placerville to Centerville after playing a shindig in town. About halfway they witnessed the robbery and murder of a local gold prospector near Ophir Creek. The fiddlers turned to flee but were shot in the back before they could escape.

The killers were never found.

The musicians, the prospector, and another man killed by a falling tree earlier the same day were laid to rest in the single grave where I now stood. Four pine trees grew from the corners of the gravesite over the past century, perhaps to represent the four men buried here.

Neither Emily nor I could believe this serendipitous event. I was playing old-timey tunes on my banjo at the resting place of a fellow picker and his fiddling companion. We honored the fallen friends with our own renditions of "Amazing Grace.”

This was a very real moment for the two of us and I humbly offer this recording of banjo tunes to the Fiddlers Murdered at Ophir Creek.


GoneferalinID said...

Where can I buy a copy? I need to hear this.

Andrea said...


Emily said...

goneferal--he's not selling them right now, only giving them as xmas gifts, and i suspect it might be because his CD burner crapped out and he doesn't want to bother with burning more at his mom's house. i still think he'll start selling them eventually. in the meantime he gave me permission to burn you a copy.

andrea--i know, it still gives me goosebumps.