Pa's Fiddle
Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler


The Songs

What They Are Saying

Liner Notes


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Pa’s Fiddle: Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler Pre-Sale 11/8/10

The autobiographical Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) are rich in references to music, with 127 songs embedded in the narratives. In fact, there may be no books of comparable standing that document frontier America family music-making so thoroughly. The source of most music-making was Charles “Pa” Ingalls, a born entertainer who missed few occasions to sing and play his fiddle, an instrument that accompanied the Ingalls family through times good and bad and came to symbolize the endurance of the family unit in a threatening frontier world.

Courtesy of the Little House books, Charles Ingalls is perhaps the 19th-century American fiddler about whom we know most. We know the names of many of the tunes and songs he played, where he played them, for whom, and often why he chose them.

This recording, which draws from the instances when Ingalls is chronicled playing his fiddle alone, aims to place him among the first rank of old-time fiddlers whose music is foundational to so much in American music.

1. Buffalo Gals (Pa’s Fiddle Band) 2:59
2. Jesus Holds My Hand (Pa’s Fiddle Band)2:54
3. When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Pa’s Fiddle Band)2:42
4. Polly Put the Kettle On (Pa’s Fiddle Band)2:43
5. My Sabbath Home (Pa’s Fiddle Band w/ Joe Weed, fiddle)3:25
6. Life Let Us Cherish/All the Blue Bonnets medley (Pa’s Fiddle Band)3:21
7. Golden Years Are Passing By (Bryan Sutton)1:20
8. Boatmen’s Dance (David Grier, guitar; Matt Combs, fiddle;
Matt Flinner, mandolin; Derek Jones, bass; Joe Weed, fiddle)2:31
9. Mary of the Wild Moor (Pa’s Fiddle Band)2:29
10. The Campbells Are Coming/Haste to the Wedding medley
(Pa’s Fiddle Band)3:00
11. Golden Years Are Passing By (reprise) (Pa’s Fiddle Band)4:31
12. My Sabbath Home (reprise) (Joe Weed)1:03
13. Yellow Heifer (Pa’s Fiddle Band)3:11
14. Life Let Us Cherish (reprise) (Jeff Taylor)1:04
15. The New Year’s Come (Matt Combs, Jeff Taylor)0:53
16. Jesus Holds My Hand (reprise 1) (Pa’s Fiddle Band) 3:28
17. Jesus Holds My Hand (reprise 2) (Pa’s Fiddle Band) 2:01
total time: 43:38

Pa’s Fiddle Band
Matt Combs – fiddle; Dennis Crouch – bass; Matt Flinner – mandolin;
Shad Cobb – banjo, fiddle; Buddy Greene – harmonica; Bryan Sutton – guitar; Jeff Taylor – accordion, penny whistle, piano

Produced by Dale Cockrell, Joe Weed, and Matt Combs