Uncle Dick Hutchinson from northeastern Oklahoma was an influential figure to aspiring fiddlers with his instrumental compositions and interpretations of common tunes in the old time canon. Combining new and previously released recordings, Fiddle Tunes From Uncle Dick Hutchinson is a continuation of Hutchins’ effect on the old time music community.
This collection contains twenty of Uncle Dick’s tunes, all played by contemporary musicians. Spavinaw Bill performed by April Verch is a lively piece that Hutchinson learned from Henry Cunningham of Spavinaw, Oklahoma.
Hogs In The Cornfield is the one piece on the album that doesn’t feature the fiddle. Performed on mandolin by Carl Jones with guitar accompaniment from Kenny Jackson, this is a great duet piece that is really well suited for this type of instrumental arrangement.
Hutchinson composed several original tunes during his lifetime, some of which are featured on this project. Minnie Put Your Kettle On was written by Uncle Dick for his wife Minnie and is performed here by Erynn Marshall. Deleware County Blues is a piece that Hutchinson named after the first county he called home in northeast Oklahoma. Fiddler Jerry Correll and banjoist Kirk Sutphin deliver masterful performances on this piece. Sharecropper’s Blues composed in honor of sharecropping farmers in Oklahoma features fiddler Eynn Marshall along with Kyle Dean Smith on guitar and Carl Jones on mandolin.
As previously mentioned, there’s several standard fiddling pieces that are played the way that Hutchinson performed them. One of them is Hutchinson’s Durham Bull. Learned from Buddy Durham, Uncle Dick had his own rendition which utilized a cross keyed G tuning on the fiddle. This rendition is performed by Kitty Amaral, who at the time of the recording was eleven years old.
Other tunes of this nature include Durang’s Hornpipe performed by Matt Brown, Dry And Dusty by April Verch, and Hell Among The Yearlings by the Ozark Highballers.
The project’s liner notes written by Jerry Correll contain a wealth of biographical information about Uncle Dick and notes on the individual pieces. It’s just as valuable as the recordings themselves.
Fiddle Tunes From Uncle Dick Hutchison is a fantastic compilation. Though Hutchison passed away well over thirty years ago, his impact on fiddlers is still felt even today. This recording does a wonderful service to his legacy.