Red Prairie Dawn at Sore Fingers

Folks stateside may not be familiar with Sore Fingers Week, a major annual event on the bluegrass calendar in the UK. It’s a week long camp offering instruction in bluegrass and old time music, bringing teachers from across Europe and the US.

They also host a weekend version in the Fall, but the Spring event is the place to be to study and learn any of the traditional bluegrass instruments, plus voice and autoharp.

During the recently concluded 2012 week, a number of the instructors were filmed performing a lovely old time tune, Red Prairie Dawn. Mike Witcher is on resonator guitar, Grant Gordy on guitar, Miranda Sykes on bass, Rex Preston on mandolin and Laura Carrivick on fiddle.

We caught up with Gordy this morning and he told us how the shoot came about.

“Mike Witcher had thought it would be nice to shoot a video of us playing that tune. He’d taught it to us and we’d played it during an evening instructor concert the previous day. It came out really nicely, so we all decided we’d throw that video together.

John Breese, a great young English banjo player who was teaching there, happened to have a good camera and did the shooting for us. We literally stood just down the hill from the school in the evening as the final instructor concert was starting and ran through the tune about twice, then ran back up to make sure we didn’t miss any of the concert!

It was kind of a last-minute thing and we just found enough time to do it; just a little documentation of a nice moment that took place.”

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • jim nelson

    This beautiful “old-time” tune was composed by Garry Harrison, a fiddler living in Bloomington, IN, who recorded it on his CD of the same name about 10 years ago.