Vess Ossman's 1905 "Turkey in the Straw Medley", played by Dow Douthitt

Full version of the song. Not perfect, but the best I can do, my right hand starts cramping by the time I get to the end of the song and I start to lose it. Oh well...enjoy. Morrison on this one.

  • Currently 5/5 stars.

Views: 144

Comment by thereallyniceman on February 6, 2018 at 20:02

First Class playing. You MUST be spending a lot of time in the woodshed or you have a very understanding partner! I get banished to our spare bedroom to practise :-)

Comment by Texican65 on February 25, 2018 at 3:56

Ha! Thanks....sure looks easy...but I know that "you know" it isn't! Its all over the neck on that one...down low, up high, back and forth...not like the rolling patterns of bluegrass banjo that I'm used to. Yes, my wife is very tired of hearing banjo...I can only get away with it while she is away at work and I happen to be home with our baby. 


Comment by Otto Monell on March 4, 2018 at 16:42

Sounds a lot like the old clawhammer tune "Dixe"

Nonetheless great playing!

Comment by Joel Hooks on March 5, 2018 at 1:38

"Clawhammer tune?" Do you mean the walkaround composed by Dan Emmett?  Because that is part of the medley.

Nice playing Dow!  Do trains run to Rochester NY?  We could arrange a ride to the ABF rally from there.

Comment by Texican65 on March 5, 2018 at 5:29

Thanks for the kind comments Otto! I believe “Dixie” was written well before the claw hammer style was created, oh well. This Ossman Medley includes “Dixie”, “Arkansas Traveler”, “ My Love is but a Lassie Yet”, and “Turkey in the Straw”.

Thanks Joel, means a lot coming from a pro like you. I wish I could attend the rally...I just can’t get away from the railroad, and it’s so far away. Maybe next year or the following, my wife and daughter and I could take a vacation out that way and attend.

The action is so low on this banjo, that my picking fingers hit the head...I didn’t realize how loud it was until listening to the video a few times. I getting used to the 1/4” action on the Morrison feels good and is loud.


Comment by Jody Stecher on March 5, 2018 at 7:19

The word "clawhammer" is indicative of a hand position. I dunno how old the term is but Dan Emmett played stroke style, didn't he?  The downward movement of the right hand of stroke style is the same as in what is called clawhammer. Stroke style has some complex rhythms not often found in what is usually called clawhammer banjo music but Dixie is rhythmically simple.  While it does feel a bit anachronistic to hear "Dixie" called a "old clawhammer tune" , when I think it through it makes sense to me that someone would call it that.  

Comment by Otto Monell on March 5, 2018 at 18:07


After reading the description of the video I can clearly see that the first tune was indeed Dixie!

I have only heard the tune in a frailing fashion and thats why I got confused, but after reading into it I found out that Dan Emmet is the original composer and that it is much older than Clawhammer.

Thanks for telling me and sorry for being so incorrect!

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