Happy birthday Mel Durham

Mel Durham, 2003
Mel Durham, 2003

It occurred to me this evening that Mel Durham would have been 97 years old a few days ago if he were still around, so I thought I’d share one of his tunes with everybody.

If you don’t know who Mel is, he was a fiddler and bass player originally from Southern Illinois who lived in Southern California from after WWII until he died in 2008. He was a lot of fun to be around and play with and shared a lot of his music with a lot of people in the old-time community around here. You can read a lot more about him and see more pictures here.

This is a tune he called “Brush Creek,” and chances were good that if you were starting out in G, Mel would play this tune first. Somehow this tune got left off Mel’s “Skillet Fork” CD (which you can buy here) although I know it was recorded during those sessions. This version is from 2000 from a few recordings I made with Mel at his house in Lakewood on one of those little Tascam 4-track cassette recorders. Sound quality isn’t the best, and I think I just stuck the fiddle on one side of the mix and the guitar on the other when I transferred these onto my computer, but Mel’s in good form on this tune.


Brush Creek

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