Truman Price

Fiddle and …

Not much happening; trying to figure out how to continue the Square Dance series, maybe out at Salt Creek.
I’m to do half of a program at Brown House, Stayton, on June 23.  First an hour of classical violin from Mark Babson then an hour of old-time fiddle from me. I’d like to do an overview of kinds of fiddle… I roughed out a book on the topic last year and estimated 1200-1500 pages; so my hour set will be less than complete. It will include discussion, questions, samples: a quick romp through Old-Time Fiddle as I’ve seen it.
Two dances coming up, in the barn at Champoeg State Park, July 14 and August 11.  Also one at Crosshill School this weekend (May 19)

Still peddling the memoir:


Canora:  Notes from an Old-Time Fiddler,

Perfect-bound pb, 8.5″ , 254 pages


…it’s gotten some nice comments from readers…


Available direct from Truman, 7210 Helmick Road, Monmouth, OR 97361;
(Send check or cash, or email and I’ll ship with invoice.)  (It’s a little over half paid for now, 8 months in)
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“Oregon’s leading student of music of the Oregon Trail era…”  (actually, I like several kinds of music).
Many concerts, fiddle or fiddle and vocal; solo or with True West Band or friends; also hundreds of dances called.

I sat at the Independence Saturday market on the first warm day of Spring, and fiddled essentially non-stop for 2 1/2 hours.  Later wrote a list of the 62 tunes or songs that I could remember having done.  My only criteria was to keep changing: at the end of each tune or song, go into the next, one, but change the key, change the genre, and alternate between wordless tunes and songs with lyrics.  60+ of ’em… about 8 different genres… tunelist  hereJune 12, Sat. 

Music of the frontiers

   A slogan adopted years ago after many Oregon Trail concerts and other forays:   okay, but is it complete?    My fiddle is a love affair.

      Truman 2014 where?

There are a few video song links near the bottom of this page





CALENDAR Lots of old calendars here. –

Starting 2018:

Jan 9 – Homecoming Dance (squares!), Crosshill High School; music by Jon & Shannon Zilko
Feb 4 – 1/4 of an Oregon Trail Music concert at Brown House, Stayton
Feb 11, 13, 14, 15: Four jams! Keizer; Fat Tuesday cajun party at Mission Mill; Monmouth Senior Center; Luna’s jam at OWC, Corvallis
March 31, Sat – Polk Folklife Festival, at WOU, Monmouth; 10-6  (hosting jams half the time, in the “jam room”).
April 21 – fiddling at Independence Saturday Market, 2 1/2 hours, tunelist  here
May 12, Sat – Independence Market A.M.; Mission Mill at 1; with OOTFA there 2:30- near 4
May 14, Sat – Square Dance at Crosshill School, with Worn-out Shoes
May, memorial day weekend– NW Folklife Festival, Seattle .. party at Adam’s house? TBA
June 15, 16 — all day, Rose City Book Fair, Portland
June 23, Sat – Concert at Brown House, Stayton, 2 – 4:30; Mark Babson with classical violin, then I’ll do a tour of types of Old Time Fiddle, at least 7 different genres.
July 14, Sat. 6 pm – Dance, Champoeg State Park, at the barn, 6-8:30, with “Worn Out Shoes”
Aug 11, Sat. – Dance, Champoeg SP, at the barn behind visitor center, “Worn Out Shoes”

Some of 2017:

Jan 14 Sat – 7 pm, Guthrie Park Hall, near Dallas: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music
Feb 11 Sat – 7-9:30 pm, Guthrie Park: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music [John Doan brought a music class from Willamette U; they get some special dances to start them off]
Feb 15 Tues 12-1 pm, Capitol Rotunda, Salem; Music of the Oregon Trail, solo [that was fun – a class from St. Jo’s came for the concert, a few older folks. The rotunda was so noisy! we moved up the stairs, then into the loft over the Senate chamber – that worked.
Feb 28 Tues 12-3,  Mardi Gras, Mission Mill [Great food; and decent faux Cajun music]
Mar 5, Sun, 1-3  Bev’s birthday party, Monmouth
Mar 11 – Guthrie Park, near Dallas: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music
Mar 8, Wed, 6:30-8: Sr. Ctr, Monmouth
April 6,7- OOTFA Convo, Rickreall; lots of jamming, & a bit in Friday night concert
April 8 – Guthrie Park, near Dallas: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music
May  5 – Cinco de Mayo party at Mission Mill
May 13 – Music of the Oregon Trail, solo, 10:30-12, at Willamette Heritage Center.
May 13 – Guthrie Park, near Dallas: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music
May 28, Saturday, 12:20-1:20 : NW Folklife Festival (Seattle), Alki Court; with Adam Price
June 10 – Living History Festival, 2 sets; Pioneer Schoolhouse north of Eugene airport
June 16, 17 — all day, Rose City Book Fair, Portland
June 24, Sat @ noon- World Beat Festival, Salem; True West Adventures, or maybe Whirled Beets… With Wes, Paul, Don Taco – lively music!
July 8, Sat. Dance at Champoeg,  6-8:30, music by Worn-out Shoes (and an Oregon Trail song or two)
July 10 — A pleasant 2.5 hours fiddling for “1st Step Clinic” in Salem –
August 13Square dance: Salt Creek School, Worn Out Shoes

Moon songs at eclipse party: Vivian Williams, Adam Price, Tru & Suzi, Bruce Reid, Kevin

Aug 19, 20, 21 -Eclipse party, our house, lots of music
Aug 30 – Interview by Kurt Dugan and John Adams, on KMUZ
Aug 31 – Calling, Dance at Hillsboro school, with Worn-Out Shoes’ music
Sept. 4 – with the whole Keizer jam gang –  Knox Presbyterian Picnic, 5 pm
Sept. 10, Keizer jam: Tunes that were played
Sept 16 – solo – at Newell Pioneer Village, by Champoeg park 11-4 – music & dancing
Sept. 22, Fri – Old Time Dance, at Oak Grove Grange, 2760 Oak Grove Rd, Rickreall; music by Worn-Out Shoes. Truman calling and helpin’ with the fiddle.
Oct 1:  Annual CSA potluck/music & square dance at Minto Brown Growers’ farm stand, 3394 Brown Island Road So, Sale. With Worn-Out Shoes. 4:30 to 7 pm. Get there early!
Oct 18 – Book Reading/with fiddle: at Book Bin, Salem
Oct 19 – Book Reading /with fiddle: at Book Bin, Corvallis
Oct.26 – Old Time Dance, at Oak Grove Grange, 2760 Oak Grove Rd, Rickreall; music by Worn-Out Shoes with fiddle by Shannon Zilka. Truman calling and helpin’ a bit with fiddle.
Dec 2 – Wandering Fiddler at Newell House, Champoeg, 3-6 pm; Oregon trail, carols, Ingalls family… and a schottische or waltz or two.
Dec 14 – for the Guadelupe Dancers, St Patrick‘s Church, Independence, 7 – (& great food after).  .  About the Dancers for Guadelupe Celebrations [[Description & 2-3 photos]

poke here for some of 2016

 poke here for 2015 –,  Lots of old calendars here.

  • 1800’s Reel at Newell House, solo – Suzanne on the left –

        for several years…

    Local Jams:
    Appalachian fiddle tunes: There is a very nice Appalachian fiddle tunes jam in Keizer on the second Sunday of each month. Inquire here, or of Roger Applegate.   Here’s a few recent tunelists.   Same group sometimes at our house on the Third Sunday, not summer, erratically. About half of the core group of 15 or so musicians show up at any particular jam.Inquire.
    Appalachian fiddle tunes: in Corvallis, 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month; at Old World Deli, 7 pm
    Second Wednesday every month, a few friends practice/perform for a small but regular audience at the Monmouth Senior Center, 6:30 – 8pm; come in, musicians and listeners welcome!
    General jam: Guthrie Park, 3 miles south of Dallas at 4320 Kings Valley Hwy, has been running every Friday night, 6:30-10 pm, for 25 years (I never missed a Friday in the first ten years or so). [[NOTE– I STOPPED LAST YEAR FOR A WHILE WHEN A MUSICIAN DROPPED A GUN ON THE STAGE. .. but I go sometimes.  It was a very large jam – 10 to  20 musicians each week, a large and faithful audience and folks dancing.  A strict rotation around the circle of musicians around the floor is followed (although there is a dominant group who sit on the edge of the stage, a mushy 12-string and an accordion, and often find excuses for extra turns for themselves). Music includes country-western, older pop, folk, fiddle tunes and waltzes. If the weather is nice, old-time-fiddlers may move out to the porch.]]
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Ancient History department:


“An Appalachian Christmas” was such a fun gig!  Asked to present a one-hour program, we studied, and nailed it: simply  great: widely varied, perfect; many groups around the valley would love to have it  —  if only they knew about it!




Appalachian Christmas AdAn Appalachian Christmas – “Presenting three of the valley’s most respected folk musicians Truman Price, Jane Keefer, Tim Crosby.”   details
  • About the Oregon Trail music and lore:
    30 years ago I was asked to put together a 40-minute set of authentic music of the Oregon Trail as introductory music for 16 performances of the Oregon Trail Pageant at Champoeg, so I researched and with Jane Keefer recorded a cassette collection (now a CD, Songs of the Oregon Trail CD Truman and Jane Keefer), and with friends did 16 performances there (Jane returned to her work at John Hopkins).
  • Later the Oregon Historical Society sponsored 50+ one-hour presentations, schools, libraries, conventions; usually solo, sometimes Adam Truman 8duo or trio with True West Band.  Since then have done many more, from a few songs to two hours +…  the material is wide-open…  (The two-hour set seemed short!)
    I enjoy Seattle concerts with son Adam – fine banjoist and musician! –>
  • <– An aside: For twenty years I’ve been fiddler for the annual Guadelupe
    dances on/around Dec. 12 with the local Mexican community.  A wonderful
    experience.  Anyone can attend, and the food after is super.
  • Here’s a page  About the Dances for Guadelupe Celebrations
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  • Some Video: Solos filmed by Josh Meredith & Bob Zybach near Corvallis 2005, part of a presentation on the old California-Oregon Trail which ran through that meadow.  Note: We had just spent two hours finding camas roots and grubbing blackberry vines out of the watershed, and were all kinda muddy!

    A few nice verses of June Apple filmed by Ray Leach at Centralia Campout August 2005, trio with Adam Price and Tom Peloso (of Modest Mouse):

    These are with Adam on banjo, at Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle, Memorial Day Weekend 2007:

    Most of these videos, and a few others, are on YouTube, some with nice comments – poke here, or just enter the words “old time fiddle” and see what comes up!—

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    Two CD’s:

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    Lessons: I’ve taught, beginning violin to advanced fiddle, for many years. Several former students have become impressive players and bandleaders. Also have enjoyed doing a workshop “fiddle for violinists” , seven times at NW Folklife and also for the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers annual convention in Rickreall; always with good feedback.

    SameThinginJune2 StopScaringTheCows2
     From the desk window in Early Spring . . . . . . . Same thing in June, with organic Jerseys . . . . . . .   Hey, Stop Scaring My Cows! (Sept 1)
    Addenda: Books:  We make part of our living selling antiquarian books, especially children’s literature, and Suzanne’s site at is interesting.  I offer about a few hundred titles of folk music (not my personal collection of a few hundred more), which can be searched here. For more, change the keywords… e.g. “music” or “fiddle”.  Also we sell some of that nice Jersey beef glimpsed in the photos above, in late fall. Contact –