Truman Price

Fiddle and …



of the


. . .

A love affair

      Truman 2014 where?




Still hope to break even on the memoir — two sales to go!:


Canora:  Notes from an Old-Time Fiddler,

Perfect-bound pb, 8.5″ , 254 pages

(… it’s gotten some nice comments from readers…)

( & it’s nearly paid for, only two years in)


2021 Calendar begins at last!

30 June – for Wine tasting party at Capital Manor, 3-5 pm.
4th of July — A short set of Patriotic songs, including America the Beautiful and a military medley, but not forgetting important verses of This Land is Your Land or Ochs’ Power and the Glory… among others.  Riverview Park,  4:30 – 5 pm. With Nathan Anderson of MusicalIndependence.
July 10 Sat , 11-1; for Sons & Daughters of the Oregon Trail, at Champoeg.
July 24 Sat, 7 – OT Barn Dance; the barn behind the Champoeg Visitors Center.
Aug. 28 Sat. 7 – OT Barn Dance; the barn behind the Champoeg Visitors Center.  Nope – we decided to skip this most effective means of spreading covid!
Nov 11, Friday, 11 am – solo, Vets’ Day, for a retirement home in Salem;

Wed. Dec. 8, 6 pm : a short opening 25 min. solo set; Opening for Pirate Jenny – – Pirate Rock! Alberta Pub, 1036 NE Alberta St, Portland
Dec 12 – danzas por la Senora de Guadelupe, in Albany at 11:30, in Independence at 5 pm (recheck that time!) at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

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GENERAL MUSINGS:  … a few old video song links near the bottom of this page … notes on lessons …


Still hoping  to continue the local Square Dance series.  Nothing firm yet. We had 3 at Champoeg Park scheduled in summer 2021, but…

Recent memories:  Summer of 2018 was nice.  Fiddled about half of all Sunny Saturday Mornings at the Independence Saturday Market. On the first warm spring day I was good for about  2 1/2 hours without a break, playing as wide a variety of songs and tunes as I could, from show tunes to hoedowns: after each tune or song, straight to the next, but changing key, and genre, and alternating between tunes and songs with lyrics.  Later, I wrote down the tune list, 60+ of ’em…  tunelist  here.

Enjoyed The Elements that made Old Time Fiddle, a program at Brown House, Stayton, June 2018.  Mark Babson sampled baroque/classical/romantic violin pieces; my contribution was 10+ different threads that combined to make old-time fiddle, starting with the oldest tune, Soldier’s Joy, how it can be played many ways but is still the same; a tune played in an open tuning; the Scots/Scots-Irish migrations to Appalachia and the Mixolydian mode of the bagpipe chanter; the influence of African-American fiddlers; their synthesis in a tune learned  in the New River Valley; for contrast, a regular New England/Eastern Canada tune; a French Canadian tune; in response to a question, stories about the Metis fiddlers; the influx of rags; swing; Scandinavian; a Norteno tune; and, for where do all these tunes come from, why I made up “The Swallows”, and played that.  A one-hour romp through Old-Time Fiddle as I see it.)  A hit.
  (That Metis question inspired me to work, for a while, on Red River Jig.   Tricky! Not really a jig, I think; it feels like a regular 4/4 measure plus a half-measure, repeated many times very quickly. Hard! — and needs more work!)

The St. Paul Rodeo July 3 was fun. I opened and played breaks for The Bronco Billy Band.  No firm set list, so fiddle tunes whose titles mentioned large animals alternated with old country-western songs, finishing with Bill Staines’ great rodeo rider’s lament, Sweet Wyoming Home, yo-de-lay-ee oo… (all went well).

The “Steam Punk Jane Austen Ball” near Halloween was a different kick —  dozens of extraordinary costumes wending through the hospitality tables in the formal Grand March around the upper floor of the Mission Mill Building, straight into squares and reels.. I love doing this stuff!
Poke here for 2017 
poke here for some of 2016
 poke here for 2015 –,  Lots of old calendars here. … & a few old photos


The eclipse centered over our house, so we had an all-weekend nonstop party.  Moon songs at eclipse party: W. B. Reid,, human jukebox, had an enormous storehouse, in memory, of songs mentioning the moon.   Here’s some of us: Vivian Williams, Adam Price, myself  & Suzi, Bruce Reid, Kevin; but we were all one-upped after a few hours when we reached a lull and an 11-year old stranger who was camping in the pasture stepped to the piano where she played a clean, simple and elegant Claire de Lune.


  • Solo fiddling and calling, an 1800’s Reel at Newell House, authentic 1859 dinner and dance.

    Suzi on the left. You should have seen that gray cloth skirt swirl when the lady twirled in the center of “Bird in the Cage”… touched everyone’s ankles!

    LOCAL JAMS:  ...all suspended in 2020… resuming July 2021
    Appalachian fiddle tunes: A nice Appalachian fiddle tunes jam in Keizer on the second Sunday of each month. Inquire here, or of Roger Applegate (still being suspended, Oct. 2021).   Here’s a few recent tunelists. About half of the core group of 15 or so musicians show up at any particular jam. Inquire.
    General fiddle jam: in Corvallis, 1st Thursdays of each month; at Old World Deli, 7 pm; hosted by OOTFA … A good varied jam .
    Appalachian fiddle tunes: in Corvallis, 3rd Thursdays of each month; at Old World Deli, 7 pm; hosted by John Luna (when he’s not in town, it is not)
    Second Wednesday each month, a few friends practice/perform for a small but regular audience at the Monmouth Senior Center, 6:30 – 8pm; musicians and listeners welcome!
    2nd & 4th Sundays, 6 pm – Oak Grove Grange – bluegrass jam, with many beginners
    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 28 years (I never missed a Friday in the first ten years or so).  [[Note — I stopped in 2019 for a while after a lead musician accidentally dropped her loaded pistol on the stage… and haven’t resumed after covid.]  A large jam – 10 to 20 musicians each week, a large and faithful audience of folks listening or dancing.  Strict rotation around the circle of musicians, playing country-western, older pop, folk, fiddle tunes and waltzes.  If weather is nice, fiddlers may move out to the porch.

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Ancient History:






“An Appalachian Christmas” with Jane Keefer and Tim Crosby was such a fun gig!  Asked to present an hour program, we studied, practiced once 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
    In the 1980’s, back to Oregon after many years of random fiddling, including a few years in Western Virginia, I was asked to put together a 40-minute set of authentic music of the Oregon Trail as introductions for 16 performances of the Oregon Trail Pageant at Champoeg.  After research,  Jane Keefer and I recorded a cassette collection (which became a CD, Songs of the Oregon Trail);  then another 16 performances  each year (Jane working back East).  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.  Another 24 times solo for Oregon Trial Interpretive Center near Baker. And many more, from a few songs to two hours +… (– and a two-hour set that seemed short!)
    Might also mention OT dance: have called over 100 evenings of dance for various adultish groups; because of that, taught old-time dances to about 15,000 kids grades 1-6, in 60+ schools, through Artists in Schools.
  •     —> Seattle concert with son Adam Price – fine banjoist, fine person! —>
  • <— Aside: For 25+ years I’ve been violinista for the annual danzas por la Senora de Guadelupe on/around Dec. 12 with the local Mexican community.  A wonderful experience.   Anyone can attend, and the food is super.
  • Here’s a page  About the Dances for Guadelupe Celebrations
  • and a brief sample of one tune: Pico Perico
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  • Some Youtube 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.   We had just spent two hours finding camas roots and grubbing blackberry vines out of the watershed, and were all kinda muddy!  (“Out standing in the field!”)

    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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  • I’ve taught, beginning violin to advanced fiddle, for many years.
  • Several former students have become  players and bandleaders. Also have enjoyed doing a workshop “fiddle for violinists”, seven times for NW Folklife in Seattle and also for the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers annual convention in Rickreall.
    SameThinginJune2 StopScaringTheCows2
     From the desk window in Early Spring . . . . . . Same thing in June, with organic Jerseys . . . . . .   Hey, Stop Scaring My Cows!
  • We make part of our living selling antiquarian books, especially children’s literature, and Suzanne’s site at is really nice.  Also I offer a few hundred titles of folk music which can be searched here. (not my personal collection of a few hundred more)  For more titles, change the keywords… e.g. “music” or “fiddle”.
    truprice at gmail dot com