Truman Price

Fiddle and …



of the


. . .

A love affair

      Truman 2014 where?


  –  –  –  –  –  –  – CALENDAR –  –  –  –  –  –  –         Lots of old calendars here. –

Starting 2020… some rough dates:
Sat. Feb 15 –  11-11:45 solo, “Music of the Oregon Trail”, in the capitol building for “Oregon’s Birthday Party”:
.   between the District Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Assoc. sets 10-11 and 11:45-1.
Sat. Feb 29 –  our dance at the Steam Punk Ball, at Reed Opera House, is off– room problem.  Maybe next year.
Sat. May 16 – at Oregon Trail Heritage Park, Oregon City, 11-12:30, solo
Memorial Day Weekend – NW Folklife Festival, Seattle – with Adam Price.
 3 barn dances at Champoeg State park,  on the last Sat of June, Late in July, Mid August.
Oops- those well-laid plans, all defunct! And more, listed and not-yet listed.  
One fun relief: Centrum/Fiddle Tunes at Port Townsend closed, so they had a virtual camp instead & a few extras got to host workshops.
Mine was Sat. June 28, an hour on Music of the Oregon Trail, and was … adequate!  About 45 viewers stuck for the hour!
There wasn’t much feedback; more of a concert, with histories:

     Wait or the Wagon; Betty Martin; Uncle Sam’s Farm; Oh Suzanna (gold rush version); The Gal I Left Behind… The Swallows (original tune);
Tombigbee River; June Apple (a request); Mississippi Sawyer, to declaim its history and a mixolydian chord in the B part;
an original about Letitia Carson from the 1845 wagon train; At the Foot of Yonders Mountain; …  nice.


 By contrast, 2019 included :-
(left out some January)
Feb 16 – with OOTFA at State Capitol for “Oregon’s Birthday” –
March 6, Tuesday – Mardi Gras feast/fiddling: Max’s Shop, Mission Mill, Salem 12-3
Mar 10, Sat — OOTFA: for Sons of Norway, (Judy and I will do Scandinavian tunes), W Salem 1-3
Mar 30, Sat – Polk Folklife Festival, at WOU Student Center, Monmouth; 10-6: hosting jams in “Truman’s Jam Room”,
.   inc. my “led jam”session 2-3 pm: Music of the Oregon Trail: All welcome to join in.
Apr 3, Thursday – Retirement Center, Albany, afternoon
April 12, Fri, 10-11:30 a.m. – for OOTFA State Convention in Rickreall, “The Sources of Old Time Fiddle” , with samples from 10 traditions; a workshop.
Apr. 29 Sat, 12-3 pm : for private party for Allen Shrunck, Dallas, solo
Apr. 29 Sat., 5-6 pm-  at Book Bin Corvallis, solo
May 2 , Thurs. 7 pm: w/ Wes & Paul, for the Mud City Festival in Eugene
May 25-26 – Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle
June 15, Sat, 11:30 – 1 pm – at Brooks History Museum at Brooks Steam Fair, solo.
June 29, Sat 6-8:30 – Barn Dance at Champoeg, (the barn behind the visitors’ center), Tru calling, with Worn Out Shoes’ music.
July 6, Sat., 11-12:30 a.m. – at Oregon Trail History Center in Oregon City, solo.
July 20, Sat 6-8:30 – Barn Dance at Champoeg, (behind the visitors’ center), Tru calling, with Worn Out Shoes
July 21 Sat, 1-4 – Flynn Vineyard, 1 mile north of Rickreall, 3 hours solo
July 22 Sun., 1-4 – Flynn Vineyard, 1 mile north of Rickreall, 3 hours solo
Aug 4, Sat – Private barn dance/concert, behind Chemeketa College, late afternoon – w Worn Out Shoes
Aug 10, Sat. – Knox Presbyterian picnic, Keizer, with Ted Cox. 5 PM.
Aug 17, Sat 6-8:30 – Barn Dance at Champoeg, (behind the visitors’ center), Tru calling, with Worn Out Shoes
Aug 24, Sat 1 – 4 pm, solo –  Brownsville, “Hands on History” – various events, much fiddling, solo
Sept 7, Sat – Annual Equinoctal cider squeeze & fiddle marathon, our house — later next year!
Sept. 21 Sat, 1-2:30 — “Harvest Festival” at a West Salem retirement home; solo.
Sept 26, Thurs  7-8:30 pm – at Silver Falls Library, Silverton – Oregon Trail and related favorites, solo
Sept. 28, Sat. 11-3 pm: Brunk Heritage House on Hwy 22, solo.
Sept. 29, Sun 5-7:30: Minto Island Growers concert/simple oldtimey dances, with Jim Hockenhull & John Adams
Oct 5, Sat., 11-12:30 a.m. – at Oregon Trail History Center in Oregon City, solo.

Dec. 12 Wed – the annual dance for the Guadelupe, St Patrick‘s Church, Independence, 7 – (& great food).
.                About the Dancers for Guadelupe Celebrations [[Description & 2-3 photos] Brief sample here.

2018 Calendar: here

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 a year in)


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General musing:  & there are a few old video song links near the bottom of this page.

.  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.
.  Still hoping to figure out how to continue the local Square Dance series.  Nothing firm yet. We still have 3 at Champoeg Park in summer.
.  Enjoyed The Elements that made Old Time Fiddle, a program at Brown House, Stayton, June 2018.  Mark Babson sampled baroque/classical/romantic violin pieces; I presented 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. Needs more work!)
.   The St. Paul Rodeo July 3 also was fun. I got to open and play rest breaks for Bronco Billy Band.  I alternated old country-western songs with every fiddle tune I could think of that mentioned large animals, finishing with my favorite about a rodeo rider, Sweet Wyoming Home, yo-de-lay-ee oo..
.   The “Steam Punk Jane Austen Ball” near Halloween was another 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: Bruce Reid, human jukebox, had an incredible store of songs mentioning the moon.   Here’s some of us: Vivian Williams, Adam Price, myself  & Suzi, W. B. 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”

    Local Jams:
    Appalachian fiddle tunes: 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 Fourth Sunday, summers, erratically. 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 last year for a while after a musician dropped her guns on the stage… I go sometimes now]].  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
  • About the Oregon Trail music and lore:
    .   30 years ago, 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 I did 16 performances there 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 the two-hour set 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, person! —>
  • <— Aside: For 25+ years I’ve been violinista for the annual Guadelupe dances 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.  Note: 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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    Lessons: 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!
    Books:  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