Truman Price

Fiddle and …


Music of the frontiers

   Thinking about that slogan, adopted years ago after many Oregon Trail concerts and other historical forays:  it’s okay but not complete. The fiddle does a lot more  …  we love playing.

      Truman 2014 where?

Hi! Truman is Oregon’s leading scholar of music of the Oregon Trail era… (among other music). He plays fiddle and sings, solo or with the True West Band, or other friends, and calls old-time square dances.

True-WilsonvillePosterFull1 And more…  one example; with Jane Keefer and Tim Crosby; we presented a one-hour program “Appalachian Christmas” — it was just 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 a trio of the valley’s most respected folk musicians Truman Price, Jane Keefer, Tim Crosby.   details


CALENDAR Lots of old calendars here. –   Beginning 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 the Whirled Beets… Me, Wes Messinger, Paul Clements, Don Taco — lively music

July 8, Sat. Dance at Champoeg, in the old barn right behind the Park Offices 6-8:30, music by Worn-out Shoes (and an occasional Oregon Trail song from me)

July 10 – Just spent a pleasant 2.5 hours fiddling for the dispensary off 12th street – always a pleasure.

August 19 (tentative): in our field, square dance at Eclipse campout ???

MY BOOK IS nearly FINISHED!  270 pages, to printer this week. Canora: Notes From an Old-Time Fiddler.

— some of 2016 …
Apr 8 Fri – 7 pm, at Old Fiddler’s Convention, Rickreall
Apr 9 Sat – 7-10 pm, Guthrie Hall, near Dallas: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music)
Apr 20 Wed – 1-3 Eco Day; 2nd Step, Oxford Street, Salem; solo.
Apr 26 Tues – 2-3 Gibson Creek Retirement; solo
May 12 Thurs – 1-3 Dallas Farmers Market; solo
May 14 – Guthrie Hall, near Dallas: Square Dance, Tru calling, Cash & Co. music)
May 26 Thurs – 1-3 Dallas Farmers Market; solo
May 27, 3 pm: NW Folklife Festival, Boeing Green (Seattle)
June 3, 4 — all day, Rose City Book Fair, Portland
June 5, Sun pm – wedding/engagement dance, Minto Farm, Salem
June 9, Thur – 1-3 Dallas Farmers Market; solo
June 10, Fri – 11; Soap Creek Schoolhouse, for school group, solo; Oregon Trail
June 11, Sat noon-3; solo; pioneer music, for Singing Creek Educational Center
June 18 Sat – cajun jam at Mission Mill, at Max’s shop – 1 to 3
June 21, Tues 8-10, guest on Max Marbles Blues & Zydeco show on KMUZ. (note, did 8 blues songs, several of which Max filmed and posted on facebook)
June 25, Sat – 2:15-3; WorldBeat Festival, Salem; music of the Oregon Trail, solo
July 1 – Fri – two fiddles, with Jim Hockenhull at Riverview Gallery, Independence, 6-8 pm
July  tba. (Jul 10? unclear) – 2nd Step, Oxford Street, Salem
July 14, Thur – 11-1 Dallas Farmers Market; solo
July 16, Sat 4, or 5 pm – GeerCrest Farm “Hoedown”, 12390 Sunnyview Road, Salem
Aug 7, 1-3 – with OOTFA at Dallas Old Timers Gathering, Dallas City Park
Aug 11, Thur 11-1 – Dallas Market, solo
Aug 13 – party and dance at Minto Island Growers
Aug 14 – 2-4, with OOTFA at Yamhill Heritage Center
Aug 20 – Barn Dance at Champoeg; right beside the entry building; with Worn-Out Shoes
Aug 25 – Dallas Market solo
Aug 26 – “Luau”, Woodburn, private
Sep 8, Thur 11-1 – Dallas Farmers Market, solo
Sep 10 Sat – Square dance at Guthrie Park, 7 pm
Sep 17 Sat – Newell House at Champoeg, afternoon events (solo)
Sep 22 Thur 11-1 – Dallas Farmers Market, solo
Sep 29 Thur 11-1 Dallas Farmers Market; solo, last of the season
Oct 1 Sat  – Minto Road Farm Stand – party and dance, time tba
Oct 29 – Polk County Folklife Festival Rickreall, all day
Nov 12, Sat. – Square Dance at Guthrie Park
Dec 10 – Square Dance at Guthrie Park
Dec 11, Dec 12 – dances for Guadelupe. (Tru & Pablo) About the Dancers for Guadalupe and similar Celebrations [Description, photos, a tune or two]

poke here for 2015 –,

  • Guthrie Jam, January 2010

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

    Local Jams:
    Appalachian fiddle tunes: There is a very nice Appalachian fiddle tunes jam in Keizer on the first 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’VE STOPPED ATTENDING SINCE PEOPLE STARTED BRINGING GUNS TO THE JAM.  I’ll let you know if there’s a change of heart. ]]  A very large jam – 10 to  20 musicians each week, a large and faithful audience and folks dancing. It follows a strict rotation around the circle of musicians around the floor (although there is a dominant group who sit on the edge of the stage, a mushy 12-string and an accordion). Music includes country-western, older pop, folk, fiddle tunes and waltzes. If the weather is nice some of the old-time-fiddlers may move out to the porch.
    – – – – –

    About the Oregon Trail stuff:
    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.  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 two other friends did 16 performances there.
    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, great musician!

    – – – – –

    An aside: For twenty years I’ve been fiddler for the annual Guadelupe dances, on Dec. 12 with the local Mexican community.  They have been a wonderful experience.  Anyone can attend, and the food after is super.  Here’s a page about them: About the Dances for Guadelupe Celebrations
    – – – – –

    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 bit filmed by Ray Leach at Centralia Campout August 2005, trio with Adam Price and Tom Peloso (of Modest Mouse):

    These are with Adam Price on banjo, at the 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!— I think I do some of ’em better these days…

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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 very impressive players and bandleaders. Also have enjoyed doing a workshop “fiddle for violinists” , seven times at NW Folklife and last year 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)
    • Working on my memoir — Notes From an Old Fiddler;… only about half-way through the essential now-read-it-aloud step, and its already gardening time… more hours needed!
    Addenda: Books:  We make part of our living selling antiquarian books, especially children’s literature, and Suzanne’s site at is nice. I offer a few hundred books of folk music, (not my personal collection of a few hundred more) which can be searched here. Use as keywords either “folk music” or “fiddle”. And we sell some of that nice Jersey beef glimpsed in the photos above. Contact –