Truman Price

Fiddle and …


of the


. . .

Truman 2014 where?


Canora:  Notes from an Old-Time Fiddler,

Perfect-bound pb, 8.5″, 254 pages
(some nice comments from readers…)


photos on the book covers:
front: granddaughter Nia, 15+ years ago;
rear: the “music room” at our house, when we had monthly jams…

2022 Calendar begins at last!

Wed, Mar 17 (St. Pat’s Day) 6 pm – solo, Opening for Pirate Jenny, the Pirate Rock Band!  Alberta St. Pub, PDX
Sun, Apr 17. – Dallas, zoom from John Cobb Eco Farm, 4 – 5 pm…
Sat. April 30 – Independence Heritage Museum Opening: solo, 1-3 pm (break for ribbon cutting at 1:15)
Sat. May 7 – Sheep-to-Shawl at Mission Mill, Salem, 10:15-11:30, solo; later with the OOTFA fiddlers.
Sat, May 14 – Polk County History Museum, Rickreall; solo, 12:30 – 4 pm
Sat Jun 4 (??) – 9-10 a.m, for Helmick Park Anniversary of Oregon’s 1st state park ?? (fiddlin’ was rained out!)
Mon., Jul 4 – 1:45-4 pm at Newell House, at SW corner of Champoeg State Park
Sat. Aug 27 – Brownsville Pioneer Days – wandering minstrel, 1-4 pm
Sat. Sep 17 – 4:30-5:30 for Independence Wine Crawl; Main Street in front of the Mural.
Sat Oct 1 – With Debo Kerr on Guitar: 4-6, Monmouth City Park, at the gazebo – (Manit Day 2022 Northwest; the annual cultural celebration of natives of the Marshall Islands, runs 10 am – 6 pm). .
Dec 12 @ – danzas por la Senora de Guadelupe.  Times t.b.a.


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

pre-covid Memories:  Summer of 2018…  sunny Saturday Mornings at the Independence Saturday Market.  On the first warm day I fiddled  2 1/2 hours straight, a wide variety, from hoedowns to show tunes: after each straight to the next without a break, always changing key, and genre, and alternating between bare tunes and songs with lyrics.  I loved it; back home I wrote down the tune list, 60+ …  tunelist  here.

Enjoyed The Elements that made Old Time Fiddle, a program for Santiam Historical Society, Stayton, June 2018.  First, violin: Mark Babson sampled baroque/classical/ romantic violin pieces; then I sampled different threads that contributed to old-time fiddle: 1) an ancient tune, Soldier’s Joy, inc. how it can be played many ways but is still the same; 2) a tune played in an open tuning; 3) the Scots/Scots-Irish migrations to Appalachia and the Mixolydian mode of the bagpipe chanter; 4) the influence of African-American fiddlers; 5) synthesis of these in a tune from SW Virginia; 6) for contrast, a regular New England/Eastern Canada tune; 7) a French Canadian tune;  8) the influx of rags; 9) swing; 10) Scandinavian; 11) a Norteño tune; and, 12) for where do all these tunes come from?, how I made “The Swallows”, and played that.  A one-hour romp through old-time fiddle, and a hit.

The St. Paul Rodeo July 3 was fun: Opened and played breaks for The Bronco Billy Band.  No set list; old country-western standards alternated with fiddle tunes named for hoofed animals, finishing with Bill Staines’ great rodeo rider’s lament, Sweet Wyoming Home, yo-de-lay-ee oo… which they hadn’t heard of, I think… (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 reels, squares, circles. I love doing this!
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, friends in the orchard, strangers in the pasture, potluck!  Moon songs: W. B. Reid, human jukebox, opened an enormous storehouse (in memory) of songs mentioning the moon.   Here’s some of us: Vivian Williams, Adam Price, myself  & Suzi, a stranger in the door, Bruce Reid, Kevin Hendrickson; but we were all one-upped after a few hours, when we paused and an 11-year old camper-in-the-field slipped through the crowd to the piano and played a clean, simple and elegant Claire de Lune.


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

Suzi on the left. The lady in the gray skirt skirt twirled in the center of “Bird in the Cage”… touching everyone’s ankles!

Appalachian fiddle tunes: Intense Appalachian fiddle tunes jam in Keizer on the second Sunday of each month.  Here’s a few tunelists. About half of the core group of 15 or so musicians show up at any particular jam. Inquire.
Second Wednesday each month, Monmouth Senior Center, 6:30 – 8pm; (a few friends practice/perform) musicians and listeners welcome!
Mix, tunes and wild songs: in Corvallis, 2nd Thursdays of each month; at Old World Deli, 7 pm; hosted by Wild Hogs in the Woods.
General jam: Guthrie Park, 3 miles south of Dallas at 4320 Kings Valley Hwy, every Friday night, 6:30-10 pm for 28 years, until Covid (I never missed a Friday from the first session for ten years or so).  [Note — I stopped in 2019 after a lead musician dropped her loaded pistol on the stage… been back a couple of times after covid.]  A large jam – 10 or 15 musicians each week, a large and faithful audience of folks on the benches around.  Strict rotation around the circle of musicians; country-western, older pop, folk, fiddle tunes and waltzes, and everyone can play all of ’em.  If weather is nice, fiddlers may move out to the porch.

Ancient History:


Appalachian Christmas Ad


An Appalachian Christmas – “Presenting three of the valley’s most respected folk musicians Truman Price, Jane Keefer, Tim Crosby.”   


The “Appalachian Christmas” with Jane Keefer and Tim Crosby was fun to research!  Asked for an hour program; studied, laid it out, we practiced once and nailed it: great: widely varied, perfect; many groups around the valley would love to have it  —  if only they knew about it!  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 set of authentic music of the Oregon Trail as introductions for 16 performances of the Oregon Trail Pageant at Champoeg.   Jane Keefer and I quickly recorded a cassette collection (later a CD, Songs of the Oregon Trail);  then came 16 performances each year at the Pageant (Jane was working back East).  In the next few years the Oregon Historical Society sponsored 50+ one-hour presentations, schools, libraries, conventions; usually solo, sometimes Adam Truman 8duo or trio with True West.  Another 24 times solo for Oregon Trial Interpretive Center near Baker. And many more, from a few songs to two hours +… (– which seemed short!).  Also: Oldtime Dance: have called a couple of hundred evenings of dance for various adultish groups; through Artists in Schools taught a variety of old dances to about 15,000 kids grades 1-6, in 60+ 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 Señora de Guadelupe on/around Dec. 12 with the local Mexican community.  A wonderful experience.   Anyone can attend and the food is superb.
  • 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: 4 solos filmed by Josh Meredith & Bob Zybach near Corvallis in 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 son 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.  Former students have become players and bandleaders.  I enjoyed doing a workshop “fiddle for violinists” seven times for NW Folklife in Seattle and also for the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers’ annual convention.   (also taught some guitar, but not my forte)
    SameThinginJune2 From the desk window in June, with organic Jerseys . . . . . .
  • We make our living selling antiquarian books, especially children’s literature, and Suzanne’s site, with 8000 titles at is nice.  Also I offer 1000 music titles which can be searched here. (not my personal collection of a few hundred more)  For more possibilities, change the keywords… e.g. “music” or “fiddle”.
     truprice at gmail dot com
© 2001 Truman Price