Clint Howard Band Live Times 2[CD]
The old time musical tradition began for Clint Howard when he was around 6, listening to his mother sing a line from a hymn or ballad to give him the pitch of the part he was to sing. By changing the parts Clint was to sing, she taught him all parts and most of the hymns and ballads she had learned from her family. Clint stills sings all parts, lead, bass, baritone, tenor and falsetto tenor and credits his mother for developing the enormous power and range of his voice. In the late 50's, early 60's, playing with Fred Price and Doc Watson at Carnegie Hall and the Newport Folk Festival, among other venues, Clint was the front man for the trio, telling jokes and introducing songs with a natural ease that audiences loved. In the 80's he formed a band called Clint Howard, Fred Price & Sons, which became well known as a great mountain music band. They had show dates at the Smithsonian, Washington, DC, the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville and the National Folk Festival Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna, VA. They traveled with a tour that had performances in 14 different cities sponsored by The Gabier Folklore Society. He has played at almost every Merlefest with Doc Watson since it began in 1988. When an old time collection is compiled, Clint Howard's singing and guitar playing are often included on the album. His rendition of Maggie Walker Blues (a variant of 'The Girl I Left Behind' song family) is still considered one of the best.In 1963, Bob Dylan used the tune for his own unreleased 'Long Time Gone,' a song which also shared parts of the imagery (most notably the 'fickle girl' image), making the Clint Howard version a rather likely folksong influence/source for Dylan's 'original'. He has passed on this vocal tradition to his family, first with Clarence, who sings bass, baritone, lead and tenor in Clint's band and plays lead guitar. He started teaching Garet, his 19-year-old grandson, who also sings and plays banjo in the band, at the age of 6 and recently gave a French harp to his 3-year-old great grandson, Hank. He has influenced musicians as far away as Switzerland (the Kruger Brothers) and Wayne Henderson recently drove out of his way to come and see Clint, when he heard him playing live on a VA radio station. Fans have come from California just to hear Clint perform in NC. Clint Howard has not only sung the old-time tunes since childhood, he has also written songs that are sung by other musicians today. Three of these songs, Light in the Window, Looking Off Down the Road, and the Shipyard Blues, could just as easily have been sung in the 1930's as in the 21st century. Light in the Window, a song about Clint's mother, is included in the Clint Howard Band Live Times 2 compact disc. In 2004 he volunteered his time and talent one hour per week for seven weeks to pass on the old time music to students at the Optional High School in Johnson County, TN. These students are 'at risk' young people who get little or no extra curricular classes. His love of the music is contagious and the students soon forgot they were sitting in a classroom. A compact disk, Passing It On, made from these classes soon sold out. 2004 was a busy year for Clint Howard, now 74 years old. He played on the Traditional Stage at Merlefest, Doc Days, Studio One at East Tennessee State University's public radio station WETS, the Down Home in Johnson City, Butler Days, The Rex Theater, Galax, VA, the Carolina in the Fall concert and the Cranberry Festival in Shady Valley, TN. To end the year he played again at the Down Home for the East Tennessee State University bluegrass and old time students. A seminar for the students was put into the ETSU archives. Clint Howard doesn't sing and play old time music for the fame or money. He has farmed his land, raised his cattle and worked as a welder and school bus driver to support his family while making albums and touring. He rolled 100 bales of hay the day before appearing on Studio One. He performs the same whether in Carnegie Hall, a tobacco warehouse in Mountain City, TN, or for the funeral of an old friend. He plays for the love and traditions of these old songs and is one of a handful of living original old time musicians. As one of his New York fans put it in 1996: 'The humble and unassuming attitude you showed me gave me a feeling of warmth and love that other performers don't seem to give to their fans. The historical importance of your work in preserving the traditional songs and tunes cannot be measured. I can only thank you for sharing your talents with us that we might understand the wonderful way of life that engendered such traditions.' Clint Howard is as real and true as the old-time music he plays and loves. Clint Howard Band Live Times 2 (2004): The first 6 songs were recorded live at East Tennessee State University's public broadcasting station, WETS, on the Studio One program, July 17th, 2004. These performances have more of a studio sound, but include comments and questions by Dave Carter of Studio One. The second 8 songs were recorded at the Down Home in Johnson City, TN July 31st 2004. This is traditional old time Appalachian mountain music at it's best, complete with jokes and banter and gives the feeling of being at the Down Home. This is not a 'background music' compact disc. It is meant to be listened to sitting down with your feet up and something cool (or warm depending on the season) to drink in your hand as you join the audience for some good picking and singing.
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