Sandy Boys

Sandy Boys, jamming at Indian Neck Folk Fest. You mostly hear Neil Rossi on fiddle and Susan Sterngold on banjo. The fiddle is cross-tuned AEAE.

Two parts. This is a modal tune. In key of A, you play a G chord. The fiddle may cross-tune to AEAE. If played in key of G, you play an F chord and fiddle may tune to GDGD.

  • Old recording by Edden Hammons [utoob], a WV fiddler who supposedly said, "Pon my honor, I'll lay my fiddle down for no damn woman" shortly before his divorce [source: wikipedia]. This was in reference to whether it was time for him to get a real job.
  • Rhys Jones and Steve Rosen play and sing it slow [utoob]. Rhys recorded this on his CD, Mississippi Square Dance [amazon clip]. We met Steve when he was playing with the great Volo Bogtrotters.
  • Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman live [utoob]. Alan says this tune probably predates its first publication as an 1850s minstrel tune.
  • Lots of energy on this fun stage performance [utoob] by Deadwood Revival. Sound mix isn't great and they medley to another tune at 3:33.
  • Beautiful! He plays his homemade fretless gourd banjo in a lower key because his banjo won't tune higher [utoob]. I have the same problem.
  • You go through the door to find... Fiddle Hell! [utoob].


Here are some good learning links. Simple and slow on fiddle, key of A [mp3 from fiddle kids]. Mark Ralston's instructional video played slow with close-up on fiddle & banjo fingering. Patient lesson by the great banjo player Hilary Burhans [utoob], key of G. Closeup of banjo fingers by man with goatee [utoob] or woman with hat [utoob]. Sheet music [pdf at SlowJam].


Hey Hey sandy boys Hey get along those boys Hey hey sandy boys Waitn on the break of day

More lyrics here and here and here.