Weems String Band
Weems String Band
Brothers Dick and Frank Weems, for example, play their fiddles in positions way up the neck that rural old-time fiddlers hardly ever bothered to reach for. How did the Weems brothers, who came from the backwoods of Perry County, TN, an area more known for stills than Stokowksi, learn such classical techniques? Go figure, or rather, go fiddle. Making things even more confusing is the fact that the brothers used these techniques to create typically raunchy, old-time sounding string band music. Another unusual element of the band is the use of the cello, played by Jesse Weems.
There is very little use made of this instrument in either old-time string band music, bluegrass, or country music. The brothers combine these instruments to create a marvelous blend that is really very different than any other string band sound, thus the fanatic following which praises among many other attributes the Weems' complicated and sometimes startling variations on their basic themes, sometimes considered more in the style of Indian classical music than the normally more simple string band playing. The band was totally a family enterprise. Banjo player Alvin Condor had married one of the Weems sisters.
The Weems clan made the cull for a series of old-time string band collectors' cards illustrated by famous cartoonist Robert Crumb, and in this picture two additional family members are shown on guitar and banjo. These players are not featured on the recordings, however. The group's music was re-released on the, County label, anthology Echoes of the Ozarks. Read more on Last.fm.
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