Seven Up / Old Sledge / All Fours

June 26, 2021 6:52 PM

Another old-time fiddle tune

This tune comes from the Canote Brothers, who credit it to Ralph Roberts of West Virginia, by way of Jimmy Triplett. I learned it from Greg Canote in a jam session at the Portland Old Time Music Gathering a few years ago, and it’s on the Canotes’ CD with Julia Weatherford, "Down in North Carolina". This is a quick recording I made with Strum Machine backup for the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association tune of the month recently.

"Seven Up" and "Old Sledge" are alternate names for the traditional English card game "All Fours", a trick-taking game first documented in 1674 and popular in North America through the 19th century. Ralph Roberts apparently knew the tune primarily as "Seven Up", but also called it "Old Sledge". This is a completely different tune than the one more commonly known as "Old Sledge" played out of AEAD tuning. (Which makes for some uncomfortable listening on the one recording of Roberts playing it that I could find online; he's heard that there's a special tuning for Old Sledge, and he's giving it a go, but it is very much not the tuning for this tune.) It’s also unrelated to the tunes named "Seven Up" found in Ryan’s Mammoth Collection and Marion Thede’s "The Fiddle Book" (which are unrelated to each other).

Perhaps it would be best to start calling this one "All Fours" to distinguish it from the others, although that would be an ironic title for a crooked tune. Come to think of it, though, adding that extra half-measure is something Greg likes to do to tunes that maybe didn't do it before. I have no idea if the tune was crooked before he Greg got ahold of it. Hm.

posted by hades (2 comments total)

I used a bit of this in this month's podcast!
posted by cortex at 5:51 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Nice!
posted by offog at 11:16 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


« Older Flawless Victory   |   Io Buggy Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments