Old-Time Tiki Parlour
Scott Prouty is one of a fine group of young fiddlers making a name for themselves playing old-time music. This combination set of CD and DVD features two dozen solo performances by Prouty on fiddle and banjo. There are great tunes from West Virginia, Missouri, and beyond here. Prouty came up in the West Virginia tradition and has branched out as he grew. As he states in his notes, these are not necessarily jam tunes, but rather ones that he prefers to play at home. Whether playing fiddle or banjo, his ready command of the instrument is apparent. Prouty does not want attention for his playing, but wants to be a vehicle to steer fellow seekers to the older players, living and gone, who came before and helped shape this repertory.
The liner notes are quite informative, giving sources, tracing tunes through various permutations as different musicians and generations played the tunes, each imparting something of themselves into the tune while preserving the essence of each piece. “Owl Hoot,” played on a fretless gourd banjo, harkens back to a much different time with an otherworldliness to its tone and character. Tonal surprises live in these old tunes.
Utilizing a wide range of tunings on both the fiddle and banjo, Prouty brings a unique atmosphere to each piece. Just because you know a tune’s title, don’t assume it is the same tune here. The title-track and “Puncheon Floor” are two examples of this phenomenon. The approach is one of homemade music. This is not so much a performance as it is truth-telling in music. Experiences are captured here, memories are stored in these tunes.
Throughout his life, Prouty has met folks, learned their music, or been guided by their presence. They handed down their insights and wisdom. Here, Prouty presents a dissertation on that wealth of knowledge. (www.oldtimetikiparlour.com)RCB