Mtn Music Trail: Edden Hammons, Legendary Fiddler.

Happy New Year! This month we’ll take a look at one of the musical ancestors of today’s popular string band musicians. Old Time music in the modern day is usually a group activity, with bands combining the sounds of banjo, fiddle, guitar and other instruments, but much of its origin was the product of individual musicians playing by themselves. One such was the legendary fiddler Edden Hammons, who spent his life  in the wild country on the Williams River in Pocahontas and Webster Counties in West Virginia.

He was born in 1875, the youngest of seven children in a musically talented backwoods family. His first instrument was a gourd fiddle made by his father. The story has it that he got his first real fiddle from a musician who visited the family who was so amazed by Edden’s skill on the gourd fiddle that he gave his own instrument to the boy.

Hammons loved music, but wasn’t enthusiastic about normal work. One story has it that he spent so much time playing that his shadow wore a hole in the cabin wall. He married in his teens, but was soon divorced after his wife pressured him to get a job to support a family. “Pon my honor, I’ll lay my fiddle down for no damn woman,” he is reported to have said.

A short time later he found a woman who was more tolerant of his musical lifestyle, and they raised seven children in a life-long marriage.

As the years went by, Edden’s musical fame spread around the region. When  fiddle contests began to spring up in the early 20th century, he became a frequent winner. Having been raised in the era before recorded music, his repertory was primarily composed of tunes he learned from his family and other older musicians.

He never made a living from music, but never held a conventional job either, piecing together a livelihood from hunting, fishing,  ginsenging, moonshining, gardening and odd jobs. Hammons moved frequently from one place to another, all in the same general  area. He was recorded only once, in 1947 at  the age of 72 in Richwood WV by folklorist Louis Watson Chappell of WVU. These recordings lay in the archives until 1999, when WVU issued them as a two volume CD set.  They have come to be a source of inspiration to a new generation of fiddle players, like Pocahontas County’s Jake Krack, a multiple winner of the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention. You can hear a sample of Edden Hammons’ fiddle playing on YouTube,  and recordings are available from WVU Press and on Amazon. He passed away in 1955.

Music this month includes: Free Saturday and Sunday afternoon concerts at the Purple Fiddle in Thomas (purplefiddle.com). Sunday, Jan 8: Emily Barnes at 1pm. Sunday, January 15: Jason Ring at 1pm. Sunday, January 29: The Darkest Timeline at 1pm.

Check out the Elk River Ramblers at the Inn at Elk River each Thursday, and  Open Mic Night at the Fiddlehead near Snowshoe Mountain Resort every Wednesday.

– Gibbs Kinderman, HashtagWV #85. January 2017.

Submit a Comment

[ssba]

Back to the Music w/ Lewisburg City Paper this September!

Back into the Music w/ HashtagWV this September! - It’s back to the music w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper this September. Susanna Robinson features Warner Music School: from humble beginnings to true love and more.  Other big stories include Wild Cuisine at the West Virginia Roadkill Cookoff, Freshwater Folk Festival, an interview with Carlene Carter, Highway Queen by Jason Scott, and so much more! […]

Stay Updated w/ HashtagWV!

Want to stay updated with the paper or thinking about advertising? Sign up today for the latest HASHTAGWV monthly newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV! - Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

"Over the last 10 years, we have tried several avenues for advertising. Beyond a doubt, our greatest return has been through HASHTAGWV. Whether it be in the HASHTAGWV print edition, or online, our customers, both locals and tourists, really do look for this media form to be in tune with what’s going on in the area and for destination shopping. Advertising with LBSPY (now HASHTAG) has unequivocally been a great asset for our business!" - Craig Miller w/ Serenity Now Outfitters. Ad rates start at just $20! Click here for MEDIA KIT  

LBMEDIAKIT
LBSPY-Testimonials1
Patrick4CMPLTshrp "LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV

Donating = Loving

HashtagWV remains D.I.Y. in nature and it takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider making a one time or recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee at The Wild Bean and a good dinner at Food & Friends
Adam DeGraff "LB Spy always has their finger on the pulse of this community!" - Adam Degraff (pictured above), (The Weight/ The Dueling Fiddlers / Pianafiddle)

Instagram

  • #repost Thank you Larry Davis and Hashtag WV for featuring Sheen: Project AR for Education in the recent article!
I'll be doing a second demo of the Augmented Reality app at the FreshWater Folk Festival in White Sulphur Springs! See you there!
•
#SheenAR
#ProjectAR #whitesulphursprings #gotowv #simplygbv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #freshwaterfolkfest
  • Reading Janine’s article in front of Janine. #mydogandi
...
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #simplygbv #greenbriercounty #janinelazarus #dogcolumn #goodladd #dogtraining101 #dogtrainingtips
  • Carlene Carter, Highway Queen! Check out the interview by @thejasonscott w/ @bsidesbadlands Carlene performs @carnegiehallwv this September!
...
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #carlenecarter #johnnycash #junecarter #carterfamily #jasonscott #bsidesbadlands #countrymusicsinger #carnegiehall

Follow Us!

LBSPY ARTICLES

Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE? - Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]

BEHIND HASHTAG

HASHTAG WV
P.O. Box 744
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
info@hashtagwv.com

TESTIMONIAL

"Here at WHEN PIGS FLY BBQ, we get the most return advertising with LBSPY. New customers tell us all the time how they see our ad. They then come see us!" - Mike and Kellen, owners of When Pigs Fly BBQ, Lewisburg, WV.
"Christina, Thank you so much for the cover and the ARTICLE. Your LBSPY is fantastic! We hope to grow this ride and other sports events in our area. Your magazine will do this. Again thank you from everyone in the GVBike club. Come ride with us sometime." - Janice Centa

WE ARE YOUR SOURCE!

LBSPY is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.

WE ARE ENGAGED!

We are engaged in promoting local music, arts, events, dining, and shopping. We reach our audience where they live, eat, shop, drink, play, and fill up their gas tank. BEHIND THE SPY

TESTIMONIAL

"LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty, owner @ The Irish Pub