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What tune is Copperhead Road?

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GUEST,Alan Whittle 15 Apr 11 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Apr 11 - 02:37 PM
Jack Campin 15 Apr 11 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,jeff 15 Apr 11 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,jeff 15 Apr 11 - 03:51 PM
Rob Naylor 15 Apr 11 - 07:14 PM
michaelr 15 Apr 11 - 09:13 PM
Bobert 15 Apr 11 - 09:22 PM
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Subject: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 01:36 PM

Recently Tony Dean of No Fixed Abode was stopping with me on NFA's travels, and he was sitting on the sofa picking an attractive little tune in DADGAD.

I recognised it immediately as the music from the buffalo hunting scene in the Kevin Costner movie Wyatt Earp. i asked Tony what the tune was, and i was surprised when he said it was Copperhead Roaad.

When i was writing line dance music a few years ago, a publisher sent me a line dance compilation for inspiration, with Copperhead road, by a long shot the best track on the album, and with a big Phil Collins type drum sound. I'd heard Steve earle's solo version with the mandolin at Cambridge and not really been excited by it - to say the least.

However I remember thinking at the first time I heard the music on Wyatt Earp that James newton Howard had been influenced in this case by Copeland and his use of traditional melodies. So, I've been wondering - is the tune really well known in American trad sessions?

A bit like the Masons apron in England?


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 02:37 PM

I've never heard of it. FWIW, it's not in the Fiddler's Fakebook, either.


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:27 PM

The song is hugely popular worldwide. Every bluegrass/Americana session in Scotland plays it, and a friend of mine reports that every jukebox he came across in Australia had it.

But I've never heard it done as an instrumental.


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:47 PM

In recognizing there's only so much one can do w/3 chords and a limited scale, tunes are bound to be similar if not identical. Steve was playing alot of Celtic music at the time and I'm sure subconciously 'stole' a trad tune. As a songwriter I can speak to that particular. Have had to make subtle changes to melodies more than once. :-) Lyrics, too!

Afa the tune goes it DOES sound familiar...I've always thought that, but I just figured it to be a case of 'subconcious borrowing'. If one listens to a copy of the Del McCroury Band/Steve Earle project from the late 90s there are a couple of instrumentals on there that sound very Appalachion/Celtic.


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:51 PM

Sorry, that should be 'appalachian'...wish there was an edit option on the MC, sometimes.


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 07:14 PM

It's hugely popular in sessions and open mics in the UK! In the last month I've heard it played in:

- Axminster, Devon
- Foot's Cray, Kent
- Tonbridge, Kent
- Tunbridge Wells, Kent
- London

By different people, slightly differently, but the same song/ tune in each case.


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:13 PM

There is an edit option on Mudcat, Guest jeff. It's the Preview box you can check before hitting Submit Message.


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Subject: RE: What tune is Copperhead Road?
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:22 PM

Whoa...

I can't believe that anyone would not like Steve Earle's mandolin driven version of Copperhead Road...

It is one of my top 10 songs but then again I come from an area where mountain music is played and played well...

No, it ain't exactly mountain music but close...

BTW, I do the song in whatever key is in front of me...

B~


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