Black Mountain Boys
(probably The Top of the Tangent, Palo alto, CA)
01 Happy Birthday
02 Nine Pound Hammer
03 Darling Aller Lee
05 Ocean of Diamonds
201 – Intro
202 – Sourwood Mountain**
203 – If I Lose
204 – Homestead on the Farm
205 – Pig in a Pen
206 – Once More
207 – Stoney Creek
208 – Two Little Boys
209 – Salty Dog
210 – Rosalie McFall
211 – Teardrops in My Eyes
212 – New River Train
213 – Love Please Come Home***
214 – Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor
215 – John Hardy outro//
Source 1 (Set 1 Only): shnid: 35142
SBD->Cassette->CDR->TAE->SHN>flac sector aligned
more likely line patch from pa system>MR>R>C>CD>DAE>
got this from the late grate tol (rip) removed non canonical headers and fixed sbes>flac
this is derived from http://db.etree.org/shninfo_detail.php?shnid=20752
I’d seed the original shn’s but I’ve already seeded these flacs more than once, and don’t
have the shn’s anymore
rj Hythloday bob loy
Source 2 (Set 2 Only): shnid: 127499
Aud MR > ? > cass
Transferred at 24-bit, 96kHz and edited by Dan McDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org). I got this on cassette in the
mid-1990s from someone whom I’ve forgotten the name of. He wrote in very tiny letters on purple post-it
notes. If you are that person, please get in touch.
Transferred using the flat transfer method, using my converted Nakamichi BX1. Correct curve applied through DC9 (alpha).
No noise reduction. This recording is in dual-channel mono. Gain-normalized to -1.0 dB. Converted to 16/44.1
using triple precision and triangular dithering. It’s a little hissy, but not bad. There was a gap between
Sourwood Mountain and If I Lose, so songs could be missing.
Dan’s tape and The Black Mountain Boys:
This tape has been in circulation for years, but this is the first time it has been digitized and circulated.
The Black Mountain Boys formed in the fall of 1963. The original line up included Eric Thompson on guitar.
According to a recent aricle by Eric, he states that he left for a stint on the east coast early in 1964.
Eric was replaced by Sandy Rothman. In a few periods of banter on Dan’s tape you can hear Jerry/David
referring to Sandy. With this information we know this tape was recorded after Eric left in 1964.
In another recent article, Sandy tells of he and Jerry going on a road trip in the spring and early summer of ’64
visiting various notable bluegrass artists. He may have been at the Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention over Easter
weekend to at least listen to Doc Watson. A short time later he met David Grisman at a Bill Monore show in
Pennsylvania. Jerry’s ultimate goal was to be hired to play in Bill Monroe’s band. I guess we should say,
fortunately that didn’t work out and after the letdown the pair wound their way back west. Sandy states that upon their
return to the Bay Area in the summer, the bluegrass scene had shifted and Jerry may have been unable to hook up with
accomplished players and form a new band.Then again not being able to land job with Monroe, maybe he was ready to
move on. It is also at this point that Jerry reconnected with Bob and met Pigpen. And it wasn’t long after they
formed Mother McCrees Uptown Jug Champions. This little bit of history forces us to conclude Dan’s tape had to have
been recorded during the late winter of 1964.
To this point there have been three fragments of shows performed by The Black Mountain Boys in general circulation.
The first (17914) is dated 3/06/64. This source seems to include the entire first set of a show. However, Eric
Thompson is on guitar. Sandy clearly has stated that he and Eric did not play together in the band. Therefore,
it is almost certain this source should be dated in late 63 to very early in 64.
A second undated source from 1964 (35145) includes 4 tracks, 3 songs and some banter. This is a portion of the
same recording as is on Dan’s tape. The recording on this source is of poorer quality than Dan’s and at this point
we can religate it to the dustbin.
The third source (35142) is dated 3/07/64. There is nothing in the banter to suggest who is on guitar, but if
you compare Sandy’s voice on Homestead on the Farm from Dan’s tape with the lead vocalist on Nine Pound Hammer
from this source, there is little doubt that it is Sandy singing. While this source probably was recorded at
the 3/7 show, there is nothing in the listening that can serve to confrim that. Howeve, we do know that this
recording was pulled from the middle of a set and does not include any material found on Dan’s tape. The recording
is sonically similar to Dan’s and may well be from the same master. Wihout evidence to the contrary, I think
the listed 3/7 date is correct.
The songlist is as follows:
01 ..//..//Happy Birthday (Noah?)//
02 Nine Pound Hammer
03 Darling Aller Lee
05 Ocean of Diamonds//
Dan’s tape dated 3/07/64 starts with a minute and a half of stage banter/tuning followed by a short selection of
Sourwood Mountain. Dan states that there was a gap between Sourwood Mountain and the third track, If I Lose. From
the banter at the beginning of the tape, it is clear the intial banter/tuning > Sourwood Mountain is the
beginning of a second set.The band then introduces themselves in a joking manner in the banter following If I Lose.
Makes sense they may reintoduce themsleves in this manner for the second set. What follows on Dan’s tape goes
through to the end of the set where Jerry states they will be back in 20 minutes. That would have to be a third set.
Track listings for the show put the songs from the circulating 3/7 show (35142) after the songs on Dan’s 3/7 tape.
I can find no evidence to support or dispute these listings. If the published track listings are accurate, that
would mean these songs are from the third set.
Maybe 50 years old, but the sound is remarkable!