After heading into the studio only last week, we’re happy to share our first recording. The tune, friends, is a great fiddle number ‘Streak o’ lean, Streak o’ Fat’.
I first heard the tune in a 1930 recording by fiddler A.A. Gray and John Dilleshaw on guitar. A tall man, Dilleshaw had the rather unfortunate nickname of ‘Seven Foot Dilly’ and, not recognizing this misfortune, led a band named, rather unfortunately, ‘Seven Foot Dilly and his Dill Pickles.’ His knack for terrible names was redeemed only by his exceeding ability to shout hilarious and bizarre things while performing – a fine art of the old hillbilly recordings. “Listen to that man play that Tennessee chicken!”
The tune must have been popular in Dilleshaw’s north Georgia home. A year prior, his neighbors in the way cooler-named hillbilly supergroup ‘The Skillet Lickers’ recorded it under the more colorful title ‘Hell’s Broke Loose in Georgia.’ And just a few years before that, John Carson, rival fiddler to the Lickers’ Gid Tanner, cut the tune as well. “Such fiddlin!”
“Reminds me of when I used to carry that Johnson gal around and go dancing…”