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Pistol Packin' Mama, with jitterbug - Bob Livingston

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Pistol Packin' Mama, with jitterbug - Bob Livingston


Bob Livingston, caller, with the Falltown String Band: Jack Arensmeyer, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Jason Burbank, keyboard, fiddle; Jack Nelson, bass; Champ Dickinson, electric guitar, and Linwood Clark, drums. Recorded in Chesterfield, CT, November 16, 2013. During the swing, the dancers adopt a jitterbug style.

Livingston writes, "Those indigenous dancers of W Mass know the dances by tune title rather than by the figures. Dances such as San Antonio Rose, When You Wore A Tulip and Red Wing all have set choreography and most can be found on old 78 rpm recordings.  Callers I have talked to in the past really knew them by rote without a real understanding of why the dances worked.  They were not much on teaching, big on repeating their lines LOUDER if you didn't get the walk thru the first time.  Usually there was no walk thru.  But the successful callers were true folk artists.  They had community following... out, with their musicians, 2,3,4, nights a week without having to travel too far from home.

"Pistol Packin' Mama is typical of the dances that stay popular, even as some older dancers slow down. It's very social, partners keep changing and while inactive, they recover; or they swing in place. Other good dances for swings: Spanish Cavaliero, Girl I Left Behind Me "pass right thru & balance too - Swing that girl behind you" and their favorite  4 Poster - Soldier's Joy."

Another video of Livingston calling this dance is available here.


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November 16, 2013


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