Sunday, May 24, 2009

Metals: Gold Rush

Mark O'Connor: Gold Rush


Gold has no utilitarian value, but it was the very first metal discovered anyway -- way back in 6000 BC, apparently by some stone age man looking for a nice anniversary gift for the stone age woman who has everything.

Since then, of course, gold has built a reputation for driving men mad enough to face malls on Christmas Eve, fork over two month's pay for tiny round fingerhoops, or even swarm California to sift dirt by the side of some muddy stream all day. People write songs about all of its uses, and there's enough good ones out there; it's a good bet you'll see a few more gold tunes as we pursue our metals theme this week.

But this jumpin' tune is a great starting point for any set. Bill Monroe wrote it, and fiddle master Mark O'Connor's version is just light and frothy, a full-blown reel in a bottle. That's Bill there on mandolin, spinning the gold himself.

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