I first heard Chinquapin Hunting on a recording of Benny Thomasson playing it, but it was deep in the recesses of my brain when I heard Joe Sites play it on a youtube video from the Idaho Open Fiddle Contest.
When I heard Joe playing it, I thought, “I’ve heard that tune before, but I don’t know where, and that tune is so cool that I have to do it for Fiddle Tune a Day.” And since the video doesn’t say the name of the tune, I spent all night trying to figure out the name. I messaged all of my facebook friends (including Joe and Jacie Sites who were on vacation celebrating their anniversary.)
Thankfully Joe responded in time for me to get this tune recorded tonight. Also, as part of the discussion, I found out that a Chinquapin is a tree, possibly a variety of Oak, and that Chinquapin are hunted for their nuts. Poor Chinquapins…
As it turns out, according to Wikipedia, Chinquapin refers to a variety of Oak, but also to a variety of Chestnut, which probably would be better to hunt for its nuts, because I don’t think acorns taste very good.
Side note, there are two tunes that use this name that are seemingly unrelated. Gotta love us fiddlers keeping things simple.
Chinquapin Hunting according to Fiddler’s Companion
CHINQUAPIN HUNTING . Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Ky. D Major. Standard tuning. A version of Hiram Stamper’s “Chinquapin Hunting ,” by his son Art, albeit in the key of ‘D’ and in standard tuning. County 779, Art Stamper – “The Lost Fiddler” (1982). County CD2712, Art Stamper (Ky.) – “The Lost Fiddler” (CD resissue of the 1982 album. Very different than the Norman Edmonds cross-tuned piece of the same name).
CHINQUAPIN HUNTING . AKA – “Chinquapin,” “Chinqui Pin Hunting.” Old-Time, Breakdown. USA, Kentucky. A Major. AEae tuning. AA’BB’ (Silberberg): AA’BCC (Phillips). A different tune than the similarly titled “Chinky Pin” or “Chinquapin.” Jeff Titon (2001) says that Stamper’s tune appears to be unique, and that Stamper himself felt the tune was at least as old as the American Civil War. Sources for notated versions: Chad Crumm with the Chicken Chokers (Mass.) [Phillips]; Hiram Stamper (Hindman, Knott County, Ky., 1977) [Titon]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; pg. 49. Silberberg (Tunes I Learned at Tractor Tavern), 2002; pg. 22 (appears as “Chinquapin”). Titon (Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes), 2001; No. 23, pg. 58.