The first time I heard a recording of Orville Burns playing Shortnin’ Bread, my fiddling life was changed. Orville’s bumping breakdowns had awesome drive, without really being very fast. He could groove a breakdown like a mad rooster strutting around a hen house. There aren’t many fiddlers that hold a candle to the rhythmic feeling that Orville had on the fiddle. So, when I first worked this tune out, it was mostly Orville with a little bit of me, and then I heard about Ace Sewell (another Texas Breakdown legend) playing it without the dropped beat in the fourth section of the song, and I was intrigued.
I often go back and forth between playing the last part in straight time, and playing it crooked during the same time of playing this tune. It really plays havoc with the rhythm players, they don’t know which way is up. 🙂
Tonight, I recorded it from Magnolia Music Studio, where I teach fiddle lessons, as soon as I finished my last lesson of the night. As a side note, this is NOT the same song as Mama’s Little Baby Loves Shortnin’ Bread.
Learn to play Shortnin’ Bread on fiddle here
Fiddler’s Companion Doesn’t have much on Shortnin’ Bread
SHORTENIN’ BREAD . Old-Time, Breakdown. G Major. Standard tuning. AA’BB’CC’DD’. A variation of version #2. Source for notated version: Gary Lee Moore [Phillips]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 1), 1994; pg. 221.