Two Steps West of the Mississippi
Produced by Joe WeedBack to Recordings

Two-Steps - For many years, I have loved playing two-steps at country dance halls. These tunes provide a mellow groove that allows couples the freedom to express their individuality while following a common beat.

West - I learned to fiddle in California, starting with a violin provided by my school music program. Texans, Okies and Arkies who had moved to California were my main fiddling influences. The life and dance in their music appealed to me, and I learned their tunes and styles. Eventually, I became a touring musician, played country music in dance bands, and met musicians all over the west. I settled in California, became a music producer and found a way to make my own music from the roots I've come to love. (continued below)

1. Lacassine Two-Step (3:31)
2. Mamou Britches (3:09)
3. Fort Wayne (3:38)
4. Quad Cities Two-Step (3:18)
5. Oskaloosa Shuffle (3:18)
6. Lincoln’s Dream (2:52)
7. Dancing on Lake Pontchartrain (3:52)
8. San Antonio (3:09)
9. Old California Waltz (2:33)
10. Tortillas de Maiz (2:35)
11. Cotaki Polka (3:39)
11. Grand Junction Two-Step (3:13)

Mississippi - As a young boy I lived in Delkalb, Illinois, a small college and corn town on the Kishwaukee River west of Chicago. In the summer I caught frogs, tadpoles and turtles in the Kishwaukee, and in the winter I skated on its frozen ice. My fascination with the Mississippi began when the Kishwaukee flooded our neighbors out. I learned that an even greater river lay just to the west, bigger than I could imagine. Rivers captured my romantic imagination, and their inspiration stayed with me even after my family crossed the Great Plains in our Ford station wagon and moved to California.

The Mississippi carries Mark Twain, John Hartford, Louis Armstrong, Huck Finn and Jim. It conveys the incredible power of nature, barges and river boats, adventure, escape, boundaries. It connects Minneapolis, the Quad Cities, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans. It’s the cultural midline of North America.

In the 1990’s my wife, our two children and I hired Captain Bob Schleicher to pilot us up the Mississippi in his trawler, a converted gulf shrimper. We pushed slowly northward for 900 miles, from Kimmswick, Missouri to St. Paul, Minnesota. We took a month to do it, stopping at almost every river town. We all loved it, especially me.

So here I give you my two-steps, with a few waltzes, hymns and polkas. This is what it sounds like inside my head.

Thanks, Katie, for the title.

Two Steps West of the Mississipi
Purchase CD

A collection of Joe's original music based on his western fiddling roots and composed with a look at places he's traveled and films he's scored.

Norton Buffalo: harmonica
Rogelio Cervantes: guitarrón, vihuela, trumpet
Dennis Crouch: bass
Luis Diaz: guitarrón
Matt Flinner: mandolin
Will Galison: harmonica
David Grier: rhythm and lead guitar
Rob Ickes: dobro
Orville Johnson: rhythm guitar
Marty Kendall: cello
Damien Masterson:
Jim Oakden: accordion
Todd Phillips: bass
Rik Siverson: trumpet
Jeffrey Taylor: accordion
Javier Vargas: vihuela, gritos
Joe Walsh: mandolin
Joe Weed: fiddle, guitar, mandolin, mandola, viola
Katie Weed: fiddle
Suzanne Weller: flute, piccolo

Total playing time: 39:01
Copyright © 2000 by Joe Weed, All Rights Reserved