Click to return to Home Page or Appalachian Songs Page.
Little Pocket Bible
Slim Chance Hill
Aunt Ginny's Waltz
L.V. Came to Town
Moundsville Pen Blues
Thad and Dolly
This CD contains fifteen original songs written by Gary Eller about people, places and events of West Virginia, and especially the upper Ohio Valley where he was born and raised. This CD is dedicated to his mother Virginia, deceased father Thad, grandparents, many aunts, uncles and cousins, friends and the places and events in the songs. The project title is taken from the title of one song in the project, as well as the subjects of many of the songs and Gary himself.
This CD is available directly from Bona Fide at a cost of $15 (shipping included).
This album consists of fifteen original songs written by Gary Eller about places, events and people of Northern West Virginia, and especially the upper Ohio Valley region where he was born and raised. This CD is dedicated to his mother Virginia, father Thad (deceased), many aunts, uncles and cousins, friends and – most importantly the interesting topics of the songs.
Nancy Garner provided invaluable critique, advice and information for the project and is cowriter on two songs. She also took the outstanding photographs that grace the CD cover. Rachel Eller provided her talent in designing the CD artwork and Audrey Eller sang high harmony on two cuts, making this a family effort.
Several outstanding Idaho musicians also contributed immensely to this CD. Marv Quinton (acoustic bass, mandolin, guitar and vocals) has performed extensively with Gary in southwest Idaho as Bona Fide and was indispensable to the production of this album. Also contributing greatly were other fine Idaho musicians: Dominique Tardif (mandolin and harmony vocals), Aaron Fewkes (fiddle), Sean Rogers (Piano) and Dick Kneidel (bass vocals).
To hear songs from this project, click on the following links:
Little Pocket Bible
1. LITTLE POCKET BIBLE. This song was written after Gary’s niece Bethany showed him a pocket bible that was given to her by his elderly father Thad, who had carried it since it was given to him at age seven by his mother. No one knew this bible existed until Bethany received it.
2. ROADKILL CUISINE. There just had to be a song written about the change in West Virginia law that made it legal to collect road kill, and the inevitable cooking festival that ensued.
3. DILLY’S BOTTOM. This guitar instrumental is named after a river bottom across the Ohio River from Moundsville in Marshall County.
4. TATER . Gary’s grandfather Theodore, whose nickname was Tater, had a major positive influence on his childhood. This song highlights the challenges of a West Virginia dirt farmer in the early and middle part of the 1900’s.
5. APPALACHIAN SONS. This song was inspired by an emotional visit by Gary to his father’s gravesite in the New Martinsville cemetery shortly after Memorial Day a few years ago. Despite the title, this song could have been written about almost any rural area of the United States
6. ROLL ON OHIO. The Ohio River has dominated human life in the upper Ohio Valley for thousands of years. This song is a tribute to this great ribbon of life.
7. SLIM CHANCE HILL. This fast banjo instrumental is named for Slim Chance Hill out the so-called shortline route in Wetzel County. The hill got its name from challenges experienced by early motorists.
8. THE AUCTION. All farmers eventually become too old to farm. Often no sons or daughters choose to carry on the work and the farm and lifelong collection of equipment are sold at auction. This song is about the emotional gutwrench of the sale.
9. PALESTINE CHURCH. Small country churches play a crucial role in the religious and social fabric of rural West Virginia. This song is loosely styled after the old Palestine Church on upper Proctor Creek in Wetzel County.
10. AUNT GINNY’S WALTZ. Gary wrote this waltz for his mother Virginia, known as Aunt Ginny to her many nieces and nephews.
11. L.V. CAME TO TOWN. Gary’s distant cousin L.V. Yoho was known in Wetzel County as quite a character, although his residence actually was across the river in Ohio. This song is a true story about an incident that occurred in the 1970s when the Court Bar and Grill was at its zenith and Gary’s Uncle Yonce was the County Sheriff.
12. MOUNDSVILLE PEN BLUES. This song was written after Gary toured the notorious old West Virginia and Idaho state penitentiaries, which were shut down in the late 1900’s by court order after several disastrous riots.
13. COAL TRAIN RUMBLE. The sights and sounds of a fully loaded coal truck rumbling down a West Virginia grade are evoked by this instrumental.
14. THAD AND DOLLY. This song tells about the special relationship my father Thad and Aunt Dolly had throughout life, starting in the 1920’s as the youngest siblings in a large West Virginia farm family.
15. RHODODENDRON. In 2005, Gary used an original composition named after Idaho’s state flower (the Syringa) to win the Horseshoe Bend, Idaho banjo contest. It seemed only fitting to include on this CD a banjo piece about West Virginia’s beautiful state flower.
Last page was last revised on December 30, 2007.