Why Do A Preacher Like Chicken So: fiddle lesson with Craig Judelman


In this video Craig Judelman teaches an original Garry Harrison tune “Why Do A Preacher Like Chicken So.” It’s a fun, if demanding, three-part tune in C (standard tuning). Unlike most oldtime tunes, it gives you a good excuse to get out of first position.

There aren’t a lot of recorded versions of this tune by other fiddlers, but here’s the original take from Garry Harrison on the invaluable Slippery Hill:

Why Do A Preacher Like Chicken So, Garry Harrison and The Mule Team

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  1. I asked Garry about that high “squealy” part. There usually is a story behind the unusual licks he would weave into one of his tunes — like the terrified squeals he worked into his Bone Yard (walking past the cemetery at night) tune, and the rollicking “laughter” he worked into the Road To Westfield (going to Westfield was always a fun hoot). As to this tune, he said he remembered an old preacher who had such a high, whiny manner about him that he decided to work that sentiment into a fiddle tune. Now, try to NOT imagine an elderly preacher who has come to visit your home, coincidentally right at supper time (maybe they can smell fried chicken from the road) and incessantly fills the air with his high-pitched lamentations, admonitions and complaints. Yep, in Garry’s originals, there’s just nearly always a story behind an unusual move like that. Try not to hear a rooster crowing in Red Prairie Dawn.


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