Every thursday afternoon Acie Cargill hosts a jam session at the Rock and Roll McDonalds in Olympia Fields, Illinois. All singers and musicians are invited to take part.
Jerry Vernon is a great lead guitarist and singer. The smooth fiddle runs are from Al Joseph's electric violin. Fran Adams has a lush low Baritone voice. John Boner is a Texas cowboy and wonderful singer. Guest singers include Richard Mosely, Floyd Morgan, Nadine Morgan, and Leonora Stewart. The album concludes with Harold Lamb playing his incomparable harmonica on Lamberinski polka.
Sit back or get a partner. Play the music and let the fun begin.
Acie Cargill was born into a musical family. His grandmother was Hattie Mae Tyler Cargill, a noted Kentucky singer of traditional ballads. She was the last of the Tylers, a family noted for being strict preservationists of the musical traditions passed along for many generations from Northern England /Southern Scotland. The tunes that they sung all used primitive scales. They were unique in their area in that they played instruments along with the ballads and the instruments all used special tunings that allowed the ancient tunes to be played without adding obstrusive notes to the performance.
Acie knows all those scales and tunings and has been recorded for the Library of Congress, singing some of the old songs he knows and playing the 5 string banjo in the Tyler drop-thumb style. He is considered the living master of this style.
The family lived in very secluded areas without electricity and they were not exposed to the newer types of music that swept through the US that featured the piano or the guitar using the 6 string guitar chords that are so prevalent today. In the Tyler music, there are no 3-note chords, just moving modal melodies.
Some of this can be heard on Songs and Ballads of Hattie Mae Tyler Cargill, In The Willow Garden, Family Gathering (which featured some of the older Tyler musicians and the remants of the Cargill Brothers’ String Band and Acie playing the banjo as a young boy).
His grandfather was Acie Cargill, a fiddler who came to Chicago to play as a fill in musician with the WLS Barn Dance radio show. Many of the old tunes Acie plays were from the elder Acie via his Grandmother Hattie.
Acie’s father was an associate of Woody Guthrie and played harmonica in their jam sessions. Acie said his fondest memories were sneaking out of bed and hiding to hear the music they played late into the night when Woody visited. Acie’s mother was a church organist for 65 years and her instructions to him can be heard in the song Dear Mother ( for example, don’t you ever play gospel music in a tavern).
It was the exposure to Woody (and also his mother’s playing) that led Acie into learning the chorded guitar styles that he usually plays today in his performances. In public Acie plays folk music, bluegrass, old-time standards, traditional country music, progressive country rock, early rock and roll, old-timey, gospel, and he even played bass for contemporary jazz giants Max Brown and Johnny Frigo.
Acie's cousin, the late Henson Cargill, was a national star with his hit song Skip A Rope. And through one of the Tyler women, Acie is related to country giant Willie Nelson.
He also is a prolific songwriter and has recorded over 400 of his songs available on the internet. His music has been heard in almost every country in the world and three times he has been put up for grammy nominations for folk music and his albums have been among the most played music on college and public radio folk music programs.