Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Amos Chase and His Old Time Fiddle Privately Released March 1st, 1974
First, there is so much to love about the homemade aspect of this LP. It's the definition of a private press. There is no label credited to the release. Mr. Chase likely just had them pressed at the closest plant. He bought plain white sleeves to house them and glued on his own cover. You can tell because this cover was is peeling off and the glue resin is visible. He also dated the exact date the record was either recorded or released in the top right hand corner as it states, March 1st, 1974. Finally, there was a mistake on Mr. Chase's PO BOX listed in the bottom right, his zip code should have read 66429 rather than 66249, instead of reprinting the covers, he just used a pen, crossed the print out and hand wrote the correct zip code in it's place. His address is a PO BOX in his hometown of Grantville, Kansas, which is near Topeka.
As for his music, you can tell by the cover, he was an accomplished fiddle player in his day. He's accompanied by Eldon Ray and Glenn Woolaway, who were local Kansans as well. All three players were members of the Kansas Oldtime Fiddlers Association, seeing how this was Amos' own release, I assume he was the most accomplished. The music is strictly old time bluegrass. Just Ray's fiddle and the others providing support on guitar. No vocals, no frills, just a guy showing off his fiddling skills.
Sadly, all players have since passed. Reading Mr. Chase's obituary from 2000, he passed while judging a fiddle competition in South Dakota. As sad as death can be, this guy got to go with something he enjoyed, the fiddle...there's a lot of comfort knowing that some people get to go out doing something they love.