Kelly Perdue

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Kelly Perdue (1960-2005)

Kelly was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and old-time musician who focused primarily on the mandolin. He was a founding member of the Mando Mafia, a modern mandolin ensemble who played global string band music. Kelly and the Mando Mafia went on to win the neo-traditional band competition at the Appalachian String Band Festival (also known as Clifftop) an unprecedented three times. In addition, Mando Mafia were among the finalists in this competition seven more times. Kelly passed away at the untimely age of 45, leaving his wife, Libby, and two young sons, Ben and Daniel.

At some point in his life Kelly sat down in front of a 4-track cassette recorder to start recording fiddle tunes performed on the mandolin. These tunes were recorded at far less than his full tempo in order to pass them on to players in the community who wanted to learn them. Copies of these recordings of varying quality have been Kelly Perduepassed around for years however, we felt there was a need to clean them up and present them to the wider world with the best quality possible. These recordings are what you can listen to here.

Each tune was announced and then played just a couple of times through. The majority of the tunes he recorded, as reproduced here, were either in the keys of G or C with a select few in the keys of D and A. Unfortunately for us, he did not exhaust his repertoire by any means. As Tim O’Brien said in an obituary for Kelly, “He had a head for fiddle tunes that was really something. He was full of fiddle tunes and you couldn’t stump him. He knew them all.”


Title Key Tuning Notes
Fruit Fly Blues A GDAE
Cotton Eyed Joe A GDAE
Ship In The Clouds D GDAE
West Fork Gals D GDAE

From Lee Triplett

Throw The Old Cow Over The Fence D GDAE
Pleasure House Rag D GDAE
Hey Little Boy Where'd You Get Those Britches G GDAE
Piney Woods Gal G GDAE
Hickory G GDAE
Tuckers Barn G GDAE
Jimmy In The Swamp G GDAE
Tea Bag Blues G GDAE
Waldorf Reel G GDAE
Possum On The Rail G GDAE
Johnny Come Along G GDAE
Rolling River G GDAE
Ladies On The Steamboat G GDAE
Roscoe G GDAE
Lambs Wool Rag G GDAE
Shagpoke G GDAE
Last Chance G GDAE
Big Scioty G GDAE
Wolves A Howling G GDAE
Brasstown G GDAE
Nail That Catfish To The Tree G GDAE
Old Folks Watch While The Young Folks Dance G GDAE
Sheeps And Cows Walking Through The Pasture G GDAE
Poor Little Mary Sitting In The Corner G GDAE
Dolly G GDAE
Little Brown Hand G GDAE
Fireplace Reel G GDAE
Nancy Rollin G GDAE
Magnolia One Step G GDAE
Going To Jail G GDAE
Old Buzzard G GDAE
Greasy String G GDAE
Pateroller In A Pear Tree G GDAE
Grey Goose Crossing The Ocean G GDAE
River Stay Away From My Door G GDAE
Stone Mountain Wobble C GDAE
East Tennessee Blues C GDAE
Rose Division C GDAE
Hawkins Rag C GDAE
That's My Rabbit My Dog Caught It C GDAE
Hell Broke Loose In Georgia C GDAE
Fiddler Is Drunk And The Fun Is All Over C GDAE
Knoxville Rag C GDAE
Old Sow Stole The Midlins C GDAE
Last Shot Got Him C GDAE
Meat And Potatoes C GDAE
Tupelo Blues C GDAE
Mississippi Echoes C GDAE
New Money C GDAE
Fourteen Days In Georgia C GDAE
None Of Your Business C GDAE
Rocky Pallet C GDAE
Brown Button Shoes C GDAE
Wild Goose Chase C GDAE
Charleston #1 C GDAE
Stone's Rag C GDAE
Tom Wagner C GDAE
Abe's Retreat A Minor GDAE
Lost Creek G & D GDAE
Black Cat In A Brier Patch C & G GDAE
Lost Girl E Minor & G GDAE
Chips And Sauce E & A GDAE