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Hangtown Dancehall

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Hangtown Dancehall
Hangtown Dancehall


"Hangtown Dancehall" is subtitled "A Tale of the California Gold Rush," and was written by Eric Brace & Karl Straub. It features them both, along with performances by Kelly Willis, Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott, Karl Jason Ringenberg, Andrea Zonn, and John Wesley Harding (Wesley Stace), all singing as characters in the story. The musicians include Mike Auldridge (Dobro), Casey Dreissen (violin), Fats Kaplan (fiddle and steel), Tim O'Brien (banjo and fiddle), and many more of acoustic music's finest artists. "Hangtown Dancehall" is the story of two young lovers, Betsy and Ike, who leave their Missouri home for California during the Gold Rush. Brace first met the two characters in the folk song "Sweet Betsy From Pike" that he heard in his childhood in Placerville, California, the epicenter of the Gold Rush, known in the 1850s as Hangtown. That old song tells the story of Betsy and Ike's trek by wagon train across the continent. The song's final verses tell of their arrival in Hangtown but Brace decided that though that's the end of the song, it wasn't the end of the tale. With "Hangtown Dancehall," Brace and Straub tell the rest of Betsy and Ike's story.


  1. Name
  2. Sweet Betsy From Pike
  3. Pretty Girl In Missouri
  4. Gone To California
  5. El Dorado Two-Step
  6. If You Don't Know Me
  7. Afternoons Gone Blind
  8. Come Back, Isaac
  9. From Pearl River To Gold Mountain
  10. Marshall's Reel
  11. Smile And A Little Skin
  12. Elizabeth, Precious And Rare
  13. King Midas
  14. Hangtown Fry
  15. Death In Hangtown
  16. Life Story (with Umbrellas)
  17. Pike County Rose
  18. I Know A Bird
  19. Sweet Betsy From Pike
  20. Hanging Tree
  21. So Many Miles
  22. Song For Walter
  23. El Dorado Farewell
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