Introduction to Creek Don't Rise

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Click to visit the CreekDontRise Discussion Forums

Click to visit's acoustic guitar buyers' guides

Click to visit's banjo buyers' guides

Written by Paul Race for Creek Don't Rise™ Creek Don't Rise™ commemorates the music and history of the American Heartland.

Paul dressed in period clothes for a event at the Clark County (Ohio) Historical Society.Folk and Gospel musician Paul Race started this project in 2001 when he was working on a Folk-based musical that commemorates the National Road, the Dayton Flood, and many other historical events in the region.

Then readers started asking him questions about various instruments he referred to, and he started writing articles about those as well. By now Paul and a handful of other contributors have posted hundreds of articles about acoustic instruments and traditional music - so many, in fact, that we have taken to starting "sister sites" to keep this page from become so huge that nobody could navigate it. Our most important sister sites are listed further down the page.

New For 2018

The Momma Don't 'Low newsletter describes updates to our Folk and Traditional music resources, as well as the places you can see Paul and his friens and families practice what we preach.  Click to learn more.We have reorganized our music newsletter Momma Don't 'Low to focus more on acoustic instruments and traditionally-inspired music and musicians who play them, including Paul. That said, we're still playing catch-up with news and article announcements that we didn't have room for in the previous format.

When we added a few articles about autoharps, we got a lot of interest, so we are continuing to expand that part of the site, and we have several more projects planned for this year. For one thing, most people picking up autoharps today do it to join in with Folk or Americana music, and - sadly - most autoharps are set up better to accompany polkas. Our article on "Making Your Autoharp Folk-Friendly" tells a bit of the story. But we hope to offer more ideas and examples as we get further along on some of our projects, including converting one 15-chorder to diatonic, making one 21-chorder more Folk-friendly, and restoring at least two bizarre old Chromaharps to playability, one Chromalin (Chromaharp's answer to Oscar Schmidt's Guitarro), and one Caroler, the biggest commercial autoharp ever made, with 43 strings and 27 chords.

If autoharp isn't your thing, don't worry, we have more banjo and guitar articles in development as well. Plus Paul and some of his friends and family are playing "out" more than we did last year, and that always gives us ideas for more articles and updates.

Of course, the main reason we've written so many articles so far is reader questions. That's right; often one popular article will result in several folks asking similar questions about a related subject, which tells us that another article is needed. That's how we've grown to a few hundred articles on this and related sites.

As a side effect of reworking our newsletters, we have now made it harder to get on our newsletter mailing list by accident. Lots of folks used to ask one question, check the box that said they wanted to get newsletters, then gotten upset when they got newsletters. Nowadays you may ask questions without running the risk of getting on our mailing list if you don't want to. But I do reserve the right to answer subscribers' questions first. :-)

On this Site

The dropdown menu at the top of our home page and a few others is one attempt to make things easier to find. But if you're just poking around in general, here are some areas you may find helpful: Sister Sites

Other sites we started to keep this site from getting too big to be useful include:

  • Click to see buyers' guides that actually explain is a buyers' guide for acoustic and traditional instrument from a musician's point of view, focusing on the uses, reliability, and practicality of various instruments, and not just the marketing hype about the shape of the fret markers or whatever.

  • Momma Don't 'Low™ is a program that support followers of our music-related web pages, including Creek Don't Rise™, Classic Train Songs™,™, and Don't 'Low is currently a subsidiary of this site, but we have plans for expansion. If you like acoustic and traditional music and you'd like to be informed about new articles we've posted, as well as what Paul is up to musically these days, please go to the Momma Don't 'Low page. There you will learn about joining our free program for fans, writers, performers, and producers of acoustic and traditional music.

    The primary benefit currently is the free e-mail newsletter that discusses all of those topics above and more. We plan to include other features as time permits.

    Note - If you wish to sign up for our newsletter and ask a question at the same time, please click on the Momma Don't 'Low newsletter button to learn more and to get a link to our signup form. Click to see Paul's blogs, memoirs, and more, including what he's up to musically these days.

  • is the "landing page" for Paul's own musical endeavors, plus many memoirs and blogs about music and the music business.

  • Click to visit a site about train songs that every train lover and Folk singer should know.  Or at least know describes railroad songs that every train lover should know. Or at least know about.

  • has articles about Christian music, Christian music careers and performance, Christian living in general, and vintage saxophones, another of Paul's interests. This site has separate newsletters, etc., by the way - there isn't a lot of overlap with the Momma Don't 'Low(tm) newsletters.

Paul Race and sister Tess Hoffman in an historical recreation in 2017, put here to give you some idea of what the play would look like staged.About the Play

Not to forget about the play that started it all.

In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got 'till it's gone." No, I have no illusion that the American Midwest is the wonderful place that they showed on, say Little House On the Prarie, but it is more than a place that folks on either coast have to fly over to get to the other coast. And we wanted to document and celebrate the things that have made the Heartland different from any other place, while there are still folks who know the difference.

For more information about our play and about our little piece of the Heartland in southwest Ohio, click here.

For information about other music collections and projects, check the links at the bottom of this page.

Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you come away with some great ideas for "sharing the joy."

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music home page Click to contact Paul through this page. Click to visit the Creek Don't Rise discussion forum. Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to see Paul's music page on SoundCloud Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to learn about our Momma Don't Low Newsletter. Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel. Click to see Paul's Twitter Page.

All material, illustrations, and content of this web site is copyrighted © 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Paul D. Race. All rights reserved.
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For questions, comments, suggestions, trouble reports, etc. about this page or this site, please contact us.

How To Help Our Site for Free: If you find our tips, explanations, and recommendations helpful when picking out a product, and you appreciate that we don't continually inconvenience you with irrelevant ads or obnoxious popups, Please Bookmark This Page and come back through it when you're ready to order. It costs you nothing, and we never see who placed the order, so you don't have to worry about us pestering you with followup e-mails or some such. But it helps us know what pages you find useful, and it helps our advertisers know who to support.

And that, in turn, helps us provide more useful resources. Thank you!

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
- Music -
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Visit musings about music on our sister site, School of the Rock With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. The Independent Christian Musician. Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village.
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Building temporary and permanent railroads with big model trains Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments