Boy, Hanukkah just seems to get earlier every year, doesn’t it? This piece was first performed by my Maryland old time band, The Paint Branch Ramblers, as a loose play on the old time song “Hot Corn, Cold Corn,” and is a tribute to potato pancakes at any temperature. Play it con molto applesauce (or con molto sour cream if you prefer).
And to help you get started, here’s a live version with The Famous Orchestra recorded in Champaign, Illinois for Hanukkah in July in 2009. Was the the world ever so young as it was in 2009? This is a very warts-and-all performance, though I like it very much. We’re taking it a little faster than any of us are comfortable with, but you get to hear the very rare mandolin family pairing of Kip Rainey on a 4-string electric mandolin and yours truly, the Viper, on a metal-body Turkish cümbüş mandolin.
Also: found this in the course of reviewing my files. A very rare *guitar* rendition of this song that I must have done very close to the time I moved from Maryland to Milwaukee. I pull in a little piece of “Shakin'” by the Blasters, and I really like the sound on this very short bit.
And with the Paint Branch Ramblers, where we did “Heyse Latke” as the first part of a medley with the Bill Monroe / Kenny Baker tune “Jerusalem Ridge.”
And for more than you ever wanted to know about “Heyse Latke Kalte Latke,” here’s the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 part series I wrote for Hanukkah in 2008 at a time when I was in the middle of moving to Milwaukee and leaving Maryland behind me like the angel of history watching the wreckage pile skyward.