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Archive for January 24th, 2010

This tune is awesome! A favourite of two musician friends of mine for whom I have tremendous respect, and one of which was kind enough to record and send me his version with a few very cool suggestions (like where to slip in a diminished fifth).

It’s originally an Old Time tune commemorating an American civil war battle. Up until today I’d only ever heard bluegrass versions of it, though, and that’s the kind I’m working on.

A cool side note: John Reischman, mandolinist extraordinaire, wrote a tune called Eighth of February, I suppose as a wink and nod to the January one. You can find plenty videos of him with his band, The Jaybirds, performing it, but let’s encourage this teenage mandolin player who plays it quite nicely, too!

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Tune 13, which happened yesterday, is High on a Mountain, by Ola Belle Reed. And yesterday was just such a good day there was no time to write about it until now. (Also, though High on a Mountain was learned yesterday, it was not meant to be tune 13, but a house show and a bottle of scotch got in the way of the learning process.)

What to say…it’s a song, in G, and the melody really tests your (vocal) range. It’s  a beautiful, beautiful tune and unlike most songs about lost love, is not the least bit bitter. The recording linked here does not have fiddle, but a version by Reed on a compilation called Art of Mountain Music has a great fiddle part in it.

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