View Full Version : Minor Key Bluegrass Songs

Apr-21-2004, 8:05am
Minor key BG songs are some of my favorites. Jerusalem Ridge (Am), Kentucky Mandolin (Gm), Southern Flavor (Em). I'd love to know some other good ones. What am I missing? Any suggestions? Any favorites?

Apr-21-2004, 8:22am
Shady Grove-we do it in Dmi.

Ken Sager
Apr-21-2004, 8:52am
Cheyenne, Bluegrass in the Backwoods, Lonesome Fiddle Blues...

Apr-21-2004, 8:58am
Im not sure of the correct key but Wayfaring stranger in E m

Apr-21-2004, 11:49am
I do Wayfaring Stranger in Am.

LRB - "The Crime I Didn't Do" has always been a great minor tune.

Apr-21-2004, 5:16pm
"Lonesome Moonlight Waltz"- Monroe in Dm/F
It's a head turner.

Scotti Adams
Apr-21-2004, 5:36pm

Coy Wylie
Apr-21-2004, 5:47pm
Clinch Mountain Backstep in A or B, not really minor but modal.

Dru Lee Parsec
Apr-21-2004, 7:52pm
Little Sadie in Dm

Minor Swing in Dm (although it's more swing/Dawg music than Bluegrass)

Apr-21-2004, 8:47pm
Powder Creek
Irish Spring
Cattle in the Cane - although only B part is minor
A Butch tune, forget the name, maybe Waltz for B.M.
Temperance Reel
Several Emory Lester tunes

Scotti Adams
Apr-21-2004, 8:51pm
..man Ive all but forgotten Irish Spring...I loved that song at one time....Emerson/Lawson...or was it Lawson/Holden...dayyam I hate when that happens...cant remember chit...

Apr-22-2004, 8:09am
St. James Infirmary Dm

Not bluegrass but old. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif

Apr-22-2004, 8:12am
Irish Spring: I think Skaggs wrote it, Doyle picked it on mando on one of the Remembrances records

Apr-22-2004, 8:22am
Wow. Thanks folks. I'd almost forgotten about Shady Grove - one of the first BG songs I ever heard. Everyone around here plays the fast uptempo happy version of the same name like on the "3 Pickers" CD by Ricky, Doc & Earle.

Cheyenne is a good one that I've listened to for years but never tried to play. Wayfaring Stranger gets called every few jams and I think we play it in Am. I've fooled around with early Dawg like Minor Swing and Tipsy Gypsy even though they're not exactly BG. I don't think of Manzanita as BG either but it's a great song anyway.

I'm always drawn to minor key songs. I don't hear them played very often. Wish I did.

Apr-23-2004, 11:45am
Rosa Lee McFall (Charlie Monroe), Big Spike Hammer (was Osbourne Brothers, recently YMSB) come to mind, two of my favorites. Nothing like the melancholy minor keys.

Apr-23-2004, 3:37pm
June Apple. Easy and it rocks.

Dan Cole
Apr-23-2004, 4:44pm
There's a nice tune on the Greenbriar Boys album called "A Minor Breakdown". Its nice too.

Apr-23-2004, 4:51pm
Seldom Scene used to do a tune called Gypsy Moon. My last band played it, and it is a killer tune. We did it in Am though I think they did it in Bm. I don't know if the Scene still does it though...

Mark in Nevada City
Apr-23-2004, 9:13pm
How 'bout Pretty Polly? Nuthin' like a good bluegrass murder ballad ;)

Cheers, mmm

Coy Wylie
Apr-23-2004, 10:02pm
Mark, I was just thinking "Pretty Polly," you took the words right off my keyboard.

Apr-24-2004, 4:07am
Polly ain't minor, more of a mountain modal.

Scotti Adams
Apr-24-2004, 6:16am
..neither is Big Spike Hammer..its got a G#minor in it...but taint minor all the way thru...

Bobbie Dier
Apr-24-2004, 7:01am
I was thinking that about big spike hammer. We do it in B.

I like to play an old time tune 28th of January it's in Am

Dan Cole
Apr-24-2004, 8:01am
Grisman's Little Sadie

May-03-2004, 12:21pm
Not Bluegrass, but a minor key song I like a lot is One Kind Favor. I think it goes, '

(Am) There's one kind favor I ask of you. One kind favor I ask of (E) you. There's one kind favor I (Dm) I ask of you. Won't you (Am) please see that my (E) grave is kept (Am) clean.
Good song! I am unsure I got the chords right. It's hard for me to place em' without an instrument in my hands.

May-03-2004, 10:59pm
2 Bill Monroe tunes ( Come hither go yonder)Am eboneezer scrooge Em, are two real good minor tunes and --for a challenge try ( El Comanchero) dm http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif