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View Full Version : Heard "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge" for the first time.



Ivan Kelsall
Mar-19-2011, 3:12am
I heard Bill Monroe play his tune "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge" for the first time a few days ago. I have to say that it just knocked me out !. :disbelief: What a great tune,as 24 carat ''Monroe'' as you could ever get. For me,it's one of the finest tunes of his that i've heard & my next 'have to play' tune,
Ivan

James Sanford
Mar-19-2011, 8:01am
Bill Monroe came to a local show where I live in 1981 and I bought the "Master of Bluegrass" album and had him autograph it. I learned all of the songs on that album and "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge" is one of my favorites.

I think all of the songs on that album were new at that time and some of his best work.

Mike Bromley
Mar-19-2011, 8:07am
Great tune, Eh? Classic Mr. Bill all the way.

Fretbear
Mar-19-2011, 8:15am
And not very hard to play for such a great tune, which is a bonus.
It's all about the tone and attitude and is pretty much just three variations on a basic Monrovian theme.

Perry
Mar-19-2011, 8:39am
I heard Bill Monroe play his tune "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge" for the first time a few days ago. I have to say that it just knocked me out !. :disbelief: What a great tune,as 24 carat ''Monroe'' as you could ever get. For me,it's one of the finest tunes of his that i've heard & my next 'have to play' tune,
Ivan

Wow I'm astonished. 4k plus posts and quite a few Monroe related and you have never heard this song before a few days ago? Must have been like discovering a long lost treasure.

BTW has anybody else thought that the parts might represent Christmas past, present and future?
The first part and third part have that ancient tones thing going; the last part has a futuristic feel with the fourth intervals.

f5loar
Mar-19-2011, 12:57pm
And for the rest of you living under a rock, GEICO can save you up to 15% on your car insurance!
PS: I guess only those of us in the USA that watch TV will get that)

Fretbear
Mar-19-2011, 1:01pm
BTW has anybody else thought that the parts might represent Christmas past, present and future?
The first part and third part have that ancient tones thing going; the last part has a futuristic feel with the fourth intervals.

Yes, I had also considered that as well....

Rob Fowler
Mar-19-2011, 2:31pm
And for the rest of you living under a rock, GEICO can save you up to 15% on your car insurance!
PS: I guess only those of us in the USA that watch TV will get that)

And the Gecko's name is not Stanley. Once again you'd have to be familiar with the commercials....

We must remember that there are still a few of us that are just becoming familiar with and appreciating much of Monroe's huge body of work....myself included! So much to learn and so little time.

almeriastrings
Mar-19-2011, 5:58pm
Together with "My Last Days on Earth" and "Southern Flavor" it has long been a favorite of mine, too. Very powerful stuff that really lets Bill's emotional depth shine right through.

Mandolin Mick
Mar-19-2011, 6:06pm
Ivan-

Absolutely shocked! I thought Master of Bluegrass was in every die-hard Monroe fan's collection! Not available in the UK? I learned how to play it not that long ago ... a great tune! :mandosmiley:

almeriastrings
Mar-19-2011, 7:05pm
There is also some tab to this in Todd Collins' "Monroe Instrumentals" (Mel Bay).

re simmers
Mar-19-2011, 8:14pm
"Old Dangerfield"
"Ebeneezer Scrooge"
"Come Hither to Go Yonder"

Man, there's 3 mandolin tunes!!! 3 of the best for mandolin, and on the same LP. Please don't ask what an LP is.

Bob

Ivan Kelsall
Mar-20-2011, 1:31am
The album "Masters of Bluegrass" was never on sale over here,leastways in none of the record stores that i frequented. Having said that,Bluegrass LP's were waaaaaaay down the list anyway - 'special orders' unless you were very lucky . Even the specialist record store that dealt in 'world music' that i mainly used never had it,& also i'd never heard of it.
Fretbear - "....all about the tone and attitude". Well,you got that right. You can hear that Bill Monroe was really 'in the groove' on that recording,more than he was on some other recordings i've got. It sounds almost like he was making a statement - "Master of Bluegrass - you want it,you got it !!".
I'm also going to have to go back & re-think my playing of "Old Dangerfield". I learned the 'basic' tune from a Becky Buller CD in which the Fiddle line is pretty clear & well defined,but although i can play the tune,i'm not putting it together like Bill Monroe. I'll have to work on that,
Ivan

Mandolin Mick
Mar-20-2011, 4:54am
Ivan-

So, do you have a copy of the album now or are you borrowing a friends?

The CD is available on the Bear box set "My Last Days on Earth" which is 4 CDs of his last recordings `81-`94; much of it previously unreleased.

You can pick up the cassette on Ebay. That's how I first got it here. :)

Mandolin Mick
Mar-20-2011, 5:03am
Ivan-

There's 10 new cassettes of Master of Bluegrass available on Ebay right now from a seller for $2.39 each!!! :)

Ivan Kelsall
Mar-21-2011, 2:35am
Hi Mick - A friend & fellow 'Cafe member sent me a couple of MP3's he thought i might like. He knows i'm not really a Monroe 'stylist' but i do like several of BM's tunes,which of course i've learned, ie."Old Dangerfield" / "Southern Flavour" & "Goldrush" - the last 2 learned from YouTube clips. I've learned a couple more from the LP "Bluegrass Instrumentals",which i've had since it came out in the '60's.
Buying the cassette might not be a bad idea at that & thanks for the tip. The Bear Family boxed sets are available in the UK if you order them through a record store,but they usually come in at 100 UK ($160 US),that's pretty steep. I wouldn't order on-line because with the postage charges,import duty & tax & the post office 'handling' fee,(that's a joke !!) it would cost even more. It's a pity that the individual CD's aren't available separately - far more postage friendly,
Ivan

AlanN
Mar-21-2011, 6:56am
I'll never forget the day I saw that LP in the music store. Immediately had to have it. Quite a few mandolin(e) pickers on it, besides Bill. Jesse, Larry Sledge, iirc.

Lou Martin laid out OES in an old Acoustic Musician issue. More recently, Mandolin Magazine had a good transcription by their bluegrass guy. Some of the tunes on there are almost trance-like, with their repetitions and groove.

swampstomper
Mar-21-2011, 10:40am
Earth to Spruce, come in please! How about a plug for Mangler of Bluegrass (http://www.radiofreeolga.com/RadioFreeOlga/Mangler_of_Bluegrass.html), his fabulous take on the entire LP. From surf to thai whistles.

`Old Ebenezer Scrooge opens the CD, and features a nylon-string mandola made by the late great Ted Beringer...' and that cut has some bluegrass philosophy from Mon himself as an intro.

There's also a nice solo guitar version of OES by David Grier on the Todd Phillips' production "The Songs Of Bill Monroe" (Sugar Hill, SHCD-2209) from just before Mon left us.