Week #158 ~ Sugar in the Gourd

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Sugar in the Gourd, which was submitted as a fiddle tune. I'm not familiar with this tune.

    Here is a link to the notation and abc on abcnotation.com

    Here is the abc from that site:

    T:Sugar in the Gourd
    S:Karl Moore - Peach Bottom String Band
    Z:Converted from Nottingham Database format by Philip Rowe
    %Posted Oct 16th 1999 at abcusers by Philip Rowe in reply to a request from Rod
    %Smith for "old time tunes". See "Done Gone" for more information.
    A/B/|"A"c/B/A/F/ E/F/A/B/|"A"c/B/c/A/"E"B3/B/|"A"c/B/A/F/ E/F/A/B/|"A"c/A/"E"B"A"A:|
    |:A/A/|"A"ce/e/eA/A/|c/B/c/d/eA/A/|"D"f/e/f/g/ a/g/e/d/|"A"c/A/c/d/ee/e/|
    a/b/a/f/ e/f/e/d/|"A"c/d/e/c/"E"BA/B/|"A"c/B/A/F/ E/F/A/B/|"A"c/A/"E"B"A"A:|
    W: From Musica Viva - http://www.musicaviva.com
    W: the Internet center for free sheet music downloads.

    This video is a bit daunting! I figure it's about 164 bpm! (at two beats per measure)

    This one is a great example of playing it on the mandolin! It seems to be at about 100 bpm (at two beats per measure).

    This sounds pretty Old Timey to me! It seems to be at about 108 bpm (two beats per measure)

    No mando in this one.... but it's a good one! It's at about 138 bpm (two beats per measure)

  2. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut

    A bit rushed this week as I've got other tunes to work on; based on Billton's version posted above.
  3. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Neil, you sound good even if rushed.

    I am glad you didn't play as fast as the guys in the first video above. Just listening makes me break a sweat.
    IMHO the fiddle player (and the guitarist) was the only one who was really up to that speed. All this came down to is a flurry of indistinguishable notes. Well, maybe it's all envy that I will never get there.
  4. jonny250
    Neil, that was superb, well played!
    There is a version in Butch Baldassari's book, so i'll be having a try at that...
  5. billkilpatrick
    very nice neal - i can't play those rinki-dinki-dinki-dinki songs - don't remember them and my finger poop out real quick - bravo!
  6. Marcelyn
    Thanks for the early version to practice with, Neil. You're a speed demon.
    Jeff's busy with end-of-the-year teaching responsibilities, so it's just me for now. This one would be great fun with a banjo sometime though.

  7. laura809
    Nice Marcelyn. I didn't' realize there were words to this one. This does seem like a great tune for a banjo duet, but you do a solid version all by yourself.
  8. billkilpatrick
    nice marcelyn (II) - what in the world are these lyrics all about?! ... anyone care to speculate?
  9. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Very clean picking, Neil. Tricky tune to get around, I imagine.
    Marcelyn, I think the tune and the lyrics just suit your voice so well. You capture that sound I associate with this kind of "old-timey" tune - if I might call it that!
  10. Marcelyn
    Thanks John and Laura. And Bill, what do you know? A little googling brings up an interesting wrinkle to this tune's lyrics. Wish you hadn't asked... But apparently, people also used to use dried gourds to hold sugar which they threw on the dance floor to add friction, so I'll go with that interpretation.
  11. billkilpatrick
    ahh ... much less puerile than what i was thinking - freud can rest easy again in his grave
  12. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Marcy, great combination of your signature old-timey mandolin sound and singing.
  13. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Surprise! I actually found the time to make a quick recording of this tune. I'm playing it without a backing track or click track... it seems to be at about 72 bpm (2 beats per measure), on my Collings MT2O mandolin. I'm trying to play it most like the second video above of Billton12's.

  14. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Marcelyn.... you nailed it with this one!
  15. Marcelyn
    Thanks Barbara, and really great version. I'm always inspired to go practice clean picking and tone after hearing your renditions of these tunes.
  16. laura809
    Great job Barbara. Here's my version, recorded at just over 90 bpm, with guitar, upright bass and banjo for backup. It probably would have been a little cleaner if I slowed it down a bit, but I already feel like a slow poke after watching some of the youtube examples.
  17. jonny250
    Marcelyn that was fantastic! i prefer your sung version to all the ones i've heard on youtube
    Barbara i agree with Marcelyn that you play it soooo cleanly - maybe i'll get there eventually... Laura i enjoyed your version too - i know what you mean about feeling slow - some of the youtube versions are flying along!

    I have used the butch baldassari book and backing track to learn this tune, i've enjoyed doing so but have to admit that my fingers turn to jelly the moment i hit the record button! One day i will take smiling lessons so that i can smile AND play the mondolin at the same time Hopefully when i have a bit more experience playing the mando i will relax a bit more...
    Here is my try:
  18. Marcelyn
    Laura, your ensemble sounds great. What a fun bunch of instruments you have under your belt.
    Jonny, the camera is still daunting to me too. I'm really impressed at how many times you played through the tune. When I started, it was once through and that's if I was lucky. I like the version you found. I think I might have that book around here somewhere.
  19. OldSausage
    Lots of great versions this week, well done to everyone. This is such a tune for a fiddle that I took my cue from a fiddle and banjo version by Byron Berline, and played it in what I think of as a very fiddle style of playing, as opposed to being what I suppose you would call mandolinistic. It's hard to replicate the double stops and the bowing of the fiddle of course, but anyway, this is what happened:

    This would probably lend itself well to cross-tuning, if you like that sort of caper.
  20. Marcelyn
    That's awesome, David. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to immitate shuffle bowing and other fiddle techniques on the mandolin. I'll have to study this one for a while.
  21. billkilpatrick
    david! - wow!
  22. OldSausage
    Thanks very much Bill and Marcelyn!
  23. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Many wonderful and varied versions, from Marcelyn's solo old time mandolin with vocal to OS's fiddle-inspired mandolin! Here's my version which I worked up partly from the playing of the Furnance Creek String Band. I've played twin mandolins (one Kentucky and one Gibson), frailing banjo, guitar and bass. Needless to say they were overdubbed on my DAW...

  24. OldSausage
    Very cool and interesting, Michael. I particularly enjoyed the frailing banjo, I've always wanted to learn to do that. Tried a couple of times but was a frail fail.
  25. Marcelyn
    Twin mandolins sound so happy in that tune, and the banjo is perfect for it. That's a really fun version. I'll have to find the recording you mentioned.
  26. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Some inspiring performances this week and once again a special commendation for the vocals -this time from Marcelyn. Here is my version with some added rythmn.
  27. OldSausage
    Nice one, Maudlin, I like the rhythm too!
  28. Marcelyn
    That rhythm is a fun surprise. That would be perfect to clog to. You really got that up to speed.
  29. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    I'm glad I checked back here, so many good versions, with double mandolins, singing etc; Laura, that sounds fine speed wise, much better to be playing clear than fast; Marcylen, fantastic, good to hear someone singing it, prob my fav version so far;
  30. Francis J
    Francis J
    Great variety of interpretations on this one, I love that. I seem to be working a week behind all the time, but I'll hang in there. My version is a bit different again, and for some reason lacks any old time "soul". So fresh off the cooker here it is.......
  31. Francis J
    Francis J
    Sorry, I made a bags of that!
    Here it is.

    I posted while the video was still processing and got the wrong embed code.
  32. Marcelyn
    Love the harmony part Francis.
  33. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Great picking, everybody. So many talented folks in the SAW group. Here's our Sugar in the Gourd. Good to know there are others who obsess (maybe just a little) over this like I do. Ours has the A/B switched, which we copied from a Missouri style fiddler.
  34. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    What an infectious little tune this is! Well done in that great old time way you two have... thanks.
  35. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Thanks Michael. This form of the tune is pretty standard here, but looking around it seems like there is some pretty major variation. I love hearing this.
  36. justkaron
    Steve and wife (I'd address her by name if I knew it)....whenever I see a video by the two of you pop up I know I'm in for a treat.
    You do a top notch job with the old time mood in your music. Just love it!
  37. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    That's very kind, justkaron. That's Dawn sitting to my right there. Today happens to be our ten-year anniversary. We're going to celebrate with some tunes, and then go and play for a dance tomorow.
  38. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Oh--and I meant to mention on our version that we squared it for contras. It just felt too hopping not to put it on the dance list.
  39. GKWilson
    Like Neil, I'm glad I checked back. Francis I liked your version a lot.
    Steve and Dawn you had me hoppin. Happy Anniversary.
  40. Marcelyn
    Steve, I wish I had a way to slow down your videos and figure out how to do the stuff you do. I love that style.
  41. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    Thanks, Marcelyn! That's very kind. I just think RHYTHM the entire time. I will play one doublestop if I can get away with it rather than a handful of notes. Our band doesn't have a bass player--and so Dawn and I have to fill that role and sort of drive the rhythm. I got so used to playing that way that whenever I hear a tune my brain immediately goes to it first. I forget that I even do until I listen to another mandolin player. The other thing I do is try to keep my right hand moving in that rhythmic pattern. At first it is tiring, but I got used to it quickly. I also use A LOT of drone strings whenever I possibly can.
  42. OldSausage
    FYI, you can use the "DownloadHelper" add on for Firefox to download any video. If you save it as MP4 format, you can then open it with Transcribe! software and slow the video down, and more importantly, hear the audio slowed down at any speed you want.
  43. Marcelyn
    That's great. I'll try that out. Thanks David.
  44. JLewis
    To add to OS's post about Download Helper and Transcribe, both VLC media player and Windows Media Player will let you slow a vid (or an mp3) while maintaining pitch. The sound quality suffers somewhat the slower you go, but for figuring out a song it can be really helpful.
Results 1 to 44 of 44