Week #224 ~ Blackberry Blossom

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Blackberry Blossom, which is a tune that most of us have heard, even if we don't realize it!

    Here's a link to info on the tune from Wikipedia.

    Here is a link to standard notation and abc from John Chamber's online music books.

    Here's a link to a lesson from Wendy Anthony on this tune from Mel Bay's Mandolin Sessions.

    Since this is a fiddle tune, here it is on a fiddle!

    Here's a catchy mandolin version lesson on You Tube:

    Here's another mandolin lesson:

    I'll admit that our band plays this tune, with a whistle player (or maybe she's on the flute for this tune, I can't remember) playing the melody with all the notes, and pretty fast. I have a really dumbed downed mandolin version that I play when we do it, as there's really only room for ONE instrument playing this fast melody, at least in our band!
  2. dusty miller
    dusty miller

    Run through on my Michael Kelly mandolin.
  3. OldSausage
    Very nicely played, Kris, and a pretty version of the tune.
  4. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice early start, dusty miller! Very fluent.
  5. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    By the way, the first mandolin video above is by Rick Williams. His Jam Tunes book and CDs were my first introduction to bluegrass/fiddle tunes a few years back. I had never heard any of these tunes before.
    I was so proud when I was able to play along cleanly with Liberty and Saint Anne's Reel at 110 bpm (quarter notes) but thought I would never ever be able to play along with the faster recordings (176).
  6. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Thanks David and Manfred. Many cool variations and ways to play this one. I put this one down kind of quick. Maybe do another version later. Looking forward to hearing both of yours. I have a great Tony Rice/ Sam Bush version I attempt to keep up with sometimes.
  7. laura809
    Nice job Dusty! That was a great start. I wish I had a little more time to polish this one, but it's now or never. I already knew this tune, but I've never managed to perfect it.
  8. Sasquatch
    Dusty and Laura, both of your renditions are awesome!!! I am going to watch these and see if I can pick up some of these licks. I have always struggled with this tune for whatever reason. Watching you fine folk helps a lot! Bravo!
  9. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Thanks Laura and Timothy. Great job Laura, I love that high variation. That's really cool!

  10. OldSausage
    Nice work, Laura, the Collings sounds really good on that.

    Here's mine - I play this quite often with my band, but I tried to introduce a couple of different variations here:

  11. harrywhohaa
    Laura, Dusty, very fluid renditions.

    OS, those B part variations sound great
  12. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    David, Really awesome version! Gives me a lot to strive for in sprucing mine up.

  13. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice set of variations, David. Really captures the essence of your playing and the tune too.
  14. Tavy
    Oh my, some mighty fine playing there.

    Out of interest, does anyone play/sing the Michelle Shocked version? Absolutely love that version of this old tune, I'd post a 'tube link, but it's not on there
  15. Marcelyn
    Like you, Laura, I knew this one and am still on the way to perfecting it. I admire the variations you worked into your version.
    Kris, thanks for the super clean rendition that got us all going this week.
    And David, on Friday I went back to hear your old version of Blackberry Blossom for ideas. That one is pretty impressive, and it's amazing what you've done with it in the last few years. Very inspiring.

  16. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Nice pickin' Marcelyn! So many neat ways to play this one. I like how you mix the chords in.
    I guess they are double stops. Sounds nice.

  17. Marcelyn
    Thanks, Kris. You're right, they're all pretty much double stops and drone strings. It's a product of me learning it on fiddle first a while back and then translating it to mandolin.
  18. luurtie
    My compliments for all of the fine recordings so far, right back from my campingtrip at Vlieland I hope to record a version this week, but I noticed this is a fingerbreaker for me... My pinky doesn't seem to cooperate
  19. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite
    Good versions, all. Here's my short contribution. Thanks!

  20. GKWilson
    Nice clean pickin' Colin.
    I like your 'B' part.
    Your Larrivee sounds nice, but couldn't you get Richard to back you up?
  21. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Great stuff, David. And fast is when it is clean and doesn't look particularly fast. I clocked you, and you are very fast. There was only one instance when you seemed to frown ....
    You seem to be glued to your new mando these days. Where is the Silverangel?
    Marcy, another fine example of your unique treatment of these tunes.
    Colin, good to hear you again with a fine job. Didn't know you had a Larrivee. Does it come up to their guitar reputation?
  22. OldSausage
    Excellent old-timey version from Marcy, really enjoyed that. And Colin, sounding better than ever.

    Manfred, I'm just having a lot of fun exploring all the different possibilities of the Jacobson - it's a very different mando from the Silverangel, and I certainly haven't forgotten that one. I still have lots to learn and a long way to go on both of them, so I'm sure you'll see me going back and forth between them in the future.
  23. Sasquatch
    Marcelyn, I agree with David on the old-time sound. Really sounds nice. All the versions of this tune are great. Each one has something to glean from. Thanks for all the posts to learn from!!
    This tune has always baffled me. I gave it a shot.

  24. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Timothy , If this tune baffled you before I think you have it now! Sounds awesome

  25. OldSausage
    Very cool - nice bends!
  26. Marcelyn
    That's an outstanding rendition, Tim--brisk and full of super licks. Love how bluesy it gets toward the end!
    Collin, you do a great job at keeping a bouncy rhythm through your whole version. The tune can sound so happy that way.
  27. luurtie
    That was very nice Timothy, a lot of variations... Laura, your little slower version sounds very clear, I like the way you play it..
    It's not that easy to make the notes sound clear in this fast tune but here's my attempt...

  28. Colin Braithwaite
    Colin Braithwaite
    Thanks for the comments, everyone. Like many people, I've known this tune forever. When I decided to force my pinky to join the other fingers on my left hand, it was a useful exercise. Manfred, I'm very happy with my Larrivée. I've always been a fan of his guitars and when I saw his mandolins in a local shop, I thought they stood up pretty well to Collings, for less money. And Gary, there will will be more Beatles tunes on the Café this fall with me and Richard White. We've been playing on the boardwalk in Toronto this summer under the sobriquet "The Beachles."
  29. dusty miller
    dusty miller

    A low and high variation if I could get a good recording to save my life but here it is.
    Need to choke up on my new bluechip a little more so it doesn't tap on fretboard.
    Kentucky mandolin.
    Should done these variations in my first post. Sorry for the double post.
  30. Marcelyn
    You've been hitting this one hard, Kris. Really nice new variations. That's one thing I've enjoyed working on too after hearing all the versions this week.
  31. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    More great and speed-demonic versions, Sasquatch and luurtie. Good job again, Dusty. The reason why I did not add a low variation is that I am so glad when I get through one mostly accident-free
  32. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Thanks Marcelyn, I enjoy this tune.
    Manfred- Great version, I know the feeling about just trying to get one clean, semi flawless version on video. After listening to yours and everybody else's I guess I should do more takes to get it perfect.
    What kind of mandolin you pickin' Manfred?

  33. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks, Kris.
    The mando is a Brentrup Stealth, which I gave to myself as a gift 2 years ago.
    It has raised my playing pleasure to a higher power.
  34. Marcelyn
    I'm glad I came back to check this thread. That's such a beautiful version Manfred with so much feeling in it. That's got to be one of my favorite sounding mandolins.
  35. jonny250
    As always, you guys are putting up some great versions which i have enjoyed listening to
    Its been ages since i posted a video for SAW - summertime and so much to do!! but here is my attempt at this finger-busting tune as always, a work in progress. I'm currently working on scale patterns with MM so some of you might recognise what i'm *Trying* to do....
  36. luurtie
    In combination with the singing birds it sounds marvelous Jonny! Very clean playing Manfred. Keep on going Dusty!
  37. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Well played Johnny. Are the M M lessons any good?
    This arrangement is by Mickey Cochran - its the best I can manage in a week.
  38. jonny250
    Nicely done in a week Maudlin! yes i think the MM lessons are great, although i havent had nearly enough time to work on them for a while.
  39. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Nice job, Maudlin, Jonny! It is a finger workout.

  40. Eric Michael Pfeiffer
    Eric Michael Pfeiffer
    Here's mine...better late than never!
    I really need to work on my pinkie LOL ( which I'm doing currently.. I've since worked out a different version.
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