Week #240 ~ Black Mountain Rag

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week was a close one, the winner by one vote, is Black Mountain Rag. I'm not familiar with the tune.

    Here's a video of Doc Watson playing it on the guitar, with some tune explanation:

    Here's Vi Wickam on the fiddle:

    Here's a discussion of the tune on Mandolin Cafe.

    Here's abc and notation from abcnotation.com of John Chamber's version.

    Here's another link with notation, midi and mp3 files.

    If anyone has any more links, please feel free to post them!
  2. dusty miller
    dusty miller
    Adam Steffey and friends
  3. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Check out this unique version from Frank Wakefield:

    The tuning is GG DD GG BD from low to high strings.
  4. Tavy
    That's some tune - some really great examples there too. It sure is going take some learning though: I wish you all luck!
  5. Marcelyn
    This is a guitar lesson, but maybe some of you will find it helpful like I did. Doc Watson is really good at breaking this tune down slowly and his advice on hammer ons and pull offs looks useful too.

  6. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Here's my version of Black Mountain Rag which I worked up after being inspired by Doc Watson and Del McCoury when they played this tune together. Yep, the mandolin is tuned weird: GG DD GG BD.

  7. Marcelyn
    That sounds really amazing. What a lot of fun things you can do with that tuning. Thanks for all the ideas.
  8. OldSausage
    Very cool tuning on that Michael, and nicely played. This is one of the first tunes I ever learned to play for a jam. I don't get to bring it out much these days, but it's still in there somewhere:

  9. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Mighty awesome mandolin picking there David! Loved that lick from 0:27 - 0:30 -- just some great chromatic ideas going on. I'm glad you brought it out of mothballs and played it for us.
  10. Marcelyn
    Such great playing, David! What a fun tune.
  11. OldSausage
    Thanks guys - Mike Marshall gave me that lick, and I'm gonna use it!
  12. Heath
    Michael: that tuning sounds great! The harmonics sound really cool.
    OldSausage: You've got some great licks and different ideas going on in your version! It's such a fun tune to play around with.

    Here's my take on it.

  13. OldSausage
    Nice job, Heath, I like the key change, like on the old "Will the Circle be Unbroken" version.
  14. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    That's the real deal, Heath. Just a great job.
  15. Heath
    Thanks guys!
  16. Marcelyn
    It's really great to have your example on these tunes, Heath. Super performance.
  17. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Three outstanding versions kicking off this week. A mere mortal needs to post a version now - but it's not going to be me!
    David (old sausage) I've enjoyed watching your video lessons with Mike Marshall on the Artistsworks site. Cradling your mandolin like a baby, leg raised a la Mike, you're even beginning to look like the great man himself. I am a massive Mike fan, but I think you'll be giving him lessons soon.
  18. OldSausage
    Thanks very much James. It will be a while before that happens, but I do think I've learned a lot from Mike.
  19. Marcelyn
    Here's one from Jeff and me. I couldn't pass up trying Micheal's cool tuning suggestion. What fun!

  20. Heath
    Nice work, Marcelyn and Jeff! That tuning sure does sound cool!
  21. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    That's such a great old time feel that you both have! The mandolin sounds really great too!
  22. 9lbShellhamer
    Here's my take... I've really enjoyed listening to all of your vids. I just opened up the box after the 24 hour wait time. I purchased a new Kentucky KM 950 to replace my Breedlove... this was recorded a few moments after opening, (after quite a few recording takes...) This is really a fun tune and I can't wait to speed it up a bit and play around with it a little after more practice.

    Michael, I love the tuning. your sound quality is good too! I like the funky vibe you give the tune. Kind of dawg style to my untrained ears...

    Old Sausage, I'm stoked I finally got to hear you play. It sounds great. I've read a million of your posts. Your version is true to the original and played very well. I like hearing how clearly you play through the fast parts, keeping tone top priority, it sounds like a studio track, which looking at your set up, it basically is. well done!

    Heath, Your licks make it your own. I really dig the bluesy and rock inspired licks that get thrown in to make it swing. Its really fun and original, making it more current. The key change was cool.

    Marcelyn, LOVE the banjo! All the posts lately have had backing with tons of other mando inspired instruments, but rarely banjo. I love hearing your old timey banjo version.

    Here is my vid...
    Once you click, the vid plays straight...
  23. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    Great playing by everyone on this tune! Love the cross tuned versions by Michael and Marcelyn.
  24. Heath
    Nice job on the new mando! You play with a very nice feel and tone. Good work!
  25. Marcelyn
    Thanks so much you all.
    Congratulations on a fun new mandolin, 9LB. It sounds great.
  26. Sasquatch
    I feel like the Prodigal Son of the SOTW Group! Glad to be back in action. Besides being extremely busy the last few weeks, I also have been hindered by a nasty cut on my left index finger. The cut is on the underside bend and has been swollen. The mandolin playing has been hindered somewhat. Still a little sore but I just couldn't take it anymore! Had to try out the BMR.

    Michael- Super cool version on your super cool Mando. I desire to add a F2 or F4 to my family someday!

    David, what can I say other than 'Yet another off the charts' rendition!

    Welcome to SOTW Heath. Awesome stuff! Looking forward to your posts!

    Marcelyn, as usual I just simply love your guys style!

    9lb- great job!

  27. OldSausage
    This is great, I've been learning things from everyone's videos this week. Wonderful job Sasquatch, I really enjoyed it, and great additions from Marcy and 9lb too.
  28. jonny250
    I'm always amazed at how good you guys manage to play these SAW tracks in just one week - this week is no exception!
    Michael i enjoyed your take with the different tuning which gives it an interesting flavour.
    David as always a cool version and i also want to know that lick please...
    Marcelyn - i liked your version with that weird tuning lol. it has a spooky sort of sound...
    Heath - keep 'em coming - that was great!
    Good jobs 9lb and Sasquatch.

    I ran out of time this week, so as i wanted to get something done this is 2 takes - 1 with my new Weber 'Custom Vintage A', i might try again later if i finish work early as i used to play this on my 5s banjo and do like the tune:
  29. Marcelyn
    Very cool, Jonny. Love all the slides, harmony, and personality you put into that arrangement.
    Super solo version, Tim! I was actually thinking at the beginning of this week it would be fun to hear what you'd do with this tune. Great to see you back.
  30. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Good one Shellhamer. Sasquatch: welcome back and what a treasure trove of different ways to play this tune.

    And the most original version goes to Jonny with his twangin', slidin', and totally amazing take on this old chestnut!
  31. luurtie
    Unbelievable how many nice version you all posted.
    Michael very nice, I love that tuning you used. Big surprise to see you again David, nice playing.
    Heath, you sound very professional again, I bet you play in a band. Jeff and Marcy, you managed to make a beautiful oldtime version. I also love your versions Troy and Monroe-Timothy
    The biggest surprise was you Jonny. What a tonemonster is that Weber Octavemando. You already play it so well!
  32. James Rankine
    James Rankine
    Great playing Jonny. Beautiful instrument and the extra stretch just doesn't seem to be an issue for you - played like a regular mandolin- very impressive.
  33. jonny250
    Thank you for the kind words guys, more than i deserve! - James i love the Octave and i am struggling with holding some chords but i guess that's part of the fun of learning the instrument...
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