Week #253 ~ Blue Moon of Kentucky

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Blue Moon of Kentucky.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Blue Moon of Kentucky" is a waltz written in 1946 by bluegrass musician Bill Monroe and recorded by his band, The Blue Grass Boys. The song has since been recorded by many artists, including Elvis Presley.

    "Blue Moon" is the official bluegrass song of Kentucky. In 2002, Monroe's version was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2003, CMT ranked "Blue Moon" #11 on its 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.

    Bill Monroe wrote the song in 1946, recording it for Columbia Records on September 16. It was released in early 1947.[1] At the time, the Bluegrass Boys included vocalist and guitarist Lester Flatt and banjoist Earl Scruggs, who would later form their own bluegrass band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Both Flatt and Scruggs performed on the recording, although Bill Monroe supplied the vocals on this song.

    The song, described as a "bluegrass waltz", had become a nationwide hit by 1947[2] and also became enormously popular with other bluegrass, country, and early rockabilly acts. Although the song was revered by the Grand Ole' Opry and others,[2] Carl Perkins played an uptempo version of this song in his early live performances.

    In 1954, The Stanley Brothers recorded a version of the song using Presley's 4/4 arrangement with bluegrass instrumentation, neatly bridging the stylistic gap between Monroe's and Presley's approaches. Bill Monroe subsequently re-recorded and performed the song using a mixture of the two styles, starting the song in its original 3/4 arrangement, then launching into an uptempo 4/4 rendition.

    Here are 3 versions of TAB from Mandozine.

    Who knows if you can glean anything from this... it's banjo TAB and standard notation for the tune.
  2. OldSausage
    The break Monroe does on that reminds me a lot of Frog On A Lilypad (another C tune).
  3. TwoByFour
    Happy Saturday all!

    I had to sneak in a recording session while the kids were out for a walk. I tried to play a basic solo version by ear from what I remember, so it might have wandered away from the Monroe canon a couple of times I'm not very advanced, and I'm still exploring moving up the neck in solos, so I gave it a shot here.


  4. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Nice job and a very personal take on Blue Moon of Kentucky!
  5. woodenfingers
    Surprisingly, it looks like I am getting in early on this one. Twobyfour, you did just fine by ear and you sounded advanced to me!!

    I have a non-Monroe, easy-listening, version of the tune. Vocals with my wife, Liz.

  6. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Very nice duet, woodenfingers. I love the non-Monroe version.
  7. Marcelyn
    Bob and Liz, that's so pretty. I think Monroe had it right when he wrote it as a waltz. Love the duet singing and mandolin playing.
    I enjoyed that solo version Twobyfour--very nice tone, and way to kick things off.
    Here's a rough once-through from us.

  8. woodenfingers
    Marcy - That was terrific. I really liked the way you launched into the second part with the mandolin. Looks like you had great fun doing it too!!
  9. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    Nice Monroe type picking from Chris and great duets from Bob and Liz and Marcy and Jeff. I went for the Elvis version.
  10. Sasquatch
    Took a few minutes to get something together for this weeks tune. Been a little swamped lately. I have also been wanting to play the 'Father Angus' tune from last week but haven't got it done yet.
    PLEASE overlook my singing!! It is here only for reference. My voice has not recovered from the super cold this Hoosier winter has offered so I stayed off the high 'C's this song needs.
  11. Marcelyn
    Love that one, Tim! It's great to hear some Monroe-style playing on this tune. You have it nailed.
    Rock on, Maudlin. Your signature cross picking is sounding really nice
  12. Obiwan
    nice work twobyfour a very pleasant version. same to woodenfingers nice and relaxing enjoyed the pictures also.
    marcelyn executed perfect again nice singing to great mountain feel.
    maud i enjoyed the picking style you used great stuff
    sasquatch killing it again love the blue grass style.
    ok here is my go
  13. jonny250
    Well done you guys, some really cool versions of this cool tune
    Maudlin well done with the cross picking, i find it really hard to do, especially singing too! Sasquatch, thats some great monroe-esque playing - and with your lad trying to distract you too, gotta love 'em eh
  14. Marcelyn
    Wow, Obiwan, those are amazing breaks. The way you run up the scale when the tune switches to 4/4 is so cool. For a little while I've been studying on how to be more creative with melodies like you've done here. With any luck, that's exactly how I'd hope to be playing it someday.
  15. Obiwan
    Thanks marcylen I'm still getting comfortable up in down the scales. Doing triplets is just fun.
  16. sgarrity
    Good playing by everybody. Sasquatch......you're killin' the Monroe style man. That was excellent! I'm stealing some of that.
  17. Cue Zephyr
    Cue Zephyr
    Great work everybody. I wish I could join in with y'all but i'm just too new playing the mandolin the way I really want to play it. I'd have to get back to this someday when I can pick a little bit better.

    Sasquatch - fantastic picking. Although my experience is fairly limited, I'd have to agree that you got the Monroe style down.

    Loved the duet earlier in this discussion too!
  18. Sasquatch
    Thank you all so much for the kind words. It means alot. While I do love & embrace Monroe style mando, I am finding that it it does not lend itself to well to Bach, O'Carolyn, etc. So I am trying to learn new tehniques to add to the quiver. I have learned quite abit from watching you all. I love the diversity of styles & approaches to a single tune each week.
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