Week #144 ~ Candy Gal (Monroe)

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Candy Gal, which was submitted as a Bill Monroe tune.

    I wish I had something to offer ya'll! Hopefully, those among you familiar with this tune, can come up with something! I've found that it was a song on Monroe's "Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen" album released in 1972.
  2. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    I've never heard this tune before but found the out of print "Bill Monroe's Uncle Pen" album at this site.

    You have to have a program that you can unzip the files, though. I downloaded 7-zip and that's worked really well for me. I've gotten a lot of great old bluegrass albums off this and similar sites.

    Haven't looked for any youtube videos for it.

    Hope this helps!
  3. jamann
    Here's Bill's 1972 version of Candy Gal. Enjoy!


  4. OldSausage
    Thank you - I was going to ask if anyone had that!
  5. Eddie Sheehy
    That's uncannily like Miss McLeod's Reel
  6. sgarrity
    That's a good one. It's on Sadie Compton's recording as well. I'll try to get a video up tonight or tomorrow. Need to dust this one off a bit. It's pretty easy to pick up from the recording though.
  7. OldSausage
    Bill Monroe plays this at a very relaxed pace - so relaxed I thought I might even venture a guitar break on this one:

  8. Marcelyn
    Excellent on mandolin and guitar, David. I can't wait to start learning this one.
  9. sgarrity
    You picked that one up fast!! Nice playing. I liked the guitar too!
  10. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Excellent job Old Sausage!

    Uncle Bunt Stevens is credited with the first recording of this tune in March of 1926. Here it is:

  11. justkaron
    WOW! Michael, that was fascinating to listen to. What would be the classification of that music? What genre?
    Thanks for posting that.
  12. MiG-19
    Thanks OldSausage, that was a pleasure to watch and listen to!
  13. sgarrity
    For a tune I already knew this one sure gave me fits trying to get "right." As Michael pointed out this is not an original Monroe tune. However, the old time version does sound a bit different than the way Monroe did it.

  14. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great job sgarrity! That's one powerful mandolin in your hands. Great tone.
    I believe Monroe knew all of the old tunes and would spice 'em up to fit his style on the mandolin (as did everyone else in the band).

    Justkaron: Uncle Bunt was from East Tennessee and the genre would be old time. He's in a cross tuning too!
  15. Marcelyn
    Sean, awesome! I couldn't figure out the B part until I heard yours. It's a great version.
    Thanks for posting the old time recording, Michael. Uncle Bung's version seems to be in the key of F#, but I'd love to see what they'd say at an old time jam if I proposed Candy Girl in F#. The old time fiddlers I see on Youtube are doing it in the key of A today with AEAE tuning. Here's a great version from Bruce Molsky.
    And here's a fiddle lesson that demonstrates the tune.
  16. OldSausage
    Excellent job Sean, you really captured the Bill Monroe approach in yours. I had found an example of this recorded by Kenny Baker that featured Jesse McReynolds on mandolin, and used some of his licks as well as my quick read of Bill's for mine.

    After I listened back to it, I wasn't real pleased with how I played the mandolin part in the YouTube, so I recorded another version. I don't suppose that's interesting to anyone but me, but in case anyone would like to hear it, I put it on Soundcloud here:

  17. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Great tune. I'm with Eddie on hearing Miss McCleod's Reel loud and clear; lots of pond jumping in Appalachian and "ITM" tunes. I agree that Sean really got the whole Monroe spirit going on. Mandolin part is much better in the SoundCloud version, OS. I love all the history here. Learn something everyday. I didn't realize fiddlers used different tunings; thanks, Marcelyn!
  18. jamann
    OS, Excellent picking there! I especially liked the second take (SoundCloud). Smooth!
    Shaun, You definitely got this one down. Really enjoyed your take on Monroe! Great sounding mandolin you have there.

    Here's my take on Monroe's solo played as always in my usual slowed down way. I've enjoyed learning this one. It was a challenge.


  19. OldSausage
    Excellent John, and you got your pinkie to anchor the A note firmly in the B part which I couldn't do. One of Bill's best tricks, and sounding great as always on your mandolin - what is that one, doesn't look like your SA?
  20. jamann
    OS, The pinky was a challenge for me. I actually have it down better using my third finger too. I can only play this tune so many times using my pinky and then it back to my third finger. It's a workout. I must be out of shape! The mandolin is my Gibson. It was jealous!
  21. OldSausage
    Interesting - how do you think they compare? To me it seems like the SA has an edge over Gibson tone-wise, but I'm just hearing it on YouTube.

    I found the same thing with my pinky, plus I couldn't keep the note it held from bending out of tune. I'm going to work on that.
  22. jamann
    Well, they are completely different tone-wise. I personally like the tone I get out of my SA probably best because I play with a heavy hand and I can really dig into the SA and get that great tone. That said it's not as easy to play as the Gibson which is why I used it on this tune. Easier on my pinky. Even easier to play is my Weber LE but it is currently crosstuned so I just used the Gibson. They're all different in their own way. That's what I like about them.
  23. sgarrity
    Nice playing guys!! I really liked the second version OS. Very smooth! And jamann...I wish I had pinky control like that. Glad someone suggested this one.
  24. OldSausage
    Well, I must confess I have an interest because I have a Silver Angel on the way. Ken is showing it at SPBGMA next week, then it's heading down South to me, so we will see. The Eastman just won't let me do anything with a heavy hand as you can probably tell, so I'm hoping the SA will give some more latitude in that direction.

    Thanks Sean! I think this was one of John's suggestions.
  25. jamann
    Oh, I believe it will serve you well. I absolutely love my SA and wouldn't trade it for anything. It's all about the tone and Ken's got that down to science! I think you'll be very happy with it. I went to several SPBMA's a few years back and that's where I played my first SA. Fell in love with them and eventually got one. No regrets whatsoever plus they're hard to beat for the price. His econo models are an absolute bargain. I recently played one and it was a canon! He has that distressed look down to his mandolins like no other in my opinion. Very cool mandolins indeed.
    Enjoy your new one. Welcome to the club!
  26. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Here's a link to a PDF of Mike Compton’s transcription. Couldn't figure out how to get it to post here. I'm sharing this with Mike's permission. If you’re interested in lessons via Skype, email him at taterbugmusic@gmail.com. I highly recommend his services.

    Sean, you nailed it! That Kimball really talks.

  27. jamann
    Mike, I also highly recommend lessons from Mike Compton. I learned this version from him and it's what I'm playing. I don't have very good internet service in my remote location so Skype or anything else just doesn't work well for lessons. He just emails me a video lesson along with pdf transcription and I'll email questions and eventually send him a video so he can comment and make suggestions. I'm not on any schedule. He just randomly sends me a lesson which works great with my schedule. He'll work with you. He's a great guy. You'll definitely learn from him.
  28. OldSausage
    Thanks John. I added one of the pics Ken sent me, it's one of his "max" distressed A models. I was never that into the whole distressed thing, but he does it so well I couldn't resist.


    Thanks for posting Compton's tab, Mike.
  29. jamann
    OS, Very cool peghead. Bet you can't wait to get your hands on that!
  30. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Another great tune I would probably not have heard if not for SAW group; Been enjoying and learning from all the versions so far, nice guitar work OS, seems to me the more I play mandolin the more any guitar abilities I had are gradually fading.
    Here's mines:
  31. OldSausage
    Good job Neil, that sounded very authentic. I had to do some guitar work recently for a show where we were down our usual guitar picker so I've been working on it.

    John, you are not wrong that I am about ready to start playing that new mando.
  32. Marcelyn
    Really nice, Neil, your version is so smooth and relaxed. John, I didn't even attempt to use my pinkie while recording. Very impressive.
    I'm working on the old time version of this one too. It's a lot of fun as well.

  33. sgarrity
    Nice versions Neil and Marcelyn. You're getting great tone out of that Newell!
  34. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great job Neil. Good old time feel Marcy.

    The mandolin is tuned AEAE. There's also some bass and guitar added. Hope you like it!

  35. OldSausage
    Excellent job Marcelyn, I like all the ringing open strings. And Michael, I loved the easy groove on your production.
  36. sgarrity
    You sure do make that look easy Michael! That was wonderful.
  37. jamann
    Neil, Very nice with that Monroe version. That was great!
    Marcelyn, What can I say. I really love your old timey style of playing. You didn't let us down here. Love it!
    Michael, Wow, that was great. I liked everything about that. Very impressive! You make it look so easy. I wish I had half your talent.
  38. Marcelyn
    If you take half his tallent, John, I'll settle for a quarter, and I think he'll still be awesome. That was such a great version, Michael. I like the AEAE tuning. I've been playing around with that too.
  39. neil argonaut
    neil argonaut
    Nice versions, Marcelyn and Michael. Sounds great with the AEAE tuning, maybe have to try it myself.
  40. laura809
    This has been a particularly helpful thread. I couldn't even find Bill Monroe's version of this tune until Rob and Jamann posted links, so thanks. There are many excellent versions. Marcelyn, I am impressed by how relaxed your fingers appears, even as you play at faster tempos. Michael, I loved the open tuning. Great idea, as this is basically a one chord song.
    Here's my version. I am playing a 1923 Gibson A3 that I just bought. It has a couple cracks and has been refinished, but I fell in love with the tone.
  41. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Wow Laura, that mandolin sounds great. Congratulations are also in order for Old Sausage and his new mando. Although, it's hard to imagine him sounding any better than he does now!
  42. Marcelyn
    Nice playing, and big congratulations on your new A3, Laura. It has such a great old time sound. I have a teens A3 that I'm pretty attached to myself.
  43. OldSausage
    Yes, nice one Laura, sounds like that old Gibby has a classic tone. And thanks Michael, I'll certainly be posting some comparison videos when it arrives
  44. peddyrmac
    sgarrity, love that right hand rhythm. Driving like a freight train at the start!
  45. Marcelyn
    Here's an attempt at translating some parts of Uncle Bunt's fiddle version of Candy Girl to the mandolin. This one's in the key of G and the A3 is tuned GDGD.
  46. Rob Fowler
    Rob Fowler
    Here's my version loosely based on Monroe's break on "Uncle Pen." I've really enjoyed everybody's version of this tune. Love the sound of that new Kimble, Sean!

    Wow, I'm actually posting during the week of the tune!

  47. OldSausage
    Awesome, both Rob and Marcelyn, I take my hat off to you, if I was wearing a hat.
  48. Marcelyn
    Wow, Rob, that mandolin sounds amazing. The whole version is outstanding, but I especially love the way you tackle the B part.
    Thanks, David, and one more congratulations from me on your new mandolin. I know you'll put it to good use.
  49. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Marcelyn, this version of the tune, with the crosstuning, is even better than your last one . Well done!
    Rob, that's a killer sounding mandolin and a really great version of Candy Gal.
  50. laura809
    Excellent performance Rob. You get a nice full sound out of your mandolin. What type is that? Marcelyn, nice job showing off your A3! I love the way open tunings sound, but I'm often too lazy to re-tune.
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