Week #196 ~ I'm Working on a Building

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This was a close one this week, but this group seems to be in a bluegrass-y mood! This week's winner is "I'm Working on a Building" which was submitted as a bluegrass tune.

    I found this on Wikipedia:

    I'm Working on a Building
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "I'm Working on a Building" is a song in the both the African-American spiritual and southern gospel traditions. The song has become a standard of the genres. It has been recorded countless times by artists such as The Carter Family,[1] Bill Monroe,[2] Elvis Presley,[3] the Oak Ridge Boys,[3] B. B. King,[4] and John Fogerty.[5]

    One version of the song is credited to Lillian Bowles and Winifred O'Hoyle,[3] though it existed as a traditional folk song for longer than that, likely a negro spiritual of indeterminate origin. An early version of the song was collected in a 1929 book, Old Songs Hymnal by Dorothy G. Bolton; the song is described has having a calypso feel to it, leading to speculation that it may have originated in Florida or the Caribbean.[6]

    The song became popularly associated with Southern gospel music when The Carter Family recorded in in 1934 for Bluebird Records; this version is copyrighted to A. P. Carter. Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music, added it to his regular set-list due to numerous requests from fans, and because he appreciated the construction metaphor in the song's lyrics. It is believed that the Carter version was itself based on a much older version which the folklorist John Wesley Work III later included in his 1940 collection American Negro Songs and Spirituals.[7][8]

    Blues legend B. B. King first learned the song as a young street musician, and it became a regular part of his repertoire during his early career.[9] John Fogerty included the song in his first solo project, The Blue Ridge Rangers.[5]

    And here are some videos:

    If anyone can come up with the abc or notation for this, that would be great!
  2. OldSausage
    There are tabledit files on Mandozine for a couple of versions of this:


    The Monroe break on there is from the 1954 recording, which can be found on the "Bill Monroe:Anthology" album - the individual track can be purchased on Amazon or iTunes.
  3. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Woah! Come from behind victory for Monroe. The reel was way ahead when I voted. Time to get to work. Think I'll forego the falsetto singing.
  4. Steve Cantrell
    Steve Cantrell
    You got it, Mike.
  5. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin

    This arrangement is from the Traditional Music site. On listening back it doen't sound much like the tune but never mind; learning it was a good exercise.
  6. OldSausage
    That's the Monroe break, I believe - excellent job Maudlin: is that a new mandolin?
  7. GKWilson
    maudlin. With your new mando, If you had your usual shirt and tie, you'd even look like Bill.
    Nice job.
  8. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    O S You are right the traditional music arrangement is almost the same as the one on mandozine The instrument is a Samick made not in China for once, but Indonesia.
    Gary- I would need alot more hair and a bit of a curl to the lip to look like Bill M.
  9. OldSausage
    Interesting, I saw from Ted's pics from NAMM that the new Fender E-mando was made in Indonesia too. I guess Indonesia is the new China, poor things.
  10. OldSausage
    A bit out of focus this week - but then when you get the take you want, do you want to go back and do it again in focus? You do not. Anyway, I've always liked this one, but I've never played it before. Great bluesy gospel tune, always my favorite kind.

  11. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Maudlin: nice job on a nice new mandolin. Old Sausage: I was wondering what you'd pull out of your bluegrass hat and this is just wonderful. Love the tone on your mandolin. Here's my rendition. I played guitar and sang the lead and overdubbed the mandolin later. I spent some time trying to figure out what Bill did always an education in cool timings and great bluesy runs... I can never get it to sound like Bill did, but it's sure fun to try.

  12. luurtie
    Wow, you all did very well. We can see a good progression every week Maudlin.
    Again a very professional recording David, great picking. And I know you don't have to sing, it's not a singingcafe.
    Michael, you're vocal capabilitys are very good. It's very nice to listen to your songs, and you defenitely must sing If you can.
    I don't have much time this week, so I hope to make a recording with my band when we are rehearsing tomorrow. I hope to post it on thursday.
  13. Marcelyn
    Very Bluesy everyone. Thanks for demonstrating that break MM--sounds tricky.
    David, your breaks are awesome, and I love your mandolin's deep bass.
    Ditto on the excellent Monroe-inspired breaks, Michael, plus outstanding singing!
    Hendrik, I can't wait to hear your group.
  14. OldSausage
    Thanks Hendrik and Marcelyn, I'm looking forward to your videos. Excellent job, Michael, really nice breaks and turnarounds, and those are some high notes you're hitting there.
  15. jonny250
    I love this song! Well done Maudlin also great stuff as always from David and Michael. I always look forward to seeing/hearing your interpretations - glad you posted early to give me stuff to think about too.
  16. justkaron
    Big sigh of pleasure here.....thanks Guys....all of you!
  17. luurtie
    We had a rehearshal with our band "Close to home" tonight, here's our shot at it

  18. laura809
    Wow Luurtie, the band sounds great! That song really suited your lead vocalist's bluesy voice. Nice job Michael. I love the leads and fills, and your falsetto vocal was impressive. I almost opted for an instrumental version. Speaking of which, OS, you did a great instrumental version. I loved the bass line and the whole arrangement. Maudlin, congratulations on the new mandolin. I based my version off of the mandozine tab and it is very similar.
  19. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Great practice Luurtie and "Close To Home". Your lead singer did a great job as did everyone else in your group. Laura, hard song to pull off with just a mandolin and vocal... well done!
  20. Marcelyn
    What a great band, Hendrik! You guys sound so authentically down-south, I think I'm remembering you're from Europe, you've really got the accent nailed. Really nice harmony and mandolin breaks.

    Laura, I love it. Your vocals had a ton of feeling and the break was great.
    It's a good night for posting. Here's one from Jeff and me too.

  21. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Wow, that was some really inspired, old time, picking. Thanks, Jeff and Marcelyn.
  22. jonny250
    good job Luurtie and close to home! also Laura - good solo A huge well done to Jeff and Marcelyn - that was great!
  23. luurtie
    Wel done Laura, I like the sweet way you sing and play this tune. And Marcelyn I love that mountainstyle version of you and Jeff. You're voice sounds a bit like Irish Dement, I like that way of singing very much.
    Thanks for the compliments for our band, I'm very proud to play with them. Nice to hear we have an authentically down-south sound. Liz does that twangy 'down-south singing' very well for a dutch lady
  24. harrywhohaa
    Great versions you all, the standard is really high this week with everyone singing and soloing, impressive.

    Here's my go solo Mandolin a bit rough but just trying to do one take for these now:

  25. luurtie
    That version really swings! How nice
  26. GKWilson
    Nice one Harry. It has a great live performance feel.
  27. jonny250
    good stuff Harry!
  28. Marcelyn
    You have a great groove going with that one, Harry.
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