The song of the week is 'Blue Ridge Cabin Home' in the key of A.
Flatt and Scruggs - key of Bb. This is the original recording of 'Blue Ridge Cabin Home'. It is in the key of Bb instead of A only because all the instruments were tuned a half-step higher than standard.
For a more recent recording of Blue Ridge Cabin Home, here is one of my favorites:
The Bluegrass Album Band - key of Bb
In many Bluegrass circles, the Bluegrass Album Band (Tony Rice - guitar, vocals; J.D. Crowe - banjo, vocals; Doyle Lawson - mandolin, vocals; Bobby Hicks - fiddle; Todd Phillips - bass) version of Blue Ridge Cabin Home, released in 1981, has replaced the 1950s Flatt & Scruggs version as the primary point of reference for the song.
Jason Homey & The Snake River Boys - key of Bb
Jason Homey and the Snake River boys, IBA Open Mic, 10_22_19 - YouTube
Here are four youtube jam videos I have made for Blue Ridge Cabin Home. I recommend starting with the one listed first. In that one, I am on guitar, and am playing in the key of A.
Jason’s YouTube Links – Alphabetical Listing – Parisology (cyberplasm.com)
The chord progression for Blue Ridge Cabin Home is:
(Progression W8 on the Basic Chord Progressions chart. In the key of A: 1=A, 4=D, 5=E. In the key of Bb: 1=Bb, 4=Eb, 5=F. In the key of G: 1=G, 4=C, 5=D.)
Notice that both halves of the progression are identical with each other, and that the 4 chord is always followed by the 5 chord without the 1 chord intervening between them.
Other very jam friendly songs that use the same chord progression, include:
A Few More Seasons.
I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes
Is It Too Late Now
The Prisoner's Song
She's Gone, Gone, Gone
Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong
We Can't Be Darlings Anymore
We'll Meet Again Sweetheart
Starting the Song
On the classic recordings of Blue Ridge Cabin Home, the song begins with a banjo intro break that is based squarely upon the melody for the verses of the song, and that is how the song is usually started at bluegrass jams. The pickup measure played on the banjo on the recordings before the first measure proper of the song consists of a half-note pinch (double-stop or triple-stop lasting for half a measure) on the open 1st (3rd) and 5th strings, followed by two quarter-note pickup notes: open 4th string, then open 3rd string, which leads into the 2-4 or 2-3 slide on the 3rd string that the first measure proper of the break starts with. This is the way that I like to start the song, but at jams, if I feel uncertain that enough people are familiar with how the song starts on the recordings, I will often play a more generic set of pickup notes, so that the song has a better chance of getting off to a strong start with everyone coming in at the right time, like the pickup phrases I recommended using to lead into breaks for the previous songs of the week 'My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains', 'Beautiful Brown Eyes', 'I'll Fly Away', and 'All The Good Times Are Past And Gone'.
The two spots in the verses, choruses, and breaks where a fill-in lick will fit (both of these spots are during '1' chord measures) are identical with the spots in which fill-in licks will fit into the previous songs of the week on the '1' chord: 'Nine Pound Hammer', 'Little Birdie', 'I'll Fly Away', and 'Way Down Town'. That is, at the ends of lines 2 and 4, starting in measure 3 of those lines. In the files at the bottom of this write-up I have included a chart of simple A chord fill-ins for fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and banjo.
Melody & Harmony
The first melody note of the first full measure of the chorus (just like for the verses) is the 3rd of the 1 chord (C# note when in the key of A, B note when in the key of G, etc.) "Oh I love..." Therefore, the corresponding note that is dwelt on here in the tenor harmony part is the 5th of the chord (E note when in the key of A, D note when in the key of G, etc.), and the corresponding note that is dwelt on here in the baritone harmony part is the root note of the chord (A note when it in the key of A, G note when in the key of G, etc.).
Observe, in listening to the recordings, that the melody for the chorus (especially in the first and third lines) is different than the melody for the verses, and that the phrasing of the lyrics is different in the chorus than in the verses. The melody sheets provided here at the bottom of this write-up give the melody for the first verse, for when the melody of the chorus differs from the melody of the verses of a song, melody-based breaks on the instruments usually take their cues from the verse melody, rather than the chorus melody. So, in this case, the melody sheets given here should not be used as a reference point for finding the harmony parts for the chorus.
21 songs were played at last night's jam: 13 from the main list, 6 from the additional songs list, and 2 that are on neither list:
All The Good Times Are Past And Gone - A
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - A
Cripple Creek - A
Down The Road - B
Gathering Flowers From The Hillside - G
Light At The River - A
Long Journey Home - A
New River Train - F
Old Joe Clark - A
Shortnin' Bread - G
Soldier's Joy - D
Will The Circle Be Unbroken - C
Wreck Of The Old '97 - G
Boil The Cabbage Down - A
Bury Me Beneath The Willow - A
Cluck Old Hen - A
Foggy Mountain Top - G
Forked Deer - D
Mountain Dew - A
Lonesome Feeling - G
Red Wing - G
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - melody in A
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - banjo tab
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - guitar tab
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - mandolin tab