The song of the week is 'Blue Ridge Cabin Home' in the key of A.
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.
Two other old Bluegrass classics on the current main song list for the beginner jam that use the same progression are Flatt & Scruggs' 'We'll Meet Again Sweetheart', and Bill Monroe's 'Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong'. Other songs that make use of the same chord progression include: 'We Can't Be Darlings Anymore', 'Is It Too Late Now', 'The Prisoner's Song', 'I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes', 'A Few More Seasons', 'Nobody's Business', the verses (but not the choruses) of 'I Wonder Where You Are Tonight', 'Are You Tired Of Me My Darling', 'Sunny Tennessee', 'I'm Using My Bible For A Roadmap', 'I'd Rather Be Alone', and 'Thinking About You', the A-Parts of 'Randy Lynn Rag', 'Orange Blossom Special', and 'Durham's Reel', and the B-Part of 'Mastertone March'.
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.
Here is a link to the same recording, but which the person who posted it on youtube has taken it upon himself to slow it down a bit so that it is lowered to the key of A. You may wish to try playing along with this:
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.
Listening over and over again to the set of records recorded by Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, etc., under the name 'The Bluegrass Album Band' was a big help to me when I was first learning to play bluegrass about 25 years ago.
Here are my other favorites, besides Blue Ridge Cabin Home, on the first of the Bluegrass Album Band records:
Molly & Tenbrooks
We Can't Be Darlings Anymore
On My Way Back To The Old Home
Gonna Settle Down
..and my favorites from the second record:
Your Love Is Like A Flower
Take Me In The Lifeboat
Back To The Cross
Just When I Needed You
Is It Too Late Now
I'll Never Shed Another Tear
Other Bluegrass artists and bands besides Flatt & Scruggs and the Bluegrass Album Band that I especially recommend listening to in high doses for those who are new to Bluegrass include Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. But, beyond these, there are many other great bluegrass artists and bands that are well-worthwhile checking out. The following is only a very short list of such artists:
The Osborne Brothers
Jim & Jesse
J.D. Crowe & The New South
Reno & Smiley
Alison Krauss & Union Station
The Lynn Morris Band
The Seldom Scene
weekly on Wednesdays
Songs regularly called at the Beginner Bluegrass Jam and links from Jason's "Song of the Week" emails. (from Renee)
in alphabetical order