Dan Levenson’s Master Collection of Old-Time Tunes
Mel Bay Publications www.melbay.com
Many bluegrass jam sessions include songs that were originally played as instrumental fiddle tunes. Some musicians have the experience and skill set to learn a song from hearing it and transposing the notes to their own instruments. Others may need to see the songs written in standard music notation to see the notes being played. Dan has provided an extensive collection of more than 300 songs that will give anyone a challenge to learn. All of the most popular songs are part of the collection, including Angelina Baker, Billy in the Low Ground, Cherokee Shuffle, Liberty, Salty River, Soldier’s Joy, and Whiskey Before Breakfast. Intriguing songs such as Devil Eat the Groundhog, Grasshopper Sitting on a Sweet Potato, I’m Going to Get My Mustache Blacked may add a little extra perk to a jam as everyone will have to stop and learn it.
Dan provides variations on tunes that have more than one version or additional names if the song is similar. He mentions in his liner notes that the transcriptions include some variations so that the basic melody is already embellished for a more satisfying presentation His website www.clawdan.com/aboutthetunes has more information about the different songs. This would be an excellent source for anyone who wants to learn more fiddle tunes!