Oct 042008

I finally got my copy of Richard Greene’s new fiddle book. It’s a book of transcriptions of all the fiddle parts he recorded with Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, back in 1966-1967. I love to nerd out on stuff like this, so here’s my little review.

To me, this book is simply the best. Greene’s versions of old classic tunes such as “Soldier’s Joy,” “Paddy On The Turnpike,” and “Grey Eagle” are the best I’ve ever heard. I mostly play in the old-timey flavors right now, so having this book of divinely arranged fiddle tunes stirs up all kinds of improvisations and imaginations for me.

Besides the tunes, quite a few songs are in the book. Greene has spelled out fiddle breaks, kickoffs, and complete vocal backup parts. These parts can tell you everything you need to know about bluegrass fiddling.

The book includes a CD with original recordings from which the transcriptions were taken. I don’t think that I could get a third of the notes by ear, so I am just plain glad to finally have accurate transcriptions of these recordings that I have enjoyed for a long time. (Some other folks have included some of Greene’s fiddle parts in their fiddle books, but those transcriptions are usually a little imprecise.)

So, fiddlers, get out there and buy a few copies of this thing. Time to raise the bar a little.

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