Blackberry Blossom (tune)
The tune has been included in over 250 tune books. The tune became popular as recorded by Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. That version, according to Alan Jabbour, supplanted an earlier tune played by Santford Kelly from Morgan County, Kentucky, which is now represented by the tune "Yew Piney Mountain". It is also called "Garfield's Blackberry Blossom", perhaps to distinguish it from the earlier version. Contradicting Jabbour, who clearly distinguishes the earlier version, is the account of Andrew Kuntz to the effect that "Betty Vornbrock and others have noted a similarity between 'Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom' and the West Virginia tune 'Yew Piney Mountain', a variant ... also played by Kentucky fiddlers J.P. Fraley and Santford Kelly". Alan Snyder gives an alternate name of "Strawberry Beds".
In Celtic music
This is a partial list of covers by Irish musicians and bands.
- An Fhidil, Sraith 2 by Sean Keane, Kevin Burke, Paddy Glackin And Seamus Creagh
- Ireland's Best Session Tunes CD 1 by Waltons Recording
- Irish Dances by Various Artists
- Top Of Coom by Conal Ó'Gráda
- Traditional Irish Dance Music by All Star Ceilidhe Band
- Traditional Irish Dance Music: All Star Ceili Band by Joe Derrane
- Traditional Irish Music by William Sullivan
- Traditional Irish Tunes Played On The Tin Whistle (1/2) by Geraldine Cotter
- Traditional Music Of Ireland by Various Artists
- Natalie MacMaster in Four on the Floor (cassette)
According to Devon Wells, "Blackberry Blossom", as a banjo tune, was brought to the public's attention as one of the earliest arrangements of Bill Keith. Wells, a bluegrass teacher, asserts that the tune is a standard in the bluegrass banjo repertoire.
Some of the older recordings archived at the Digital Library of Appalachia include:
- Fiddle tune played by Clyde Davenport at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music on 11-03-84
- Fiddle tune played by Carlton Rawlings and recorded by John Harrod in Bath County, Kentucky in the 1970s
Like most fiddle tunes, "Blackberry Blossom" has an A part and a B part. In Arthur Smith's 1935 version, the A part is in the key of G major, with C and D chords in the second half of the part; the B part introduces an E major chord, making for a rather unusual mood shift.
Later recorded versions changed the harmonic structure of this tune radically, introducing additional chord changes (substitutions based on the melody line) in the A part, and alternating E minor and B7 in the B part.
Melodically, according to Anthony, "The note played on the 1st & 3rd beat of the first 2 measures are the first 4 notes of the descending scale of G. Each of these notes is the beginning of a 3-note run, returning to this base note, before moving on to the next note in the G scale."
- Fiddle Solo (Vi Wickam)
- Fiddle and Guitar
- Mandolin (Mark O'Connor)
- Fiddle and percussion - interpretive (Carrie Rodriguez)
- "Blackberry Blossom « Bluegrass Banjo Tabs – Videos – Lessons". seanray.com. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire - Wendy Anthony". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "The Blackberry Blossom". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Note: As an E minor tune. He ends the tune "that's the way that God made peace". http://www.aca-dla.org/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/Berea43&CISOPTR=3533&filename=3534.mp3[permanent dead link]
- Fiddle tune played by Alan Jabbour at Berea College on 5-28-08, while participating in Berea's Appalachian Music Fellowship Program; Jabbour, Alan; Blackberry Blossom
- "Blackberry Blossom" - Lecture and performance by Alan Jabbour. Madison County, Kentucky,Audio Compact Disc, Digital Library of Appalachia, Archives, Hutchins Library, Department of Special Collections & Archives.
- The Fiddler’s Companion, Andrew Kuntz, 1996, citing Jean Thomas's Ballad Makin' in the Mountains of Kentucky
- "Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings". www.cbfiddle.com. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- Note: The Digital Library of Appalachia has recordings primarily from Kentucky. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings". Cbfiddle.com. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- "Exploring Blackberry Blossom". Devon's Banjo Homepage.
- "Digital Library of Appalachia". www.aca-dla.org. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "Blackberry Blossom - Fiddle Tune a Day - Day 312 - Vi Wickam". 10 November 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- unique3phase (19 October 2008). "Blackberry Blossom Fiddle Guitar Banjo". Retrieved 29 March 2018 – via YouTube.
- "Markology — Mark O'Connor - Last.fm". Last.fm. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- Carrie Rodriguez performing live at the Rosendale Cafe in Rosendale, NY on January 3, 2008. Playing with Rodriguez are her band members Hans Holzen and Javier Vercher.
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