This banjo playing business just never gets old.
Last week, banjoist and master didgeridoo craftsman Kurosh Showghi suggested “Darling Corey” as a potential future Song of the Week installment.
As it turns out, it was already on my list of songs to add, though somehow I’d never really attempted to tackle it previously. A little digging turned up B.F. Shelton as the original source (though titled “Cora” there, but I think most everyone has since agreed that “Corey” rolls off the tongue a little easier) and gCGCC, or “triple C”, as the traditional tuning.
Now, on paper, triple C looks moderately absurd. Only Gs and Cs? And two strings tuned to the same exact pitch?
You’d think there’d be no way that would work.
You’d be so wrong.
Not only is it not absurd, it sounds magnificent, bathing your ears in a wash of droning banjo bliss. There may not be a better tune for showcasing all that is great about the banjo.
And to top it all off, it’s about whiskey making. And somebody gets buried.
Speaking of whiskey making, the stills pictured behind me in the video in all their glistening copper glory are from American Spirit Whiskey here in my hometown of Atlanta, GA. They were designed by ASW’s whiskey maker Justin Manglitz, who as you may know is also my Georgia Jay mate.
Unlike Darling Corey, he can safely operate this stillhouse in broad daylight. Thank you 21st Amendment.
And if Justin’s whiskey making talent is half as good as his fiddling, those stills will soon be distilling some of the finest brown liquor in the land.
About the Arrangement
I make quite a few rhythmic embellishments in this arrangement, primarily through a mix of skip notes, drop thumbs, and delayed hammer ons. I’ve tried to capture these in the tablature, but it will certainly help to listen to the video to understand how it should sound.
Or use this as a launching point and make it your own (it also might be good to start with the simpler vocal backup arrangement, which could easily double as a solo)! There’s a lot of room to play around with this one.
gCGCC tuning, Brainjo level 3-4
Notes on the Tab
In the tab above, you’ll note I’ve tabbed out both a “lead break” (something to play in between verses) and the “vocal backup” (what I play while I’m singing).
Notes in parentheses are “skip” notes – to learn more about skips and syncopated skips, check out my video lesson on the subject.
For more on reading tabs in general, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.
PRIOR SONG OF THE WEEK EPISODES
- Episode 1: “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow”
- Episode 2: “Gumtree Canoe”
- Episode 3: “Crawdad Hole”
- Episode 4: “Oh Susanna”
- Episode 5: “Freight Train”
- Episode 6: “Grandfather’s Clock”
- Episode 7: “Hop High Lulu”
- Episode 8: “Been All Around This World”
- Episode 9: “I’ll Fly Away”
- Episode 10: “Leaving Home”
- Episode 11: “Poor Orphan Child”
- Episode 12: “Mr. Tambourine Man”
- Episode 13: “Swanee River”
- Episode 14: “Big Sciota”
- Episode 15: “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”
Level 2 arrangements and video demos for the Tune (and Song!) of the Week tunes are now available as part of the Breakthrough Banjo course.