Several weeks ago I introduced you to Justin Manglitz, professional whiskey maker and fiddler extraordinaire, with the tune Rockingham Cindy.
The response was favorable. You seemed to enjoy his fiddling as much as I do, and the requests for more came in.
Given that he and I aim to please, we set about to do just that! We gave ourselves a name, The Georgia Jays, and got busy working on an album.
And I’m pleased to announce that today marks the release of said album: “Round Peak, Georgia“.
Justin and I are both especially fond of the music and musicians from the area of Round Peak, North Carolina, and for both of us this was really the gateway drug that hooked us both on this music forever.
So, naturally, we thought it appropriate to pull the music nearest and dearest to us from our first effort.
Today’s tune of the week, “John Henry,” is one of those tunes. Specifically, this is Fred Cockerham’s distinctive version, not the more widely known melody by the same name. This one has way more funk and grit.
I’m playing it here on Justin’s Mogi half fretless banjo, which I used on several of the tracks on the album. Here I’m tuned up to the key of A (aEAC#E), though on the album I was down a full step in the key of G (gDGBD). Feel free to take your pick of where to play it!
Also, I’ve also created a “Banjo Players Edition” of the album, which includes the album, a book of banjo tabs for every tune on the album, solo fiddle jam tracks at performance and slowed speed, and the “How To Play Banjo With A Fiddler” video course – all the tools you need to take my place alongside Justin in our fiddle and banjo combo. More information on the Banjo Players Edition can be found here (note: if you’re a member of Breakthrough Banjo, you already have access to all of it).
We’ve already started making plans for our next effort, where we’ll be mining chestnuts from another musically fertile region of the country.
Thanks to all those who encouraged us, as you’ve given me a convenient excuse to play more tunes with Justin!
aEAC#E tuning, Brainjo level 3-4
Notes in parentheses are “skip” notes. To learn more about these, check out my video lesson on the subject.
For more on reading tabs in general, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.