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I believe that economist Tyler Cowen is responsible for the concept of a “quake” book – a book that you read that causes a tectonic shift in how you see the world.
In retrospect, we can often trace a major inflection point in our lives to reading it. Our life, or our worldview, is heading one way, and then a profound idea causes it to deflect in another direction.
I also think there are “quake” songs. Songs we hear that also fundamentally alter the direction of our lives.
I’m sure all of us have certain songs that came around in our most formative years, somewhere between the ages of 15 and 21, that had a substantial influence in shaping our forming identity.
But I imagine banjoists also have a separate set of songs that had a disproportionate influence over their trajectory as musicians.
“Forked Deer” was one of those for me. Rather, Mac Benford’s rendition of Forked Deer. Or rather, Mac Benford’s rendition of Ed Haley’s fiddle version of Forked Deer.
I listened to that track off his wonderful album of Ed Haley tunes in the car far more times than I count, and it has remained an aesthetic touchstone ever since (regrettably, I don’t have any digital versions to link to).
And it’s the 4-part Ed Haley version you’ll hear in this week’s Tune of the Week, which contain elements not found in the more commonly played 2-parter that was featured as a prior TOTW. While unmistakably rooted in Mac’s original arrangement, I’m sure mine has drifted a bit over the years.
So what about you? Do you have a “quake” song, or songs? If so, feel free to share in the comments.
aDADE tuning, Brainjo level 3-4
Notes on the Tab
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.
[RELATED: 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. Learn more about it here.
Click here for a current list of all the clawhammer songs and tunes currently available inside of The Vault