Little Sadie

14 Apr

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[gDGCD tuning]

This classic “murder ballad” goes by many names: Bad Lee Brown, Penitentiary Blues, Bad Man Blues, Out Last Night, and Chain Gang Blues to name but a few. A fella by the name of Lyle Lofgren has written more than I could even begin to on his site, so I’ll dispense with the formalities and get to it.

My arrangement is taken directly from the playing of the late, great Gaither Carlton (1901-1972) as recorded by John Cohen and included on his High Atmosphere album (one of the best ever). Mr. Carlton was Doc Watson’s father-in-law and a long-time friend and band mate of Clarence “Tom” Ashley. Mr. Carlton’s playing of Little Sadie was done 3-finger style, but I’ve found it works in the 2-finger style just as well. Enjoy!

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