Whiskey Before Breakfast

20 May

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[aDADE tuning]

Here is another one sent to me by Clay Black. Clay has this to say about his arrangement (and I totally agree):

Whiskey Before Breakfast is a good workshop tune becasuse most clawhammer players are familiar with it and this simple arrangement permits them to concentrate on the mechanics of thumb picking without worrying so much about the melody.

The origins of the tune itself are disputed, but it seems the conventional opinion is that (Manitoba) Canadian fiddler Andy de Jarlis composed it in the mid-twentieth century. Youtube has a “video” of the recording. There are, however, reports that de Jarlis learned it from an elderly Métis fiddler at an all-night drinking & fiddling session during which it was the last tune they played before passing out. This is usually how I learn fiddle tunes as well, so I’ll go with the latter theory. Regardless, it is a fantastic tune which was enthusiastically adopted into the canon of Old Time fiddle tunes in the US (and abroad). Perhaps the most famous version of the tune is from guitarist Norman Blake. Check it out.

Thanks for another good one, Clay.

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One Response to “Whiskey Before Breakfast”

  1. Tonal Enhancement 09/22/2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Highly descriptive article, I loved that bit. Will there
    be a part 2?

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