Monday, November 12, 2007

Variants on the Lee Highway

As many of the riders on the Bus know, one of my all time favorite fiddle tunes is the classic ”Going Down the Lee Highway” (aka “Lee Highway Blues”) by Henry Whitter and G.B Grayson. I have posted the original (probably more than once) and many covers over the past few years.

”Going Down the Lee Highway” was one of G.B. Grayson’s signature tunes. He used it to secure himself a place on the winners stand at many a fiddler’s convention. It’s a fairly simple little tune really, but sometimes the simple things are the best.

Fidders, especially around Virginia, have been playing the ”Lee Highway Blues” (as the tune is more commonly called) as a showcase piece for the past eighty years. The song has been recorded by the likes of Scotty Stoneman, the Highwoods String Band (with dual fiddlers), and the great David Bromberg. Judging by the number of fiddler’s that have “borrowed” the tune for use in other songs, I’d say ol’ G.B. had a bit of influence on a bunch of hoss hair pullers.

I’ve kept a list in my head over the years of all the tunes I have heard that include the unique fiddle part that makes ”Going Down the Lee Highway” so enthralling. Here’s a small sample of the songs that, to my ears, have borrowed G.B. Grayson’s fiddle line. Give a listen to the original that has so enchanted your humble driver for so many years. Then give a listen to these other fiddlers as they pay the highest honor to G.B. Grayson’s catchy little contest winner.

Grayson & Whitter - Going Down The Lee High Way.mp3

Roane County Ramblers - Hometown Blues.mp3

Mainers Mountaineers - Country Blues.mp3

Jack Youngblood - Hitch Hiker's Blues.mp3


Anonymous k. said...

Mornin' Ed,
Gone to Lee Highway in my mind. Not one of these tunes came through.

all thoughts fly... k.

November 14, 2007 4:09 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

K (Blackdog), Thanks for the 'heads up' about the audio files. The problem has been fixed now.

btw - I meant to thank you for the kind words at Black Dog Teatro. Thank you, my friend.

November 15, 2007 9:53 AM  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Hi Ed, Wasn't trying to hide just wanted to see how anonymous works. Well in this case it didn't.
And your very welcome. The Bus is good news. And with the world so complicated and all, just trying to get the good stuff out there.

all thoughts fly... k.

November 16, 2007 3:49 PM  

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