Dusty Turtle

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Location: Northern California
Country: USA

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audio tracks: 11

Green, Green Rocky Road


musician/member name:
Duration: 00:02:13
description:
This traditional song is most associated with David Van Ronk, who learned it in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. But this version--emphasizing the VII chord in the chorus--owes more to Karen Mueller's version on the autoharp. She "collected" this song from a children's playground somewhere in the southeast. (Ask her for more details; I can't remember.)I am playing a lacewood Modern Mountain Dulcimer tuned DAd with a capo at the 4th fret, putting me in the key of A.
Dusty Turtle
01/25/14 01:41:18PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for listening, Carolyn,


Carolyn Fleming
01/25/14 09:39:08AM @carolyn-fleming:

Really enjoyed this song.


Dusty Turtle
01/20/14 02:02:31AM @dusty-turtle:

Karen, as I mentioned, I got this version of the song from Karen Mueller's autoharp rendition. It differs from David van Ronk's not only in the lyrics, but also because she sticks a VII chord in the chorus, which I think works great. That would be a C in the key of D but here I play it in A, so the VII chord is a G. Below are the lyrics Karen sings. As you can see, I used the last verse here but the other ones I put together on my own. Since each verse only has two lines (the first sung 3 times), it's pretty easy to come up with lyrics on the fly that work well.

I was born in Tennessee (3x)

Miss my friends and they miss me

Green green rocky road

Promenade in green

Tell me who you love

Tell me who you love

I'm going back to Baltimore (3x)

Been that way ten times before

(chorus)

Follow that bird up in the sky (3x)

He don't walk; he just fly

(chorus)

Ain't no use to sit and cry (3x)

Things get better by and by

(chorus)


Helen Seiler
01/20/14 02:00:05AM @helen-seiler:
Thanks Dusty.
Dusty Turtle
01/20/14 01:57:49AM @dusty-turtle:

Marion, Guy, and Helen, thanks for listening and taking the time to comment.

Marion and Helen, my basic flatpicking style is a standard guitar technique. If you count 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, I basically go out on the numbers and in on the &s. Sometimes I strum, sometimes I play a single note, and sometimes I skip a beat, but my hand keeps that same pattern throughout. I put together a three-part lessonon it if you are interested. The video quality is pretty mediocre, though. The first part deals with developing a basic back-and-forth eighth note strumming pattern. The second part introduces a variety of techniques (muting, skipping beats, etc.) that add rhythmic complexity to that strumming pattern. And the third part examines how to begin playing single notes instead of strumming them all while still keeping the same pattern going.


Helen Seiler
01/19/14 03:32:34PM @helen-seiler:

Thank you Dusty, you justmade my day. I love this. Your right hand movement is so relaxed I have a hard time picking up exactlywhat you are doing. But I will be studying this and trying to come up with a version that gives me at leastsome of the joy you have given me today. I am so glad you are playing and singing more. Its great. Plus your chord choices are to die for. It sounds like u have been busy with work but have you been doing any more public performances? (reply okwhen you get back from your work trip)


Guy Babusek
01/19/14 10:42:25AM @guy-babusek:

Beautifully played and sung.


Marion Seaman
01/19/14 04:27:42AM @marion-seaman:

fantastic flat picking Dusty- i wish I could do that! my flat picking sounds like a bunch of knitting needles wrestling.Frown.gifMarion


Dusty Turtle
01/19/14 01:28:14AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, John and Rob.


Karen Keane
01/18/14 06:24:37PM @karen-keane:
Got it Dusty, thanks!
Rob N Lackey
01/18/14 11:13:37AM @rob-n-lackey:

That was great stuff, Dusty. Enjoyed it immensely. Don't put your voice down; it's good.


John Keane
01/18/14 07:58:30AM @john-keane:

Dusty, this is great stuff!


Dusty Turtle
01/18/14 02:16:38AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks everyone for listening and commenting. I'd been singing this for a few days, tried it on the guitar, and then the dulcimer. It's really repetitive but lots of fun.

Nila, you are absolutely correct. The first melody line is identical to Jonathan Edward's "Sunshine Go Away Today."

Karen, the lyrics I sing here I mostly made up. The last verse does come from Karen Mueller's version but the first two are just kind of generic blues/folk lyrics. If you Google this song you will find the lyrics that David Van Ronk used to sing. I'm out-of-town on business right now, but when I get back I'll post the full lyrics that Karen Mueller sings.

Geekling, it's true that until recently I almost never sang, at least not publicly. Privately, I've been strumming guitar and singing for as long as I could remember, but I never really liked the sound of my own voice. Last fall I did my first public performance and sang one song (my bluesy version of John Henry which I posted here, too). When I heard the CD that the sound guy made of the show I realized that my singing was far from the worst part of my performance. And that song was one of the best ones we did. I think as I've gotten older I've learned how to choose material that works for a voice that has no range and no expressiveness either. A lot of learning to play is learning your own limits and staying within them.

Cynthia, thanks for your comments. I will definitely see you at the Ruth Barrett workshop in February. I already sent in my registration to DJ.


cynthia copeland
01/18/14 12:56:51AM @cynthia-copeland:

Dustin: I love your version of this song. You are so very talented, nice, and skillful. Look forward to seeing you soon at the Ruth Barrett workshop.


Karen Keane
01/17/14 08:01:42PM @karen-keane:
Love this song Dusty and the way that you played it. I know a lot of children's songs, but have not heard this one. Can you post the lyrics, I would like to learn it. Great job!
Carrie Barnes
01/17/14 07:40:39PM @carrie-barnes:

Just what the Doctor ordered here Dusty! Loved this, very, very well done! Needed that smile today!69.gif113.gif69.gifGrin.gif


Patty from Virginia
01/17/14 05:57:03PM @patty-from-virginia:

Dusty, that was great!!!41.gif41.gif41.gif


Dusty Turtle
01/17/14 01:45:05PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, Louis. David Van Ronk does this as a slow, fingerpicked tune on the guitar with an alternating bass that drives everything. Karen Mueller's autoharp version is all about strumming chords, obviously. The left hand fingering is immensely easy. It's the right hand that controls the rhythm, and that's the key. There's a bunch of syncopation in the melody.

And this is one you can just add your own words to. I got the third verse here from Karen's version; the other two just emerged spontaneously from the recesses of my musical memories, meaning they probably mimic other folk and blues tunes.

I can't sing this tune in the key of D, but you need to have the equivalent of a 1+ fret to get that VII chord in the chorus. Putting the capo on the 4th fret lets the 6th fret act as a 1+ fret and changes the key to A.


Louis thomas
01/17/14 01:26:15PM @louis-thomas:
I just have to learn this one! Loved it and the way you played it.