Essential Listening
Compiled by Richard Burkett.

In lieu of not having SDBS jams for the moment, we’ll feature occasional lists of songs that bluegrass jammers should know and that you can practice at home in your own private jam. Almost all of these are on And, when you listen, you’ll see a lot of other options to listen to most of these, from the classic recordings to the most contemporary versions. Learn a few songs so you’ll be able to jam along at the next club meeting!
To start we asked the SDBS board members to suggest three songs that they feel are essential to the bluegrass genre. It’s hard to pick just three of the best from the hundreds of wonderful bluegrass classics, but the board thought hard and came up with great suggestions. Here are five of their choices. We’ll have more suggestions next month.
Nancy Brunson
I am a beginner/intermediate fiddle player. Here are my three tunes that a fiddle player should know. 
1.    Whiskey Before Breakfast
     – by guitar player Bryan Sutton,
2. Soldier's Joy
           – a version by a young fiddle player, Travis Watt,
3. Old Joe Clark
           – by Bill Monroe and Doc Watson,
Jack Lohman
Three songs that, in my opinion, are good, well known, songs that are relatively easy to play:
1. Nine Pound Hammer
           – a great version by Tony Rice,
2. Dark Hollow
           – Dan Tyminski does a simple version at
3. Hold Watcha Got 
            Tony Rice and the Bluegrass Album Band
Mary Jane Cupp
Three songs from the roots of bluegrass music:
Blue Ridge Cabin Home
           – Flatt & Scruggs
Rollin' In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
           – Flatt & Scruggs
Gold Rush
           – California with Bill Monroe
Pete Varhola
Three classic songs and longtime crowd favorites.
1. Fox On The Run
           – the Country Gentlemen
2. Rocky Top
           – the Osborne Brothers (in amazing gold jackets)
3. Keep On The Sunny Side
           – Mother Maybelle Carter on Will the Circle Be Unbroken album
Roger Taylor
Three songs and YouTubes that bring life to these songs. I love the solid rhythm and fiddle of Fog Horn String Band on the first one. All the Good Times is from Flatt and Scruggs, with Earl Scruggs essential bluegrass banjo style. The classic version of the number three is, of course, the Carter Family on the Will the Circle Be Unbroken album.

1. Don’t This Road Look Rough and Rocky
2. All The Good Times are Past and Gone 
3. Will the Circle Be Unbroken