Headed out on the trail - help equip our sing-a-long arsenal!
May 14, 2008 10:52 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are hiking the Appalachian trail for two weeks at the end of the month. We're taking along a Martin Backpacker (guitar) and a small set of bongos. What are some very excellent blues/folk/bluegrass/mountain songs that we should learn before we go?

We're also bringing a hand held recorder so we can remember all this.

I'm looking for more traditional rootsy stuff as opposed to anything by contemporary artists. Obviously, I won't reject any ideas though so throw them at me.

Thanks in advance Metafilter!
posted by jofuu to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Trail Just Shimmers When I'm Wearing My Peter Limmers
posted by quonsar at 11:09 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

There's some great stuff in the Gordon Collection.

Also, see if you can scare up a copy of this book somewhere.
posted by dersins at 11:11 AM on May 14, 2008

Shady Grove! You can probably make up endless verses to that song. More later, when I have time.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:49 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Shady Grove
Nine Pound Hammer
Wreck of the Old 97
Jacob's Ladder

I guess there are about a billion more, but I don't think you have the time.
posted by Seamus at 11:49 AM on May 14, 2008

I like fiercecupcake. She knows one of the best songs ever when she hears it.
(I also think it's cool that when I looked her up to find out that she is a she, it turned out she lives in the same zip as me.)

Now you have to learn that song. It goes well with the deep shade of Appalachia.
My goal in the next month is to try and learn "Shady Grove" on my dulcimer.
posted by Seamus at 11:52 AM on May 14, 2008

Big Rock Candy Mountain
posted by rabbitsnake at 11:53 AM on May 14, 2008

Man of constant sorrow. drop d tuning capo on 3rd fret
posted by canoehead at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

There is a wonderful book called Rise Up Singing that includes the guitar chords and words for over 1000 songs. Focus is on campfire songs, definitely folksy, rootsy. (Pete Seeger was one of the editors). I don't play guitar but I find it wonderful for those songs where you know how it sounds but you can't remember all the words.
posted by metahawk at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2008

Male & Female vocalist = Jackson by Johnny Cash w/ June Carter
posted by cuando at 12:22 PM on May 14, 2008

Lots of stuff by Woody Guthrie.
posted by bobdylanforever at 12:40 PM on May 14, 2008

2nding Rise Up Singing. There's all kinds of good (and goofily crappy) stuff in there. I wish I had a copy. It's a guarenteed good time.
posted by sully75 at 12:50 PM on May 14, 2008

Nthing 'Rise Up Singing'. I had a copy a while back and never stopped finding little gems in it. You can get companion CDs with it, too.

Also (songs):

Gold Watch and Chain
Jesus Met The Woman at the Well
St. James Infirmary
Stay on the Sunny Side
Old Joe Clark
Cash on the Barrelhead
Soldier's Joy

...Jesus, there's so many good ones...
Good luck, and have fun!
(I have that Backpacker Guitar, too. I hope you have a strap for it.)
posted by Pecinpah at 2:32 PM on May 14, 2008

Sweet Baby James, by James Taylor seems appropriate. Here's FretKillr's acoustic version. Fretkillr has dozens of videos of acoustic guitar, worth checking out.
posted by RussHy at 2:47 PM on May 14, 2008

I've been listening to Bad Company today and ran across some stuff that could work.

- Seagull
- Rock Steady
- Bad Company
posted by theichibun at 7:40 PM on May 14, 2008

Cumberland Gap
Sourwood Mountain
Ole Slewfoot
Crawdad Hole
posted by timsteil at 7:05 AM on May 15, 2008

Lonesome Pine, Red Clay Halo (not trad., but could be), Bury Me Beneath the Willow, Sitting on Top of the World, Tennessee Stud, Foggy Mountain Top, Eight More Miles to Louisville... I'll keep thinking.

No words, just pickin': Blackberry Blossom, Leather Britches, Big Sandy, if you're brave there's Jerusalem Ridge.

The great thing about these old-timey songs is that the harmonies are so fun to pick out and sing.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:39 AM on May 15, 2008

Response by poster: Wow! Quite a response, thanks every one. I'm still at work right now but I'll make sure to get back to you later this evening. Thanks!
posted by jofuu at 12:23 PM on May 15, 2008

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