Down Yonder (Alabama Jubilee)

As played by Clark Kessinger from the West Virginia region

Rag in G

From the Clark Kessinger Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)


1968 concert recording released on the album Clark Kessinger Live at Union Grove


I have, in the past, defended Kessinger from scurrilous accusations of grassiness, but I cannot make such a defense for him on this tune. One would be forgiven for mistaking this recording for a fine example of bluegrass fiddling, or perhaps some Texas contest-style fiddling played a little faster than usual. But, lo, it is Clark Kessinger, showing some Texas, jazz, or bluegrass influence.

This is a pretty challenging version of Down Yonder. There is plenty of odd syncopation (witness the A parts the third and fourth times through the tune), chords in a higher position (second and third times through), and even a passage of hokum bowing (second time through). Three times out of four, Kessinger would cut out fiddling for two measures at the end of the A part and let the guitar or banjo play melody followed by a vocal approbation. I have transcribed the notes those instruments played, and they are marked accordingly. He did not do this the third time through; instead, he played a long downward slide on the fourth string.

Kessinger used vibrato on some notes that are held for multiple beats. This is denoted by squiggly lines to the left of notes in the transcription that are to be played vibrato. Due to a quirk of my typesetting software, whenever there is vibrato with an octave D (open D on the third string and stopped D on the second string), the vibrato appears beside the open D when it should really appear beside the stopped D. (This issue obviously does not appear in the melody only transcription.)

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Alabama Jubilee, Down Yonder

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