As played by Blaine Smith from the Tennessee region

Reel or Breakdown in G

From the Cumberlands Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


1977 field recording released on the album A Bottle of Wine and Gingercake: Traditional Music from Southeast Tennessee


This is not the more widely-known Cincinnati Hornpipe. This title of this magnificent breakdown most likely refers to the city of Cincinnati, OH, which sits right across the Ohio River from Kentucky and is the closest “northern” city to the American South. In the liner notes to the source album, Smith reports that he learned Cincinnati from his mother and uncle. I really like this one. Syncopation is key here; it may cause some difficulty at first, but it’s fun to play once you get used to it. Some of the syncopation is caused by ties, so be on the lookout for them. Also beware of B-flats on the first string (in the B part) and the second string (in both the A and B parts), which are used as blue notes. Also note that the B part is crooked, featuring two extra measures.

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Dr. Fiddle's Favorite Breakdowns and Reels

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