Here’s a new Mel Bay release that is sure to become an important reference for banjo pickers. Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook – Banjo Edition includes well over 200 popular songs, complete with chords, lyrics and the basic melody presented in both standard notation and banjo tablature.
The book was written by Dix Bruce and Bill Evans, who also recorded a version of every song from the book for the two companion CDs. Bruce has more than 20 books available from Mel Bay, and is an accomplished guitarist and mandolinist and music writer. Evans is a noted banjo player and teacher, with three instructional DVDs from AcuTab.
The songs in the book include bluegrass, old time, country and gospel favorites drawn from the recorded work of Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, The Osborne Brothers. Jimmy Martin, Doc Watson and many others. You’ll find jam standards like Rocky Top, Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms, Nine Pound Hammer and Little Maggie plus Bill Evans’ banjo arrangement for Train 45 (with examples of possible variations), as well as Cripple Creek and Sally Goodin.
The book’s introduction covers important jam basics like using the capo, finding the best key for your voice, and how to transpose the chords shown for each song into a more suitable key for both men’s and women’s voices.
Bill shared a few thoughts about this new release.
“My hope is that this will be a real resource for the acoustic musician who is looking to expand their repertoire or catch up on some old favorites that they may have missed the first time around. You can listen to the CD track and then go to the sheet music to learn the chord progression and lyrics. The relatively simple banjo tab melody offers a way for you to begin to work out your own arrangement of the tune ‚Äì rather than trying to learn and memorize someone else’s version.”
This 304 page book (with 2 audio CDs) is available wherever bluegrass instructional materials are sold, or directly from Bill Evans’ web site where you can also find a sample tab and audio.
The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook will be available soon in a mandolin edition as well.