Homespun has released mandolin transcription books to match two recent CDs from Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Hyms and Appalachian Mandolin & Dulcimer. Each book contains complete mandolin transcriptions in both tablature and standard notation, plus a copy of the original CD.
Mandolin Hymns contains 15 popular hymns and sacred songs including I Am A Pilgrim, Amazing Grace, Simple Gifts and What A Friend We Have In Jesus.
The book offers 37 pages of mandolin transcriptions and the accompany CD has the songs performed in instrumental arrangements in a string band style with Butch on mandolin. Other players include Aubrey Haynie and Andrea Zonn on fiddle, Robert Bowlin on guitar, Stuart Duncan on banjo, and Dennis Crouch and Mike Bub on bass.
The Appalachian Mandolin book includes the CD Appalachian Mandolin & Dulcimer, which featured duets between Butch and the late dulcimer legend David Schnaufer, along with mandolin transcriptions for the 14 traditional tunes they recorded.
Fans of Appalachian fiddle music will recognize the tunes, with favorites like June Apple, Sandy River Belle, Black Mountain Rag, Flop Eared Mule, Cold Frosty Morn and 9 others included.
Our regular readers will recall that Butch has been battling a pernicious brain tumor this past year. A great many of his friends and students in the mandolin world have been very generous in their support, and picking up these two new Homespun book/CD sets would be a fine way to champion Butch and all he has contributed to our music, while you pick up some fine music and mandolin arrangements at the same time.
We are delighted to pass along that Butch is currently in a clinical trial at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is in good spirits according to his wife, Sinclair.