A couple of months ago (for Halloween), I recorded The Devil Went Down to Georgia. It makes sense that I would record it. Devil Went Down to Georgia is one of the most popular, and most requested fiddle tunes of all time.
What most people don’t realize is that the main melodic theme in Devil Went Down to Georgia is actually Lonesome Fiddle Blues, which was written by Vassar Clements in 1948.
Vassar Clements is on of the most creative fiddlers of all time, and is one of my fiddling heroes. Vassar recorded with some of the biggest names in the world of music, but he always seemed like a humble and kind gentleman. I never saw him brag about his accomplishments, or tear others down.
To me, Vassar’s character makes him great every bit as much as his amazing creative and musical capacity. Here’s to Vassar Clements!
Lonesome Fiddle Blues according to Fiddler’s Companion
LONESOME FIDDLE BLUES. Bluegrass, Breakdown. D Dorian (‘A’ part), D (‘B’ part). Standard tuning. AA’BA. Composed by bluegrass fiddler Vasser Clements. Charlie Daniels “Devil Went Down to Georgia” seems to have been largely based on Clements’ tune. Source for notated version: Vasser Clements [Brody]. Brody (Fiddler’s Fakebook), 1983; pg. 173. Mercury SRM‑1‑1022, “Vasser Clements.” Rounder 0068, Mark O’Conner‑ “Pickin’ in the Wind.” United Artists 9801, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”