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Clinch Mountain Backstep

Key of A (sometimes played in G). Two parts. Crooked: second part has a backstep measure! This tune was written by Dr. Ralph Stanley. The melody has older origins (see Sandy Boys). 

Old time renditions are hard to find. Here are links to bluegrass versions:
  • Teenager pickup band at the guitar store [Utoob] (skip to 0:48) (key of G)
  • The requisite video of little kids playing it better than any of us. This is the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys [utoob]
  • A pretty nice, slow, live version with rotating leads. This is the Boxcar Boys [utoob]
  • Simple version is written in A in the attached PDF from BBU by Ira Gitlin.
  • Fancy clawhammer banjo [utoob] on stage.
  • Ralph Stanley played it in A on Pete Seeger's black & white TV show. Every time someone posts it, YouTube takes it down. Try this.
Clinch Mountain Backstep played by Ralph Stanley. 
Clinch Mountain Backstep, instructional video by Ryan Thomson, Captain Fiddle.

Jason Miller,
Nov 27, 2010, 7:00 AM