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Colored Aristocracy

It is played in many keys. In key of G, the chords include G, Em, C, A, D, D7. The two parts are very similar; low part first, high part second. 

  • We have a great solo banjo version on CD by Taj Mahal. You can hear the clip at [MySpace]. It seems to be in key of C.
  • Carolina Chocolate Drops fiddle it fast with lots of notes in key of G. We have the CD. You can hear a short clip at [CDbaby].
  • Elmer Rick, old master fiddler [toob]. They say this was recorded by New Lost City Ramblers with Mike Seeger but we don't have the CD.
  • Very clean & moderate pace by the Iron Leg Boys (Fox Hunt) [click track 10]. 
  • What does the title mean? It seems to refer to Reconstruction times, after the Civil War and before Jim Crow, when African American freed slaves flourished and were elected to public office. Does it portray resentment by whites or pride by blacks? There are many theories about the tune, the title, and the phrase. 
  • Liner notes on CD by Carolina Chocolate Drops [CCD].
  • A book of the same name by Cyprian Clamorgan [google, amazon]. 
  • Archive discussion of the tune's origin [banjohangout]. 
  • They say the tune is a cakewalk, similar to a rag [wikipedia].

Colored Aristocracy. Annie & Mac play in key of D. The banjo seems to be in open D tuning; he is play the same finger formation I would use to play in open G tuning in key of G.