Key of G – gDGBD
In this, Tunetorial number 12, Dan "Clawdan" Levenson teaches Great Big Taters in a Sandy Land. This one has several other names and is not as often played in sessions as some other tunes but once you start playing it everyone will want to join on in!
Dan has recorded this one in G though many folks play it in A, and has recorded the crooked 3 part version that is in his book.
Texas fiddle greats Eck Robertson and Lewis Thomasson both play this in G. When Eck was recorded, he started with a B part but does play the parts in the order written here ending with the C part. Lewis Thomasson likewise starts on B and then plays through.
Dan has written it crooked with two extra measures in the A part. W. E. Claunch with Christine Haygood play it that way on the Great Big Yam Potatoes recording as do Lisa Ornstein with Andy Cahan and Laura Fishleder on their landmark recording Ship in The Clouds which is probably where I first heard this tune.
Like all old time, everyone plays it different. That is just how they did it, so you get to choose how you are going to play it. Just make sure y'all agree before you start or at least be ready to adjust as you go.
In this and all of the Tutorials, Dan plays the tune three times through up to speed then slow starting with a basic version and building to an advanced one. Then Dan plays the basic version and breaks it down phrase by phrase. Same with the advanced.
This is tune number 23 tabbed out in Dan's newest book "Old-Time Favorites for Clawhammer Banjo" (MelBay 30224). Tab and standard notation with 2 cds of banjo and fiddle audio tracks. The fiddle notation and mandolin tab can be found in the companion book “Old Time Favorites for Fiddle and Mandolin” (MelBay 30225)