- mixed register trombone, Rhodes electric piano
Cleaned up and Reposted - 6/29/2021
I have always had a special love of this song. Aside from it’s beautiful stark and simple melody; it’s origin as an early American love song paints a poignant picture of a kind of “Romeo and Juliet” troubled love that tried to reach out and bridge boundaries. A vividly reverent tribute to both nature AND a lovestruck canoe-going trader who wants to marry the daughter of Shenandoah, a Native American chief, this song is an emotional gem on many levels. Shenandoah
Usually in the Key of D, I have lowered it to C as the trombone sounds very rich in the lower register. The harmony in the verse was loosely reworked from a Keith Jarrett version I found online and I added the intro motif and middle vamp.
The beautiful sound of the Fender Rhodes electric piano is featured (I love the Rhodes!). This is handled by the Roland MKS-20, an amazingly expressive rack mounted piano module that I just had repaired (cost a fortune but worth it!).
Details on the Roland MKS-20
The Roland MKS-20 was an innovative rack mounted digital piano module that was not based on samples, but rather on a type of early additive re-synthesis called “Structured Adaptive®” or “SA” synthesis. This ground-breaking technology provided an extremely expressive response, compared to the limited sampling technology of that era.
The MKS-20 design cleverly combined the digital side of the instrument with high-quality analog components and effects, resulting in a far warmer sound than most keyboards of the day. Velocity-triggered algorithms activated harmonic combinations which mimicked the naturally-occurring color changes of mechanical keyboards. Each of the 128 velocities had its own discrete color for each key, resulting in a highly expressive and organic sound.
American Folk Song
I remember singing this southern Appalachian folk song as a kid in elementary music class and it stuck in my head every since! It is also often titled: “Every Night When the Sun Goes In”. It's a very beautiful yet plaintive melody. My simple arrangement features the acoustic guitar with trombones.
Shelby Flint does a beautiful version of the tune, a few other versions are listed below as well.
The term Marbletown is referring to the graveyard. She is speaking of dying. The gravestones were made of marble and the cemetery is a small town of marble with many souls dwelling there. This is a desperately sad traditional folk song about a young girl who becomes pregnant and finds that the father of the child will have nothing to do with her once he finds out.