A few months ago, I accompanied my wife to Detroit. She attended training for a new job while I stayed behind as a “hotel husband.” Since I had only a bass to work out my musical ideas, I gravitated toward ideas that were playable on that majestic, yet cumbersome instrument.

I called this song “Americana” because it has so many echoes of classic American folk tunes and their roots. It is expansive like “Oh, Shenandoah,” pentatonic like “Were You There,” and bears the same four starting notes as “O Danny Boy.” It is not jazz in the traditional sense, but as you can hear in this recording it lends itself well to improvisation.

Shenandoah Valley

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