Acoustic Guitar Group

Acoustic Fingerstyle cover of Goodnight Irene an old classic American Folk Standard. I managed to catch Ian Siegal at a live show and he played a very dark version of this song and my favourite version came from Kelly Joe Phelps playing it in a fingerstyle/slide method on his album and its been covered by so many famous artists along the years and changed so many times. So I ended up with this version of the song and i hope you like it!

Heres a little history of the song...The specific origins of "Irene" are unclear. Lead Belly was singing a version of the song from as early as 1908, which he claimed to have learned from his uncles Terell and Bob. An 1886 song by Gussie L. Davis has several lyrical and structural similarities to the latter song, however no information on its melody has survived. Some evidence suggests the 1886 song was itself based on an even earlier song which has not survived. Regardless of where he first heard it, by the 1930s Lead Belly had made the song his own, modifying the rhythm and rewriting most of the verses.

Lead Belly continued performing the song during his various prison terms, and it was while incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary that he encountered musicologists John and Alan Lomax who would go on to record hours of Lead Belly's performances. A few months prior to his release in 1934, Lead Belly recorded a number of his songs, including Irene, for the Library of Congress. "Irene" remained a staple of Lead Belly's performances throughout the 1930s and '40s. However, despite popularity within the New York blues community, the song was never commercially successful during his lifetime.


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