Pilgrim’s Knob is a Monroe tune I learned directly from legendary banjoist Butch Robins’ almost 20 years ago. His recorded version is from the excellent Rounder Records LP Another Saturday Night by The Bluegrass Band. This powerhouse group consisted of Butch on banjo, Ed Dye on dobro, David Sebring on bass, Blaine Sprouse on fiddle, and the voice of an angel Alan O’Bryant on guitar/vocals. I highly recommend you find a copy.
This is about as straight forward a Monroe mandolin tune you could ask for. The first part reminds of me of old time fiddle like Jenny Lynn. The B part has a Monroe’s Hornpipe kind of groove. The C part is kick-butt Monroe blues playing.
As much as I love Monroe and that style of playing, I make no claims to be a Monroe-ist. I will leave those heavy chops to Mike Compton and Lauren Napier. This is really for you non-bluegrassers to get some exposure to Bill Monroe. Word of caution: I’ve never learned this from Monroe source material. Butch taught me this tune in my living room one day and gave me the aforementioned Rounder album for reference. I’m playing a mandolin arrangement of a banjo arrangement of a mandolin tune. And that’s the circle of life 🙂
The video is another one from the earliest days of YouTube and is there for reference.
Tablature is available for free at my Patreon site.