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Parlor Guitar 

(fossil 1605)
1605_cover_art.jpg (135776 bytes)
[click picture for bigger, clearer, image]

Released in 2005
how to order this cd
(available for download, too)

[Looking for sheet music/tab or the book? CLICK HERE]

[Read a Review]


This was a labor of love. An all-instrumental album of fingerstyle arrangements of some classic tunes. "Parlor Guitar" actually has a double meaning: The guitar I play on this recording is known as a parlor guitar -- smaller in size than the modern
acoustic guitar. A century ago, the small guitar was the normal size -- meant for drawing rooms.  Secondly, the melodies on this album are from the "parlor song era" -- the early 20th and late 19th centuries (basically before radio and electrical recording.)

This is music I have been collecting and arranging for my own amusement for years. Some of the great composers are represented: Gershwin, Kern, Berlin, Eubie Blake, etc. Much of the music is from tin pan alley, but there is also a set of hymns from the era, a set of choir tunes, and a few other traditions.

Ten of these tracks have been transcribed for guitar and published as a book by the Hal Leonard Corporation.  If you are a guitarist looking for some fingerstyle arrangements, check out Parlor Guitar, the book.

The Tracks:

 [The mp3 samples are in "FM" quality and last about 25 seconds -- click link to listen, or right-click to download, depending on how your browser is equipped]

1     They Didn't Believe Me   Jerome Kern 1914   mp3 sample
2     You Made Me Love You   James V. Monaco 1913
       Ida (Sweet as Apple Cider)   Eddie Munson 1903  mp3 sample
3     Swanee  George Gershwin 1919 mp3 sample
4     Tishomingo Blues   Spencer Williams 1918  mp3 sample
5     I'm Just Wild About Harry   Eubie Blake 1921
      Avalon   Vincent Rose w/ Al Jolson & Giacomo Puccini 1920  mp3 sample
6     Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)   Juventino Rosas 1884 mp3 sample
7     Paper Doll   Johnny S. Black 1915
      Glowworm   Paul Lincke 1902 mp3 sample
8     My Buddy   Walter Donaldson 1922
      After You've Gone   John Turner Layton 1916 mp3 sample
9     Alexander's Ragtime Band   Irving Berlin 1911 mp3 sample
10     Low in the Grave He Lay   Robert Lowry 1874
        A New Name in Glory   Charles Austin Miles 1905
        In the Garden   Charles Austin Miles 1912 
        The Message of His Coming   Robert E. Winsett 1914 mp3 sample
11     Illinois   Archibald Johnson 1893 
        Indiana   James F. Hanley 1917  mp3 sample
12     April Showers   Louis Silvers 1921 mp3 sample 
13     Tiger Rag   Nick La Rocca, et al 1917 mp3 sample
14     Annie Laurie   Alicia Anne Spottiswoode 1835 
        Aura Lea   George R. Poulton 1861
        Santa Lucia   Luigi Gordigiani 1848
        Endearing Young Charms   Thomas Moore 1832 mp3 sample
15     Grand Old Rag   George M. Cohan 1906 mp3 sample

All recordings (P) 2005 Joel Mabus
All arrangements (c) 2005 Joel Mabus
based on songs in the public domain

[read the liner notes]

ordering information

information on sheet music/tab  

info on the book, Parlor Guitar 

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2008 Joel Mabus