The origins of Swing Down are unknown. The earliest version that I’ve found simply listed it as traditional. I strongly suspect that it originated as an African-America spiritual. The Golden Gate Quartet recorded it in the 1940’s, the Blackwood Brothers in the 1950’s and Elvis in the 1960’s. The song is fully documented as being in the public domain.
I’ve wanted to do a bluegrass version for many years and finally got to it. Although we start the song with an a cappella line from Swing Low Sweet Chariot, it is not the same song. This one rocks!
The song ended up at 16 tracks and multiple diced/spliced generations of the solo instruments so I was VERY happy when floyd jane took on the mixing of the vocals and the final mastering leaving me with the instrumental tracks. I love RT’s and when working in a genre, i.e., bluegrass, for which I am very familiar I’ll often end up with one track being a composite of 5-7 originals. I came close to playing bass on this one but finally got the right compression on the RT to balance it out. We've been off in blues/rock/western swing land for a while and getting back to bluegrass was interesting -- really different approach to the mixing. I love it all!
A bit time shoutout to floyd for the harmonies and the vocal mix and advice on the whole project.
Hey Dani, you sing bass?
Thanks for taking your time to listen to some traditional bluegrass and we appreciate comments.
Janice: lead/harmony vocals and vocal arrangement
floyd: Harmony vocals (four), vocal mix, effects and final project mastering
Bud: RT arrangements, effects and mixing.
All RT’s are from the bluegrass sets
Bass: Composite of 592
Guitar Rhythm: 598
Guitar Solo: Composite of 597
Mandolin Rhythm: 599
Mandolin Solo: 820
Banjo Rhythm: Composite of 589
Banjo Solo: Composite of 591
Fiddle Rhythm: 594
Fiddle Solo: Composite of 596