“In The Pines”

I took the above picture while hanging with my kids at the park last Saturday and have had Bill Monroe’s version of “In The Pines” stuck in my head ever sense, motivating me to do a little research on the song.

“In The Pines” is considered a traditional folk song originating from the Southern Appalachians sometime in the latter half of the 1800s. While known as “In The Pines” among fans of bluegrass, rock and blues fans may be more familiar with the names “Black Girl” (or gal) or “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.”

Like many staples of the bluegrass tradition, Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys recorded an early version in 1941. Other notable bluegrass or folk interpretations of the song include versions by The Kentucky Colonels, Doc Watson, and the recently deceased Pete Seeger.

Lead Belly is the principle propagator of the blues/rock interpretation of the song, most notably a 1944 version. The Grateful Dead recorded both studio and live version in the ’60s. The most significant modern interpretation of the song likely came from Nirvana’s version on 1994’s MTV Unplugged in New York.

Check out JamGrass.net’s recommended versions on Spotify or YouTube, and don’t forget to support JamGrass.net by purchasing tracks (or anything you want) through our Amazon associate account. Whatever version you prefer, “In The Pines” is certainly a piece of American music history.

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