Back in 1970, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins won a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance for their album, “Me and Jerry.” This was a great album, especially for guitar cognoscenti, who recognize Atkins’s remarkable talent, musical mind, and marketing sense, and Reed’s unparalleled guitar genius. On that album was a guitar tune by Reed called Stumpwater. What a great name, just to start with, I mean, really! And then it is just so cool, I still can hardly stand it, especially when they play it.
So, yesterday, someone emailed me that they liked my arrangement of Stumpwater that I recorded on solo steel string guitar many many years ago in my living room. He wanted the tab for it. Well, I learned this one the year the album came out, back when I could learn music without writing it down. And back when I was 16, so maybe I didn’t get it exactly right. A few years ago, a guy showed me an arrangement that he said is how Craig Dobbins transcribed the tune, and I believe it is much closer to the actual Reed version. But people seem to like my version too.
Mine approaches the tune the way a banjo player would (seeing as how I was mostly a banjo player back then). The notes are similar, but the fingerings are different, as are the right hand roll techniques. So, today, I sat down to tab it out. First I did the Dobbins version (one A part, one B part in the tab), and then mine (the second A and B parts and ending). Of course, on mine, I added a second guitar part with some chords I’d figured out to the thing also long ago (may be wrong too), so naturally, it sounds more kick-ass , if you play the MIDI (even though TablEdit MIDI’s don’t sound all that great under any circumstances). Anyway, I thought I would post this tab, as people have been requesting it for many years.
I have included a link below to the original mp3 of me playing this tune. The fidelity is bad, and it is solo, so you can’t really get a feel - like in the first part of the MIDI - but I can see that this will be right up there on the list of tunes to re-do, multitrack digital, at home sometime soon. Can’t wait. Jerry Plays it on gut string guitar of course (okay, nylon). But maybe you can get some idea from all this stuff how Jerry Reed evokes a totally cool swamp vibe with this tune, at least that’s what I get. If you dig this at all, you can get a double CD of Chet and Jerry’s stuff, including this one, and if you like guitar, you won’t reret it.
Download: Stumpwater tab here
(in TablEdit Format, which you can download a free viewer for)
Play MIDI of the tab