Callin' Baton Rouge

This is an online fiddle lesson for "Callin' Baton Rouge" as played by Sam Bush. It is the entire song, including the awesome second verse backup and ending. This lesson is by special request for my friend Shirley.

<a href="">Callin' Baton Rouge</a>


  • Hi John,

    I was glad to see a full version of "Callin' Baton Rouge" on your site!  Do you have a sheet music transcription in the Key of D?  I need it to play a wedding here in Louisiana.  Thanks!
  • Hi Annie, I have added the tablature / sheet music for the key of D.
  • I woke up last night after having a strange nightmare I was caught in a scheme embezzling money from the original Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin KY in the guise as their bluegrass house band.

    I knew my dumb band mates would never catch on but the KFCs CPAs caught me after only two shows.

    One of the songs we played was this one which scared me at first because I’m just a bass player and tenor vocalist. I’ve only been playing fiddle since another bad dream I had last November. This song is way beyond me but I think I figured it out rather true. Mind you it was 2:30am and I was covered in sweat.

    I felt the signature line started on the 3rd of the chord. G# for NGR’s version. I was also stunned to find that Garth’s version appeared to be in D (as opposed to E of NGR). I always felt his version was far inferior to NGR and about a 5th lower.

    Did I do good bluegrass daddy??
  • Chaz, you done good.

    I agree -- NGR's version is better than the Garth Brooks version. John Cowan (another bass player / tenor singer -- coincidence?) sang high harmony to Garth's lead. The entire NGR band plus Jerry Douglas joined Garth in the studio for the song. Sam Bush played fiddle on both versions, but the Garth Brooks version just didn't have the magic that of the old NGR original.

    OK keep practicing but no more spicy food after 8:00 PM.
  • This is a great fun tune John very nice , Dating back to 2014 Thanks Shirley better late congrats than never ! Ha
  • having problems opening sheet music and tab both. how do I fix?
  • It seems to be working! If you still can't get it to open, email me and I will send it to you. John
  • Hey, John. It would be much appreciated it you could also have a video of the tune in the key of D that corresponds to the tab/sheet music that you have posted (unless it is already there and I am just missing it?).

    I totally understand why the NGR version would be the focus, but I'm trying to learn as a working musician, and it's always been played live in D from my own personal experiences.

    And, I'm definitely not asking for a full breakdown like you have already done in E, but maybe just one video all the way through in D. Thank you so much for all the resources and time!
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