When I heard Bluegrass Special for the first time, I was immediately fascinated by this tune. This tune is contained on the CD 16 Gems with 16 early recordings by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.
I have learned this tune from the CD and wrote it down for me, and soon we started playing this tune in our bluegrass band, and we still like to play it today. This tune is very good to improvise, because its based on a simple blues harmony scheme in A.
Bill Monroes recording – mainly the guitar accompanyment – remembers me very much to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt, I wonder if Bill Monroe listened to this kind of music when he composed Bluegrass Special. Anyway – this tune has much power, and when you play it a little bit harder it almost sounds like a rock and roll tune.
One special thing in Bill Monroes version is the use of an accordion at the end of the tune.
I have found a great live version played by Bill Monroe in the following youtube video:
Bill Monroe Blue Grass Special
A biography of Bill Monroe in German can be found in the German wikipedia: Bill Monroe
A biography in English can be found at ask.com: http://www.ask.com/music/artist/Monroe/663
I have found another video of this tune that is interesting. Frank Wakefield and some friends play this tune spontaneously and with much energy and interesting improvisations. This was recorded at a mandolin camp, where Frank Wakefield was teaching.
Frank Wakefield ran into some old friends who were playing at Bill Monroe’s childhood home in Rosine, Kentucky and decided to join them. Frank, Campbell Mercer and Skip Gorman on mandolin, Wayne Lewis and Joe Isaacs on guitar. Josh Jonston on guitar, Mike Fulkerson on banjo and Mark Hargis on bass. This was part of the weekend activities for the Monroe style mandolin camp put on by The International Bluegrass Music museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. Frank was a teacher at the mandolin camp.