A composition for 2 banjos in the classic style, composed by S.S. Stewart in 1882. I decided to give it the carnival dirge treatment.
For two banjos in the classic style, composed by Bolsover Gibbs. [more inside]
From Briggs' Banjo Instructor of 1855. [more inside]
I was tending a fire and playing my banjo outside when the geese decided to help. [more inside]
Not the old-time tune you may be thinking of. Fretless banjo with a percussion loop. (As it happens, Garageband's Jazz drum kit instrument has a rattle that sounds a lot like a jawbone.) [more inside]
A popular 19th century minstrel tune with fretless banjo, tambourine and vocals. (Different from the old-time tune by the same name, and not related to Old Joe Clark either.) Lyrics as recorded are not offensive.* [more inside]
Fretless minstrel banjo with guitar and percussion, from 1855. [more inside]
More fretless minstrel banjo, with tambourine and marginally played bones. This one is from Phil Rice's 1858 Method for Banjo With or Without A Master.
A short but stately exercise from Frank Converse's 1872 The Banjo and How to Play It.
Solo stroke style arrangement on a fretless minstrel banjo. Another quickie from Briggs Banjo Instructor, 1855.
Instrumental on fretless minstrel style banjo, played more or less as arranged by Phil Rice in his 1858 banjo instructor. [more inside]
From Buckley's Banjo Guide, 1868. Played on a new minstrel style banjo made by Jeff Menzies and an old tambourine of indeterminate age.
Merry Christmas! Here's an arrangement of Bennington, No. 408t in the Shenandoah Harmony (www.shenandoahharmony.com). Poetry by Isaac Watts 1706, original shape note arrangement by Billings, 1770. [more inside]
A quick multitrack with fretless tackhead banjo, tambourine and bones. From James Buckley's "Buckley's New Banjo Method", 1860. [more inside]
An elegantly arranged banjo piece composed by Frank B. Converse for his 1886 Analytical Banjo Method.
An 1865 arrangement of this tune by Frank B. Converse, which I performed as a banjo duet with Joel Hooks at the sixth Antietam Early Banjo Gathering concert in the barn at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum in Keedysville, Maryland this past weekend. [more inside]
Minor variation on an old minstrel tune. Fretless tackhead banjo, marginally played tambourine and bones. [more inside]
A very short bluegrass banjo piece I multi-tracked in 2005 and just now unearthed on my hard drive. [more inside]
Just playing my new banjo in the dark at 2:30am.
How come no one takes randomly detuned extemporaneous banjo music seriously anymore? [more inside]
OK, this is a shitty mix, I freely admit, but I need to draw a line under it for the moment. Features an underwhelming banjo solo -- in fact the only thing I can play on the banjo as yet -- and a bunch of notes I really can't hit, but I still like it for the way it kicks off at about 1'45, and in particular the lift at 2'20. It's a hell of a lot of fun to play live too. [more inside]
A very short and simple ode to my dog who I love. [more inside]
A short song about the positive and then the negative male relationships in my life. Features classical guitar, reverbed out bowed banjo, auto-tuning, synth, french doors slamming. This is the latest in a string of versions of this song, having trouble finishing it. [more inside]
Latest dispatch in über-short traditional clawhammer banjo songs. [more inside]
After writing/arranging, recording, and mixing the first five sections of The Wasteland, I found myself a bit spent, and struggling with the final movement, so I took a few days off to back away from it. I finally returned to it tonight, and, renewed, even managed to squeeze an extra track from it. Thus concludes the tour. Enjoy! [more inside]
My first recording to share: this is the old-time banjo tune Spotted Pony, played on my new (to me) Bart Reiter fretless banjo, equipped with NylGut strings. Tuning is double-C.
LYRICS: Well, our country's kind of shitty, But we love it anyway (We have no basis of comparison!) This is Anthemic. [more inside]
Stroke style arrangement of an old minstrel tune, taken from "Briggs' Banjo Instructor" book of 1855. Tackhead banjo and tambourine.
Sometimes with you, I forget myself and laugh! (headphones recommended) [more inside]
Another quick rendition of a traditional tune on the banjo.
A quick rendition of the traditional tune on an Enoch banjo with a touch of guitar.
Just what the world needs: another cover of a hit pop song by a white guy with his guitar. [more inside]
An arrangement of the classic song for banjo and a little bit of toy piano. [more inside]
Also known as Pope Nicholas V, he didn't seem like such a bad guy, for the most part...other than the whole "Papal consent to the slave trade" thing. Live recorded video is available. [more inside]
This is a new one from a short EP I just released for an upcoming tour. It's a stoney instrumental with banjo. You guys like those, right? [more inside]
Who Hit John tries our hand at this old standard. [more inside]
Ambient modal psychedelic clawhammer banjo drone? Sure, TheCoug, whatever...
Guitar, banjo, and vox arrangement of the shapenote tune, The Church's Desolation, number 89 in The Sacred Harp. A quick fingerstyle arrangement of Old Hundred (49 on the top) was tacked onto the front. [more inside]
This is a cover (gah, feels like all I can do lately) of "My Roots are Strong and Deep" by the Microphones. Features my friend Taylor Bridges on heavily distorted banjo, and recorded in this wonderful, cement stairwell back at the school I used to attend. Anyone know of good, secluded, reverby spots in Portland, OR? The sort where people generally won't walk by, but if they do they won't snicker?
Old-time fiddle tune performed by the usual gang at The People's Pint in Greenfield, Massachusetts. [more inside]
An old-time chestnut on guitar, mandolin, and my new Menzies tackhead banjo [more inside]
This is a quick little tune about a few people I'll never meet. [more inside]
Courtney McClean & The Dirty Curls present a decidedly not-safe-for-work ode to porn stars and filmmakers from Minnesota. [more inside]
(Jackson's Victory). Played on my fretless bowlback banjo, in double A.
A version of this traditional tune on a fretless bowl-back banjo tuned down to B. [more inside]
Banjo + Trombone = Awesome? I'd love your feedback on this new project I am a member of (trombonist). Kind of "new wave bluegrass." I hope you like it.
From my old band, recorded about 6 years ago. The crappy coda on the end was my bad idea, but I can't edit it out now.
Cover of the Dock Boggs song, on banjo naturally. [more inside]
This month's challenge isn't much of a challenge for someone who plays oldtime music anyway, but I figure I get extra points for recording this American Civil War era tune on my new gourd banjo. [more inside]