Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Well folks, I thought it would be nice if I could find some minstrel gathering information for the North Eastern states. I am located in Danvers MA and would love to find my way to a minstrel banjo gathering which I understand are few and far between. Surely there are a few more players in the New England area that are involved in the local music scene. I was fortunate enough to meet several Minstrel style players at Banjo Camp North this year. What are all you locals up to these days? When are we going to host a local gathering to enrich our banjo playing lives. Methinks this would work well and I in fact have a barn (with a dance hall) to offer up for use if anyone is ever interested in getting together. I know my teacher Jim (are you listening?) is nearby and capable enough. How about a few others that want ot share in the fun? Let's chat and get something going!

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Brian,

That is a great idea! There are at least 6 members of this group from Massachusetts that I counted and several more from CT and VT. I've had lunch with Jay Moschella a few times and almost had lunch with John Campopiano (we gotta reschedule that, John!), but no actual banjos were involved, as I don't bring one to work, unfortunately.

What was it like for a minstrel player at Banjo Camp North? I was very close to going, but life got in the way and I didn't think my playing was good enough to get my money's worth out of it (if you've seen my video you'll understand!). It is on my calendar for next year, though.

I'm ready for it, and I'm sure my wife is ready for me to play the banjo anywhere else but at home!

--Another Massachusetts Brian
I've been threatening to hit Banjo Camp North for years. I have relatives (in-laws) living within 20mi of the park. We haven't been up to visit in quite a few years...

Now, how to schedule a trip to Mass.? The wife can visit with all her relatives...
Brian, I started out as a frailer 2 1/2 years ago and that is what brought me to Banjo camp. Then I got on the internet and checked out the Banjo hangout and started to hear other forms of playing that I liked and now play as much Classical and Minstrel Banjo as I do anything. Just don't ask me to try any bluegrass(sorry but YUCK) so BCN has offered snippets of Classical banjo and this year Bob Carlin was there and he had a few minstrel offerings but mostly the camp is geared toward Bluegrass and clawhammer. I have taken away some good info two years in a row and loved playing for three days straight in that setting. If you clawhammer at all you will enjoy the camp. As for local minstrel players, I meet 2 or three at camp who are locals and if we even managed to get half a dozen that would be quite a thing.....
B-

Brian Welch said:
Brian,
That is a great idea! There are at least 6 members of this group from Massachusetts that I counted and several more from CT and VT. I've had lunch with Jay Moschella a few times and almost had lunch with John Campopiano (we gotta reschedule that, John!), but no actual banjos were involved, as I don't bring one to work, unfortunately. What was it like for a minstrel player at Banjo Camp North? I was very close to going, but life got in the way and I didn't think my playing was good enough to get my money's worth out of it (if you've seen my video you'll understand!). It is on my calendar for next year, though.

I'm ready for it, and I'm sure my wife is ready for me to play the banjo anywhere else but at home!

--Another Massachusetts Brian
Trapdoor, Find a way because it really is great fun. Just don't be too taken with the other styles of playing so we can all continue to enjoy the music here on the Minstrel Banjo site! Remember to stay at the camp (the price is right) because you will no doubt be up until the wee hours of the morning playing and won't want to be traveling back and forth. Of course the wives can stay at our place with my Mrs. while we all go off to camp.........

Trapdoor2 said:
I've been threatening to hit Banjo Camp North for years. I have relatives (in-laws) living within 20mi of the park. We haven't been up to visit in quite a few years...

Now, how to schedule a trip to Mass.? The wife can visit with all her relatives...
i think a bunch of use from NJ would interested in a NE Gathering. it's interesting that "clawhammer" (what i heard someone call "festival Style") is going the way of bluegrass; all flash & speed. there are so many different regional "right-hand" techniques within the southern banjo tradition which can be traced back to "stroke style".

Brian Glass said:
Brian, I started out as a frailer 2 1/2 years ago and that is what brought me to Banjo camp. Then I got on the internet and checked out the Banjo hangout and started to hear other forms of playing that I liked and now play as much Classical and Minstrel Banjo as I do anything. Just don't ask me to try any bluegrass(sorry but YUCK) so BCN has offered snippets of Classical banjo and this year Bob Carlin was there and he had a few minstrel offerings but mostly the camp is geared toward Bluegrass and clawhammer. I have taken away some good info two years in a row and loved playing for three days straight in that setting. If you clawhammer at all you will enjoy the camp. As for local minstrel players, I meet 2 or three at camp who are locals and if we even managed to get half a dozen that would be quite a thing.....
B-

Brian Welch said:
Brian,
That is a great idea! There are at least 6 members of this group from Massachusetts that I counted and several more from CT and VT. I've had lunch with Jay Moschella a few times and almost had lunch with John Campopiano (we gotta reschedule that, John!), but no actual banjos were involved, as I don't bring one to work, unfortunately. What was it like for a minstrel player at Banjo Camp North? I was very close to going, but life got in the way and I didn't think my playing was good enough to get my money's worth out of it (if you've seen my video you'll understand!). It is on my calendar for next year, though.

I'm ready for it, and I'm sure my wife is ready for me to play the banjo anywhere else but at home!

--Another Massachusetts Brian

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