Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Plenty of references to go by. There is the Levy Sheet music collection, the Ethiopian Glee Book, Briggs, Rice, and Buckley 1860 ( Joe Sweeney Jig ) as well as Weidlich and Fleshers tab.

Play and discuss at will.

Views: 596

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Tim, I hope you don't mind my pasting this in, once again, to help show the versatility of both the song and you.


Al, that was fun to see!

Ok so I will embed in here to show some stuff that I did previously with Boker (these vids are on here already so I won't re-post them in the video section).

Here I am playing it in A before I even had a minstrel banjo...using a regular fretless banjo with nylon strings. This was 2  1/2 years ago in 2012, when i was just beginning to struggle and explore stroke style.  Here I'm playing it excruciatingly slowly, and I think this shows what a good beginner tune this is for people just coming into minstrel repertoire.  I remember how this was a real challenge for me! :

ok so....fast forward a year and a half to Nov 2013 (a year or so ago), and I have a 'real' minstrel banjo, I'm playing less hesitantly, picked up the speed a little and was able to add some singing (made possible in this case because the verse banjo part in Boker is not at all complicated).  This was a real challenge for me but only because of the added singing, not because of playing the simple tune. Hey, I even had a tambourine going under my foot!:

This is why I leave my old videos up even though they can be an embarrassment showing a beginner struggling along.  It's useful to see the slow progress, and I hope it helps other beginners.    :)


Just to throw into the mix - The Old Jonny Booker Band's version

FWIW -- Here's a slide show version I did a couple of years ago. I cut it off short because I screwed it up so bad towards the end.  Hope you enjoy it.


I enjoyed both the "Old Jonny Booker Band" and the Dan Band!

Both good renditions!

Hey! I thought the Woodford Reserve version was locked up in the vault!

And another -- Briggs' J. Boker meets Old-time J. Sutton. http://minstrelbanjo.ning.com/video/old-johnny-boker-meets-old-jimm...
Thanks for linking to that one, I've always loved it!

Dang, I cannot find my Carlin book on Sweeney. Can anybody summarize the part on
Jonny Boker"?

ALso, there is that figure again we spoke of re: Alabama Joe. Weidlich treats it the same, and Flesher uses the Rice pull. How did it work out for you?

I don't have your book but I could drop mine off at the store on the way back from a Dr. appt. or after my PT appt.

No, that's okay but thanks. Mine will pop up. I was just hoping to interject a few comments from Carlin on the tyne. He does speak of it in there....in particular to the route and landmarks the character encountered..

Reply to Discussion



John Masciale created this Ning Network.

© 2021   Created by John Masciale.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service