Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo


The Antietam Early Banjo Gathering is an annual event at the Pry House Barn on the Antietam Battlefield.

The next dates for this event are June 19-21, 2015.
The facebook link is:  https://www.facebook.com/events/683005658487901/

Comment by Kevin Taylor on July 17, 2015 at 5:47pm

I didn't get an email from Greg this year and I completely forgot to check when this was. Hopefully something happens again next year (and that I have enough forethought to check here for info). I really enjoyed this a couple of years ago when I was there.

Comment by Greg Adams on July 17, 2015 at 10:44pm

I'm sorry you didn't get to attend AEBG this year Kevin. I don't know what other events people are doing, but I'm going to be teaching at Augusta Heritage Center's Old-Time Week and Dance Week. Perhaps some folks here would consider attending as well: https://augustaheritagecenter.org/augusta-schedule/old-time/old-tim...

Comment by Brian Kimerer on November 25, 2015 at 9:48pm

I just found this old thread. As a newcomer to Minstrel Banjo I was not aware of the demise of this gathering. This was another of those things that was on my todo list once I got around to retiring. 

Has anything further happened to try and restart this? 

Comment by Scott Danneker on November 29, 2015 at 8:53am

I hope that the Sweeny/Appomattox gathering is still on for 2016.  Last year's event was loaded with funn and good learning!  Mark Weems did a splendid job putting it together.

Comment by Mark Weems on November 29, 2015 at 11:09am

Never fear Scott, we will definitely be planning a Sweeney Convergence at Appomattox again in 2016. We need it more now than ever since the Antietam Banjo Gathering is in hiatus.

Comment by Al Smitley on November 29, 2015 at 11:41am

Mark, do you have a date, yet?  If so, I might try to influence my vintage base ball club's scheduling.

Comment by Al Smitley on December 1, 2019 at 8:25am

I was just watching a CSPAN3 program that I DVRed last August (2019) about the Battle of Antietam.  The program/lecture was filmed in the Pry Barn and brought back memories.

Comment by Strumelia on December 1, 2019 at 11:23am

Hi Al!  

Comment by Al Smitley on December 1, 2019 at 11:26am

Hello to you, Strum.  If AEBG has a rebirth, hope to see you there.

Comment by Al Smitley on December 6, 2019 at 5:52am

I'm pretty sure that the CSPAN3 program about the Battle of Antietam in which the program was filmed in the Pry Barn airs again this Sunday at 10 am.  I say "I'm pretty sure" because I can't recall whether the presenter's name is the same.

Comment by Andy Chase on August 7, 2020 at 4:38pm

I got my first gourd banjo in early 2010, which led me to poke around for information about stroke style playing, which I was vaguely aware of but never pursued as I'd never had a suitable instrument.

This led me to Carl Anderton and Tim Twiss' videos on YouTube; at the time they were just about the only folks posting material from the 19th century tutors, and I slowly began poking my way through Briggs' Banjo Instructor. One day that summer I came across a video from one of the very first early banjo gatherings and said to myself, "I have *got* to check that out if it's still happening!" ...only to discover that AEBG III had happened only the weekend before!

I resolved not to miss another one, and from 2011-2015 AEBG was always a highlight of the year for me, and every June since then I find myself "getting the yearns" for the gathering, as Horst Rosenburg puts it. I had really been looking forward to this year's gathering at the Renfrew Museum, and I hope we're able to regroup and do that next year.

But meanwhile: Over the years, I've been recording clips of various tunes that catch my fancy and sharing them on YouTube, with no real goal in mind other than to spread the music and maybe help people trying to learn this stuff the way I learned from Carl and Tim early on. When June rolled around this year I decided to go back and see if there were any "keepers," and I found 13 tunes from 2011-2018 that I've cleaned up and released as an album (or an EP if you prefer; they're short tracks) called Keedysville, as a tribute to AEBG and how everyone there inspired me and shaped my approach to this music over the years.  It's also my way of say goodbye to the original event while looking forward to whatever might happen in the future.

It's currently available to stream (for free) at http://magicians.bandcamp.com/album/keedysville and should be available on Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon Music, Pandora, and some other services in the next couple of weeks.

Comment by Paul Draper on August 8, 2020 at 7:24am

Congratulations Andy!  Really nice work and great project!

Comment by Timothy Twiss on September 15, 2020 at 7:09am

Great work and a nice listen. I highly recommend downloading this collection. 


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