Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Al Smitley
  • Male
  • Hartland, MI
  • United States
  • 1968-1976 then minstrel banjo since…
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Al Smitley's Discussions

Back Story

Started Mar 22 0 Replies

Not sure if some are familiar with Back Story.  Here is what I received today.If you scan down, you should be able to listen to the 35-minute radio program.…Continue

20th C Tim

Started this discussion. Last reply by Chris Prieto Jul 14, 2018. 2 Replies

I'm reluctant to post this as I don't know if Tim will be upset with me but...... for those of you who know 19th C Tim, I thought it might be interesting for some to see 20th C Tim.…Continue

Messages

Started this discussion. Last reply by Strumelia Mar 1, 2018. 3 Replies

I'm embarrassed to admit that I found a whole bunch of messages that I never knew I had.Therefore, I apologize to all those whom I never responded to.  Chalk it up to my ignorance!Continue

Early Minstrel Show CD

Started this discussion. Last reply by david caron Jan 28, 2018. 5 Replies

I was just looking on YouTube for some renditions of the Hutchinson Family Singers songs but this came up, nearby.  As great as this CD is, it almost seems to have faded in the background so I…Continue

 

Al Smitley's Page

Latest Activity

Al Smitley liked Samurai banjo's video
May 9
Timothy Twiss commented on Al Smitley's photo
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1850Coffee

"oh yes...looks good"
May 9
Paul Draper commented on Al Smitley's photo
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1850Coffee

"But maybe it doesn’t age so well"
May 9
Paul Draper commented on Al Smitley's photo
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1850Coffee

"I got a couple free bags in the mail a couple of weeks ago. 1850 must have been a good year for coffee. "
May 9
Al Smitley posted a photo

1850Coffee

Went to the store with coffee on my list. My regular choice was not there so, of course, being fascinated by the antebellum period, I gave this a try. A coffee connoisseur, I'm not, so maybe it's good but...not to my tongue. Tim do you want me to…
May 9
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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Money Musk Reel.

"Hey, that would've sounded good along with a flute."
May 5
Al Smitley liked Paul Draper's video
May 4
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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Money Musk Reel.

"That sounded good.  Still airing the hair, I see."
May 4
Al Smitley commented on Timothy Twiss's photo
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"The Banjo Player"

"Why did you ask?!?"
Apr 30
Al Smitley commented on Timothy Twiss's photo
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"The Banjo Player"

"Is it at your house, now?"
Apr 28
Al Smitley commented on Paul Draper's video
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Great Eastern Jig / Water Street Reel

"Didn't recognize you!  Did a couple of crows fly by and take off with your hat?"
Apr 24
Al Smitley commented on Mark Weems's video
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G. P. Knauff's: The Two Sisters

"I purchased your "Music of Old Joe Sweeny" CD.  How about one of the Knauff Collection?  You could probably get #1 and #2 on one CD with the use of medleys."
Apr 14
Al Smitley commented on Timothy Twiss's video
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Work track for medley

"And WHEN is that next gathering?!?"
Apr 2
Al Smitley commented on Timothy Twiss's photo
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Tim and Oz....1974

"So that's when this all started.  Saw the photo before but didn't associate it."
Mar 22
Al Smitley liked Timothy Twiss's photo
Mar 22
Al Smitley posted a discussion

Back Story

Not sure if some are familiar with Back Story.  Here is what I received today.If you scan down, you should be able to listen to the 35-minute radio program.https://backstory.exposure.co/history-behind-the-headlines-corks-curlsSee More
Mar 22

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Member/contributor, Tim Twiss
How long have you played banjo?
1968-1976 then minstrel banjo since 2007. Stopped when Tim Twiss wanted me to play fiddle and play banjo, now, only to figure out best keys for various songs/tunes.
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Vega long-neck and Hartel Sweeney model

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Comment Wall (18 comments)

At 7:09pm on July 11, 2011, Tim Twiss said…
Hi Al. Do you prefer Friday or Saturday...Aug 5 or 6?
At 10:55am on November 26, 2011, John Masciale said…

Al,  That's the kind of thing you can either add as a link in a thread (there's a way to upload files to a given thread, click on the paperclip icon), or something as generally useful as that we can put under resources.  Elaine has been going through period songsters and has a list of over 1800 songs at this point from the time period.  The list is growing.  I would put your spreadsheet under documetation.

 

I find that the most useful thing about the Weidlich book is his index of Minstrel Songs and which instructor they are in.  It would be great to have some resources like that here on the site.

At 12:27pm on November 26, 2011, Tim Twiss said…

And there it is...thanks John. I lost sight of the fact you could add files of different types in the Documentation spot. Perfect.

At 11:21am on November 28, 2011, John Masciale said…

Al,  Thanks for sending the tutorial index.  I now have it posted on our documentation page.

At 12:06pm on November 28, 2011, Tim Twiss said…

John...what format is that? New Excel? I could open Al's old one, but not this. Perhaps open office?

At 1:44pm on November 28, 2011, Tim Twiss said…

Never mind...answered my own question...open office for those who are behind.

What a great contribution Al...

At 8:09am on February 3, 2012, Ian Bell said…

Al,

I'm not a re-enactor (though I do have a suit of funny clothes in the closet) so I usually don't always have to limit myself to completely period-appropriate performances. When I am doing a historic perfromance I use the "period" instruments that I happen to play — wooden flute, Scottish smallpipes, fiddle and sing unaccompanied. I've never earned the trick of self-accompaniment with fiddle. It's all I can do to play in tune when I'm not singing. 

I mostly do 1812 songs from the Canadian point of view. My repertoire  comes from old manuscripts and early published sources and also includes songs of the time that survived to be collected as part of the folk tradition in Ontario. I've been accumulating this stuff since the early 80s. Canada was much less urban than the eastern US at that time so there weren't nearly as many printed broadsides produced up here. Your Library of Congress website has lots of American 1812 songs online. (I'm envious)

In a concert setting, I'll usually perform this stuff in a more "folksingerly" context, as music from the past that has survived into the present. I use non-period instruments like steel-string guitar, mandolin and concertina and arrange songs to suit my own tastes — which to most people's ears are probably pretty arcane.

At 8:10am on February 3, 2012, Ian Bell said…

Clarifying a bit of bad writing in previous comment - I meant Canada was less urban in 1812 - not the 1980s!

At 7:33pm on May 22, 2012, Jeff said…
I live in Midland
At 8:54pm on March 22, 2013, Tim Twiss said…

Hey Al...the first Thursday of every other month is approaching. Want to join me again? Love to add some of those crazy early ones we have discussed.

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