Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Wes Merchant
  • Frederick, MD
  • United States
  • 40 yrs
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Wes Merchant's Friends

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Wes Merchant's Discussions

Alan Jabbour

Started this discussion. Last reply by Paul Draper Jan 17. 2 Replies

I know many of you have heard of the recent death of Alan Jabbour he had been scheduled to do a workshop around here a couple of weeks ago, but had to cancel due to ill health.  His work was an…Continue

Here's a Sheet music cover page I thought was interesting.

Started Aug 29, 2016 0 Replies

The photos don't seem to be showing on the activity page so I thought I'd post this link here.…Continue

Marek, Woody et al. with some rock and roll guy...

Started this discussion. Last reply by Timothy Twiss Jun 18, 2016. 3 Replies

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Pry House Event

Started this discussion. Last reply by D. Wooldridge Apr 12, 2016. 12 Replies

I was playing downtown (Frederick) at the NMCWM today, and had an interesting discussion with Jake Wynn, the program coordinator, about future Pry House events. In the short term he expressed and…Continue

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Wes Merchant's Page

Latest Activity

Wes Merchant commented on Timothy Twiss's video
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Thorn Bush

"I think it's some of both.  He was a trained violinist so he brings that training that he received in the mid 19th century,as well as his experience of period Scottish fiddling, to his playing . As a prodigy and champion player he…"
Mar 17
Wes Merchant liked Timothy Twiss's video
Mar 17
Wes Merchant commented on Timothy Twiss's video
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Thorn Bush

"It's interesting to note that James Scott Skinner, the "Strathspey King" won the strathspey and reel competitions at Inverness in 1863 and there are early 20th century recodings of his playing."
Mar 16
Wes Merchant replied to Al Smitley's discussion EABG
"I haven't heard anything new from the Museum folks, I'll see if I can stir up anything."
Mar 14
Wes Merchant liked Timothy Twiss's video
Mar 2
Wes Merchant liked Paul Draper's video
Mar 2
Paul Draper replied to Wes Merchant's discussion Alan Jabbour
"Good stuff. Thanks Al."
Jan 17
Al Smitley replied to Wes Merchant's discussion Alan Jabbour
"Here's what looks like an 80-minute program Alan Jabbour did at a library or probably a book store, in case anyone's interested in "attending".  It was uploaded in 2011 but I don't know when it took…"
Jan 17
Chris Prieto liked Wes Merchant's discussion Alan Jabbour
Jan 17
James Pentecost liked Wes Merchant's discussion Alan Jabbour
Jan 16
Wes Merchant posted a discussion

Alan Jabbour

I know many of you have heard of the recent death of Alan Jabbour he had been scheduled to do a workshop around here a couple of weeks ago, but had to cancel due to ill health.  His work was an inspiration to many. Here's a link to some of his incredible work. https://www.loc.gov/collections/henry-reed-fiddle-tunes/?sp=1See More
Jan 15
Wes Merchant liked John Masciale's photo
Sep 29, 2016
Wes Merchant liked John Masciale's photo
Sep 29, 2016
Wes Merchant liked Tim Twiss's video
Sep 27, 2016
Leonidas (Lee) Jones commented on Wes Merchant's photo
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Jim Along Josie

"John, that makes good sense. i was, at one point a good fifer. Your comment is well taken, as with the fifties arrangements of Dan Tucker and others. However, I usually see a little bit more ressemblance to the original."
Sep 26, 2016
Wes Merchant commented on Wes Merchant's photo
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Jim Along Josie

"The little intro in this arrangement seems to tie into this version. https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/handle/1774.2/24107"
Sep 26, 2016

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Online
How long have you played banjo?
40 yrs
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Buckeye style perhaps 1880's,unnamed circa 1900 and 1923 vega tenor, irish tuning

I mostly play fiddle these days, over the years i've learned to read sheet music and have lately been very much enjoying looking through old tune books. Through leafing through stacks of old music books,over the years I've come across some gems, among them an 1864 edition of Winner's New Primer for Violin and an early edition of Howe's School for the Violin. More recently I've been  looking at some of the songbooks on the web

(http://archive.org/details/beadlesdi19newy  for instance ) and trying to match some of the songs with the tunes,don't know why but I find this stuff fascinating.

Wes Merchant's Photos

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Wes Merchant's Blog

Banjo repair

Posted on August 24, 2013 at 11:00am 4 Comments

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYO4Qi1sYt4The small ebony guide that holds the fifth string on my banjo split so I made one out of an old fiddle peg. I sized it through a hoIe I drilled in a steel plate then drilled out the old peg with the same bit  and filed in a slot with a small knife edged file. i"ve strung it up with nylgut and I'm really pleased with the sound. I'll post sound clips if I came remember how to play the dang…

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DAN EMMETT and the Rise of Early Negro Minstrelsy

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 4:00pm 8 Comments

 I came across this digital book today and thought some others here might be interested. You can navigate to the various pages and songs by clicking the arrows by the bar  in the center of the page, a lot of Dan Emmett songs and tunes are shown as well as some songs of the late 18th /early 19th century. 

http://0-muco.alexanderstreet.com.libra.naz.edu/view/500067

Happy 4th of July

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 12:27pm 1 Comment

I was thinking about going to a July 4th anvil shoot ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anvil_firing ) at the home of a black powder enthusiast  I know, so I found this on Utoob, 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFmBNPLLe6A

Joe Bussard's Annual Banjo Podcast

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 3:02pm 6 Comments

https://soundcloud.com/dusttodigital/joe-bussards-country-3

For those of you unfamiliar with Joe, he is one of the world's premier collectors early country, blues and jazz of 78's. He's also the subject of the Australian Documentary "Desperate Man Blues". I've known Joe for many years, and actually played in a band with him for a while, he's quite a character and a great resource Here's the play list : Taylor's…

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Comment Wall (8 comments)

At 11:49pm on March 25, 2013, Vince Abadie said…

Hi Wes...good to have you here! There are some fine folks among us. Welcome!!

At 12:16am on March 26, 2013, Jeff said…

Welcome... Wes good to see you found us here.. Kick back and enjoy... 

At 1:11pm on March 26, 2013, Bell Banjos said…

Welcome Wes!! My boy plays Irish Tenor too. One night in the shop we had him on the Irish 4 stringer, me on the minstrel, his buddies playing clawhammer and a banjolele. And it sounded GREAT.

At 8:34pm on February 13, 2014, Nicholas A Bechtel said…

Thanks Buddy!

At 11:06am on June 23, 2014, Marek Bennett said…

Thanks Wes -- We'll be back next year, or perhaps paths will cross before then.  What a beautiful weekend.

~ Marek

At 7:18pm on June 27, 2014, Michael Randolph said…

Thanks, Wes.  Enjoyed the dual fiddle quartet as well.  We'll have to try some other tunes when we get a chance.  - Mike

At 10:02pm on June 29, 2014, Al Smitley said…

Wes.... My printer/scanner is not working but until that time, I see that (for some reason, at an earlier time) I scanned the front cover that you are missing.

You can find it in my photos.  When I get a working scanner, I will send you a better representation.

At 10:08pm on June 29, 2014, Al Smitley said…

Wes.... On second thought, I'm not so sure.  The index that accompanies what I think is the entire publication seems to be accurate on some of the entries but not others.  If you can read the index from the photo, you can see what I mean.

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