Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Al Smitley's Comments

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.

At 2:04pm on August 29, 2013, Tim Twiss said…

Al...want to play on Sept 7th? One set at Fisk Farm.

At 6:56pm on June 15, 2014, William J.(Joe) Head said…

Hello, Al - My schedule precludes Anteitam this time around; best wishes to those who do attend.

Regards,

Joe Head

At 5:55pm on February 23, 2015, Strumelia gave Al Smitley a gift
Gift
Happy Birthday Al ! :D
At 11:48am on April 21, 2015, Douglas Jackson said…

Yes, I did....back in the mid-60s.....he was looking for a group of young kids from our neighborhood to sing with him....so he came to the local church (St. Andrews Church, Beacon) and asked our minister to suggest any kids who might be interested....I definitely WAS!!....about 10 of us in total.  We sang with him in a few local areas in venues hoping to raise funds to build The Clearwater.  We sang with him on a couple of early morning religious shows (Lamp Onto My Feet)....sang with him on half the songs on his "Big Muddy" album in NYC....and sang with him at his 1966 Carnegie Hall Xmas concert.  It was a great time....unforgettable!  At my mature age I'm still inspired by him....which is why I just bought a 5-string....and hope to learn clawhammer...and the history of the banjo.

At 11:40am on June 12, 2015, Marek Bennett said…

Hi Al... How's your songster work going?  Will you be @ AEBG next week?  Hope to see you there & converse over some thrummin' guts... ~ M

At 2:28pm on July 3, 2015, Michael Ananian said…

Hi Al!  

     It was great to meet you at this year's AEBG.  Thanks for your comment on my Minstrel Banjo webpage.

     I remember the exact date that I started playing the banjo because it coincided with my first banjo lesson.  During the lesson, I took notes and recorded the date.

     I don't know if I mentioned this:  in addition to being an aspiring banjoist, I am also a visual artist, a painter, and make a living teaching painting and drawing.  My webpage photo for Minstrel Banjo is a self-portrait I painted last year.  So if the spirit moves you and you'd like to see more of my paintings, my website is: michaelananian.com.  It's pretty current, except for a few drawings of folk musicians I need to add.  I'm finishing up a large painting (5' x 6') of a string band, which I'll add to my website by next month.  

Best wishes,

Mike

At 7:01pm on July 24, 2015, jake potter said…

yep

At 10:06pm on January 13, 2016, Timothy Twiss said…

You scared that kid today....you scared ME

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