Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Sweeny's first published song. 1840

Views: 180

Comment by Paul Draper on November 17, 2013 at 2:18pm
Mighty fine, boys!
Comment by Dave Vinci on November 18, 2013 at 1:37pm
Nice job fellas!
Comment by Mark Weems on November 19, 2013 at 6:29pm

Thanks guys! It's so much fun playing in a foursome and having these great reproduction instruments made by Mike Wesley to play on.

Comment by Tim Twiss on February 25, 2015 at 11:54am

This is one of the best conceptions I have heard. I think it is on Ayers disc too, with a similar pulse. I like this slow tempo with the drive of quarter notes on 1 2 3 and 4. The electric version I did has a pulse, similar tempo.....but you have a larger presence of the backbeat, which changes it.

Comment by Mark Weems on February 25, 2015 at 12:01pm

Tim, I liked your electric version. I think experiments of this kind help us think constructively about the music. What is striking to me about a full band version is how it makes it sound faster even when it isn't. Percussion does the same thing. -an interesting effect that bears consideration. Ayers'  renderings are never fast but they don't sound slow because of the instrumentation, backbeat etc.

Comment by Strumelia on February 25, 2015 at 1:43pm

I think that's a great point about the percussion etc, Mark.  Maybe when there is less 'going on', the tendency is to speed it up?

I love the combo you guys have going here.

Comment by Tim Twiss on February 25, 2015 at 10:22pm

The rhythm behind the music of that time is a mystery ( to me anyway ). Was it downbeat driven, or was there a presence of a backbeat?

Comment by Strumelia on February 25, 2015 at 10:34pm

Tim, look at everyone's feet, hear the bones... actually I think the guitar is the only persistent backbeat in this example.

Yes where there's a downbeat there's also a backbeat.  You can't have down without up.  But I think 'most' of this pre-1880s stuff is downbeat-based, exceptions aren't hard to find though, especially in bluesy stuff.  We must be careful not to confuse 'backbeat rhythm' with mere syncopation though- and it's easy to do.  Around 3:30 you can see Jim rather blatantly tossing backbeats about.  What a rascal!  lol


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