Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I've posted a few other versions of this, but this one has some really cool percussion with it!

Views: 108

Comment by Tim Twiss on May 7, 2014 at 6:21am

I love how rhythm transforms these. This one with a strong deep 1,2,3 and 4 on the "snare" the 16ths on top. It started with all 4 beats...very disco, but switched up. It could go so many other ways....but now it is this unique version.  The melody almost takes you to musical theater.

Comment by Strumelia on May 7, 2014 at 9:11am

Wonderful, Mark!

This beat and gourd sound really remind me of music of the Caribbean- the old Afro-Caribbean traditions of steel drums, marching bands, fife bands.  Am I nuts for hearing that?

Check it out...stuff with roots from the revolutionary period and slavery times:



I think the things you are digging into and playing have real importance, Mark.  And it doesn't hurt that you play it all with such a natural feel, obvious love, and passion.   :)

Comment by Mark Weems on May 7, 2014 at 9:41am

Thanks Strumelia,

No, not nuts at all. I've been listening to Otha for a while and those great Smithsonian recordings done back in the fifties. That is one direction that probably influenced early banjo playing and might be an element we have lost in re-creating this music. Many of the old accounts of banjo playing have it being played with drums, percussion etc and that certainly would have effected how a banjo player chose to present his notes. Playing this stuff with a great percussionist like Ed Butler (of the Red Clay Ramblers) really is a thought provoking experience. It's a lot of fun speculating on what those old New Orleans jams in Congo Square in the early 1800's sounded like!

Comment by Ian Bell on May 7, 2014 at 10:23am
Do I ever love this! I'm as guilty a period musical speculator as anyone around - but one of the things I like about this sort of thing is - that whatever this tune may have sounded like in the past...here's what it sounds like - NOW (sometimes).
Comment by Paul Ely Smith on May 7, 2014 at 11:07am

This really works for me.  Your playing has a infectious groove that sure sounds authentic to me.  Hear, hear!!

Comment by Wes Merchant on May 7, 2014 at 3:08pm

I've been listening to a lot of stuff from here lately.


There's a lot from the Caribbean as well as the Southern U.S.

Comment by Wes Merchant on May 7, 2014 at 3:19pm


You need to be a member of Minstrel Banjo to add comments!

Join Minstrel Banjo


John Masciale created this Ning Network.

© 2019   Created by John Masciale.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service