Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'm really looking forward to seeing them again.  The last time I saw them was at the same venue, but 20 years earlier!  I'll send pics.

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I sat in with the 2nd SC at the 150th Anniversary reenactment of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House this past weekend. Plenty of playing on sutler row, plus for a concert on Friday night. The Saturday night dance was excellent, with a good caller and a large crowd of enthusiastic dancers. it brought all of this musical and dance culture together.

2nd South Carolina showing southern hospitality to some visitors from up north. 

Is that a S. S. Stewart Banjo!?!  Was the ACW not 20 years too early for that banjo?

Born in Jan, 1855, young Swaim must have been a true prodigy in banjo building before he was 10.

If you listen to some of the 2nd SC string bands music you often here even steel strung banjos played in clawhammer style. You think as being involved in re-enactments they would want to be more authentic.

The 2nd South Carolina band are nice folks and fine musicians but in trying to promote my own band and competing for some of the same performance opportunities (gigs) I have never understood how it was OK to play instruments that are an anachronism at history informed events. You would never see a fretted banjo at a Camptown Shakers performance or on a recording but then again our upcoming schedule is pretty sparse so I can’t say that our shared audience is equally discriminating :) . It’s all good.

I will give them credit, their latest album has a much more period sound than many of their previous albums.  As in a lot of music it comes down to who is your audience and what do they want to hear?  I had a discussion with 2nd SCSB members a number of years ago about this, and they were fairly pragmatic about it.  It seems to me that over time that they seem to be improving their authenticity.  It is hard to have recordings out there and have people asking you to play a favorite on the recording, regardless of how authentic it is.

Yes, the audience is not always a good judge.  I remember when I was more into Irish music, a friend claimed that you can go into an Irish pub and play a beautiful air on a tin whistle and no one will pay a bit of attention.....but jam the thing up your nose and play "Three Blind Mice" and they'll go wild!

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