Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Ian Bell's Blog (27)

Happy New Year

A good new year to all at MB.

I'm heading down to my museum in Port Dover for the annual "Captain's Polar Bear Levee & Old-Time Fiddle Party" which takes place just after the Polar Bear Plunge at the Beach in which brave souls (not me) take a (brief) swim in frigid Lake Erie. There'll be fiddles, accordions, guitars, mandolins, bagpipes, tinwhistles, piano and at least 3 banjars of various species  - good noisy fun for New Years Day!

Added by Ian Bell on January 1, 2011 at 10:44am — 1 Comment

Enjoy the Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving to all my compadres below the 49th Parallel!

We had ours 6 weeks ago and I had such a good time I think I might just do it again!

(Come to think of it my part of Ontario is below the 49th too - so why not?)

Added by Ian Bell on November 25, 2010 at 12:59pm — No Comments


If anyone's in the market, there's a tackhead with a Dobson-esque peghead on ebay. Closes in a couple of days. I didn't notice a maker's name anywhere on the listing but probably worth taking a look at.

Added by Ian Bell on November 12, 2010 at 11:33am — No Comments

Grapevine Twist - Cripple Creek

For your consideration:

Is Cripple Creek a distant descendent of Grapevine Twist?

I was playing the GT and CC kept popping into my head.

It's a stretch.

Added by Ian Bell on October 14, 2010 at 6:59am — 2 Comments

Yet another Grape Vine Twist

A forgotten B-Side by Chubby Checker.

Added by Ian Bell on October 5, 2010 at 7:00am — No Comments

Pompey Ran Away

I went to a house concert last night where I heard a mesmerizing "Pompey Ran Away" played on an old Dobson banjo. (Not an everyday occurrance around here!) Came home and checked out Tim's video version, and am trying to get it into my head and fingers. I understand this is one of the first documented "Negroe Jigs". Can anyone fill me in on the provenance of this tune? Thanks.

Added by Ian Bell on October 4, 2010 at 10:49am — 6 Comments

Dan Emmett Festival !!??

Just stumbled onto the website of the 2009 Dan Emmett Festival - The headliner that year was the well-known minstrel act "Sha Na Na"! (Younger members may have to Google that name) I guess they are a "period music" group at that.

Added by Ian Bell on September 18, 2010 at 9:30pm — No Comments


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