Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

John Masciale's Comments

Comment Wall (82 comments)

At 8:49am on January 11, 2011, Barry Sholder said…
Hi John thanks for the clarification on the Classifieds. i do make a living making just gourdies and love to share what I have. I usually sell on e Bay and always have several there. As you suggest, I will limit what I have and jsut share.
At 9:23pm on January 11, 2011, Bob Sayers said…
Hi John,  Thanks for the kind comments.  I'm really delighted at the way the Minstrel Banjo website, which I try to follow ever day, is progressing.   For many years I just assumed that the minstrel banjo era would remain inaccessible to researchers.  It's amazing, therefore, to see the proliferation of new information (and early banjos!!!) that seems to be coming out of the woodwork on a nearly daily basis.  (It's also very gratifying to see makers like yourself recreating the old instruments.)  I mainly collect early materials on Japanese entertainers in America and Europe in the 1860s and 1870s.  But I also have a pretty good collection now of minstrel broadsides, penny ballads, illustrated song sheets (by the Ethiopian Serenaders, the Virginia Minstrels, the Christy's, et.al.), and 19th century newspaper engravings of banjo players.  I'll try to post some of this stuff on the Minstrel Banjo website when I can find the time.  Meanwhile, though, I'm just enjoying everyone else's comments.  All Best, Bob
At 2:57pm on April 7, 2011, Bob Flesher said…

Thanks John,


Give me a little while to find my way around.  I'm just now taking a break from building banjos so I need to go back to work.  What is a "gift"?



At 1:53pm on April 24, 2011, Dena Lee said…
I look forward to meeting you, too.  I am new to early banjo.  But I am intrigued.  I am playing a fretless tackhead open back and loving it.  I'm still not entirely sure how to register.  But I will be there.  See you.
At 8:16pm on July 13, 2011, Ian Bell said…

Hi John,

I'm far away from all my books this week but I believe "Trapeze" is from the mid-1860s. I think it may be in either the Rice book or the Buckley book (the one with G Swain on the cover).

At 9:18pm on July 13, 2011, Tim Twiss said…
A Buckley Book with Swaine on the cover? What's that? It is in a Dobson book with lyrics.
At 10:21am on November 26, 2011, Al Smitley said…


I wrote to Tim Twiss about this and he, in turn, suggested I write to you.

It might be what prompted him to inquire as to the technological capabilities of this website.

I explained to him that I had began to tire at searching through the four early banjo tutorials for song/tune titles, especially those whose listings are not in alphabetical order.  I decided to enter the titles into an Excell spreadsheet to simplify future searches.  I also cross-referenced some tunes such as those beginning with "The" or "De", for example, so that they would be found as they were listed as well as by the common method of alphabetizing by the next word.

As I explained to Tim, I would be surprised if someone on the list has not already done this and perhaps has offered it to list members.  If not, however, I would be willing to do so.........but do not know the best way to offer it.

I think it would be best to offer it as an Excell file (not one that is "read only") since they might want to format it differently or add other sources to it.

Any suggestions?  I could send it to you if I had your regular email address.

Mine is <alsmitley@gmail.com>


Al Smitley

At 2:03pm on May 21, 2012, Andy Gelfert said…
Thank you for the welcome. I am not an ordained minister, however, I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ ... so a dual purpose ... ministry & reenacting ... well, also music."
One additional thing is that I don't play CW period Accordeon (not Banjo) however, there is an interest because of the pairing of the both, and documentation, etc.
At 8:22am on June 4, 2012, Don Starr said…

Hi John:

Thanks for the welcome. And the time you spent talking to me at the Reclaiming Our Heritage Weekend.  Meeting you was the highlight for me.  I'm real excited to search this site and make my move into minstrel banjo.  Hope to see you again real soon.

Don Starr

At 10:43pm on July 2, 2012, Strumelia said…

I can't figure out where one would find the 'classifieds' forum here. Where is the link to the classifieds?

At 7:50am on September 4, 2012, Dorothea Nelson said…

Hi, John.  I wondered if you might want to add my master's thesis to your list of scholarly resources on blackface minstrelsy:

Nelson, Dorothea J.  No Country For End Men:  A Re-Evaluation of Small Ensemble Blackface Minstrelsy, 1843 to 1883.  Master's thesis, University of North Dakota, 2011.

At 8:39pm on November 20, 2012, Tim Twiss said…

Hurrah for the turkey banjo!

At 5:05pm on March 5, 2013, Christine Ouang said…

Thanks, John. I sent an email to you on your youtube site. You can ignore it. LOL. Thanks so much!! I look forward to being a part of this community. I hope you're able to stop those spammers!

Christine :)
At 1:17pm on March 27, 2013, Andy Gelfert said…

John, it seems our paths might cross at Gettysburg (Blue Gray Alliance) event this year (2013). On FB I have sent your wife a few messages. She said that you are also interested in Accordeons, and have a Concertina that you play. If you are interested you can also check out our web page www.VictorianAccordeon.com We most likely know several persons in common. Andy

At 6:32pm on September 9, 2013, wen core said…

thanks for the warm welcomes. I have been playing clawhammer banjo for about two years.  I just bought a minstrel banjo kit in the mail. I will have to sand and stain it and put it together. Here is the question for you minstrel banjo players. Do you play the minstrel banjo the same as the clawhammer banjo?

At 9:47am on April 14, 2014, Cyndy Richardson said…

Thanks for the welcome!

At 3:38pm on June 24, 2014, Marek Bennett said…

John ~ Thanks to you, I can't get the "Arkansas Turkey Traveler in the Straw" out of my head. Thanks a lot.  Good to meet you... ~ M

At 10:59am on June 25, 2014, Marek Bennett said…

Hmmm... Wonder if we ought to work up a concert version of "Oh Lud Buffalo Gals"...?

At 4:10pm on October 7, 2014, Scott Sheets said…

Hi John, Ezra told me about this site.  Looking forward to reading up.  Hope to get a chance to meet you at Minooka.  Were going to be playing in our camp Saturday night, come on by.  Ben was raving about your actual bone bones....can you recommend a source for those?  Take care. 


At 10:24pm on October 15, 2014, Wendy Lauter said…

Hi John, nice to receive your message, would love to talk gourd banjo with you sometime.  Have you made any? I am in the very beginning stages of this stringed gourd instrument thing.  

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

Join Minstrel Banjo


John Masciale created this Ning Network.

© 2023   Created by John Masciale.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service