Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

This is a casual home recording of Joe Ayers' arrangement of the classic early minstrel song, Boatman's Dance, published by Dan Emmett in 1843. Before studyi...

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Comment by rick Ceballos on May 1, 2013 at 10:03pm
Oh so good! Your postings of Joe are real gems
Thanks Mark
Comment by Tim Twiss on May 1, 2013 at 11:21pm
Nice. Your comments were cut short. I would like to read what you were going to say.
Comment by rick Ceballos on May 2, 2013 at 6:29am
Mark, what tuning is Joe using for this tune?
Comment by Ian Bell on May 2, 2013 at 6:40am
I'm going build a raft so you guys can come a play on it. Great Stuff!
Comment by Steve Jeter on May 2, 2013 at 8:39am
freakin fantastic! the groove and feel just picked me up and carried me away. Ive got to learn this,,, what tuning are you in, if I may ask. this is just great!!!
Comment by Al Smitley on May 2, 2013 at 9:19am

Nice version......and very nice and interesting things done on the fiddle, behind it all.

Comment by Mark Weems on May 2, 2013 at 9:52am

Standard tuning, I believe he just slid up to second position to put it in the minor key.

Tim - I was saying that Joe was a blues musician way before he ever got into banjo, and that background really comes out in this version.

Comment by Tim Twiss on May 2, 2013 at 11:58am

It was very good. That key with what it offers on the banjo works out really well. It seemed a natural fit...very cool. Shade of the minor "Blue Tail Fly"......I like the way the soulful lyrical line is not totally pinned down.

Comment by James Pentecost on May 4, 2013 at 8:19pm

Wonderful rendition! Is that Joe Ayers on the cover of National Geographic?

Comment by Mark Weems on May 5, 2013 at 9:08am

Yeah. June 1987 issue. Believe it or not, in Virginia, Joe is actually more well known as the founder of the annual Batteau Festival (a race of  antebellum pole-boating reenactors) than as an early banjo player!


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