Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A demonstration of how I play this on banjo. This is a little rough.

Views: 213

Comment by Strumelia on August 20, 2013 at 9:54am

Hey this is great, John!   Man, that's a tough tune- I might be able to play it ten years from now. lol

As soon as I heard it, I recognize it from hearing it many many times in my life- from movies, tv, cartoons maybe.... But always only parts A and B...this is the first time I've heard parts C and D...and they are great too!  What a shame they were dropped in popular culture.  Now we can bring the complete and reunited tune back again!   :D   It'd be great in a contra dance I'd think, right after a fast brutal one, they often play a stately graceful tune so the dancers can recuperate a bit. 

Thanks for playing this John!

Comment by John Masciale on August 20, 2013 at 10:00am

We often do a dance called "Patty cake Polka" with this.  This is tough.  You can tell that I keep putting the brakes on.  I had a really good take going and the dog started barking in the middle of it.  I don't have a lot of time for recording, so this take will have to do, in spite of a couple of notes I'd like to have back, and a few woofs from Lacey.

Comment by Strumelia on August 20, 2013 at 10:34am

I actually really like home recordings where unexpected ambient sounds occur...it's very 'organic'.

There's an old 1960's recording of a west virginia Hammons family member playing a tune on the banjo, and in the background you can sometimes hear family members walking about and talking, coughing, pots rattling, babies babbling. But there's one moment where somebody randomly squeezes a rubber baby toy a couple times- that very distinctive squeak we all remember (before they eliminated squeakers as being too dangerous for babies)...and somehow it seemed to go perfectly with the banjo at that moment, in a fascinating way.  To this day when I hear or play that tune, I hear the rubber toy squeak in my mind, right on queue at that single moment in the tune...I love that!   :)

Comment by Wes Merchant on August 21, 2013 at 3:24pm

One of the things my 78 collector buddy always enjoys pointing out is the extraneous sounds on the old records. "Listen right here there's a truck going by" " Right at the end here you can hear a little dog bark." " ...did you hear the hammering?  They must have been remodeling downstairs" It's a grand  you are maintaining John.

Comment by Scott Johnson on August 21, 2013 at 8:17pm

Great tune and playing John.  I didn't recognize the song from your notation but when I heard you play it I thought " I know that song" , especially when Dan'l mentioned Lawrence Welk . Being an old Minnesota Lutheran I've heard that polka at more weddings than I care to remember.

Now all you need to do is learn how to say " Yaaa Shuuure, and-a-one, and-a-twoo"

Maybe we can get Strumelia and Dan'l behind you blowing "champagne" bubbles as you play. Do you thing they would qualify as a period correct bubble machine????

Comment by Strumelia on August 21, 2013 at 8:43pm

I'm ready!   :D

Comment by James Pentecost on August 21, 2013 at 10:00pm

Comment by Strumelia on August 21, 2013 at 10:51pm

I always liked watching the LW show as a kid because to me it was like observing life forms from the planet Mars.

Comment by Scott Johnson on August 21, 2013 at 11:17pm

I just couldn't resist



if that doesn't work, here's the link


Comment by Dave Culgan on August 22, 2013 at 6:40am

Jenny Lind Polka on my 1850's French Accordeon


My great grandmother, born in 1852, was named after her: Jennie Lind Catlin.


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