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Thread: Banjo evil (nmc)

  1. #1

    Default Banjo evil (nmc)

    So ya these are desperate times.. AND it's not a full moon yet, but it illuminates the ground and sky here tonight, and Ive found the last container of holiday spinach dip and beer, they're playing ives, partch, xenakis and sun ra on the radio. I can feel the weirdness afoot.. it must be time to...



    - play the banjo!

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Always time to play the banjo; yesterday I played banjo -- plus guitar, ukulele, mandola, Dobro, harmonica and concertina -- at an afternoon gig and an evening sing-around. Came back home, brought the instruments inside, and my wife says, "Did you really play all those instruments?"

    "Hell, yes!"
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    So ya these are desperate times.. AND it's not a full moon yet, but it illuminates the ground and sky here tonight, and Ive found the last container of holiday spinach dip and beer, they're playing ives, partch, xenakis and sun ra on the radio. I can feel the weirdness afoot.. it must be time to...



    - play the banjo!
    Are you telling us you are hearing the tune from "Deliverance?" Yikes! Run!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    Are you telling us you are hearing the tune from "Deliverance?" Yikes! Run!!

    Some people say that Deliverance is the movie that lead them to take up banjo. I say it is the movie that lead me to take up archery and bowhunting.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    they're playing ives, partch, xenakis and sun ra on the radio. I can feel the weirdness afoot..
    Now that's a radio station I could dig! Sounds like when I helped a buddy of mine in '93 at WRCT....Carnegie Mellon radio.

  7. #6
    Registered User QCS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Anytime is the right time to pick banjo, just don’t ask my wife. The banjo was my first instrument and speaks directly to my soul. As for the movie “Deliverence”, I just thought it was a good film. However, I now pick banjo, mandolin, practice Archery and paddle my own canoe. Hmmm...

  8. #7

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Always time to play the banjo; yesterday I played banjo -- plus guitar, ukulele, mandola, Dobro, harmonica and concertina -- at an afternoon gig and an evening sing-around. Came back home, brought the instruments inside, and my wife says, "Did you really play all those instruments?"

    "Hell, yes!"
    My poor wife. Over the holidays I was on an oud kick - playing trance/EDM on my son's synth. I was about to go off the deep end again and start collecting synth gear again...
    …..

    Ive been lugging all of the above to my session, but since sustaining an injury two months ago I've just been bringing an amp and a lap steel, and fiddle. I'm more obsessed with trying to figure out how to transport gear than anything else..
    Last edited by catmandu2; Jan-10-2020 at 2:27pm.

  9. #8
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    ...I've been lugging all of the above to my session, but since sustaining an injury two months ago I've just been bringing an amp and a lap steel, and fiddle. I'm more obsessed with trying to figure out how to transport gear than anything else..
    Well, my approach is [1] gig bags with straps, so I can have one strapped to my back, one in each hand (maybe two if they're small), and [B] several trips.

    Most of my small-potatoes seniors' gigs, I also bring a folding metal stool, a mic stand, an Amp Can mini battery-powered amp, and a threadbare duffel bag containg instrument stands, mics and cables, side boom for the mic stand, and whatever else may pertain to the particular job (e.g., for Chanukah jobs a large cardboard mock-up of a dreydl). Needless to say, I try to park as close to the job site as possible, leading to my recurrent violation of parking laws.

    Involves taking some risks -- my #1 gigging guitar, a "hybrid" Martin 00-28G/00-42 conversion, hasn't seen the inside of a protective hardshell case in months and months -- and shows it. Since I regard instruments as "musical tools" and not as objects to be preserved in pristine form, I consider this wear and tear part of playing 200+ gigs annually, and accept the depreciation etc. as part of the job.

    I used to sometimes bring a semi-collapsable hand truck to carry my gear, but now save this for when I need a larger PA system -- more than the Amp Can or the next step up, a Fishman SA-220 SoloAmp. At my advanced age (just turned 76), I recognize that doing the "pack horse" act may not be possible for too many more years, but so far, so good...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    I hit "old age" in my 50s - and decided years ago to quit schlepping gear. I didn't mind doing it when I was working - out for the evening (til 2 am) - but child-rearing put the kibosh on that. Now I'm just a hobbyist having fun instead of working/gigs. I only want to make ONE trip from the vehicle. I used to do solo guitar/amp, but my hands can no longer do solo guitar repertoire.

    The first thing to eliminate was vox mic/stand, and thus amp. So I took up accordion. I can still play *audibly* for an hour or more with acc and fiddle without getting bored. I used to do hospice work with a harp, and that was good. Currently I assuage my music sharing by facilitating jams and teaching. Jamming is requiring gear - I used to do it all acoustic, but lately I'm bringing the amp again (everyone else is acoustic). But one of my favorite things to play is latin music, so I like to bring percussion gear (conga, etc). I load it into a cart from the car.

    Musical diversity has really helped me in finding venues to perform/play. I was corresponding with someone on the harp forum yesterday - who wants to try to get something going in a new location where she's going to be moving to. She plays the pedal harp, and is unable to bring the harp. I suggested some possible alternatives, but she indicated nothing will work except - a pedal harp.

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  13. #10
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Yeah, glad I've avoided the pedal harp (actually, any harp) and the hammered dulcimer. Hard enough to carry a guitar, banjo, ukulele and concertina -- with the guitar gig bag's pockets stuffed with harmonicas -- without undertaking transportation of an instrument the size of a card table. Not to mention tuning dozens and dozens of strings.

    Interested in learning someone plays harp at a hospice. Trying to avoid the inference that the audience is being prepared of the instruments offered in the afterlife...at least according to religious tradition. Guess one would avoid banjos and accordions, which humorists project as the musical arsenal in the Nether Regions.

    I and I note that you play all three...!
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  14. #11

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Ya makes much more sense to play a moothie/blues harp. It's a lot of fun to pick a banjer and blow on a moothie in a rack..

    I enjoy performing with HD, and it always goes over well, but ya if you bring that or a floor harp then there's little room for anything else...but I always have my box in a backpack slung over my shoulder - must be the most efficient instrument on the planet. Or perhaps the eng. concertina. I used to go with two bags: one with two concertinas (anglo and eng) and the other a dbl case with fiddle and mndln. Sometimes I'd just pile it into one bag if I was too lazy to bring my "good" instruments..

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    Even entertaining with just banjos was problematic - I'd bring three to cover it all. I'd load them into this big bag and hoist them onto my shoulder. But I don't think I'd want to try to do that now.. *I guess I shouldn't complain - I'm fortunate to be able to carry anything at all.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Jan-12-2020 at 3:09pm.

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  16. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Interesting... there used to be a guy from our area who showed up at our OT jam sessions with his instruments in a plastic trash bucket. I don't know if he had cases for any of them but he would bring, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, whistle and perhaps a few other things. I don't even re all his brings a harp but he passed away a few years ago and might have one now. Nice guy, though. I miss his eccentricity.

    BTW, catmandu2, i clicked on a few of the links in your signature. Do you play on all those recordings?
    Jim

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  18. #13

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    No Jim, that's all just master stuff I find highly inspiring.

    For myself, about all I can manage these days with any regularity is twiddling my fingers on a box, harp, or hardingfele. Although I do still occasionally play woodwinds with my daughter. *I used to be a drummer...back when I obviously didn't mind hauling gear.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Jan-12-2020 at 4:11pm.

  19. #14

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    I've posted some things I play. Albeit just recordings from my phone. I'm not set up for much more.

    What are you all playing/how do you get round to gigs? Do you manage to get all those instruments in your sig played? Those are some nice ones.

    Next time I find a nip of spirits, I'll try to remember to put out a vid with some a bangin on the banjer

  20. #15
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    ...What are you all playing/how do you get round to gigs? Do you manage to get all those instruments in your sig played? Those are some nice ones...
    [1] I play 200 jobs per year, about two-thirds solo gigs at seniors' facilities. These generally involve guitar, banjo, ukulele and harmonica, with other instruments such as English-system concertina included occasionally. Many of the others are themed or historical-music programs, which include "relevant" instruments, including several from the 19th century. I attend many jams, Celtic sessions and sing-arounds, and drag out whatever instruments seem to fit the occasion. I also co-host two semi-monthly concert series, and provide intro and back-up music as needed.

    [B] I get 'round to my jobs generally in my trusty 2010 Honda Element, which I recommend as a near-ideal musician's car. It will accommodate my bass fiddle and my largest sound system (if I pull the seats out), but also gets decent mileage. Wish Honda still made 'em.

    [iii] Some of my instruments get very infrequent play; haven't had my Dobro tenor guitar out for a year, same with my '20's Bacon tenor banjo. Even among my mandolins, there's a subset of a half-dozen instruments that get almost all the playing time: Stahl mandola, Strad-O-Lin, Sobell mandola, Flatiron OM, Stahl mando-bass, Gibson A-N Custom "pancake," Martin Style A, Merrill aluminum bowl-back are the current "faves." My high-price Gibson F's haven't been played recently.

    I have some that I really bought just for their rarity: Gibson '20's tenor lute, Waldo mandocello, etc. Used to play the bowl-back Washburn mandola fairly frequently, sometimes as a "pseudo-lute," but not much now. Had a custom five-course, fanned-fret instrument built by a good local luthier five years ago, and it's been sadly neglected over the past year. You can only play so many...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  21. #16

    Default Re: Banjo evil (nmc)

    Ya gigs/venues typically determine what gets brung/brought/bringed. Back when I was drumming, I'd challenge your Honda for "near-ideal musician's car" with my minivan...often thought unstylish by all but soccer moms, but musicians know better These days, I'm not so concerned as I'm not nearly a near-ideal musician. But I still feel like a roustabout when I'm hauling gear.

    Hope others will chime in. I'd like to hear particularly from those who are limited to daytime hours or other constraints, on creative solutions for performing opportunities. A musician who can't go out at night is a highly challenged impresario.

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