Category: banjo

banjo

Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project – Muleskinners, Roustabouts, Sawyers, Prisoners,…

A new kickstarter project has been set up by banjo player Jayme Stone. The aim of the project is to rediscover the music that has been collected by Alan Lomax, who is taken as one of the most important influencers of the American Folk Song Revival.

For just 10 $ you can get the result of this project as a download – but you can also get a free concert by the band at your home if you pay more…so go and support this project and make it come true!

You can find the full information about the project on the kickstarter page.

Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project

The Lomax Project is a community of like-minded musicians coming together to rediscover their roots and collaborate. We’re multi-generational multi-instrumentalists. We have Grammy-winner songster Tim O’Brien, premier old-time musician Bruce Molsky, infinitely creative fiddler Brittany Haas (of Crooked Still), singer and body-percussionist Moira Smiley, captivating songstress Margaret Glaspy, neo-old-time guitarist and singer Eli West, guitar virtuoso Julian Lage, brilliant bassists Greg Garrison and Joe Phillips and special guests Mollie O’Brien (voice), Ron Miles (trumpet).

The album will feature many constellations and combinations of all these artists. You’ll hear hand-clapping, foot-stomping, twin fiddles, banjo, bouzouki, accordion and a swarm of singers crowded around a single microphone. The source recordings we used come from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, the Association for Cultural Equity’s Global Jukebox and (mostly out-of-print) Lomax collections including the Deep River of Song and Southern Journey series.

Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project – youtube playlist

The following video has been produced as a first example and bonus video:

Goodbye, Old Paint // Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project

http://vimeo.com/72390564

Read more “Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project – Muleskinners, Roustabouts, Sawyers, Prisoners, Homemakers and Schoolchildren”

banjo

We Banjo 3 – Irish Banjo meets Bluegrass and…

I have just discovered We Banjo 3 – a banjo band from Ireland.

The band plays a mix of Irish music and American Old-Time and Bluegrass tunes with banjos and guitar. As the name of the band says the band has three great banjo players, Enda Scahill, Martin Howley and David Howley. Fergal Scahill adds the fiddle sound to the trio.

The first album of the band “Roots of the Banjo Tree” has got some great reviews.

We Banjo 3 – John Brown, The Lost Indian, Sail Away Ladies – from the album Roots of the Banjo Tree

We Banjo 3 – Gonna Write Me A Letter

Happiness – 2016

Playlist We Banjo 3

Website Webanjo3 : http://www.webanjo3.com/

On page “Album” and on page “Media -> Listen” you can find some free trackes to listen to, on page “Tunebook” you can find two interesting  tunebooks with some audio examples.

youtube channel Webanjo3: http://www.youtube.com/user/WeBanjo3/videos?view=0

youtube channel Enda Scahill: http://www.youtube.com/user/endascahill

Review:

Albums of the Year – We Banjo 3 / Roots of the Banjo Tree

The music being produced in this country has come of age and We Banjo 3 which consists of Enda Scahill, Martin Howley and David Howley exemplify this.  Together with special guests Fergal Scahill, Lousie Holden, Gerry O’Connor, Leon Hunt and James Blennerhassett they have created something special. A banjo inspired album has never sounded so good, so pleasing to the ear or so inventive in its approach.

Facebook webanjo3: http://www.facebook.com/webanjo3

banjo

Abe Holzmann – Blaze-away / Smoky-Mokes / Hunky Dory…

Recently I have found the sheet music for mandolin of a famous march composed by Abe Holzmann: Blaze-Away. This march has been composed in the year 1901 and has remained popular until today.

From Wikipedia:

Abe Holzmann (19 August 1874 – 16 January 1939) was a German/American composer, who is most famous today for his march Blaze-Away!

A review originally published by the New York Herald on Sunday, 13t January 1901 entitled German Composer who Writes American Cakewalk Music describes “[h]is knowledge of bass and counterpoint is thorough, and his standard compositions bear the stamp of harmonic lore, which makes his proclivity for the writing of the popular style of music the more remarkable.”[3]

Abe married Isabelle Fishblatt around 1908, and he became the manager of the Orchestra Department at Jerome Remick & Company, music publisher in New York.[1] He was an early member (1923) of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He earned his livelihood as composer/arranger for Tin Pan Alley publishers, including Leo Feist. He later was advertising manager for the American Federation of Musicians publication, International Musician. He was a member of Freemasonry, the Elks, and Knights of Pythias, all in New York City.

Holzmann died in East Orange, New Jersey at age 64. He was survived by his widow, a daughter Natalie Holzmann, three half-brothers, and four sisters. His music was especially revered by ragtime enthusiasts, although he composed marches, waltzes, and other light music.

I have found a great video with a performance of Blaze-Away by a great banjo band, recorded in the year 1936 – this has been taken from the British Pathe archive:

Blaze Away – Raymonde and his Banjo Band (1936)

The fact that Blaze-Away is popular until today can be seen in the following two videos with violinis André Rieu – and a very enthusiastic audience from Vienna and a complete football stadium in Kerkrade:

Andre Rieu – Blaze away 2011

If you like to add another popular march to your mandolin orchestra’s repertoir you might be interested in the sheet music of Blaze-Away by Abe Holzmann. The sheet music is available on my website.

The title pages of works by Abe Holzmann show the fact that Holzmann’s music has been arranged for mandolin, guitar, zither or banjo in the early days already.

 

 

Another popular composition by Abe Holzmann is Smoky Mokes. Ihave selected two videos, the first with banjo-mandolin and guitar:

Smoky Mokes — played by Dennis Pash and Meredith Axelrod

Playliste Smoky Mokes – Abe Holzmann

 

Additional Information

Wikipedia about Abe Holzmann: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Holzmann

Sheet music by Abe Holzmann can be found in several archives with digitized sheet music. I have collected the best links in the following link collection:

http://www.pinboard.in/u:mandoisland/t:abe_holzmann/

The sheet music of Blaze-Away for mandolin orchestra can be found on my website www.mandoisland.de and on the IMSLP site.

Historical recordings of works by Abe Holzmann in the National Jukebox of the Library of Congress (Playlist), including banjo versions of Blaze-Away and Hunky-Dory:

http://media.loc.gov/playlist/view/BA4838AC79C9019CE0438C93F116019C

Historical recordings of works by Abe Holzmann in the Internet Archive

banjo

Louis Moreau Gottschalk – The Banjo – On Piano,…

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was very  popular during the 19th century with his pieces for the piano. He was born in 1829 in New Orleans and died at the age of 40 in Rio de Janeiro.

In his pieces you can find influences from the music that he had heard in Louisiana,  from Spanish, Southamerican and Caribean music. Some years ago I have written about Le Bananier in my blog that I had at that time, a piece in which Gottschalk used music that he had heard in his childhood in Louisiana.

Today I want to present a piece inspired by banjo music that Gottschalk might have heard from a banjo player in America. The history of the banjo goes back to Africa from where the slaves brought simple instruments made from a gourd and a stick and some strings. So the first banjos were so called gourd banjos. It is possible that Gottschalk heard a guy play on his gourd abnjo and got the inspiration for his piece The Banjo.

Paul Ely Smith has tried to find out what was the sound that inspired Gottschalk for his piece. By some “backword engineering” he created a banjo version of this piece.

L. M. Gottschalk’s “The Banjo” on a banjo

For more information go to www.palouserivermusic.com. This is a performance by Paul Ely Smith on fretless gourd banjo of his “back-engineered” version of Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s “The Banjo” (1854-55), originally for piano solo.

The Athens Guitar Trio has played a version of  The Banjo for three guitars:

The Banjo (Fantaisie Grotesque)

The Athens Guitar Trio

www.athensguitartrio.com
www.pricerubin.com
www.ckartists.info

There are many videos of this piece played by pianists. I have compiled some interesting versions in the following playlist.

Playlist The Banjo – Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Additional Information

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Moreau_Gottschalk

Sheet music  by Louis Moreau Gottschalk at IMSLP including The Banjo: http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Gottschalk,_Louis_Moreau

More posts about the banjo in my blog: http://www.mandoisland.com/?tag=banjo