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Instruments: Luke Kelly's Banjo?

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Gurrier 22 Aug 09 - 08:00 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Aug 09 - 08:15 AM
The Sandman 22 Aug 09 - 08:36 AM
Gurrier 22 Aug 09 - 08:36 AM
Gurrier 22 Aug 09 - 08:41 AM
Gurrier 22 Aug 09 - 08:43 AM
skarpi 22 Aug 09 - 08:55 AM
Gurrier 22 Aug 09 - 09:00 AM
Gurrier 22 Aug 09 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,morrisbrendon 22 Aug 09 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,morrisbrendon 22 Aug 09 - 02:09 PM
The Sandman 22 Aug 09 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Mickbanjomac 23 Jun 10 - 07:03 PM
Leadfingers 23 Jun 10 - 07:30 PM
GUEST, rugbyref 02 Aug 12 - 01:59 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Gurrier
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:00 AM

I know it was a 5 string tenor hollowback and it was perhaps made by a company by the name of Merlin (maybe). Could anybody shine a little bit of a guiding light on this as I'm in the market to get myself a good banjo to learn on and spend some decent money on it straight out the gates. I was thinking maybe even getting one of those heavier 'jos that resonate and make the sound louder. Might even get a pick-up put in the hollowback. I guess it just depends on what's around? Any good Irish banjo makers worth taking a look at? I was told hollowbacks were better for rhythm stuff but I guess it just comes down to personal preference


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:15 AM

5 string and tenor are two different banjos, Luke Kelly played a 5 string OPEN BACK Merlin.

Good Irish makers are Tommy Cussens [ Clareen Banjos ] and Davy Boyle.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:36 AM

Somebody told me that itwas abanjo with alonger neck and that it was tuned to an open e chord,of course this could be myth ,if Iwere you I would get a gold tone from Stephen Chambers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Gurrier
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:36 AM

Hence, wanting to learn. Are Merlin Banjos still made?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Gurrier
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:41 AM

Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Good Soldier Schweik - PM
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:36 AM

Somebody told me that itwas abanjo with alonger neck and that it was tuned to an open e chord,of course this could be myth ,if Iwere you I would get a gold tone from Stephen Chambers.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

That's funny. A concertina, I see what you did there. That was very clever


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Gurrier
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:43 AM

They're banjos too? I'm lost here


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: skarpi
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 08:55 AM

I wander , what happen to Lukes Banjo ? where is it now
.
kv Skarpi


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Gurrier
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 09:00 AM

Exactly what I was thinking...there's no information on the net I could find


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Gurrier
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 09:13 AM

Haha...oh dear

Not so sure about this now...

"In the mid-'60's there was a bit of a scandal with Luke Kelly, and Tommy Makem and a Merlin banjo. The company had given one to Tommy, then at the height of the Clancy Bros. mania in the US. He sort of mucked about on it, but didn't really like it, and so he gave it to Luke Kelley. A sort time later, Kelly was playing it on stage when the whole thing just exploded and went all to pieces with parts flying out into the audience."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: GUEST,morrisbrendon
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 02:01 PM

Elderly had a Merlin Banjo, here;

Merlin

...if you Google Merlin banjo you'll get lots of links.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: GUEST,morrisbrendon
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 02:09 PM

...here's another good link showing the insides...looks like it would be hard to turn those tuners if you had sweat (or beer) on your hands...

inside a Merlin banjo


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Aug 09 - 02:14 PM

I understand that Stephen Chambers has the franchise to sell GoldTone banjos in Ireland,what country are you in?
Gold Tone banjos are [imo]good value.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: GUEST,Mickbanjomac
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 07:03 PM

Luke Kellys' Merlin banjo is with one of his brothers.
Paddy or Jimmy, I'm not sure and it's not for sale.
Yes, it is a long neck banjo.
The tuning is C tuning, on the third fert which is,
D B G C G.
I was taught to play the banjo on that very instument by the man himself.
I'm wanting to get a Merlin for at least thirty years now, I think they have a great sound.
Luke played both classical (for the slower stuff ) and clawhammer (for the lively ones) styles.
He was great at playing tunes on the banjo, but he never played them on stage.
He was good.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Jun 10 - 07:30 PM

Put Merlin Banjo in the search box ! There is a wealth of info


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Luke Kelly's Banjo?
From: GUEST, rugbyref
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 01:59 PM

My pal recently bought TWO Merlins at auction here in Scotland: a 22 fret and a 17 fret.
Fantastic sound from them and both in really good condition!
They apparently came to Scotland via Germany when the previous owner moved here in the 1970s.


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