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any groups for melodic open-back banjo

Rick Fielding 19 Aug 99 - 02:00 PM
Jon W. 19 Aug 99 - 05:40 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Aug 99 - 05:48 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 19 Aug 99 - 06:02 PM
JedMarum 20 Aug 99 - 02:02 AM
Canberra Chris 20 Aug 99 - 05:25 AM
Canberra Chris 20 Aug 99 - 06:25 AM
Tiger 21 Aug 99 - 08:14 AM
CarlZen 21 Aug 99 - 12:15 PM
DonMeixner 21 Aug 99 - 11:46 PM
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Subject: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 02:00 PM

'Morning.

Well once again I turn to the Mudcat for help. My friend and student Bonnie has progressed so quickly in her banjo learning that I'm in a bit of a quandry. I introduced her to old-tyme frailing, bluegrass finger-picking and Pete Seeger Style song-singing, but she seems bound and determined to forge her own unique path. Her skill level rises weekly but her knowledge of "where, and why she is going there" is naturally very shaky. After all, she's only been playing for 3 months. To my ear what she's picking seem to be sort of classical-new age- melodic - original sounding tunes. Naturally I've suggested that she not take a superficial approach to the music. I'd like her to hear the folks who pioneered this "style". I've thought of Sandy Bull, William C Ball (classical) and Bela Fleck (although I'm not sure she'd like his direction). Any suggestions on where we can point a supremely talented but confused neophyte banjoist. (not ME! Her! I'm just confused naturally)

P.S. Bonnie seems to prefer finger picking over all forms of drop-thumb.

Thanks. Rick


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: Jon W.
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 05:40 PM

How about Mike Seeger? He does a lot of different right hand styles on his album "Southern Banjo Sounds."


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 05:48 PM

Thanks Jon. She's already borrowed that album and likes it. I think she's going more in a "celtic-guitar" style - but on banjo. I'm a bit stumped, but I'm going to comb the web tonight when I finish teaching. Gotta be somebody doing "Non-bluegrass" finger picking of original tunes.
Rick


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 19 Aug 99 - 06:02 PM

Rick, on the CD Masters of the Banjo there is a wonderful melodic threefinger player named Tony Ellis. I don't have anything else of his but I'm sure he would excite your student and give her an idea of the possibilities of the style. --seed


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 02:02 AM

Tony Trishka, of course!


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: Canberra Chris
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 05:25 AM

I have a French album of unusual banjo styles at home, I'll get the reference for you but I won't be able to post it for a few days.


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: Canberra Chris
Date: 20 Aug 99 - 06:25 AM

I forgot to add Barney McKenna of the Dubliners, if you want non-Bluegrass fingerpicking of melodies. He does a superb Carolan's Concerto I think on 'More of the Hard Stuff', which piece was a folk/classical fusion from the era of the Italian concerto. She might really enjoy that one.


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: Tiger
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 08:14 AM

Rick.....

Try Roger Sprung for some interesting banjo treatments. He does some "from left field" stuff with a bluegrass flair. He calls it "Progressive Bluegrass."

You can probably get his records from Sandy, an almost-neighbor of his.


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: CarlZen
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 12:15 PM

Rick - For instructional and background information, Mike Seeger's Homespun Video "Old Time Banjo Styles" covers a wide variety, including sveral guests (Doc Watson, Etta Baker, Odell Thompson, Kirk Sutphen) and even gives examples of gourd banjos and fretless banjos.)

If Bela is too extreme I would suggest Alison Brown. Also Mark Johnson's "Clawgrass" CD is a fine example of adapting one style of playing (clawhammer) into another style of music (bluegrass).

BTW - there was a similar thread only a week or two ago. It was filled with lots of great ideas.


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Subject: RE: any groups for melodic open-back banjo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 11:46 PM

Chris,

I think Barney McKenna is more of a plectrum man than he is a picker. He is still damn fine. I got the notion that Rick is looking for a 3 finger style for Bonnie.

Paul Cadwell was a classical banjo stylist. I don't know of any recordings but there must be some out there. I also like Buel Kazee but he was a drop thumber. Uncle Dave Macon played a knockdown style that is neither fish nor fowl, sort of the platypus of banjo styles. Howard Bursen is my favorite open back 5 string man but he is still a frailer.

I'd aim her in the direction of George Grove of the Kingston Trio, session guys like Dick Rosmini, Billy Faier or maybe best of all. The style that Doc Watson plays.

Don


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