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Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.

Dharmabum 04 Nov 11 - 05:46 PM
Desert Dancer 04 Nov 11 - 08:07 PM
Mark Ross 05 Nov 11 - 01:54 AM
catspaw49 05 Nov 11 - 02:00 AM
Dharmabum 05 Nov 11 - 06:49 AM
Duke 05 Nov 11 - 09:44 AM
TopcatBanjo 05 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM
SINSULL 05 Nov 11 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Nov 11 - 03:08 PM
topical tom 05 Nov 11 - 04:51 PM
Acme 05 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM
gnu 05 Nov 11 - 05:58 PM
Lighter 05 Nov 11 - 08:17 PM
Janie 05 Nov 11 - 08:41 PM
Desert Dancer 06 Nov 11 - 12:11 AM
Desert Dancer 06 Nov 11 - 12:31 AM
katlaughing 07 Nov 11 - 06:19 PM
banjoman 08 Nov 11 - 05:23 AM
TopcatBanjo 08 Nov 11 - 08:50 AM
SINSULL 08 Nov 11 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,leeneia 08 Nov 11 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 08 Nov 11 - 02:29 PM
katlaughing 08 Nov 11 - 04:47 PM
Mark Ross 08 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Nov 11 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 09 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM
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Subject: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Dharmabum
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 05:46 PM

Tonight in northeast U.S. on PBS
htthttp://www.pbs.org/arts/exhibit/give-me-the-banjo/


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 08:07 PM

Tonight nationwide!

See also The Banjo Project - documentary prior Mudcat thread.

There was a good interview with Steve Martin yesterday on WNYC about the show and banjos in general, which can be heard here.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Mark Ross
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 01:54 AM

Don't have TV, so I tried to watch on the Internet when I came home after seeing Richard Thompson play here in Eugene tonight. It doesn't seem to be streaming yet. Oh well, I will wait until it shows up.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 02:00 AM

Its worth the wait Mark. Like everything else it could have been more and yet I am simply grateful for what I think was an excellent program. I'll leave it to someone else to pick it apart which is so popular around here.........................***sigh***.........................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Dharmabum
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 06:49 AM

Like Spaw said.

I'm glad it was aired in it's entirety,& not during one of the PBS begathons.
DB.


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Duke
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 09:44 AM

It was a fantastic show! I learned a lot I didn't know. I have a banjo that I bought years and years ago but never got around to learning how to play it. Who knows, maybe now?


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 11:36 AM

Link to watch the film online:

Give Me the Banjo on PBS

It's working for me here in the UK.


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: SINSULL
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 02:27 PM

I stumbled on it while channel surfing and thought I had died and gone to heaven.
All those banjo players...


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 03:08 PM

I followed TopCatBanjo's link (thanks). Now how do I make it play?


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: topical tom
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 04:51 PM

What a wonderful documentary of my favourite instrument! I love the 5-string banjo especially and actually have one but have not yet mastered it.The influence of this instrument on music is truly amazing, from the early African instrument through the years of minstrelsy to blues, mountain music and bluegrass. Thank you so much, TopcatBanjo, for that marvellous link!


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Acme
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM

Darn, I missed it. I'll have to watch it online.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: gnu
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 05:58 PM

Agggghhhhh!!! I went for my walk after about twenty minutes in and now they are having technical diffuckulties! What I saw was great. Thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 08:17 PM

PBS at its best! Head for the link!


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Janie
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 08:41 PM

Thanks for that functioning link, TopcatBanjo. Just this minute finished watching.

Well done. My emotional reactions are all over the ballbark, diverse at best, and ambivalent at worst, and hitting all points in between as I bounce between emotion mind and rational mind. Not surprising for a hillbilly.

Don Flemons, should you ever check in here, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Nov 11 - 12:11 AM

Watched it on the DVR this evening and really enjoyed it. I hope that they can pull together the DVD -- this was a 90 minute distillation from some 350 hours of footage. I think they originally hoped to make a 4-hour TV program. They're working on licensing issues for the DVD - this from Marc Fields (via e-mail to Kickstarter supporters):

"We're still trying to finish negotiations for creating the DVD. Because of the exorbitant licensing fees demanded by certain music recording companies (like Sony/Columbia), I can't yet legally provide downloads or DVDs. If we can't get reasonable rates, I will have to replace music in the program with other selections that are less expensive (but not necessarily the best choices) and re-master the program for DVD release."

Meanwhile, there are more video clips at the Banjo Project website, as well as at http://www.pbs.org/arts/exhibit/give-me-the-banjo/.

I was slightly annoyed by the afterprogram with Roseanne Cash and [can't remember - some guy], who talked about the "flailing" banjo influence on some of their guitar style.

It was poignant, to me, to see Mike Seeger, close to the end of his life. And wonderful to see the footage of him and Pete and others when they were so young.

Hubby kept saying, "what about the mandolins?"

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 06 Nov 11 - 12:31 AM

(Have just noticed that those additional clips are also at the page for viewing the whole show.)


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 06:19 PM

I finished watching this last night. It was absolutely wonderful. I laughed and cried and sighed and wished so badly that my dad were here to also watch it. what a wonderful documentary. I especially liked this quote from I believe it was Mike Seeger. I think I got it verbatim:

"This music exists to entertain a few friends and not for performance and it can happen anywhere any time and I think it is wonderful for that reason."


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: banjoman
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 05:23 AM

Been playing banjo for over 50 years and watched this through yesterday - it goes to provee that you never stop learning. Thouroughly enjoyed it and will watch again - and again   ----


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 08:50 AM

@Leeneia - sorry, only just returned to this thread. It just started automatically when I went to the link, with a wee play/pause button bottom left of the screen. Hopefully you managed to get it to work.

Well, I watched it and while I did enjoy it, I was slightly disappointed in the mix of content overall. Too long spent on the early decades/minstrelsy etc for me, and too little on bluegrass and old time. Actually thinking about it now, there was nothing at all about the tenor banjo in Irish music, for instance, was there? That isn't my thing anyway, but given that it was supposed to be a comprehensive history....

Bluegrass didn't show up until extremely late in the film and we didn't really get on to recent/current players until the last 5-10 minutes (e.g. the great Tony Trischka). It was like they were galloping to fit in tiny snippets of as much as possible by the end.

Another thing I think they missed was any sense of the thriving scene of amateur banjo players at festivals, sessions etc across the US and Europe. Anyway enough of the whinging. I was grateful for what there was there, but I too would love to see some of the hours of extra footage.

Maria


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:08 AM

I don't recall seeing anything of John Hartford. Did I miss it or was he not included?


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 10:14 AM

Hello, Topcat. I finally got it to play. Don't even know what I did! My husband and I watched on Saturday night.

If I had been in charge, it would have been a different production, that's for sure. It was a very male show - not just because almost everyone in it was male, but because of its emphasis on WHO everybody is. Are you white, black, poor, southern, northern? Never mind how you play, identify yourself!

They mentioned the word 'frailing' once. Didn't explain it, didn't give a sound sample. That's just one example of the musical stuff they skated over in order to show footage of another white male expert making polysyllabic generalizations.

I'm glad I saw it, but I won't be watching it again.


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 02:29 PM

Leeneia I guess you missed the early part of the programme where several non white males and one female were shown playing and talking.
I may be quite wrong but I believe the number of non-white female banjo pickers unfortunately is quite small maybe miniscule.

"They mentioned the word'frailing' once". Well they didn't mention double noting, double thumbing drop thumb or up picking as far as I can remember but so what? You can't pack every damn thing into one and a half hours. I don't believe there is one agreed way to "frail"
a banjo either. Who playing what would be your suggestion as an example if you were in charge ?

Somebody above mentions the absence of Irish players. Well I think the show was meant to illustrate the development of the instrument on your side of the pond.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 04:47 PM

There was some mention of Celtic, or was it Scottish roots, during the bit on mountain folk; talking of how those roots' music got mixed in and worked into the banjo. I think the point of the docu was more to show the beginnings rather than so much of what is current. I am also glad they did show so much of the early racist days of minstrelsy so people may understand why it wasn't among whites and how it made that transition. I loved the snippets of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and, of course Pete, Mike, etc.

Sins, good catch...I don't recall anything about John Hartford, which is really too bad.

kat


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: Mark Ross
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 05:41 PM

No mention of Uncle Dave either.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 10:41 AM

I stand by what I said. Too much emphasis on "Who are you and where do you come from?" and not enough on "What are you playing?"

I would have been interested to know, for example, what the head of the banjo is made from and how it is attached. They didn't even ask the banjo maker that.


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Subject: RE: Give me the banjo ,PBS Doc.
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 02:24 PM

Then I would recommend a recent DVD "Banjo Frolic" where visits and interviews with various players and banjo makers incuding the one featured in the above programme appear. There are other DVDs, books and magazines if you really want to know more. If you just prefer to sit at your computer then try the Banjo Hangout web site. They will anwer all your questions and have many videos of people telling you what they are playing which instrument they are playing on plus oher stuff that you probably want/don't need to know.

Hoot


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