Friday, February 25, 2011

Banjo Fever

^ beautiful packaging for Ernie Ball tenor banjo strings

So if we haven't spoken in a while, you may not be aware that I have banjo fever. I'm mildly obsessed. I'm not necessarily interested in the banjo you may know (though I have to respect Steve Martin), rather its lesser-known practices. I am currently set on learning to play jazz banjo. Yes, that's a real thing.

If all goes well, I will one day match the style of Eddy Davis, a banjo genius located in NYC. I don't throw out the term genius lightly with Mr. Davis. He's been playing his entire life, and has truly mastered the instrument. Eddy's played with some of the greats, including Woody Allen, Patti LaBelle, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Goodman, Jabbo Smith.

(Eddy is absolutely captivating. It was so difficult to choose just one video - more here.)

There are also other forms of banjo you may not know of. How about the cello banjo? Here's an amazing video of Bach's Cello Suite no. 3 performed on a self-made cello banjo, by Robby Faverey. While cello banjos don't tend to look like this, the music is just beautiful.

Now if you want to get SUPER hipster, there is also such a thing as a banjo ukelele. That one's not really my cup of tea. But hey, now you know more about the banjo than you ever wanted to. You're welcome.

A couple of lovely young girls were walking down a country road when they heard a voice calling,"Girls, girls, help me please."
They looked around and saw that the voice was coming from a frog sitting in a puddle at the side of the road. One of the girls picked up the frog and said,"How can we help you?"
"I am really a handsome, successful banjo player who was turned into a frog by a wicked witch. If I am kissed by a girl, I'll turn back into a banjo player and will take her on tour with me throughout this land."
The girl quickly thrust the frog into her pocket. Her friend asked,"What are you doing? Aren't you gonna kiss him?"
"Heck no," said the first girl,"He's worth way more as a talking frog."

- via Jim Yates on Banjo Hangout

Yes, Banjo Hangout.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Wow. You weren't kidding about banjo fever.
You should jam with Marcellino and I some time.