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Playing Since: 2008
Experience Level: Purty Good
kenelk has made 370 recent additions to Banjo Hangout
Custom open-backs from Jason Romero and Colin Vance. Began clawhammering end of April 2011... now my playing focus.
Regarding Old -Time music: Hunter Robertson, Adam Hurt... Jason Romero... as well Tim O'Brien, Dave Hum... Jerry Garcia and David Grisman... among others
Classified Rating: +3
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Last Visit 6/19/2013
UNUSUAL, INTERESTING "GIG"!
Monday, June 18, 2012 @2:46:39 PM
Well... being a late-comer to the banjo and having never "performed" solo... i was somewhat reluctant to accept an invitation to play at a fundraiser "Gala" at one of the city libraries. There were to be visual/graphic artists as well as ... ahem... "performing artists" to educate and entertain. But i thought... hey... i got banjers... can more or less play 'em...so... why not?
I thought it would be a great opportunity to test my confidence and educate some in the community on traditional, old-time roots music... Appalachian... Celtic, etc. In preparation i watched the PBS special "Give Me The Banjo", produced by TOny Trishka and narrated by Steve Martin (most excellent) to get the history down. I thought i would tune my 3 banjos as" open G; G-modal and double C, capoed to D, and practiced 2-3 tunes for each one.
Overall, i thought it was a success... lot's of dressed up folks. I was pleased that i played with confidence and without hardly a glitch. I only forgot to play one of the tunes i had practiced:-). Several folks got to hold the banjers and ask questions, etc.... and many admired the remarkable workmanship and the inlay work of Jason (Romero) and Colin (Vance). Sadly, very few knew anything about the music we like here... some knew a few bluegrass tunes... but NONE knew any traditional old-time stuff... or anything really about banjos. Some had seen Steve Martin perform live... and only one had heard of Doc Watson!!!
Oh well... we do what we can. I was invited back for next year's affair... so... "Have Banjers... Will Travel"!
on “UNUSUAL, INTERESTING "GIG"!”
Monday, June 18, 2012 @4:27:20 PM
Right on Ken, good for you! Well I guess that's why they need the education. Just think, you could have put AT LEAST one person onto some old-timey stuff. They could be purchasing their first Doc Watson album,cd,file as we speak. :)
Monday, June 18, 2012 @5:11:18 PM
The true litmus...and you rose to the occasion...well done!
Monday, June 18, 2012 @6:40:24 PM
Hey... my boys have my back! Well Gents... it was very cool... they had me listed on the front page of the "Taste of the Arts" program (back page as well)... and put me in a central location by a fireplace with two rows of comfy high-back chairs facing me. I was really surprised how comfortable (i was) playin' before total strangers... just sort of found my own "mental space"... one with yer 'jo and all that:-) Byron... i did think i got a few folks interested enough to do some YouTube sampling of various artists i mentioned. And Bob'ka... yup... i was apprehensive the hours before... but once i arrived and set-up... and practiced for about 15 min., i felt (almost) right at home. It was a bonus reviewing the PBS documentary... i regard it as "required viewing" for any one who likes the banjo and the music we revere.
Cheers guys and thanks for your comments!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @4:11:34 AM
Well done Ken, I'm chuffed it went well for you. Who knows where it could lead you for you :)
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @5:48:02 AM
Hey Liam... it really was a kick... and the library staff took to callin' me "banjo man"... ha! The cool thing is now i know i can put together a "mini-set" at least and pull it off:-)
There is a Irish pub with "open mike" nights... hmmmm... .
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @8:20:50 AM
Good going, Ken....how long were you in the "spotlight"...?
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @7:31:15 PM
Hey Greg... thank ya' man.... well... about an hour more or less... but i roamed around a bit (ya' know "workin' the crowd"... LOL) between playin' the 2-3 tunes for each 'jo.
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @3:36:01 AM
Ken, your email has been hacked. People' myself included, are getting this email supposedly from you:
I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, I came down here to Madrid Spain for a short vacation unfortunately i was mugged at GUN POINT at the park of the hotel where we stayed, all cash, credit card and cell phone was stolen from me but luckily i still have my life and passport. I've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and my flight leaves today but am having problems settling the hotel bills, and the hotel? manager won't let me leave until we settle the bills, I'm freaked out at the moment. Wondering if you could help me? with a quick loan,i can pay you back once i get home.
Thursday, June 21, 2012 @6:54:14 AM
Well Kevin... i do appreciate yer concern... but i'm well aware of the situation and took steps to avoid it happening again. In the future, would you be kind enough to just shoot me a "private message"? Thanks.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @7:01:38 AM
Ken your latest tune was very tastefully done...you should fingerpick on more songs as well..I think it gives you an even more diverse style...I wish I hadnt thrown away my fingerpicks...may just have to re-incorporate those again in the future..as I like some of the Doc Boggs and 3-finger stuff with the singing..thanks for the inspiration friend...I have been following your improvement and the development of your style...its coming along well!
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @7:26:56 AM
Thanks for your thoughtfulness Erik.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 @11:30:32 PM
Hey Doc, it looks like you've come a long way! I've been setting up a business, buyin' a new home, and generally runnin' around...so my banjer has been propped up against the wall these days. Don't worry, it calls me everyday-and I'll get back to her. Keep up the good work; I just didn't want you to think I fell down 'Cumberland Gap" or nothin' ;-)
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @8:27:17 AM
Just saw this blog. Playing for community events is incredibly fun and rewarding. Glad to see you've ventured into one of the best aspects of our esoteric musical world. Might you need a corncob pipe now...
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @8:55:28 AM
OOps... missed you checkin' in there hoss... business matters... new home... and banjer on the back-burner eh? Hope everything falls into place friend... and will be looking for ya, Down The Road:)
Hey Janet... yep... it was interesting, but a tad depressing that none of those folks had any inkling of roots or traditional music. Corncob pipe...? Naw... but perhaps i need to dress like Grandpa Jones... or Stringbean!
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @9:16:58 AM
Ken, I think you have a real opportunity, a new market, if you will. My wife worked for the local Public Radio outlet for years. Pure classical and we supported it and the fine arts groups, ballet and opera included. Here is a secret: everyone one of them remember Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes with Rossini, et al. They also recall the film where Bugs and an opera singer duke it out after the singer breaks Bugs' banjo. You learn De Boatmans Dance. Thomas Hampson sings Copeland's version on YouTube. Present this to them as a juncture to appreciate roots music. there is also Boneparts Retreat/Hoedown. Grandpa Jones attire is optional. BTW, learn Dan Gellerts version of de boatman, it it really awesome.
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @9:18:50 AM
ad: Ratler did the job at the Dayton Art Institute last year. He may have pointers for you.
Sunday, December 30, 2012 @3:21:57 PM
Congrats! Way to help keep the old stuff alive. If you played like you do in your videos, I bet it was a real treat for everyone. Way to go Doc!
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