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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Banjo Builder Interviews - My 60th Birthday Present.


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frailin - Posted - 11/26/2011:  05:04:05



Thank you for the contributions of English potential Banjo Builders to Volume 3.  And thank you for the kind offer of lodging, yorkshirewannabeoldtimer.  



Now that I'm exploring Banjo Builders globally, I'm afraid I have to admit to a concern:  There are some excellent Builders in Australia.



If I take the Series international, they cannot be overlooked.  



I need to think on that a while.  enlightened



Edited by - frailin on 11/26/2011 05:07:47

neillconnor - Posted - 11/26/2011:  06:57:44


I spoke to Dave Stacey today and he's happy for you to visit him. He's a performer as well and brilliant player. Here he is playing And singing on a community arts radio station in London yesterday. The recordings a bit quiet as I had to stream the show on my computer and recorded it off the computer with my iPhone.


Edited by - neillconnor on 11/26/2011 07:01:03



VIDEO:
(click to view)

   

bricklifter1 - Posted - 11/26/2011:  12:27:21



the mogi show was well done indeed.



 



amazing what he does with really minimal number of tools--just shows that the sophistication of the operation has less of an effect on production quality than the heart and passion that goes into production..



 



great show....cant't wait for the next installment



 



 



chris


BackDraft307 - Posted - 11/26/2011:  13:03:32


quote:
Originally posted by frailin


Thank you for the contributions of English potential Banjo Builders to Volume 3.  And thank you for the kind offer of lodging, yorkshirewannabeoldtimer.  



Now that I'm exploring Banjo Builders globally, I'm afraid I have to admit to a concern:  There are some excellent Builders in Australia.



If I take the Series international, they cannot be overlooked.  



I need to think on that a while.  enlightenedsrc="http://www.banjohangout.org/global/ckeditor/plugins/smiley/images/lightbulb.gif" title="enlightened" width="20" />





NEED SOMEBODY TO CARRY LUGGAGE? Hint hint!!


bricklifter1 - Posted - 11/26/2011:  13:33:16



i think you need a european leg sound man.....I'm the guy



 



I'll work for food......


frailin - Posted - 11/26/2011:  13:40:52


What the heck. Let's just rent a bus and take everybody!


Edited by - frailin on 11/26/2011 13:41:50

neillconnor - Posted - 11/26/2011:  14:49:00


If you get to England find blues beaten redshaw, a young English blues player and cigarbox guitar player who made a journey from yorkshire to Switzerland on a vintage ferguson tractor, playing the blues as he went.I'm sure he'd hitch a trailer up to carry everyone across Europe





vimeo.com/27063428









vimeo.com/27063428


Edited by - neillconnor on 11/26/2011 14:57:21

frailin - Posted - 11/26/2011:  18:46:51



Free Banjo Builder Show - Jason and Pharis Romero!



 



    



Ok.  The multitudes have spoken.  Garnering over 55% of the vote, the Romeros are the Builder's you'd next like to see for Free.  So be it.  



From now until the end of the weekend, you can watch all 41+ minutes of Jason at Pharis here:



vimeo.com/frailinflix/jasonromero



Enjoy, folks!  big



Edited by - frailin on 11/26/2011 18:47:57

banjered - Posted - 11/26/2011:  22:04:58



Outstanding Craig! Thanks! Banjered


BackDraft307 - Posted - 11/27/2011:  04:07:00



quote:


Originally posted by frailin



What the heck. Let's just rent a bus and take everybody!





 WHOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  Thanks CRAIG....  YOU ALL hear that Craig is rent a Micro-Bus and taken all of us... ! clown



Oh yea... AWESOME work on the video... Jason and Pharis Remero.... ! looking forward to see the full DVD version... with all the makers...


frailin - Posted - 11/28/2011:  20:22:52



Mark Platin up next!  



 





 



 



Here's another renowned builder with over 6,000 banjos to his name! Mark Platin is a legend. But beyond his fine banjos, Mark's contributions include an ongoing willingness to continually groom and mentor promising young banjo builders. Jason Romero is but one of that prosperous fold. 


 


Given his gifts and interests, Mark had many promising career opportunities. Fortunately for the banjo world, he decided to start Wildwood. And now, like his banjo brand, Mark is indeed a legend.  


 


--------------


 


And after almost 500 views, I'm going to end the free showing of the Romero's Program.  I hope everyone had a chance to look!  

neillconnor - Posted - 11/29/2011:  02:36:30


Give it another day Craig, I've just linked it on foaotmad for uk old
Time players

frailin - Posted - 11/29/2011:  04:53:31



 































Give it another day Craig, I've just linked it on foaotmad for uk old

Time players



​neill







 



Ok.  It's back up.  But you need to instruct the foaotmad folks to enter the address... VIMEO won't allow an "embed".  When clicked on, the default message will be "you don't have permission."  



Folks just need to enter this address to get there: vimeo.com/frailinflix/jasonromero"> vimeo.com/frailinflix/jasonromero



Edited by - frailin on 11/29/2011 04:53:56

neillconnor - Posted - 11/29/2011:  08:21:13


Cheers Craig, I've warned them it's only up for 24 hours., but I've posted links to the YouTube previews.

frailin - Posted - 11/29/2011:  08:31:19



Remember to advise them, they need to enter the URL/address... your embedded (click) link won't work:  



Here 'tiz:  vimeo.com/frailinflix/jasonromero


neillconnor - Posted - 11/29/2011:  10:15:29


Craig,
If you do decide to come over to the uk, Carol Chant hosts an old-time radio show called Sound Out on a Friday afternoon in London which is broadcast in London and streamed on the net. She thinks your project is great and having the watched the Romero interviews, says she would love to interview you on her show about the project if you come over.
The station is resonancefm.co.uk




The Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance
Just watched the Romeros. Stunning! and looked at another Banjo Builders film. It's all great Thank you Neill. C
4 hours ago
Neill Connor
Would you be interested in interviewing the maker of the series if he does do a uk and European banjo builders series next year?
Craig is a great banjo player and will have loads to say on his experiences meeting all these banjo builders.
3 hours ago · Like
Remove
Carole Chant
Neill, I would really like to have him as guest on my show. Just let me know when he's made his plans for UK visit and I will try to arrange it. If he doesn't have any place to stay in London, he's very welcome to stay with me.
39 minutes ago · Like


Edited by - neillconnor on 11/29/2011 10:24:38

Ron Ortegel - Posted - 11/29/2011:  10:20:34



Great interview!



I watched it multiple times.



Can' wait for the next ones and having the dvd.



 



Many thnks, Craig.


DoubleG - Posted - 11/29/2011:  11:01:39



Great to see the human side of these great banjo's. So many banjo's, so little time!


neillconnor - Posted - 11/29/2011:  13:15:17


I've spoken to Dave Stacey and James Bowan and both are quite happy to meet you should you do a European leg. James will speak to Syd Payne of Titan banjos that use titanium tone rings and fittings as he's sure he would be happy to talk to you.
These 3 makers are only 140miles travelling distance to cover.

cframe - Posted - 11/29/2011:  15:36:29



And of course, Africa is the ancestral home of the banjo. I see a world tour in your future!


quote:


Originally posted by frailin




Thank you for the contributions of English potential Banjo Builders to Volume 3.  And thank you for the kind offer of lodging, yorkshirewannabeoldtimer.  



Now that I'm exploring Banjo Builders globally, I'm afraid I have to admit to a concern:  There are some excellent Builders in Australia.



If I take the Series international, they cannot be overlooked.  



I need to think on that a while.  enlightened






 


Mike Buchman - Posted - 11/30/2011:  08:05:45



ordered vol. 2, digging the Romeros now and looking forward to seeing them live at the Seattle Folk Festival next weekend: seattlefolkfestival.com/index.html">/seattlefolkfestival.com/index.html


phischer - Posted - 11/30/2011:  14:20:39


I just watched the Romero piece and loved it. Thanks for your work. It was kind of strange watching it after seeing your pictures on the hangout for years. It really felt personal and I enjoyed it a lot. I have always known about Jason but boy the two really do awesome work!

frailin - Posted - 11/30/2011:  20:01:46



For Australian open-back banjo builders, I know of Buckmaster and Eucalypt.  Are there others? 



And has anyone heard of known/recognized builders in Africa?  



How about other parts of the world (not including England and Europe)? 



Just checking.  



Craig


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 12/01/2011:  02:40:06



On Hon Gai street in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the 36 block area that constituted the older part of the city, there was -- at least in the 1980s -- a family that built traditional instruments (and some tourist souvenirs).  I once drew plans for a banjo neck, and had them make two.  They came out with some splendid and dramatic twists and turns.  But otherwise they read the sketched plans accurately and did a nice carving job.  They might still be at it with my original sketch.  I can check if you'd like.  I know they'd interview well, especially the son who had, in the early 1990s, pursued an MBA...


srrobertsiii - Posted - 12/01/2011:  03:40:17


Craig,

If memory serves, and it may not at this juncture, David O'Dell purchased a White Swallow open back banjo on a trip to/tour he did in Austrailia. I remember reading that on the CD cover of his "Banjo for a Rainy Day" album. Don't know anything else about the brand save that. (I think too that David is pictured holding the banjo on the same cover.)

Sam R

Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 12/01/2011:  05:11:45



This is from the recent issue of Banjoists' Broadsheet, a UK publication:



 




Phil DAVIDSON builds banjos, mandolins and guitars to your specification. Top class workman- ship, superb tone. Visit the website to see some of my instruments in full splendour: davidsoninstruments.com, tel 0117 937 4920



DAVE STACEY is building and repairing banjos full-time and is actively seeking commissions. He can make original instruments, copies or modify original instruments (e.g. add a repro 5-string neck to an original hoop). Write for leaflet and quotation for your job. Dave Stacey, 19 Field Lane, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 3LF, tel 01462 683074



BANJOS REPAIRED, RESTORED, TRADED Barrie Lockwood, 40 Westbury Road, Penge, London, SE20 7QH, tel 0181 778 5681



BANJO REPAIRS (carried out by master luthier Clive Denman in consultation with Chris and you). Chris Sands, Bee Boles, Far Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria. tel 0153 94 46742, fax 0153 94 44532



REPAIRS, RESTORATIONS of all kinds. Andy Perkins, Apple Craft Centre, Selling Rd, Faversham, KENT, ME13 8XF tel 01795 590374 / 633864



REPAIRS Halshaw Music, 37 Catherine St, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6ET, UK



StPeteNick - Posted - 12/01/2011:  09:19:04



frailin,



I just started looking at this thread last week (had access to a high speed internet connection,) it looks like a great set of videos.



 



It there a way to order (Volume 1) via snail mail ?



 



Nick


frailin - Posted - 12/01/2011:  09:29:41



Yepper.  Send me a check for $34 and I'll drop it off in the mail. If you want Volume 2, make it out for $68 and I'll send you V-1 plus the Passwords to watch the new Shows now.  Then, when Volume 2 is complete, I'll send you the DVDs. 



Sending you my address in separate email.  smiley


neillconnor - Posted - 12/01/2011:  12:22:10


Phil DAVIDSON builds banjos, mandolins and guitars to your specification. Top class workman- ship, superb tone. Visit the website to see some of my instruments in full splendour: davidsoninstruments.com, tel 0117 937 4920

DAVE STACEY is building and repairing banjos full-time and is actively seeking commissions. He can make original instruments, copies or modify original instruments (e.g. add a repro 5-string neck to an original hoop). Write for leaflet and quotation for your job. Dave Stacey, 19 Field Lane, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 3LF, tel 01462 683074

BANJOS REPAIRED, RESTORED, TRADED Barrie Lockwood, 40 Westbury Road, Penge, London, SE20 7QH, tel 0181 778 5681

BANJO REPAIRS (carried out by master luthier Clive Denman in consultation with Chris and you). Chris Sands, Bee Boles, Far Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria. tel 0153 94 46742, fax 0153 94 44532

REPAIRS, RESTORATIONS of all kinds. Andy Perkins, Apple Craft Centre, Selling Rd, Faversham, KENT, ME13 8XF tel 01795 590374 / 633864

REPAIRS Halshaw Music, 37 Catherine St, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6ET, UK


Phil Davidson makes banjos of all kinds, bluegrass, tenor and some open backs as well as guitars and mandolins. Lovely instruments.

don't know anything about the chap in Cumbria....

Sully (halshaw music) is a tenor banjo player, and does sell banjos made by ome and has his own design banjos (mainly tenors) made by John Hullah. . He is mainly a banjo parts store, run from his home and you can get some hard to find bits from him.

Andy Perkins has a shop in Kent selling all kinds of banjos from the larger United States companies such as Deering and gold tone. He does assemble banjos but I think I'm right in saying he dosnt actually make them. Correct me if I'm wrong.

don't know anything about the chap in London

Dave Stacey has already been mentioned, built over 100 banjos and specialises in high quality repro necks, pearl engraving etc

frailin - Posted - 12/02/2011:  13:09:18



In doing a little Banjo Newsletter research - much of it prepared by dedicated, hardy, world-traveling banjologists Greg Adams, Danial Jatta, Paul Sedgwick and Ulf Jagfors - the focus on the akonting has been around its origin/history and how-to-play.  Rightly so!  



   



There are even some written descriptions of the akonting's design and how it's made (i.e. the gourd is packed with sand to prevent damage when the neck is attached.  And it's placed in a shoveled out hole in the ground to facilitate access, etc.).  But as far as I can tell there is no film/video documentation of this "early banjo building" (youtube included).  



To me, I'd be fascinated to see how one of the most likely precursors of our beloved instrument is made.





As a part of an International Banjo Builders DVD (Volume 3), it would seem fitting and appropriate to document the akonting's construction.  Think about it... perhaps it's the same today as it was 100, 300 or ?? years ago.  I'd LOVE the contrast to rest of the Series!



Would anyone have an interest in seeing this "living history?"  If so - and I can come up with the funds - I'd be willing to go to Africa to film/document this as a part of the Banjo Builder Series.  



For those of you wonderful folks - my banjo friends -  that have been with me for the last 10 months of this (my) grand 60th birthday adventure, please me know your feelings about this possible addition.  



Craig



PS - The wife is already on-board.  big


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 12/02/2011:  13:33:52



I seem to remember video footage Ulf might have taken on one of his trips of an Akonting builder.  Greg?  Paul?  Any specific recollections? 


BrittDLD1 - Posted - 12/02/2011:  15:47:11



Hi Craig --


 


Ulf was having members of Daniel Jatta's extended family make akontings (or ekontings)


for sale at Elderly.   Daniel's family made and played akontings for many generations...


I have one of them, that Ulf presented to me.


 


I wrote a letter to the US Embassy, in Stockholm, when Daniel was having problems getting


'clearance' for a passport.  Ulf brought Daniel to the Banjo Collectors' Gathering, in 2000. (I


also helped Ulf and Daniel with their initial presentation.)


 


Both Greg Adams and Paul Sedgwick traveled to Gambia, to take lessons on the akonting.


They also would be familiar with some of the key people over there.


 


 


Best-


Ed Britt


 


Edited by - BrittDLD1 on 12/02/2011 15:51:27

frailin - Posted - 12/02/2011:  15:52:56


Ed! Come with me!

I mean it. You know so much about this. You can help tell the stories. :)

YorkshireWannabeOldTimer - Posted - 12/02/2011:  16:14:33



I've not really been with you for the last 10 months - I only discovered the Banjo Builder Project relatively recently - but the akonting idea seems to me to be a great one; to reconnect the banjo as it is now with an instrument which is plausibly taken to shed light on the banjo's deepest roots would add a lot to what's already an excellent enterprise!


BrittDLD1 - Posted - 12/02/2011:  19:11:32



            quote:






             Originally posted by frailin



             Ed! Come with me!

             I mean it. You know so much about this. You can help tell the stories. :)








 


Nah... Not me.   (But thanks for the offer...)


 


My knowledge of that subject has been LONG surpassed by guys like Shlomo Pestcoe,


Greg, Paul, etc.   See Shlomo's web pages on Banjo Roots, West Africa, and the Ekonting:



 


Canadian banjoist, Jayme Stone, is another who has traveled to West Africa, and met


many players of the VARIOUS types of West African skin-headed 'Lutes' - ngonis (xalams)


molos, etc., etc. :



 


BHO's own Marc Nerenberg is another with first-hand knowledge of some of the traditional


West African lutes:



 


UK banjoist Nick Bamber is another one who has been to West Africa:



 


And of course... Ulf Jagfors:



 


You should definitely correspond with ALL of the above, to find out what you need to


know -- and how you need to prepare for West Africa.  Ulf has been there quite a few


times, and knows many of the local 'customs'. Like who you need to (ahem...) 'tip' to


get something done, or to go somewhere...) shock


 


Best-


Ed Britt


 


 


 


neillconnor - Posted - 12/03/2011:  09:22:10


Craig, as your project has expanded since it's inception, it seem only logical to go full circle to the banjos beginnings in Africa.

What sort of money are we talking here, to get across to Africa, I don't mind chipping in a little.

How about setting up a donations page on the hangout classifieds or a "For sale for Frailin project" on the classifieds where members can sell odd bits and bobs of banjo bits with the proceeds going directly to your paypal account towards the project.
I'll start the ball rolling with a lovely American Paramount Wizard Ukelele I bought a couple of years ago and never play and probably never will.

frailin - Posted - 12/03/2011:  10:08:19



Thank you, Neill for your ongoing encouragement and generosity!  smiley



Actually, I'm still awaiting word on the Grant. I've been responsible for most of the Project's funding (along with some equally generous BHO friends).  IF I get the grant, I'll be applying THOSE monies to the additional trips.  I hear in March sometime. 



So we've got a while yet.  



Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.  


bricklifter1 - Posted - 12/05/2011:  14:32:06



I had an idea while watching vol 1.



 



It might be interesting to do a segment of one of your videos on the history of the banjo: kind of a virtual  interview of 19th century builders who have so influenced todays builders.  The Smithsonian has some great examples of Boucher's instruments.   Szego and james bollman could do show and tell of banjos in their collections--it would be interesting to see video of  Ashborn, Boucher banjos up close with descriptions of their construction as described by the afforementioned experts.  May be out of the scope of your project, but would be great background for the history that lead to the technology we see in todays instruments.



 



chris


frailin - Posted - 12/05/2011:  14:34:37



Excellent idea, Chris... but beyond the scope of this project.  That's a WHOLE 'nudder one.  approve


frailin - Posted - 12/05/2011:  16:59:35



UPDATE on Volume 2, "Northwestern Swing" Interviews



 



In the next few days I should received the final banjo pics and performer sound files from John Bowlin and Chuck Ogsbury. If real payin' work doesn't get in the way, I'll try to have both their Shows posted to Vimeo by week's end.



If you've PRE-ordered Volume 2, you can see them immediately (here's where you sign up for that... at the very bottom of the page - northamericanbanjobuilders.com ). Otherwise, you'll have to wait until summer '12 (when I finish up the last of V-2 interviews).  









For you folks comin' in off the newsletter, lookin' for Volume 1 DVDs, go here:  banjohangout.org/store/details.asp?id=31



Volume 1 Pay-per-views are here:  banjohangout.org/lessons/banjobuilder/



And thank you for your interest in the Banjo Builder Project!



Craig frailin Evans


flatfootjohnny - Posted - 12/08/2011:  11:11:09


Hey Craig if you do ever come to the U.K. your welcome to coma and have a look around my tiny studio (i'll even tidy up for you) and we could even put you up for the night. I make primitive early stuff i.e. gourds, tack heads, Appalachian mountain and grain measure... although i dont think i have reached your criteria for quantity yet but i guess that just depends on how long it takes for you to get here.

have a look if you like at flatfootjohnny.com

I'll be getting volume 2 as soon ASAP... cant wait to see the Romero interview after reading all the excitement about it... man i love their banjos.

frailin - Posted - 12/11/2011:  08:05:08



Tweaking.  Updates.



 



I can see right now there's a PROBLEM with not taking "finished" Builder Shows right to DVD.  I end up tweaking... and tweaking and tweaking. smiley  



Case in point, in response to a recent thread here (at BHO) about Jason Romero's "stained heads", I went back into the raw footage and pulled out about another 1:30 of him talking about his inspiration for that work. Every small change requires at least an hour for edit, an additional hour + for rendering, then approximately an hour + for RE-posting the revised Show to Vimeo. In the long run though?  I know it's worth it. big



Regarding the trip to Africa, I've entered a delightful, ongoing conversation with Daniel Jatta of the Akonting Center.  





Daniel is now reviewing my intended work and considering the requirements... and costs. There will be expense in bringing the akonting, xhalam and ngoni experts to a central location.  I'd prefer to film "on-site", but that (apparently) might not be possible.  I chose these 3 "most likely banjo precursors" (for filming) based on extended reading and a wonderful conversation with Greg Adams (who linked me up with the online resources... my readings).





There's so much knowledge and history here, I'm gettin' jazzed all over again!  But I will have to bring that enthusiasm back to reality when I get the final costs (and time) estimates. Compromise will probably be in order.  



PS - If this happens, I'd also like to donate a portion of future Banjo Builder DVD Series sales to the akonting center. Maybe in the future, more folks can travel there and learn some of the incredible history behind our favorite instrument.  



Edited by - frailin on 12/11/2011 08:08:06

neillconnor - Posted - 12/12/2011:  11:15:21


Craig, I've just had a message from Andrew Henley, the chairman of The Friends Of American Old Time Music and Dance, in the Uk saying you might want to get In touch with Chuck Levy who has written an article about banjo origins/ancestors in Senegal. The article is published on the winter edition of the old time news published by foaotmad in early January next year.
The same edition has the review of your series I submitted.




Here is a link to Chucks website:

banjourneys.com/home.html


Edited by - neillconnor on 12/12/2011 11:24:28

frailin - Posted - 12/13/2011:  07:04:22



Thanks for the headsup, Neill.  Chuck has indeed been a gatherer and contributor of W. Africa instrument information!  I have not yet contacted him, but have been given several referrals.  



I would like a copy of the Jan. '12 newsletter.  Will contact foaotmad next month.  





 



 


frailin - Posted - 12/15/2011:  06:38:18



The Journey before the Journey



 



Over the course of the past few years, several very knowledgeable banjo folks (i.e. builder Pete Ross, Ed Britt... and most recently, Greg Adams) have encouraged me to read two seminal books on our favorite instrument:  





and





Being about 1/2 way through each, NOW I KNOW WHY!!  These books are both fascinating and amazing at the same time!  I'm telling you all this NOW, so you don't have to delay the knowledge/joy/pleasure (like I did).  



If you're looking for a great Christmas present for your banjo-lovin' self, spouse or friend (beyond the Banjo Builders DVD, of course), then either or (better yet) BOTH of these books are excellent!  



Merry Christmas, folks!  big



Craig


Viper - Posted - 12/15/2011:  07:23:38



The "Sinful Tunes" book is on my list next year, as I'm planning a Civil War themed reading year. Thanks for the extra vote of confidence. Cheers!


frailin - Posted - 12/15/2011:  11:02:58



Possible New Project... 





Ok.  This time the concept did NOT come to me in the shower.  smiley  But I still trust it.  My hunch is, this could be big, meaning "meaningful... of interest to many."  So... I want to know what YOU think of this idear. 



-----------------------



"Conversations with Banjo Historians."



"Why!?"  (I know I'll get that a lot... I did when I announced the Banjo Builder's trek).  big  My answer is simple:  Timing.  MOST of those that are researching the banjo (and it's roots) ARE STILL LIVING!!  Now is the time for a Project like this to happen.  



Look at it this way:



As a culture, the way we traditionally research, document and analyze is rarely during the time something happens.  After all, the "incident or event" that occurs or kicks something off isn't really recognized for its significance until years later... AFTER THE FACT.  In the case of traditional Americana music, many of the "greats" were performers that gathered and retained the knowledge (i.e. Tommy Jarrell, Bascom Lamar Lundsford, Uncle Dave Macon... even banjo builders) and lived long enough to pass on their wisdom.  But early on, few thought to save it for posterity.  That insight came later.



 





 



Years later, other performers (soon to be future historians) began to recognize the incredible historic value contained in these few, still living "legends." These motivated youngsters not only had the foresight, but took the initiative to record and document this wisdom from its living source.  Wow!  Thanks to Alan Lomax, Mike Seeger, even Rhiannon Giddens and Bela Fleck for being a few of the second group that captured much of this insight for our benefit today.  And a special nod to the Smithsonian Folkways folks for keeping this all safely in one place for us to continue to enjoy.  





Dena Epstein



Ok.  So much of what we now know about the origins and history of the banjo came from the 1960s... when the researchers that started officially documenting facts from written diaries, other records and drawings began publishing their works (thanks for that insight, Greg Adams).  The great (seminal) books (see above post) came on to the scene.  WONDERFUL WORKS!  





Eric Charry



But here's the real excitement (to me):  MANY of these tireless, dedicated historians ARE STILL LIVING!  What if someone sat down with them today and asked about: Their greatest finding(s), most exciting insights, current thoughts and areas for future work?  These aren't 20 minute conversations... probably more like 45 minutes to an hour.  The discussions would focus on key learnings from their lifetime of work.  WOW!



  

Daniel Jatta and Ulf Jagfors



Would anyone else (other than me) have an interest in this body of work?  Would probably sell for about the same price as the Banjo Builder Project (so more people could enjoy it).  I already got the "go ahead" from the Mrs. (she's wonderful), so now I need to check out just how viable an idea this is with you folks.  If it's feasible, I'll take this Project right to Smithsonian Folkways.  That might save me diggin' back into my own pocket.  



So... reactions?  Tell me what you think.  Is this something you would like to see?  Would you buy the DVD series?



Craig



PS - I'm not the first one to get excited about meeting Dena Epstein.  I'm looking forward to meeting Jim Carrier from Wisconsin as he had the foresight to meet with her (and document the conversation?) a while back. 



PPSS - There are MANY historians to be considered!  In addition to those mentioned above, here are just a few others:  Greg Adams, Ed Britt, Chuck Levy, Shlomo Pestcoe, Nick Bamber, Paul Sedgwick, Marc Nerenberg... that's just for starters.  


Brooklynbanjoboy - Posted - 12/15/2011:  12:09:54



Don't forget Bob Winans.



Some of the premier collectors double as published historians.  Phil Gura and Jim Bollman for example.



Then there are some of the Elder Statesmen of the community:



Eli Kaufman.  Mike Holmes.  Ed Britt. 



Many lurk on this Hangout. 



Others dominate BHO street corners, banjo toughs pushing their individual theories.



Scott Odell.  Cece Conway.



Running out of ink here...


srrobertsiii - Posted - 12/15/2011:  13:47:00


Craig,

I think your new idea is great! And if it goes forward perhaps you would consider folk like Dwight Diller or John Morris as possible resources too. Both are from West Virginia and both have keen historical sensibilities. They also have ties to a prior generation, now largely deceased. Though not perhaps as formally trained as the folk you mention, I think both qualify as living legends for sure. (You'll surely have to set defining limits on your subject, just as you did with the builders, and these kinds of people may be outside your parameters. Still, something to think about....) Good luck!

Sam Roberts

Davidprat - Posted - 12/16/2011:  04:39:01





Originally posted by frailin




I would need you Brits to help me figger out who in England needs to be recorded.  My hunch is, there's probably someone in Ireland, too.



Ok, here is my list of European Banjo Builder candidates:



* Hugo Valcke in Belgium

* Johannes Bonefaas in Sweden

* Jaroslav Prucha in the Czech Republic

* Philippe Ravel in Lyon France.  




 


I'm enjoying so much the videos!!


Here in Spain We have a great banjo maker, Sedo Garcia, the first banjo maker in Spain.


sedoluthier.com/eng/index.html

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