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Banjo versus TV week 104: Midwest Banjo Camp's Official List of Jamming Tunes

Posted by jrjenks on Saturday, March 20, 2010

A check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s ongoing plan to spend more time on his banjo than on TV. This post covers 2/21/2010 through 2/27/2010.
Banjo 618 hrs, TV 612 hours

Midwest Banjo Camp (which will be held in Olivet, Michigan on June 4-6, 2010) has released MBC's Official List of Jamming Tunes for a type of jam session that's new this year: the play from a list jam.

In this type of jam the leaders promise to stick to a published list of songs. They've released official lists for bluegrass and old-time players.

I think it will be an interesting to see how this type of jam compares with the other kinds of jam that the camp offers: slow jams for novices, "how to jam" workshops, intermediate jams, open james, specialty jams (e.g. bluegrass vocals, old-time vocals, jazz and swing, and northern & Celtic) and experts' jams.

I'm likely to go to the bluegrass jam, so I took a look at the songs to see where I stand. Here's my take on the 25 songs in their bluegrass list and how well I could play them.

I could play these well and could improvise a little

  • Bile 'em Cabbage Down
  • Cripple Creek
  • Good Old Mountain Dew
  • Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
  • Wabash Cannonball
  • Will the Circle be Unbroken
  • Worried Man Blues

I could do backup and could definitely fake a solo

  • Amazing Grace
  • Banjo in the Hollow
  • Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  • I Saw the Light

I could do backup and on a good day could fake a solo

  • Blue Ridge Cabin Home
  • Bury Me Beneath the Willow
  • Clinch Mountain Backstep
  • Little Cabin Home on the Hill
  • Little Maggie
  • Long Journey Home (Two Dollar Bill)
  • Mama Don't Allow No Music (Played Round Here)
  • New River Train
  • Nine Pound Hammer
  • Old Home Place
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Salt Creek
  • Salty Dog

Couldn't really do it

  • John Hardy
  • Lonesome Road Blues
  • Soldiers Joy

So I've been practicing some of the songs that needed work, especially Worried Man Blues, Long Journey Home, I Saw the Light and Mama Don't 'Low.

Also in the last week:

  • Took Denephew to see Bla Fleck - The Africa Project at Old Town School of Folk Music. The Chicago Reader had picked this concert as a critics choice and they were right on target. Wish you had been there.
  • I've now watched 85 of the 94 episodes of Phineas and Ferb. Episodes I'm missing:
    • "Tree to Get Ready"
    • "Ready for the Bettys"
    • "The Flying Fishmonger"
    • "Phineas and Ferb's Musical Cliptastic Countdown"
    • "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation"
    • "Suddenly Suzy"
    • "Undercover Carl"
    • "Mom's Birthday Episode"
    • "Journey to the Center of Candace"
    Glad they're making new ones.
  • The moment you've all been waiting for has arrived. I've finally gone to Costello's Jam enough to earn my free sandwich! (It helped that I brought Denephew along and treated him to a sandwich.)

  • I dropped Human Target from my DVR. How disappointing that the TV series chucked everything that made the comic interesting.

Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog

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