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MBC Highlights

Posted by Stev187 on Monday, June 4, 2007

Well, I'm back from Midwest Banjo Camp and trying to get back into the swing of things.  Since we played music until about 4 a.m. on Saturday night, it was interesting to drive home, coach a soccer game, and help throw Julia's 4th birthday party.  I went to bed at 9 p.m. last night!

I am going to begin posting bulleted "highlights" of my 2 days as a banjo student, Muso, and jam participant here.  Rather than clog my blog (there's an interesting phrase) on a daily basis, I think I will just add them all in one entry by editing it.

Highlights of MBC 2007 (More to Come)

  • Meeting Erich Schroeder in Person.  Erich has been a real buddy here on BHO, and it was nice to finally meet him in RL.  Folks will be happy to know that he in no way resembles a giant toad, and his Bicentennial banjo is as cool as it looks.  He's also a nice guy.  We didn't see each other much because we went to different sessions and jams, but we get to "see" each other here.
  • Eating With Mike Seeger (3x).  It just so happens that I sat with Mike Seeger for Lunch, Dinner, and then Lunch again.  He is a super nice guy and we discussed a range of cool topics including Hugh Tracy's 1950s African field recordings, the current state of the American auto industry, the Internet's impact on old-time music, Earl Johnson's 1920s recordings, and the current resurgance of interest in old-time as compared to the 1960s.
  • Singing Songs About Possums With Clarke Beuhling.  I'm not much into minstral or classic banjo, but Clarke is amazing and he stopped by one of our jams to sing some songs.  I didn't play along, but I did sing along in my cheezy musical theatre baritone, which amused many and offended only a few.  We sang "Carve That Possum" and another tasty tune about possum meat that I do not recall the title.
  • Jamming with Erynn Marshall.  It's always great to jam with an awesome fiddler, and not since I played with Bruce Molsky back in 1996 have I had so much fun backing up an awesome fiddler.  Erynn came to both of the late-night old-time jams we had in Yakeley.  We played a buch of tunes, and what impressed me most was her listening.  Some fiddlers are so concerned about what they're doing that they don't find and react to what others are doing.  Gonna have to get me some of her records.
  • Playing With Hanno Again and Meeting Adam, Sam, Mike V., Mike R., Stratton and Others.  Hanno and I used to see each other at old-time gatherings 10-15 years ago.  He's a really great fiddler, and I love to give him a hard time for being picky (he's very particular about what tunes he likes to play).  We had some nice old-time jams late into the evenings on Friday and Saturday.
  • Mike Seeger's Classes.  I attended three of Mike's workshops; one was him breaking down Uncle Dave Macon's style, including on of my favorite tunes, Johnny Grey.  The second was a look at commonalities between clawhammer and bluegrass styles, specifically some of Earl Scruggs' licks that sound cool in clawhammer.  The third was an in-depth look at Doc Boggs' "Danville Girl."  Mike taught us Doc's basic fingering and "thumb lead."  He is a great teacher.
  • Being a Bass Muso During the Formal Jams.  I really liked playing bass during the formal jams.  Joe Newberry is a great player and a good jam leader.  During the second evening, a room in the basement flooded and two jams were combined; that was a little big, but it was still fun.  Erynn Marshall, Joe Newberry and Dave Para came up from that jam; Kathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, and Cathy Barton-Para were already wit

    2 comments on “MBC Highlights”

    Joe Newberry Says:
    Tuesday, June 5, 2007 @8:01:13 AM

    Steve, it was great fun playing with you.  Hope our paths cross again sometime.--Joe

    Stev187 Says:
    Tuesday, June 5, 2007 @5:54:22 PM

    It was an honor to play with you, Joe.  You're a great jam leader and an awesome banjo player.  It was nice to meet you in person.

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