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Banjo playing direct from Brooklyn

Posted by rrode on Sunday, August 25, 2013

This month's Sing Out! magazine includes a short piece on the Brooklyn based group Dubl Handi which features the banjo playing of Hilary Hawke.  The article includes music and lyrics for their version of the traditional tune Shout Little Lula.  The tune is a lot of fun -- clawhammer banjo, drum and plenty of shouting.  It is off their new album titled Up, Like the Clouds. 

The album is well worth checking out.  There is great banjo playing, and the overall style is a refreshingly modern take on tradition.  The excellent rhythm playing by Brian Geltner is a nice balance to Hawke's banjo playing.  This is not your typical string band album -- it has a raw, authentic feel about it. 

It is too bad that the Shout Out! article does not provide a tabbed version of the tune.  I think I have it mostly worked out.  It is very simple.  The only trick is to tune in regular G, and capo the top 4 strings at the 5th fret.  Leave the 5th string at its normal tuning.  This lets you play in C and after a couple of listenings to the tune you should be able to figure it out.  From the recording I'm not positive that Hawke is actually capo'd -- she might be barring at the 5th.  But I don't mind cheating a little. 

I have a little niece named Lulu.  With a couple of more days of practice I plan to post my own version of the song for her.  If it is any good I'll post one here as well.  But you'd be better to pick up a copy of the album and hear the real deal.


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