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16. Taking Stock

Monday, June 27, 2011

OK, it's been a while since I made a blog entry. I've been busy recording an album using two Deering Eagle II banjos - a tenor (the first one ever made) and a 5-string which I also use as a 4-string Plectrum banjo. The big decision was to only make it available as a download album, rather than a physical disc. The costs were just too high, and the expected sales just too low for the maths to make sense. The good news is that as a download-only album, it only cost me $39 to make - the fee for CD Baby to host it on their site and send it out to iTunes, Amazon MP3, and about ten other digital outlets. So far sales have been slow but steady. It seems most folk would still prefer a physical disc. Well, so be it. I just can't afford to do otherwise.

The recording is called ''Recital: The Art Of The Banjo 1910 - 1930'' and brings together my exploration of the early Plectrum and Tenor banjo publications. Many of the composers wrote originally for the 5-string 'classic' banjo, and some of the pieces are their own arrangements of their own compositions. There is great variety, from Gershwinesque harmonies and rag and jazz rhythms, to quotations from Mendellssohn. Some of the pieces are very introverted, such as Cammeyer's 'A Fireside Idyll' which is one of my favourite pieces. 

Some nice comments are coming in: ''Every banjo player should have a copy. It's THAT good!' Steve Caddick. ''Truly beautiful music in all ways.  Truly wonderful how you bring out the voice of the banjo.  Really Really inspiring!  thanks so much for sharing this with me and with all music lovers.'' Jason Smith. And a few others. All encouragement gratefully received. 

Mel Bay continue to say my banjo books will be out this year. I'll mention it when they are.

Next stop: a recording of the music of the Dobsons and Buckleys, using a fretless Boucher copy by James Hartel (a stunning banjo) and a fretted Ashborn copy (again by James) with the second fret split - the first string fret being closer to the nut, as on many banjos from this period, and also the Dobson/Fairbanks banjo by Luke Mercier. All in gut, of course.

I'm also returning again to clawhammer - a technique I've never felt comfortable with. But I'm making some progress, so we shall see...


15. New Opposing Directions

Sunday, October 10, 2010 6 comments

14. Another Update

Sunday, July 11, 2010 Add Comment

13. Update

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2 comments

12. Hello again

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 1 comment

11. New videos

Saturday, August 15, 2009 Add Comment

10. Where is he now?

Thursday, April 16, 2009 2 comments

9. So far

Saturday, September 27, 2008 2 comments

8. Irish Tenor Banjo tryout

Saturday, September 20, 2008 4 comments

7. Other Banjos

Thursday, September 18, 2008 8 comments

6. Overload

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 4 comments

5. The waiting game

Friday, September 12, 2008 6 comments

3. A plan is taking shape

Saturday, September 6, 2008 3 comments

2. Nailing it

Friday, September 5, 2008 3 comments

1. It starts here

Friday, September 5, 2008 2 comments

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Newest Videos

New Book! Tenor Banjo Christmas Solos by Rob MacKillop (Mel Bay)

Homage To Eddy Davis - Auld Lang Syne

Reading Cello Methods on Tenor Banjo - Crome and Piatti

Zither Banjo: An Irish Phantasy by Cammeyer - Rob MacKillop

Zither Banjo: Blue Eyes by Cammeyer - Rob MacKillop

Banjo Blues (1920s) by Emile Grimshaw - Rob MacKillop, Zither Banjo

Zither Banjo: Idyll in F by Cammeyer - Rob MacKillop

Zither Banjo: Cammeyer: Cornish Dance No 1 - Rob MacKillop

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Newest Music

Genre: Classical
Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Genre: Classical
Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Genre: Traditional
Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

Genre: Traditional
Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

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Playing Since: 2008
Experience Level: Purty Good


Occupation: musician

Gender: Male
My Instruments:

Deering Eagle II Tenor
Favilla Farland Tenor
Nate Calkins Gourd

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
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Created 9/2/2008
Last Visit 7/26/2022

Played historical guitars and lutes for years. The banjo is a now my passion.

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