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strayed away, back again...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

 Janey mack - can't believe it's been over 2 years since I've put a blog post up here! I did disappear I'll admit - after moving to the States in May '08 it took me a good few months to get settled, find a place to live etc etc. Ended up in an apartment building where opportunities to play the banjo are few and far between due to thin walls. Because of that I ended up playing a lot of mandolin instead, while my poor old Stromberg sat in it's case collecting dust. Then this past summer I had to sell it, and a bunch of other stuff, to get $$ for vet bills for one of me dogs. Thankfully the wee critter is on the mend now, so all is well. About a month ago I left my newest mandolin, a Weber Custom Vintage A, in at Gryphon Stringed Instruments for a set up and ended up playing an absolutely GORGEOUS Ome Silver Mogul tenor:

Ome Silver Mogul Tenor

It was way out of my price range but I just couldn't put it down and when I got home I immediately went online and started scouring all the usual sites to see what was out there, tenor banjo wise, that wouldn't bankrupt me. I went to Vinnie Mondello's website and found a short scale Bacon and Day Silver Bell #1 (1927 I think, going by the serial number - someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though) with a pretty interesting story behind it: it used to belong to the fella who was the banjo player at Preservation Hall in New Orleans and it's a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Vinnie has brought it back to life and I should have it by mid-January!!

17 fret Bacon & Day Silver Bell #1 restoration

I can't wait to get it, and for the moment I'm having to get my tenor banjo fix by going down to the local music shop and playing on a new 19 fret Vega Senator tenor they have.  Vinnie is setting up the Silver Bell for me and putting a Renaissance head on it - I've never played a banjo with one of them before but after listening to Ptarmi's  youtube clips where he compared a Fiberskyn/Renaissance/5 star I thought I'd give the Ren a try.

Of course now I have the classic short scale tenor dilemma - trying to find a case for it! I've priced getting a Cedar Creek one made for it, and am waiting on a price quote from Ameritage as well. For the moment I may just get Glenn Cronkhite to to make one of his super sturdy leather gig bags for it, as financially that might be more achievable now than the spendy-er option of either the Cedar Creek or Ameritage.

Thanks to playing the mandolin I've continued to learn tons of new tunes, and I'm looking forward to getting out to some sessions with both the mandolin and the banjo.

Next up on my wish list is a tenor guitar! Played one of these last year and it was the absolute business:

Fletcher Tenortone tenor guitar

Here's a link to my mandolin blog with mp3's and youtube clips in case anyone wants to hear what I've been up to for the past 2 years!

Diary of a Mandolinquent blog


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Playing Since: 2007
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: dog trainer

Gender: Female
Age: 54

My Instruments:
gone now but not forgotten:
Stromberg open back short scale tenor (circa 1910-1920)

Current banjos:
2015 Ome Juniper open back (19 fret)

Clareen Oyster;Oakwood

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
anyone from The Clash to Johnnie Cash - more banjo specific, I've been listening to Enda Scahill, Angelina Carberry, Kieran Hanrahan, Cathal Hayden, John Carty, Brian McGrath, David McNevin and Mick O'Connor alot. Non banjo specific - Paddy Keenan, Jerry O'Sullivan, Gerry "Fiddle" O'Connor, Peter Carberry, Noel Hill, Edel Fox, Martin Hayes, Bobby Casey, Peter Horan, Mike Rafferty, Kitty Hayes.

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Visible to: Public
Created 6/30/2007
Last Visit 7/24/2020

aging punk/indie musician (guitarist for 29 years, drummer for 39 years) who's gotten into Irish trad music to the point of obsession. Started playing the tenor banjo in the summer of 2007. By day I'm a dog trainer, helping crazy dogs to become sane, and by night I play banjo, driving my sane dogs crazy!

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