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Cornish Bluegrass Festival 09

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day One: I got home from school and was getting my banjo’s together and got ready. It was looking a little overcast so we were hoping for the best. We then left the house and had to stock up on food in Tesco, it was then I realised that I had forgot all my instruments (Duh!). After driving back home and collecting them all we then drove to the Cornish Bluegrass Festival at Hendra Holiday Park near Newquay. As we got close we could here the music playing so I was eager to get at my instruments. We gave our tickets to the office and followed Malcolm on his specially adapted steward’s bike to our tent pitch for the weekend. We had a little wonder around the site and ended up watching The Buffalo Gals who I thought were brilliant, and with some great dancing from Sibs Reisen. We got back to the tent late evening and played some music there before going to bed.


Day Two: I woke up and had a shower straight away knowing there was going to be an Old Time banjo workshop a little later on, held by Helmut Rheingans from The Down Trodden String Band. The workshop was really interesting, next was Kate Lissauer’s Fiddle workshop about 2 hours later, there I played some more music. The Fiddle workshop was fantastic and very beginner friendly thankfully! We learned Logan County Blues; it’s an Old Time fiddle tune in D. Later on we saw Uncle Dave and because of their fantastic performance on Friday we saw The Buffalo Gals again. That night we headed to the Old Time area of the campsite and had a mini Old Time session with a couple of other musicians.


Day Three: I woke up a little later because of the two previous late nights and had a shower to fully bring me around. I grabbed my banjo and headed right back to the Old Time session. I was there with Bob Chase, Sib Riesen, Michele Brown, Nigel, Russell Hawkes, Ray Banks, David Horsfield, Vic Wilcox and Others. It was fantastic and lasted about 3 and a half hours. What a great end to the Cornish Bluegrass Festival!


Thanks CBA and I am looking forward to next year’s festival already.


Kentucky Trip 09

Saturday, September 26, 2009 5 comments

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Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

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Playing Since: 2008
Experience Level: Purty Good

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

Gender: Male
Age: 29

My Instruments:
Banjo, Guitar, Ukulele and just starten out on a Fiddle!

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Any Old Time Player!

Classified Rating: not rated
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Visible to: Public
Created 9/26/2009
Last Visit 5/17/2014

One day Mrs Parham, one of my primary school teachers asked me to play a xylophone for the official school opening. I took the task seriously and was soon teaching other pupils from the school how to play the song. After doing this and showing more than a passing musical interest Mrs Parham applied to the BBC’s “Fame Acadamy” for a Bursary and I was lucky enough to be awarded £500. With this money I bought a 4 string Ozark banjolele and used the website Chordie to figure out where to place my fingers to make the chords. The Ozark was played and enjoyed by me for just about a year and it was during this time I started to listen to Bluegrass and Old Time music. It was shortly after that I bought my first 5 string Country Banjo, a cheap and cheerful “Countryman”. This banjo required me to learn a new technique and a decision had to be made between finger picking Blugrass style or frailing often called clawhammer, which is the method used to play the banjo Old Time style. After some time listening to many banjo players on Youtube I decided that frailing was the style to learn as I found American Old Time music diverse and interesting. After more looking I found Patrick Costello and learned how to play the clawhammer technique from his videos. I attend two sessions each week. One is a banjo and fiddle accompaniment to a Appalachian Clogging dance group (Cloggers) based at Pendeen on the North Cornish Coast, England. The other is at Paul near Mousehole, close to where I live, which is mostly Americana. Every month I go to a pickin' session at Portreath. I also attend the Cornish Bluegrass Festival annually, and join in with the many sessions there. In spring 2009 I was lucky to be sponsored by the CBA and Sore Fingers to go to the fantastic Sore Fingers Summer School. Read my review on the Old Time Banjo course that was tutored by Joe Newberry. Since then my interest and understanding has increased in this genre of music and I have made a decision that this is the main the type of music that I want to play.

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