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John Brown's March

Posted by slc


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- Play count: 1167

Size: 1,776kb, uploaded 2/3/2011 12:37:16 AM
Genre: Old Time / Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time

While trying to figure out the banjoistic nuances for some other tunes, I was inspired to play John Brown's March. This is one of the very first tunes I ever learned on the banjo, from Bertram Levy many years ago. I think the tune is originally from Henry Reed. You can hear a nice version of this by Bertram and the Hollow Rock String Band, here: And Greg & Jere Canote have a very accessible version (complete with tablature) here (just search on the title):

6 comments on “John Brown's March”

kevinwholmes Says:
Thursday, February 3, 2011 @10:13:29 AM

Nice, clean playing again. Excellent. Thanks again.

I've heard versions similar to this before... maybe it's the most authentic one (if such a concept can exist in old time music), but it's quite different than the one I learned by ear from one of Jim Taylor's Civil War music CD's (I posted a video of myself playing it on BHO a little while ago). Keep them coming!

slc Says:
Thursday, February 3, 2011 @12:13:27 PM

Kevin - I'd like to hear your version but didn't see it in the list. Can you post a link - or did I simply miss it? I really doubt this is 'authentic' - I learned a much simplified version of what Bertram taught, and have since dressed it up a bit over time. It's probably 'drifted' quite a bit from its source.

BTW I like your two-finger playing. That's something I've wanted to tackle, both two and three finger styles, but would like to learn a more traditional style. Can you recommend a source or a book?

slc Says:
Thursday, February 3, 2011 @12:25:00 PM

I checked out that version on Amazon's sample - you're right it's pretty different! And I really really liked 'They Swung John Brown To a Sour Apple Tree' (I guess that happened *after* his March. And his Dream). I'm adding that one to my 'tunes to learn some day' list

kevinwholmes Says:
Thursday, February 3, 2011 @2:24:01 PM

You can go to my BHO home page, click the Videos tab, and scroll down to find it, or see it on YouTube at:

kevinwholmes Says:
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @1:35:52 PM

I've "cleaned house" on Youtube, so the link above no longer works. This is my newest, which you have seen and is still on "New Media" on BHO as of 8/7/13:

slc Says:
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 @2:37:58 PM

Cool - yes your name looked very familiar on YouTube :-) I like to be sneaky I guess, still have my old, different usernames everywhere :-)

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