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Old Joe Clark

Posted by Applesnake


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- Play count: 1320

Size: 3,336kb, uploaded 8/14/2007 3:34:20 PM
Genre: Bluegrass / Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

Wild guitar/banjo duet improvised on the spot between courses during of one of Erbablu Style short promotional shows in 1984, this time in a restaurant. As usual, in those years of sophisticated but over-costly portable recording rigs opposed to cheap cassette recorders, we couldn't afford taping our gigs. We've been lucky enough to find out that one of the restaurant's customers had placed a handheld mono cassette recorder in front of us. In this case, aside from the usual hiss, the original tape suffers from saturation and a nasty case of flutter. I just couldn't do anything in order to restore the sound other than applying a bit of noise reduction. Too bad!

4 comments on “Old Joe Clark”

waywardsinnerboy Says:
Thursday, August 16, 2007 @9:06:40 AM

a crude recording but the playing is top class

Don Borchelt Says:
Saturday, August 25, 2007 @8:00:44 AM

Bravissimo! Really nice picking, clean, lots of drive, neat notes.  So now that you've teased us with how you sounded when you were a little bambino, I, for one, would love to hear how you sound now, now that  you're an old vecchio. 

Applesnake Says:
Thursday, August 30, 2007 @12:00:07 PM

Hi, Don. Thank you for your felt comments. I've been really flattered. So you would like to hear more from my recent picking, hunh? Well, for one I haven't played much banjo in the last years... And even less I had a chance to record anything with the five-string. The last time I went in a recording studio, the band which called me made me play overdub track after track with mandolin, banjo, and fiddle but at the end they decided to keep just one mandolin track on a single tune for they felt that otherwise their debut record -based on placid guitar landscapes and west coast flavored vocals- would have been heavily influenced by a too-exotic touch. Amen.

Although I never quit picking or frailing (the main reason I signed up to BHO) until recent times there was virtually no place for a banjo in the various groups I played with. Leaps and bounds of intense practice shared their course with long periods of wane, where other instrument took its place. I've been called for a few studio work as well as live gigs, and my most recent commitment is with a group that plays South Italian music. My mandolin, recorder and flute skills are more at home here, and the marching band takes another slice of my free time in order to keep up my clarinet chops.

 As a matter of fact I consider my presence here as an assessment: the last stint with an Americana band dates to about six years ago, while last December an attempt to gather together some longtime pals around our former tastes failed after two excellent gigs in the outskirts. Nowadays I play old time and bluegrass only sparingly, since the fiddle has a much greater potential for improvisation and it's never out of place whenever I go. My evergreen love for the banjo had always to cope with the fact that I am a multi-instrumentalist and, as everyone knows, a multi-instrumentalist can't be a top class in everything. I do have some good banjo recordings from my last stay in a bluegrass band, however, but I have to do a through search among my tape archives. As soon as I can I'll seize my old four-track machine in order to send here some of my latest arrangements for banjo. Hold still for a little while... I'm practising hard in these days: a French 'musette' waltz by Marc Perrone is frying under my fingers along with a couple of session favorites taken from the glorious "O' Neill's Music of Ireland", waiting to be tabbed in three-finger style and clawhammer respectively. I am practicing and doing exercises everyday.

So at the tender age of 44 I'm an "old vecchio"? Well, look at my face... :-))

Thank you sir, I don't regret a tiny bit when I was a "little bambino" with an even more childish look, and I could just execute a string of foreign tunes almost without knowing what I was doing. I learned to play music though... Better picking through age!

Don Borchelt Says:
Saturday, October 6, 2007 @12:32:13 PM

I just came across your reply this morning.  Just yesterday I went to a concert at a local fair of a fiddle/guitar duo that includes Brian Clancey, my old guitar picking buddy.  They played a number of  "musette" tunes in their set, which i enjoyed very much.  It reminded me of the Grapelli/Reinhardt duets another friend used to play for me. 

I think you should put up some MP3s of whatever you are doing now, whether it has banjo or not.  A number of others have done so.  I'm sure lots of BHO members would love to hear it.



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