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Mar 6, 2021 - 6:04:10 PM
5 posts since 3/6/2021

Hello all,

Last year, in the midst of our local stay-at-home order, I bought a used Goodtime openback banjo through NextDoor on somewhat of a whim. I had played acoustic guitar for years and thought it'd be fun to give the banjo a try. Through learning how to play it, I've been introduced to the world of old time music, which I had never listened to before. Needless to say, I've been bitten by both the old time and banjo bug.

I live in central Indiana and have lived here for most of my life at this point. I'm interested in learning more about Hoosier old time musicians and tunes and I figured Banjo Hangout would be to place to inquire. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thank you!

Mar 6, 2021 - 7:07 PM

6081 posts since 9/21/2007

Parke Hunter was from in Bloomington.

youtube.com/watch?v=A2pu5X6yFUk

youtube.com/watch?v=nZAnPupSbG0

One of his better known compositions was "Fun on the Wabash", here is Vess Ossman (someone who Hunter played duets with often) playing it retitled as "Hoosier Frolicks."

youtube.com/watch?v=aVTwxeP2j7I

Hunter composed quite a bit and it was all published as sheet music.

He died in 1912 at the young age of 36.

Mar 6, 2021 - 7:17:06 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24584 posts since 6/25/2005

Indiana’s best, and best-known old-time banjo player is Reed Martin, who long since left his home state.. Don’t know if he’s still active, but he’s left some big footprints, including his CD “Old Time Banjo.” Any time you spend searching out and listening to Reed Martin will be time well spent.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 03/06/2021 19:17:38

Mar 7, 2021 - 4:49:34 AM

amsweet

USA

5 posts since 3/6/2021

Thank you both for your responses. I'm listening to those artists now over my morning coffee.

Mar 7, 2021 - 6:29:42 AM
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Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41000 posts since 3/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Indiana’s best, and best-known old-time banjo player is Reed Martin, who long since left his home state.. Don’t know if he’s still active, but he’s left some big footprints, including his CD “Old Time Banjo.” Any time you spend searching out and listening to Reed Martin will be time well spent.


I think I read some time ago that Reed Martin was suffering from dementia (https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/368923), so he is no longer active. But you should listen to his old recordings and watch him on YouTube.

Mar 8, 2021 - 6:23:41 AM
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19 posts since 4/3/2006

Hey, I'm in Indy.

He wasn't a banjo player, but look up John W. Summers' fiddle work.

Mar 8, 2021 - 6:48:44 AM

amsweet

USA

5 posts since 3/6/2021

@hokelore

Thank you! I'll check Summers out.

I may reach out when public events open up again to see what's going on in the local old time scene, if that's okay.

Mar 8, 2021 - 7:19:01 AM
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19 posts since 4/3/2006

Sure. Indy should have some things again, and Bloomington even more. Another fiddler to check would be Lotus Dickey. He's better known as a songwriter, but he was a mighty fine fiddler too.

Mar 9, 2021 - 11:17:03 AM
Players Union Member

Lew H

USA

2615 posts since 3/10/2008

I think you can search for Indiana based pickers on this website. Under "More" a popup window lets you do a member search.

Mar 9, 2021 - 10:34:33 PM
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447 posts since 9/9/2006
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There was a fiddler from the Bloomington area named Joe Dawson who played in a very distinct and idiosyncratic style. He passed away some years ago, but my wife and I visited and played with him a few times in the company of Frank Hall, a friend and terrific fiddler and dance caller who lived in a house adjacent to Joe’s back yard. (Frank now lives in Ireland.)

There was also a fiddler named Strawberry McCloud (who I never met), also now gone, who was active in southern Indiana, I think also in the Bloomington area. He made at least one recording, but I doubt if it’s still in print.

Bloomington has long been, and still is, a hotbed of old-time music.

Edited by - BrendanD on 03/09/2021 22:46:42

Mar 9, 2021 - 10:44:07 PM
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447 posts since 9/9/2006
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by hokelore

Sure. Indy should have some things again, and Bloomington even more. Another fiddler to check would be Lotus Dickey. He's better known as a songwriter, but he was a mighty fine fiddler too.


Lotus was a gem! I met him in 1985 at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. My wife and I visited Lotus at his home on Grease Gravy Road outside Paoli in 1988, and he took us to see his brother Cyprian, who was also a fiddler. Somewhere I have a tape of them fiddling together. Lotus was a fine fiddler and guitar player, and a wonderful songwriter, as well as just a great human being.

Mar 10, 2021 - 3:28:37 AM

amsweet

USA

5 posts since 3/6/2021

Thank you, again, for all the responses. I've been enjoying the suggested listening.

I went to school in Bloomington, but wasn't aware of old time music at the time. Goes to show what you can miss out on if you're not listening for it.

Mar 10, 2021 - 4:17:18 AM

19 posts since 4/3/2006

I went to school in Bloomington, too, and didn't really discover the scene until I was nearly finished. There are and were a lot of good musicians there.

Mar 13, 2021 - 4:25:05 PM

jwold

USA

1188 posts since 7/21/2004

I'll post a separate thread, but I just posted a link to a house concert I recorded of Reed Martin, here it is as well since it's pertinent to this thread.

youtube.com/watch?v=i0RGNafyod0

Mar 20, 2021 - 1:46:17 PM

Clawdan

USA

3462 posts since 3/12/2006

Once was a big scene there. I played the dances there several times. Brad Leftwich was there (maybe is back there now?) and there was an incredible ot session weekly upstairs in the pub downtown. Do I also remember Abby and Evie Laden from there? Clogging group.

Look up the Plank Road String Band. I think you will be impressed.

Mar 22, 2021 - 4:29:49 AM

amsweet

USA

5 posts since 3/6/2021

@jwold Thank you so much for posting that. My girlfriend and I sat down and watched it this weekend and really enjoyed it. He gave a similar lecture and performance at Ball State University, which can be found here: dmr.bsu.edu/digital/collection...ty/id/46/

@clawdan According to a Google search, it seems Abby may still be in Bloomington. And you were right, I was impressed with the Plank Road String Band! Thank you. Do you remember the pub you all played in, by chance?

Additionally, I listened to Deb Shebish's episode of Get Up In The Cool recently, in which she discusses the late fiddler from Bloomington, Joe Dawson, and plays a handful of tunes she learned from him during her time there. It's good listening. She also recorded several of those tunes on her Kitchen Fiddle album.

getupinthecool.fireside.fm/31

Mar 22, 2021 - 6:47:04 AM

Clawdan

USA

3462 posts since 3/12/2006

Hi Andrew,
Sorry, I don't remember the pub other than it was an Irish pub and they played on the second floor.

Also there is(was?) a dance in Indy that I played a few times. Caller Mark Richardson was big up there. Don't know how to contact him but maybe look him up in Facebook.

Often the dances can be a good gateway into the old time music community. Try this. https://www.indycontra.org/

Been a while since I was in that area.

Edited by - Clawdan on 03/22/2021 06:48:05

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