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Feb 4, 2024 - 4:22:30 PM
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139 posts since 1/23/2012

Hey folks!

I was fortunate to record a lengthy interview with melodic clawhammer guru Ken Perlman, and thought y'all might enjoy hearing it. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Here is a link, but it's also available on all the podcast apps:

https://www.banjopodcast.com/137-ken-perlman/

 

Cheers

Keith

Feb 5, 2024 - 5:42:41 AM
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8250 posts since 9/21/2007

I listened to this over the weekend, great interview!

I found a lot of Ken's discovery process fascinating. It is interesting that many of the folk revival era banjoists found themselves reinventing the wheel.

Much of what Ken was describing he discovered had been all laid out in earlier banjo instruction books, particularly "The Analytical Banjo Method" by Frank B. Converse. Obviously, accessibility to these works was extremely limited at the time even if he had known about them. Not to mention that there seems to have been blinders applied to any of the printed body of work for banjo during that "revival".

The "fiddle tune", or as they were called in period banjo books, "jigs, reels, and hornpipes" were a large part of the banjo tradition in both "stroke style" (now called clawhammer) and fingerstyle banjo.

I also find it interesting that the concept of playing the melody straight was novel enough to be considered new or fringe. Imagine if this were the case for other instruments?

At any rate, I enjoyed the podcast.

Feb 5, 2024 - 8:18:40 AM

amsweet

USA

65 posts since 3/6/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

I listened to this over the weekend, great interview!

I found a lot of Ken's discovery process fascinating. It is interesting that many of the folk revival era banjoists found themselves reinventing the wheel.

Much of what Ken was describing he discovered had been all laid out in earlier banjo instruction books, particularly "The Analytical Banjo Method" by Frank B. Converse. Obviously, accessibility to these works was extremely limited at the time even if he had known about them. Not to mention that there seems to have been blinders applied to any of the printed body of work for banjo during that "revival".

The "fiddle tune", or as they were called in period banjo books, "jigs, reels, and hornpipes" were a large part of the banjo tradition in both "stroke style" (now called clawhammer) and fingerstyle banjo.

I also find it interesting that the concept of playing the melody straight was novel enough to be considered new or fringe. Imagine if this were the case for other instruments?

At any rate, I enjoyed the podcast.


I'd have to go back and check to be sure, but I think Ken acknowledges this in Everything You Wanted to Know About Clawhammer Banjo. After developing his system of playing, he realized he had reinvented the wheel as you described.

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