Es werden Posts vom 2009 angezeigt.

Today ´s the Day

They finally tie the knot. Today Stephen, well known frailer from Newcastle, will marry his Laura. Be brave, Stephen! May you have courage enough to do the few steps to a new future.
When thinking of his walk to the altar those famous tunes came to my mind: Wedding Marches
I sent the piece to the bridal couple and Stephen wrote that he is planning to play it at his wedding party. Hopefully it will not spoil the night. Maybe it would be wise to play it for a "last dance".

Best wishes to you both - and may there always be a banjo within his reach, for better or for worth.

Seasons Greetings

Had a wonderful Christmas, although the banjo has to be put aside for a few days:

Until Sunday Jan 3rd I have to learn at least two of Andy Rubin´s three tabs. Looking forward to his workshop in Hamburg.
@ Kiel frailers: wir sind anscheinend zu dritt und sollten mit einem Wagen fahren. Meldet Euch doch mal.

Duelling Banjos with De Schottische

Couldn´t believe my eyes when I saw this on Patrick´s blog. And then I couldn´t believe my ears.
I tried this tune in April and made it up by listening to M. J. Miles´ wonderful CD. At this time I didn´t know that there were tabs too. But I am afraid, I would not have played it as beautiful as John from Chicago does even if I had tabs. At least I can tell myself that he´s playing it from tabs which I didn´t have...
Will more practice bring more beauty? I´ll try...

Tuning the Baby

Pat W. , a friend from the 2008 Crisfield retreat, gave me important informations for my quest for the clawhammer tone:
"If what you are wanting to hear is a more plunky like a lot of the modern clawhammer players, I would suggest that the fiberskyn may not be the right head for your banjo. The fiberskyn is a dry sound and not very resonant. I personally like the fiberskyn sound as it cuts a lot of overtones. I think you want to try a Renaissance head. The Ren accentuates the midrange of the instrument more and I believe would be a better fit for what I believe you are trying to achieve. The Ren is more resonant and produces more of a note when struck.
The other thing I would suggest is to actually tap tune the head to A# when you put it on. I usually start by tuning it to G first and then bring it up to where it first hits A#. The A# works well because that note is rarely
used on the fretboard so is less likely to create wolf tones. To tap tune the head, set the banjo in your la…

The Eternal Quest

Maybe it´s not a problem for you, my dear reader, but since I´m playing my Saga I was looking for improving it´s sound.
Changed the top (now it´s a fiberskyn head), changed the strings from steel to nylon and back to steel again, looked around for another banjo: This beautiful baby made by Neil, or one of Karsten´s great instruments (but definitely not one of those 10.000 bucks pieces you can find here).
Always I am insecure if I need another banjo to achieve this plunky old time sound I like most – or is it just my way of hitting the strings? Softer is better? But softer is harder to do for me.

Just now I came upon a totally new problem concerning the sound.
I used to go to a nail shop to get some acryl on the finger nails because that makes them stronger and it´s easier to do some finger picking on the guitar with acrylic nails (t.m.h.o). So I got a strong frailing nail too. A while ago I decided to stop tuning my nails because I tend to play more plectrum guitar now. Now the acry…

Northcretan Wood

Yannis showed us how to play Norwegian Wood on the banjo. As I read his remark that it could sound good with a guitar I could not help but give it a try. I took my little Martin and played exactly Yannis´chords but with a C at the end of the long first run in D.
I capoed the 5th string of my banjo up two frets so that it sounded as an A. As the A is part of a D chord that should fit (my thought).
Then I added my banjo (with Audacity).
By the way the chords are:
D........(C) D
dm G
dm em A A7
And here we go. Now we need a singer...
Maybe if I take some of Yannis´raki he gave me during our last meeting?


The guys from Hagen Banjoree sent me this mail:
"Zu unserer großen Freude können wir am 03. Januar in Hamburg einen Workshop mit dem herausragenden Clawhammer Banjospieler Andy Rubin aus Sacramento / Californien anbieten. Titel des Workshops ist „Clawhammer Klezmer Banjo“."
Clawhammer - Clezmer - Fusion? A must have!
Andy Rubin will come to Hamburg and have a workshop on Sunday (very friendly to the working class) January 3rd 2010. They promised, there will be tabs for beginners too.
I am very curious about it and can´t wait.

Charlie Poole

Our friend Uli is on air again:
(I write this in English as there´s a web-stream too).
You can hear BYRON's BARN at Tuesday Nov. 25th 10 pm and Wednesday Nov. 26th at 10 am on the radio FM 101.2 (Offener Kanal Kiel)
as a lifestream on the Internet at the same time (klick at "KielFM Livestream" on the left menu)

Uli told me that this time his broadcast will be about Charlie Poole:

I ran along CP at the Kiel Retreat through Hartmut who seemed to be a fan. Thank you very much again, Hartmut!
Maybe Uli will tell us about the great Loudon Wainwright III "Charlie Poole Project" too.

Duelling Strings

Alway was curious if nylon strings sound "better" on my Saga open back 5-string banjo. So I recorded "Soldier´s Joy" (and I´m sorry for the mistakes) with nylon and steel strings alternatingly. Recorded with ZoomH2, using the freeware Audacity. Video made with Windows moviemaker.
The result for me:
I like the frailing feeling more with steel strings. They are harder and more resistant to the frailing finger. Nylons want to be hitted very hard to give the wanted response. But played by a non-expert like me, the acoustic difference is less than I would have predicted. Ok, the recording is not professionally done, so this may be the reason why the different parts of the audio file sound very similar to me.
Not so in "real life". The nylon strings sounded a little muffled to my opinion, in particular the 3rd and 4th string. So I will keep the steel strings on the banjo - at least as long as I don´t have a second instrument.

Had a go at it

Chris´Soldier´s Joy really is hard stuff. If that´s the way they play old time music in Virginia, I will take the emergency lane and let them take the fast lane. I must confess I thought of downgrading his terrible speed with audacity. But no cheating! Here is how we duet over the big pond: Soldier´s Joy as fast as I could.

Chris, please don´t tell me you slowed down just for me. That would kill me :-)))
As it would take months for me to learn the exact phrases you use - and at the same time follow your speed - I just played my stuff. Hope you like it anyway.

These are nylon strings on my Saga banjo.

Wind Instruments + Banjo

At the Banjoree in Hagen Blacky and me decided to give it a try: Not banjo + fiddle, but banjo + melodeon / concertina. At last we had a jam yesterday evening. As he is a keen squeezer on his instruments it was no problem for him to accompany my playing (or was it me following him?).
We had lots of fun with Soldier´s Joy. Banjo tuned in Double-C, no idea what he did on his melodeon.
Then we tried You are My Sunshine. Banjo (in open G-tuning) with concertina.
Hope you like it.
Now I am waiting for Chris Via´s fiddle with Soldier´s Joy so that we can revitalize the Transcontinental Jam Session :-)))
He did it!. Thank you very much, Chris. As soon as possible I´ll join in...

Did It Again

Yesterday I screw up my courage again and took my banjo to the open stage in Kiel´s Statt-Café. Lucky me I met an experienced fiddler who let me accompany him. Before the jam we did a short rehearsal for just five or ten minutes in an adjacent room. It turned out that he (of course) knew "Ragtime Annie" and "Cripple Creek". So we did this on stage.
Second time ever for me to play with a fiddler. It was lots of fun - especially when his microphone began to turn gradually and then flipped off totally, so that we had to make a break to fix it. :-( So we had a second try with "Ragtime Annie". But "Cripple Creek" went (pretty much) perfectly - to my humble opinion. As these seemed to be the only tunes which both of us knew and all the other gigs had three pieces of music before, I had enough guts to play "Sandy Boys" solo then. I think it was ok, anyway I was happy when I finished it.
This time again there was this red curtain behind me. But…

Wanz in a Manz

Once in a month
we´ve got open stage in Kiel:
Am nächsten Montag, 9.11. um 20:30 Uhr öffnet wieder die Folk-Bühne im Kieler Statt-Café. Der stolze Autor dieser Zeilen hat ja schon mal den Sprung nach oben gewagt. Wer weiß, vielleicht schafft er es am Montag ja wieder. Und sei es nur, um am Dienstag endlich wieder ein paar Zeilen hier in den blog zu schreiben. Wird ja mal Zeit.

Due to my visit to Crete, the banjo led a shadowy existence the last weeks. Time to put it back to live. But greek music had conquered (parts of) my heart. Heard a lot of Tsitsanis then, e.g. see here:


Yannis, well known frailer from Crete, borrowed his banjo so that I could try Cripple Creek in the valley of Plemenianá, South-West Crete.

Besides this episode, we had a great time making music with banjo - he - and Little Martin - me. Yannis even knew my beloved WOO-HOO-Song which Mark introduced to me during the Kiel Retreat: Fisherman Blues by the Waterboys. I will look it up on youtube.

And Paleochora was great again! Besides all Cretan beauties like walking through the wild countryside, swimming, snorkling, lying in the shade of "our" mulberry tree reading Stieg Larsson (more than 700 pages in four days and curiuos and inquisitive what the heck will happen with Lisbeth in the next part...)
and singing Greek songs with Antonis, our landlord in Paleochora, who is (nearly) a real Mangas. Crete is great!


One of the first European string pickers: A Minoan priest playing the lyra.

Got My Baby

Die kleine Martin war nun doch bei dem norddeutschen Händler nahe Hamburg ausverkauft - trotz anderslautenden Eintrags in seinem Webshop. Deshalb habe ich sie am Dienstag in USA bestellt. Und am Freitag war sie da. Fracht und Zoll/USt entsprachen ziemlich genau dem von mir errechneten Betrag. Nun wart ich mal ab, zu welchem Euro-Kurs das abgerechnet wird. Aber der Kundendienst von Elderly und von FedEx ist wirklich beeindruckend. Ich habe denen geschildert, wie eilig ich es habe. Und schwupps war das Baby da. Gesund und gutaussehend und -klingend.
Allerdings mit einem Rosewood-Fretboard. Ich hatte mit schwarzem Micarta gerechnet nach den Beschreibungen, die ich gelesen habe. Aber so ist sie schöner.

Eine Gitarre aus den USA?

Nachdem der Dollar-Kurs für uns €-User zur Zeit Recht günstig ist, kommt der eine oder andere schon mal auf die Idee, sich evtl. eine Martin LX1 aus den USA zu bestellen. Mark hatte sie beim Kiel Retreat dabei. Eine schöne kleine Reisegitarre mit einem erstaunlichen Sound - und in einem Format, das selbst in den kleinsten Kofferraum oder in die Gepäckablage im Flieger passen sollte. Also mal bei den amerikanischen Anbietern rumgesurft und nach Preisen geguckt.

Und dann auf den deutschen Zoll-Seiten versucht rauszufinden, was denn wohl der Zoll zu so einem Geschäft sagt.
Das Ergebnis seht Ihr
(Ich brauche wohl nicht extra zu erwähnen, dass ich keinerlei Garantie für die Rechnung übernehme, oder?)
Bei einem Kaufpreis von 299 US$ und Frachtkosten von 185 US$ (so die Webseite des US-Lieferanten) belaufen sich die Gesamtkosten auf 403,23 €.
Zoll und Umsatzsteuer (gesamt 74,11 €) sind gar nicht der größte Posten. Die Frachtkosten sind in diesem Fall das Problem.
Wenn man ohnehin mal in U…

Kiel Retreat 2009

What will it be that we will remember when we think of this weekend in a few months?

Fun, Fun, Fun (we should have tried this Beach Boys song with the banjos!)
Sunshine from morning til evening (in Kiel !, never would have believed that),
blue sky
blue sea („Deep Blue Sea“)
the house on the loch (hint, hint, Dick)
good food („Philly Cheese Steaks“, served with noodle salad)
good drinking
comfortable rooms
lots of Banjos
lots of frailing
a clarinet with 9 banjos
lots of singing
Fun, Fun, Fun

Shady Grove at the not at all shady beach
Frailing above the sea (on the pier)
Frailing all night long (first night until 3:30 a.m.)
Large ferry boats and container ships, beautiful sailing boats and yachts, all passing along at a hands reach. (Pulling the curtains aside in the morning just in time to see a huge ship crossing the windowsill, well nearly)
Hearing Geordie songs and impressive Woohoos
Discussing the use of drop thump
Seeing beautiful instruments AND playing them
A bunch of guys in the kitchen preparing …

Deep Blue Sea

Petrus muss ein Frailer sein

September in Kiel can have beautiful weather. But days like we had are rare. It were the greatest summerdays ever!
And not only the weather was fine.
10 musicians made the First Kiel Retreat an unforgetable event. I´ll tell you later, for now be assured: I am happy having met with these guys and gals.


Good advice for the wild bunch:
Today you better go to bed early, in case tomorrow ...

Three Daze and Counting

The mother of all retreats is being prepared in Crisfield , but it´s smaller sister in Kiel tries to follow in it´s footsteps. Throughout Dublin, Newcastle, Hannover, Bremerhafen, Mainz and Kiel guys (and girls) are thinking about what to take with them, what to leave at home, how to get there, how to share rides. Mails are being exchanged, google groups is used, everybody is longing for the first frails ringing over the beach at the Kieler Förde. Just got news that hopefully we can be assisted by a berimbau on Friday evening. Never heard one in real live before. Must be fun to have this combined with the bump-ditty.

Only One Week

Time is near. One more week and we will start the first "Kiel Retreat". We will be 10 folks of all ages and (nearly) all parts of Europe. Well, ok, at least Ireland, England, Germany – but we´re just starting :-)
Once we were more, but a few of the wild bunch chose to visit our big sister in Crisfield (have retreats sisters or brothers?). Have fun there, guys! We would have loved to go there too, but such is live... We will have fun here.

As a foretaste of what we will be doing, Hartmut from Hannover took my banjo file of Soldier´s Joy and added his mandolin to it. I´m really looking forward to play with you guys together!
Those who applied for the retreat have already got an invitation to our google group so that we can exchange our thoughts about bringing things to Kiel, what to take with you and the like. Communication has just started there.
Longing to meet you (punks included!)

Jug Band

This is not the Kiel Retreat Jug Band, but who knows, with a little practicing...

Kiel Retreat

As informations and pictures about the retreat in Kiel are spread across this blog, here are a few links to some of the earlier posts:

What shall we do

about not daring to go to a retreat

Here we are, this is where we meet

the villa



Grad hab ich noch mal auf der Seite von Cathy Moore gestöbert und fand das:

Is that cool or what?

Soldier´s Joy

Finally I found Patrick´s instruction video on nylon strings on a no-knot tailpiece (thanks a lot, Werner, for your comment on my last post!). As Patrick says, those tailpieces are made for small fingers, not for paws. I found it hard to handle it, it looks easier as it is.
But as my last nylon e-string broke yesterday, I stringed my banjo with the good old GHS steel strings "regular light L09". Thank God, they´ve got loop ends.
So here is a complete rendition of "Soldier´s Joy" which I learned from the tabs of Mike Iverson with some modifications as this seems to be how I know the tune - and made it easier for me.
I don´t want to know anything about the "joy´s of a soldier", but I like the tune anyway.
By the way: What about revitalising the good old "Transcontinental Jam Session"? Any guitar around here? Or a fiddle?

Nylon Strings

Never was quite sure, if the sound I produce on my banjo was exactly what I wanted to hear (not speaking of wrong notes). Sometimes I think the sound is not plunky enough. Then I got the CD "Banjo Gathering" (in fact a double) and heard (among others) banjos with nylon strings - also called nylguts. At the Banjoree in Hagen Cathy Moore played nylguts. I loved the sound - but I´m afraid it´s not only the nylguts but her kind of playing too ;-)
As I didn´t want to order nylgot strings from the US without knowing how these would sound with my kind of frailing, today I put nylon guitar strings on my banjo.
Wasn´t easy in no way: They didn´t want to get fixed at the noknot tailpiece, always slipped away when I began to tighten and tune them (I remember there was a video from Patrick showing how to put strings on a ukulele which had a similar tailpiece, but couldn´t find the video).
Finaly the strings where fixed. I took e-strings for the 1st and the fifth string and spent some (lo…

little session on Charles Bridge

This little vid was shot on Charles Bridge, Prague. I felt it had to be published right here on the blog:


Heute ist der lang ersehnt BAHA-Tag. Patrick wird sein Audio-Interface angesetzt bekommen. Hoffentlich hört er dann gnädig über unsere falschen Töne hinweg...
Dabei fällt mir ein, dass wir natürlich für unser Retreat - in 3 1/2 Wochen! - unbedingt das Songbook von Kelly Griner brauchen! Es ist auch möglich, mehrere Exemplare zu bestellen ...


No more asking, no more doubts: Our retreat will become reality! Nine fearnoughts will meet (they can bring in some more as we will have some bunks free ;-) on Friday Sept. 18th and will start to play and cook and play -and drink a little - and play again and continue playing and .. til Sunday 20th we will have to part.
For details visit
I really can´t wait.
Raise high the banjos, folks!

For those who will travel here from afar, we will try to organize some pick up service. Those arriving at Kiel central station will be taken from there to the retreat´s place. Those who come via Hamburg or Hannover will get mail from me about how to make their way to Kiel. We even can pick you up at Hamburg.

"Hell broke loose ...

... in Georgia".
This is the name of a rousing tune I never heard before. Hartmut from Hannover who will join the retreat sent me his rendition. That´s old tymie, isn´t it? Hopefully he will show us in Kiel how he did it. Sounds as if he´s got the cluck. I would like to learn that too.
He wrote me that he first recorded the guitar track, then played it back through the speakers of his audio equipment while playing his banjo, so recording both tracks.
Hartmut, next time you may use Audacity ;-)


Morgen ab 11 Uhr hat Max Wolff den Blues im Kulturladen Leuchtturm in Friedrichsort. Sehr empfehlenswert!


The Kiel Retreat will take place in five weeks from now (September 18th - 20th).Since some folks cancelled, there will be around 7-8 guys and gals who will come for sure (I´m still waiting for some confirmations, but this will be the number). This will slightly increase the costs for each of us, but I think it will not be unbearable. All costs are shared per capita. 400 € for the whole weekkend will go for accomodation. We will need food (home cooking - think of some recipes, please) and electricity plus maybe gas for heating. I think one weekend of music will be worth this effort.

In a few days I will send to participants a link to another server where I stored lyrics and chords of some well known folk songs so that everybody can have a look at it. Any suggestions for more songs or tunes are wellcome. We can share them this way. You may print thoses songs you like and bring them with you along with your own songbooks.
I`waiting to meet you all.

Holidays Over

Holidays are over, I`m back to work.
England/Dorset/Shipton Gorge was wonderful. The dear (and only?) reader of this blog may find it interesting, that we had a small jam in Shipton. Roland and his wife Angela from West Sussex came on a sunday afternoon. They had their car packed with guitars, a banjo and a sweet little ukulele. As this Hawaian (?) instrument wanted an Hawaian song, we had a go at "Let´s Talk Dirty in Hawaian", a funny John Prine song (hear Neil singing it).
This is how we looked:

Looks like fun, doesn`t it? And it really was.
By this I got the chance to play Roland´s banjo. First Cripple Creek since two weeks. I almost adopted it ... ;-)

Dorset Jam

In a few weeks I´m going to England for holidays. As I met two guys from there in Sheffield last December, we´re going to meet again for an afternoon (and evening?) jam at my holiday cottage in Shipton Gorge. Looking forward to it!
Music is fun (and banjo rules the world)!
I´d love to wear the well known red hoodie then, but it´s summer (at least I hope so). So I will refrain.

und dann war da noch gestern abend...

Diesmal hab ich mich getraut, bin zu Lemmi gegangen, habe gesagt, "ich würde gerne was spielen", er sagt noch "aha, Banjo", hat mich in die Liste eingetragen und plötzlich musste ich auf die Bühne. Ein Wunder, dass ich nicht gleich zu Anfang sämtliche Mikrofone - es standen da mehrere - abgeräumt habe. Und noch erstaulicher, dass ich hinterher beim Abgang nur ganz leicht gegen eines gestoßen bin. Iss nix passiert. Dazwischen habe ich 2 1/2 Instrumentals gespielt. Zum Glück hatte ich mir vorher überlegt, dass ich Cripple Creek und Ragtime Annie spielen wollte. Beides in G-Stimmung, also ohne großes Umstimmen. Komischerweise habe ich dann aber Ragtime Annie und Cripple Creek gespielt. Und zwischendurch etwas über Clawhammer und open back Banjo erzählt. Bin mir nicht sicher, ob das jeder verstanden hat. Hab mir aber Mühe gegeben. Junge, war ich aufgeregt! Musste ins Mikro spielen, hat nicht immer geklappt, mein Saga war aber wohl laut genug, denn die Leute haben immer…

Amerikaner - Deutsche

Gerade lese ich einen Text über kulturell geprägte Verhaltensweisen. Hat zwar gar nix mit Banjo zu tun, ist aber das Interessanteste, was ich seit langem gelesen habe - außer dem neuen Unterhaltsrecht :-)


... und heute um 20:30 Uhr steigt die "Offene Bühne" für Folkmusik im Kieler Statt-Café.
Hätt ich fast vergessen.
Sollte wohl öfter mal meinen Blog lesen.

Beautiful Kiel

Yesterday I was sitting in a lovely garden cafe

Kiel and around auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

near Kiel. Went there by bicycle. There you can watch beautiful flowers of all kinds. The garden is situated above the Kiel Canal. So while sitting there, sipping my coffee, eating wonderful cake and watching the ships roll by,

this came to my mind (as almost everytime I´m in a good mood I think of making music :-))) :
Why not combining your event of the year (the Kiel Retreat of course) with a few holidays in or around Kiel with your good lady? Imagine you sitting at the beach in Friedrichsort playing the banjo while your wife is touring the neighbourhoof of Kiel with a bike - or a car - and loving you (again, perhaps :-) for the rest of your life because you and your banjo gave her the opportunity to get to know this area.
Just a thought.

What shall we do with the ... Kiel Retreat?

Or, better question - as the retreat will surely happen (hope so) - : what shall we do AT the retreat?
Eat and drink (am curious to experience "Frailer´s Cuisine"),
and play.
And have one or two workshops?
But which?
After I managed my first bump-ditties (which took me some time) I always loved the drop-thumbs which guys like Patrick or others throw in every now and then. Apparently there are players who use drop-thumbing almost regularly throughout the whole tune and others who do never or at rare spots. To do it correctly and keeping the rhythm really is a challenge for me. Not before long I began to use it every now and then. It spices up a tune. But I´m far from doing it the right way. So I thought of the words: What is the most promising way of learning? Teaching to a student!
What if we have a little workshop on "Drop-Thumbing"? It´s like the blind teaching the blinds - but in the end we will see the light!

Another issue came up at the UK Folkies forum. Some ale…

Anybody for Kiel?

Yesterday "my second guitarist" who in fact is the "second main chief executiv of the Kiel-Retreat" and me jammed along and talked about the last development. I can pretty much feel how hard it is to decide either going to Kiel or to Crisfield in September. But it really is a pity that we Kiel folks once were 16 participants of whom now are around 7 left. Not everybody of the rest did cancel because of Crisfield. But several did. The more folks we are in Kiel, the cheaper the house will be for each of us. Reverse is true also.

There may be some folks who thought of coming to Kiel, but did not tell me so far. It is true for us too (as Danny says about his UK-Forum): „We are a friendly bunch. So jump in, the water is warm!“
Making music with friends is much more satisfying than playing alone in your sitting room. Imagine your banjo being accompanied by guitars, other banjos, tin whistles etc. Or vice versa. Even if you would name yourself a „bloddy beginner“, this Kiel…

Anybody for Kiel?

Als ich gestern mal wieder mit der „Hilfsgitarristin“ und maßgeblichen Mit-Organisatorin des Kiel-Retreat gejamt habe, haben wir noch mal die letzte Entwicklung Revue passieren lassen. Obwohl ich den Konflikt zwischen der Entscheidung nach Kiel zu fahren oder nach Crisfield wirklich nicht unterschätze – ich hätte auch geschwankt, wenn ich die Alternative gehabt hätte – ist es doch jammerschade, dass inzwischen nur noch ca. 7 Teilnehmer für Kiel fest „gebucht“ sind. Wir waren mal 16. Nicht alle haben wegen Crisfield abgesagt, aber doch einige. Je mehr Teilnehmer wir sind, desto billiger wird die ganze Sache für jeden von uns. Das gilt allerdings auch umgekehrt.

Ich könnte mir vorstellen, dass mancher Leser dieses Blogs mit der Idee gespielt hat, sich „zu trauen“ und nach Kiel zu kommen – sich dann aber aus allerlei Gründen bisher noch nicht gemeldet hat. Leute, wie schreibt Danny in seinem UK-Forum immer: „We are a friendly bunch. So jump in, the water is warm!“ Banjo, Gitarre etc. mit…

Anybody else going to the OTHER retreat?

The CBR (Crisfield BAHA Retreat) understandably is of great attraction to all of us. As it coincides with the Kiel retreat more and more cancellations of the Kiel meeting arrive. Just got one more. Now we are less than ten applicants left. Hopefully there will be some guys from around Kiel who will join us. But the "artists in resident" will be the backbone of the retreat. And they will bear the financial costs. The fewer we are, the more each one will have to pay (well, of course the costs are not very high). We could need some more participants!
So give your heart a nudge, dear reader. (Almost) nothing aquivalents the fantastic view from our retreat´s place across the baltic sea (not even - let´s say - Jane´s Island Park).
It´s true, the Costello´s are missing here, but we could try an internet conference, huh?
And we definetly will sing some BAHA songs here too like "Ears in Heaven", "Dr. Niparcho, the Magic Dragon", "The Baltimore (Fire) Implant&…

Kiel Retreat

Unfortunatly the "BAHA-Festival" :-) in Crisfield coincides with the Kiel-Retreat, both will take place at the third weekend in September. Some applicants did cancel Kiel during the last days as they want to go to Crisfield. Of course I do understand this very well - I also would have liked to go there to celebrate Patrick´s success and to meet the guys again. But I will not be able to go. So in the end the Kiel retreat is kind of compensatory.
Hopefully I will not get more emails with cancelations. So far the number of participants shrinked from 16 to 10 (not all cancellations came because of Crisfield). If you, my dear reader, pondered over the idea to come to Kiel, let me know. See details in this blog in earlier entries and at


Found a source for beautiful photographies from folk festivals in the sixties including Newport with Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger,Frank Profitt, Son House etc.
It´s on flickr.
I like to view them with Cooliris. It turns your browser into an ever-expanding "3D Wall" whenever you launch it from your browser toolbar. It's really hard to explain, so you have to try it to see what I mean. You can get it free at

What to take with you when you´re from home

Last week I attended an educational meeting of American/Canadian/German colleagues near Berlin. Learned a lot there.
As I was afraid of banjo withdrawal symptoms when leaving home for one week without my 5string I decided to take it with me. There should be an opportunity to play it in the garden during a break or wherever after the training, I thought. And indeed, I could use it some time or another.
But the last evening was a blast:
As I told some of the collegues that I had a banjo with me, they urged me to bring it into the local beer cellar the last evening (well, not much urging, it was just me who announced it :-)
Five days long we had discussed serious matters during the day and had some chats in the evening (plus were proud to have accepted an invitation to a very formal reception in the US embassy in Berlin). But when I entered the beer cellar this last evening with my banjo, they all waited for music. Everybody seems to have longed for foot tapping, hand clapping, whistling to…

Folk in Kiel

Die letzte Folksession im Statt-Café war recht interessant. Folker und Interpreten von Singer/Songwriter-Stücken wechselten sich ab. Es gab auch ein Duett von Drehleiern, schwedische Geigenpolkas und Irisches. Kein Banjo auf der Bühne - aber evtl. nächstes Mal meines?
Mal sehn.

Die Sessions sollen immer am 2. Montag im Monat stattfinden. Ob das auch für die Kieler Woche gilt, weiß ich noch nicht.

Byron´s Barn

Bluegrass radio from Kiel:

monthly livestream
1. every 2nd Friday at 9 pm GMT+1
2. every 3rd Wednesday at 6 pm GMT+1
3. every 4th Tuesday at 10 pm GMT+1
4. every 4th Wednesday at 10 am GMT+1


Folk Club in Kiel

Nicht vergessen!
Morgen findet die nächste "offene Bühne" im Kulturforum statt.

Learning Method

Just found some notes about learning tunes. Guess what is the most promising way? Teaching the tune to a student!
We will try this during the Kiel Retreat.

Old Time Music

What do you need for American Old Time Music?
A Banjo of course.
But even more important (than this most important instrument of the western hemispere) is the fiddler. I learned that in Old Time Music it´s the fiddler who is the center of the band. Since long I wanted to play with a fiddler, but they are rare in Kiel.
Now Chris Via published some videos of his on youtube (he is also one of the Somerset Banjo builders.)
There I found the tune Betty Likkens, the tabs of which Cathy Moore put on her blog under the name Betsy Likens.
I extracted the audio track from Chris´ file with Audacity and added my banjo to it. He gave his permission to post this file (thank you, Chris).
Hope you enjoy.
By the way, it´s my Saga banjo with the new renaissance head.
Not renaissance. It´s a fiberskyn, sorry for that.

Banjoree (3 of ?)

Just got news that Cathy Moore posted the tabs and the mp3s of the tunes she presented to us at her workshop at the banjoree.
Don´t forget to go to Cathy´s blog. There you may learn the tune "Betsy Likens" and how to put it into various rhythms.
The files are of high quality, so there´s no need for me to post my own recordings of that workshop. Thank you very much for this good work, Cathy.

Back Home Again

After several days of sightseeing, admiring wonderful pieces of art, enjoying French cuisine and struggling with French language every day life is back again.
During the last days I was getting withdrawals from (one of) the most important things in life. I already began to see it everywhere:

The Big Banjo:

The White Banjo:

Kissing Banjos:

The Painted Banjo:

The Holy Banjo:

The Staple Banjo:

Cold Turkey:


This is how our countryside looks like in these days:


Due to his health situation and reasons combined with this Patrick cannot come to the Kiel retreat. He regrets - me too - but it is impossible for him. We respect this of course. I know he would have come if there was a way.

I´ll be back in a few days, in the meantime I strongly recommend practicing some Irish songs. Why not download one (better more, hint, hint...) copies of Kelly´s songbook? I did and it looks like Kelly did a good job.


Some years ago Pete Seeger would have been looked at only as that mad guy who wanted to cut the electric cables of Bob Dylan´s band at Newport festival with an axe (I wouldn´t mind if he had!)
It seems that today also those electric guys know that PS is one of the heros of American music :-)

Thinking of Pete Seeger´s 90th birthday, Hartmut (frailer from Hannover) sent me a link to a very informative documentary.

Some weeks ago I met a young woman (around 20 years old) who played guitar on the street and didn´t even know what a banjo is - and, even worse - didn´t know Pete Seeger. Unbelievable. Am I too old or what?

The Wild Bunch

Dieses Foto wurde an Pete Seeger geschickt, der am Sonntag seinen 90. Geburtstag feiern durfte. Schließlich hat er das Banjo sozusagen wieder auferstehen lassen.

Banjoree Nachklapp 2 von ?

Kürzlich schrieb Werner als Kommentar zu diesem Blog, er freue sich auf „tägliche“ neue Nachrichten zu unserem Retreat im September. Nun, zunächst mal hab ich mich darüber gefreut, dass überhaupt jemand einen Kommentar schickt :-)

Nach dem Banjoree ist erneut die imaginäre Messlatte für „gutes und richtiges Banjospielen“ um einiges höher gelegt worden.
Nicht nur die Tutoren, sondern auch die „normalen“ Gäste waren sehr fingerfertig und musikalisch bewandert. Ich werde deshalb dran arbeiten, meine eigene Messlatte wieder etwas in erreichbare Höhe zu versetzen – das heißt runter. Bis September werde ich das schon schaffen. Und spätestens in Friedrichsort bin ich dann wieder bei Bump-Ditty angelangt.

Dass es auch ein Frailen nach dem Dit gibt, war in der Old-Time-Abteilung in Hagen deutlich zu hören. Bis hin zu der Aussage von Cathy Moore , Old Time Banjo käme auch gut ohne Strum aus (also sozusagen bump-a dit-ty, aber dit als eine 1/8-Note und nicht als strum über mehr oder weniger alle…

Guitar Lessons

The banjoree was full of banjos, picked and taught.
But there were other instruments too.
During the Saturday night performance lots of musicians showed us their talents.
Among them Rainer from Kiel, member of the group hans dans. Rumours go that he must not play banjo in this band. (That´s why we granted him asylum at the banjoree. In fact he is a very good old picker, no sorry, a very good old time picker :-) But he also had his concertina with him and played two pieces on stage. We all were delighted!

Of course many banjo pickers love guitar too.
So we were enthusiastic that Wayne Henderson, famous guitar picker and builder of admirable guitars, gave lessons on Saturday. He really is a wonderful person and his teaching was clear and to the point. Anyone who read Allen St. John´s book (look it up in your local bookstore or let them order it for you) about Wayne building guitars will agree that there is nothing exaggerated about him in this book.
To top it all, Wayne generously gave…

Banjoree in Hagen

The Banjoree 2009 is over. It was a blast!
Nur eins ist wirklich schlimm: Das nächste Banjoree kommt erst wieder in zwei Jahren.
Aber natürlich warte ich jetzt auf September:-)

As soon as possible I will post some audio lessons on "Progressive Clawhammer Banjo" (Udo Weihrauch) and on "Guitar Picking" (WayneHenderson), both recorded at the banjoree.
Veit and his gang did a great job organizing the banjoree - as always. He even fulfilled odd wishes concerning accomodation! Thanks a lot!

New Diaper for My Baby

The old mylar banjo skin is removed, I put the fiberskyn on. I think the sound is softer now, more "old timey" to my ears. I will post an audio tune next week. Here are some photos of the naked and the newly clothed banjo.
You can see the removed tonering on the first pic:

Here is the new compensated bridge:

The bone nut makes tuning easier:

And here ist the newly clothed baby:

Hopefuly I can frail it a lot at the banjoree tomorrow.

My Baby Is Back

(Hopefully my family will not read this header, they would declare me insane - and they are right: banjo-insane)
Andreas did a wonderful job. He put in a new bone-nut, a compensated Grover bridge (like Patrick uses with the Somerset line) and he lowered the action. The baby sounds beautifully again.
Last week I got mail from Martin´s Musikkiste: The fiberskyn head has arrived. I ordered it because I hope this will change the sound of my Saga banjo more to the plunky side. I love the soft and mellow tone of old time banjos and as they´ve got mostly fiberskyn heads I´ll give it a try.
Let´s see what this will bring.

Folk in Kiel

Seit kurzem gibt es eine neue Folk Session in Kiel. Das nächste Mal am Dienstag, 26.5.09 im Statt-Café.
Das soll eine regelmäßige Einrichtung werden, die Regel habe ich aber noch nicht durchschaut.

Really Hard Times

The Crisfield Retreat has started without me :-(
September´s Retreat is far away :-(
My banjo is not ready yet :-(

But the weather is beautiful right now :-|
And it´s just one weekend till the Banjoree in Hagen will start :-)))
(Andreas, don´t forget to finish my banjo in time!)

Hopefully the Crisfield gang will shake the rafters and the floor over there.
Camilo and Carlos: Raise high the European flag!

Hard Times

I´m without my banjo!
Since long the g-string buzzes. I think it´s the nut which isn´t sliced properly. When in Crisfield last year, Patrick showed me how to avoid this by putting in a very small piece of paper on the nut under the g-string. It worked perfectly, but with every changing of the string I had to do this again and renew the paper from time to time. This was annoying. So I decided to bring the banjo to a luthier who has his shop near Kiel, Andreas. He´ll put in a bone nut and will do something to lower the attack. Hopefully it all will work.
But I´m without my banjo now, it´s a terrible time ;-)
Andreas promised me that it will be ready before the banjoree.

And just now, when I have nothing to frail on, I saw this beautiful banjo of Neil on his site. This banjo really is a dream! "If I were a rich man ... didldidldidldum"
Maple pot, maple neck, wooden tonering, scooped neck ... and not only some sort of maple but the most beautiful flamed maple I ever saw - at least…

New Design

Just was told about a new banjo design, which comes from China: A five string for lefties, but the 5th peg on the other side (under the 1st string). I will look for the website and post a photo as soon as I find one.

Here it is:
Probably a special April 1st edition?

Kiel Retreat

All participants of the retreat should have received an email with details by now. If I forgot someone, please let me know (I´m only learning as an event manager ;-)

Michael J. Miles

Anoybody knows this banjo player? I didn´t before long, when Blacky, a frailer from Kiel, gave me the CD "The Magic Banjo". It really is magic! There are lots of beautiful tunes (and songs) on it. Amongst them a traditional called "De Schottische". I have no idea why it´s got a name which nearly looks German. I could not help but trying this wonderful piece (hoping not to destroy it with my "skills"). I know there are some mistakes in it and I´ll try to hit the fifth string a bit more often but softer next time. Well, I´m learning. But I thought this tune is worth being introduced to you, my dear listener. Just try to make it better.
De Schottische

Kiel Retreat

Einzelheiten zum Wochenende im September habe ich jetzt auf beschrieben.

You may find an English version there too

Ashokan 2nd

James added his guitar
and writes:
"I think this is the chord sequence for guitar.
G C G D /
G C G D /
G G7 C G D /
G G7 C G D /
G G7 C G D G
The melody line is in there too."
Have fun!


Meine Schuhe waren in jahrelangen Einsatz für Recht und Gesetz, Familie, Musik und so weiter derart abgelaufen, dass sie dringend neue Sohlen brauchten. Und was sehe ich da im Regal des Schuhmachers, als ich sie wieder abhole? Dieses wunderbare Paar Cowboystiefel zu einen Spottpreis! War so was schon immer mein Traum? Eher nicht! Aber der Teufel muss mich geritten haben, ich konnte einfach nicht den Laden ohne diese Boots verlassen. Jetzt muss ich noch Rio Bravo gucken, um den authentischen John-Wayne-Gang zu erlernen. Und dann die Titelmelodie von Bonanza aufm Banjo. Bitte um Verständnis, wenn mein Musikgeschmack sich jetzt Richtung C&W entwickeln sollte. Hört denn die Midlifecrisis nie auf?
Ist übrigens der erste post vom Handy direkt aufn blog.

Ashokan Farewell

At the retreat in Sheffield last December James taught me this tune. Not before now I thought I could publish it - some parts were tricky for me. Anyone from the Transcontinental Jam Session Band wants to join in?
Ashokan Farewell

The Villa

On Sunday I had a look at the "Villa", the place where we´ll meet in September for the retreat. We will have a great time there, I´m sure.
As the weather was fine (for about 55 minutes ;-) my family and me enjoyed the view over the "Förde", the bay which the Villa lies on. To give you an idea what the view from the "Captain´s Room" is like, look here:

From other windows on the second floor this is what you may look at:

Was it not for the music, the scenery would be worth visiting.


(Almost) no time for making music, the job runs wild just now.
I still like our rendition of When He Cometh Early (see post from January 27th). So a few days ago I added some baglama to it.
Bagla-what? Baglama!
Here is what it looks like:

Usually it is played in greek rempetiko style, but it goes together with banjo, guitar and mando too. What do you think of this: Transcontinental Baglama Jam?

Kiel Retreat

When I started to think of another get-together for the frailers last year after having left Sheffield, I was very much afraid that there never would be enough people for a Kiel retreat. But our community seems to be strong enough to continue the sharing process - and to win new friends. Just now we are about 15 guys and gals! Never would have dreamt of a number so high. I´m happy to meet (at least) six friends from the Sheffield and the Crisfield retreats again - and can´t wait to introduce Patrick to our "newcomers".
All those who dropped me a line that they would like to come will soon get an email from me containing more details.
Is there anyone who would like to join in? Tell me, before it´s too late. The villa will be very comfortable with 16 persons, one or two more might not be a problem. But it would be wise not to house even more, because the sleeping facilities are best used with 16-17 folks.
We´ll blow (or frail) the Baltic Sea pretty much away, folks!!!
Here´s a pi…

Wayne Henderson

If you are interested in WH´s guitar technique (to be seen on Patrick´s video from 2002 about Wayne Henderson), you´ll find it interesting, that WH will have a workshop at this year´s banjoree in Hagen/Berchum/Germany.
One week ago I bought a book about WH building a guitar for Eric Clapton:"Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument" by Allen St John.
So this banjoree is a must.

Wayne Henderson

Ich dachte, ich seh nicht recht: Auf Patricks Blog ist ein Interview von DoD mit WH aus dem Jahr 2002 zu sehen: Wayne Henderson. Und ratet mal, wer vom 1. - 3. Mai beim Banjoree in Hagen/Berchum dabei sein wird? Wayne Henderson!
Er wird dort einen Workshop abhalten über 3-Finger-Bluegrass-Gitarre. Fragt mich nicht, was das ist. Anscheinend spielt WH auf Patricks Video diese Technik. Also nicht nur wegen WH aber auch: Zum Banjoree 2009 muss ich hin!
Aber jetzt muss ich mir erst mal das Video ansehen.

The Kiel Retreat is filling up

Got three more applications from the UK. Gradually we are going to be a big band.
If anyone is thinking of coming to Kiel too, it would be wise to let me know soon - as the early bird catches the worm.


We all kow that there are more than one ways to sing a song.
Here are two very different ways:
This was "my way":

But here is Vicky Leandros:

Guess which one I like the best.

And in English:

Til now we´ve got 10 participants who want to come for sure, so the "1st Kiel Folk Musicians (and Wannabes) Retreat" will surely take place on September 18th to 20th 2009 in Kiel / Friedrichsort. We would be pleased to receive further applications (send me an email through "Contact" on the right bar).
We are not only banjo players and of course we want guitars, tin whistles, fiddles, mandolins and anything that is used in folk music - primarily England and USA, but as you like it. And we also love the blues. And we also love singer / songwriters. We absolutely love (almost) everything on acoustic instruments. Ok, we also love strongly enhanced electric guitars, sometimes. But not from 18 - 20.9.09.
We then are nothing more than Folkies.
And we look forward to receiving applications from people who are experienced in singing and playing - if they are satisfied that we are even more pleased about people who are not really sure whether they are "good enough" …

Kiel Retreat

Nachdem sich schon jetzt 10 Teilnehmer gemeldet haben, die auf jeden Fall dabei sein wollen, ist das "1. Kieler Folk Musicians (und solche die es werden wollen) Retreat" gesichert.
Es wird stattfinden vom 18. bis 20.9.2009 in Kiel/Friedrichsort. Wir nehmen gerne weitere Anmeldungen entgegen (s. Contact hier auf der rechten Leiste).
Es sind nicht nur Banjo-Spieler eingeladen, sondern wir wollen natürlich auch Gitarren, Tin Whistles, Fiddles, Mandolinen und alles hören, was sich so in der Volksmusik - hauptsächlich England und USA, aber as you like it - herumtreibt. Und wir lieben auch den Blues. Und wir lieben auch Singer/Songwriter. Wir lieben überhaupt (fast) alles, was sich auf akustischen Instrumenten darstellt. Ok, wir lieben auch kräftig verstärkte E-Gitarren, manchmal. Nicht aber vom 18. - 20.9.09. Da sind wir nur Folkies.
Und wir freuen uns auf Anmeldungen von Leuten, die schon ne ganze Weile singen und spielen und deshalb ein eigenes Repertoire erarbeitet haben - wenn …

... and guitar

Chris from the UK added a little guitar to our tune. He wrote: "My guitar recorded very bass heavy so I applied a little filter to brighten it up."
I have no idea what he did. Using a filter in Audacity? And how? Hopefully he´ll tell us.

Banjo and Mando

Pete from the UK added his Mandolin to the tune.
Thanks a lot, sounds fine!

For those who would like to play guitar with it (sorry Chris, I have no tabs):
To my ears it´s a simple chord progression in G 3/4 - Part B could be in 6/8 - :
Part A is almost only in G, at the end I would throw in a D-chord with the counting on 1 and at 2 and 3 it should be G again.
Part B begins with C, followed by G, then D G and at the end again D with the 1 and G with 2 and 3. (At least this is what I hear when I play the chords).
Feel free to play what you like (maybe the first part could face some change?).

Sad Tune

This really is a sad tune, but I like it anyhow.
First heard it in the "Jukebox" of the Banjo Hangout.
It´s called "When He Cometh Early".
Perhaps some of you can add a guitar, a mandoline or tin whistle? Using Audacity it should be possible not only to accompany the banjo but also to continue playing when the banjo has stopped, so that the tune grows longer?
Come on, you Transatlantic Folks.

How to Travel to the Kiel Retreat

It´s your choice how to travel to Kiel (airplane to Hamburg or Lübeck, bus, train or car, me picking you up in Hamburg or whatsoever) but from Kiel City to the place where the retreat takes place there´s a special opportunity: (Paddlebike, this is for you :-)
You can take the boat!
Either you bring your canoe with you and go up the "Kieler Förde" (Kiel Bay) to the retreat (using your banjo as a paddle is on your own risk) or you take one of the boats which connect Kiels inner city with the outskirts at the Kieler Förde (hopefully they go in September, but I think so).

There´s a boat station just in front of the Villa where we meet.
Imagine going to a jam session BY BOAT!

Kiel Weekend

(For our non-German friends: This is about not daring to go to a retreat)

Gerade höre ich, dass der/die eine oder andere sich überlegen, ob das Treffen in Kiel vielleicht noch nichts für ihn/sie ist, weil das Vertrauen in die eigene Spieltechnik noch nicht so richtig ausgewachsen ist. Darauf meine Antwort: So früh wie möglich mit anderen zusammen Musik machen und dabei lernen. Ich habe in Crisfield und Sheffield gelernt, dass jeder, buchstäblich jeder von solchen Ereignissen profitiert. Die "Anfänger" merken, dass sie mit ihren Schwierigkeiten nicht allein stehen, die Fortgeschrittenen merken plötzlich, dass sie so weit nun auch wieder nicht sind und gehen back to the roots, davon profitieren wieder alle. Es war ein dauernder Austausch zwischen allen, ohne dass es auf einen bestimmten Level der Technik überhaupt ankam. Sogar Leute, die noch nie ein Banjo - oder ne Gitarre - angefasst haben, können so einen Einstieg bekommen.
Also: So ein ganzes Wochenende mit Musik ist für…

Banjoree im Mai

Gerade erreicht mich die die folgende Email, die ich gerne an alle weitergebe:

"- Das BANJOREE 2009 findet vom 01.Mai 2009 bis zum 03. Mai 2009
statt - wieder im ESW in Hagen / Berchum.
- Es gibt wieder viele Tutoren mit spannenden Themen. Es wird Clawhammer Tutoren geben im Bereich zwischen Avantgarde und Traditionell, 3-Finger Stile zwischen Minstrel und Modern, Anfänger werden genauso versorgt wie Fortgeschrittene.
- Es wird einen Flatpicking / Fingerpicking Tutor aus Amerika geben, der sich
gleichermaßen im Gitarrist wie als Gitarrenbauer profiliert hat.
- Es wird Banjo-Tutoren aus dem Land des 5-string Banjos - namentlich
Amerika - geben.
- NEU! Es wird auch einen Mandolinenkurs geben.
Demnächst weitere Infos auf:
Kontakt: andreas[et] & veit[et]
Bitte an mögliche Interessenten weiterleiten!"

Ich habe das letzte Banjoree vor zwei Jahre in sehr guter Erinnerung. Es war ein wirkliche wunderschöner Moment, als ich am frühen Abend auf dem Parkpla…

Good News

I just got news that Patrick is thinking of coming to the September weekend (18th - 20th).
Isn´t that wonderful?
"We´ll shake the rafters and the floor."

Folkies in und um Kiel (und die anderen deutschsprachigen)

Allmählich trudeln die Mitteilungen ein, dass Interesse am Kiel Weekend vom 18. - 20.9.09 besteht.
Ich hatte schon befürchtet, dass Kiel für viele etwas abgelegen ist. Andererseits ein idealer Ort um "Coasts of Malabar" zu spielen - so dicht an der Küste - wenn´s auch nicht gerade Indien ist :-)
Dies ist deshalb der richtige Zeitpunkt, um letzte Bedenken zur Seite zu stellen und mir erst mal unverbindlich das Interesse zu bekunden. Wenn schon ein paar Interessenten da sind, kommen die nächsten (hoffentlich) von ganz alleine.

Die Leitung des Vereins, der die Villa betreibt, möchte bis ca. März wissen, ob wir dieses September-Wochenende nehmen. Es ist also noch Zeit genug, sich alles zu überlegen. Die Kosten für die Unterkunft dürften sich bei ca. 27 € pro Person bei 10 Teilnehmern bewegen. Bei mehr wird´s billiger. Dazu kommen die Ausgaben für Verpflegung, die wir durch Selberkochen ja steuern können.

Also Aufruf auch an die deutschsprachige Folkie-Welt (nicht notwenig nur an…

Kiel Weekend

Answers (by email and as comments to the blog) to my call for a Kiel Weekend are dropping in gradually. The manager of the Villa told me that he needs to know until early spring if we take the facility that weekend in September. So there is time enough to think about it.
But it would help if anyone who is coming close to the idea of joining in tells me. Maybe this would attract others to participate also.

By the way: There are only few better places than that to play "Coasts of Malabar"; after all the house is directly on the coast line (ok, it´s not India, but anyway).
And for visitors from the UK: this could be a trip to your old homeland, as here we are (nearly) at the home of the old Anglo-Saxons. So come on, back to the roots :-)))
Those with norman ancestors would be hosted as guests ;-)

This place is really cheap. If we got 10 participants, the costs for the house (including electricty) would be around 27 € each. The more the cheaper. Add some quid (Danny told me, you s…