Es werden Posts vom Mai, 2009 angezeigt.

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!