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Posts Tagged ‘banjo’

Saturday Matinee – GoPro Gato, String Bean, The Blasters & Trombone Shorty

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Guy fitted his cat with a GoPro to find out what it does while he’s away, and no, it doesn’t  sleep [via].

Ever hear of David “String Bean” Akeman? No? Here’s a documentary of the comic/iconic speed banjo player. Video starts at 06:00 for his rendition of the traditional folk song “Li’l Liza Jane. [Related post here.]

Akeman and his wife were murdered by burglars at their rural Tennessee home in 1973. The killers took only a chain saw and some firearms and were later apprehended and convicted.

The Blasters perform “Jubilee Train” at the 1985 Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Illinois. (Check out the impressive list of performers at the link.)

“Buckjump” by Trombone Shorty – a nice retro-funk groove to wrap things up.

Have a great weekend, folks.

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Saturday Matinee – Roy Clark with Buck Trent, The Bros. Landreth & The Reverend Peyton

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Roy Clark played a hayseed on the long-running show HeeHaw. He had some serious chops on both guitar and banjo, and Buck Trent was no slouch either. Ignore the title of the vid and the mugging and be amazed.

The Bros. Landreth cranked some serous swamp rock with “Runaway Train” recorded 9 February 2015. Every country band should have a song about a runaway train in my opinion.

“We researched these dangerous Hollywood-style stunts and my best friend Jim Connor volunteered to let me set him on fire inside my house.”Rev. Peyton.

Have a great weekend folks, and make sure that you eat or drink at least one thing that someone says is bad for you.

Saturday Matinee – The Yoshida Brothers, Mean Mary James & Sarah jaroz

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Yoshida Brothers rock. Here’s their Wiki entry if you’re curious. [via]

Mean Mary James rips traditional song “Cripple Creek” on banjo live at WPRK. You want a faster version? You won’t find it.

Sarah Jarosz on mandolin, with Alex Hargreaves on fiddle and Nathaniel Smith on cello, recorded April 2010, is a nice version of Tom Wait‘s song from “Mule Variations” (1999). Personally, I like Waits’ version better because gravel and petunias work for me on happy songs.

There are some great tunes hidden in the back of Tom Waits’ attic under the Swanson TV Dinner trays, matchbox covers, PEZ dispensers and Bazooka Joe coupons for free 6-inch long telescopes.

Have a great weekend, folks. We’re gonna post something else that’s completely inane tomorrow.

Saturday Matinee – Gainsbourg & Cassal, Robert Gordon, Papa Charlie Jackson & Gnarlemagne

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Serge Gainsbourg singing “Chez Les Ye-Ye.” Serge is Pee Wee Herman on sopors. He rocked, but not as much as Pierre Cassel whose shoes became glued to the floor during the video. Cassel’s son is a rapper named “Rockin’ Squat.” Go figger.

Now there’s some Red Hot Rockin’ Squat by Robert Gordon with Link Wray in 1978. That’s a cover of a 1958 hit by Billy Lee Riley, titled simply “Red Hot.” The song can be traced to the work of Robert Johnson.

Personally, I think Robert Johnson was/is overrated, and his fame is due to his recordings covered by British rockers of the early 60s.

Yeah I know, Blasphemy. Johnson got picked, while others, like Papa Charlie Jackson were overlooked. I’m not an authority on musical anthropology, so take it for what it’s worth.

Jackson’s “Airy Man” showed up on a Yazoo Records album that the Missus gave me years ago. The chords were unusual, and the liner notes said this:

“Airy Man Blues,” a work in the key of D, illustrates Jackson’s most complex blues picking in the uptempo idiom at which he and very few other bluesmen excelled.  Two fingers play melody and harmonies with support from a thumb  which is quite steady within several different patterns. Often he executes complex or seemingly impromptu runs on three or more strings.  The basic chord changes are:

D, D, G7, D;
G, D, E, A/A7;
D,  D, G7, D;
G7, D, E/A7, D.
In the break he changes to
B, B7, E, E7, A, A7 D/D minor, D.

Despite the length of these phrases and the comedy of his lyrics, the song is well within the basic blues idiom, lacking in all essential ragtime qualities except speed.

So I looked for a live vid of Papa Charlie Jackson, but instead found a cool tribute by “Gnarlemagne.” It works.

With that we’re out. Have a great weekend, folks and be back here tomorrow for more inane entertainment.

The .Gif Friday Post No. 248 – Carrion-Naut, Banjo Heads & Hungry Dogs

Friday, 5 October 2012


[Found here, here and here.]

Saturday Matinee – Mean Mary James, Sam Chatmon, Boyd Rivers, Larry Carlton & Robben Ford

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Mean Mary James burns through the traditional banjo standard “Cripple Creek.” Her bio is a jaw-dropper.

I don’t usually post two in a row from the same musician, but here’s Mean Mary and husband brother Frank James with “Joy,” an original song she wrote (with snippets from “Ode To Joy”).

The great Sam Chatmon plays Big Road Blues, That’s All Right & Sam’s Rag.

Boyd Rivers at the Mississippi Blues Festival 1980, introduced by Willie Dixon.

Ah, bullpoop. They’re not the greatest guitar players ever, but this is pretty good. Larry Carlton & Robben Ford jam the blues 2007.

That should do you folks for a while. Have a great weekend, see you tomorrow.

[Correction: Frank James is Mean Mary’s brother, not her husband. h/t  Steven Brooke.]

Saturday Matinee – Mull, Martin, Plastics, Grisman & Garcia, King & Preston &, um, Willis

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Martin Mull in 1973 gets back to his roots in the Lake Erie delta.

Martin Mull’s college roommate was Steve Martin who was no slouch on banjo.

Awesome. I can play the plastic scale, too, but putting it into a high-speed vid makes the grade.

Now THIS is really annoying, so much so that I’m not going to post it here. You’re on you’re own, and I dare you to listen to the whole tutorial.  I couldn’t do it, but I can listen through this:

David Grisman & Jerry Garcia doing B.B. King’s classic “Thrill is Gone.”

To close it out, here’s B.B. King himself with Billy Preston and, um, Bruce Willis on harp. Have a great weekend folks, and remember that most of us can play harp better than Bruce Willis, who’s got no business at all in that lineup.

Saturday Matinee – Diesel Brown Skaggs Pops & Perkins

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Diesel speaks about work, kids, farming, mafia, pirates. The Anti-Boxxy.

Alison Brown has got to be one of the best banjo pickers I’ve ever heard. Very few can play like this without the comfort of studio editing.

Here’s Ricky Skaggs on mandolin, 7 years old, with Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass.

Here’s Ricky Skaggs’ classic “Highway 40 Blues” with the seminal bluegrass backup band, the Boston Pops.

Carl Perkins was one cool rockabilly cat.  He’s got an interesting back up band in this video… too hot to handle and too cold to hold.

Foggy Mountain Ladyland

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Hendrix Pickin_Uncertain Times 090330

It all makes sense now, considering Jimbo Hendrix’ love of the ‘grass and his discography:

Hey Bud
Purple Hayes (tribute to Woody)
All Along the Wheat Flour
Breakdown Traffic
MooMoo Child
Stone Fence
Fox-N-Ladle
The Wind Cries Opal

(Many more classics were showcased at the Monterrey International Harvester Festival in 1970.)

Aside from Jimbo, The GrooveGrass Boyz mixed some Grand Ole Opry standards with funk, with Bootsy Collins on bass. Really.

yo lsn up yo @ “Walkin’ After Midnight” no wat m sayn yo.

[Image from Uncertain Times.]


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