Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Beans 'n' Bourbon

Old friends had a big do in their barn this past weekend.  They really did it up all good and proper, with a stage and lights, a full bar with home-brewed beer and moonshine, and pots and pots of home-made beans.  We fed and drank and sang and danced it just felt like home.  There was a circus performer that flew in from Brazil, there were shadow puppets, there was burlesque.  There were a lot of great musicians, and they were even kind enough to let me play a bit.   I wanted to show a cross-section of what the Instrument Works has been producing, so I did a few songs on a bunch of different stuff.  Another friend was kind enough to video it, and I wanted to store them here.  Fair warning, some of the language is not church ready.

Starting off with the original canjo.  I have decided that I like to play it with a slide.  Makes for more seamless changes between the notes:

Next was the 10 Mile Banjo.  I love this tune that I learned off of a Mississppi Fred McDowell record.

Then the Punch Tenor.  I love this little guitar.  Fun to play and sounds good too.  And I love this Malvina Reynolds tune, too.  I have been playing it a lot lately.

Next up was another old song, I think I learned it from the Memphis Jug Band, but it might have been Gus Cannon.  We used to play it with the Brooklyn Jugs.  "You May Leave."  Good tune.

The last instrument was the banjo uke.  As you can see, I have re-worked it pretty substantially, adding a pie-tin resonator and frets up half the neck.  This is another one that I love playing, it has a real punch to it, it's really loud.  And little.  The tune is "Bring it With You," another old jug band tune.

I finished up with a tune of mine, written when I worked in Red Hook Brooklyn.  I used to love playing this to Brooklynites.  Been a while since I have been in front of any.  This was always a good song to play to a room full of pretty drunk people, which luckily was what we had here.  It was a good way to go out.

All in all a great time.  A real hoot.

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