Friday, November 16, 2018

"The Highwoods String Band Story"

Dance All Night - the Highwoods Stringband Story, Produced, directed and edited by Larry Edelman.  Walt Koken, Association Producer, Paul Brown, Associate Editor, Piggysnout Productions and Mudthumper Music, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, 2018 (MM-0041). 

This is a great old fashioned story telling way of getting at the history of the Highland String Band. 

It goes very nicely with Walt's book, Fire On The Mountain: An American Odyssey (Pennsylvania: Mudthumper Music, 2017). 

A whole bunch of steady handed people helped tell the story - Paul Brown, Joe Herrmann, for example - and Larry Edelman rode herd as producer, director and editor.

But the documentary's strength is the way the story was coaxed out of the band members themselves - Walt, Bob, Mac, Doug and Jenny.  The film threaded contemporary interviews of the musicians into a great narrative, and wrapped that in old footage and stills of the band . . . and there's enough Highwoods music in this DVD to make that enough of a reason to watch it from start to finish.  

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Two new eBooks -

Two eBooks  - - -  from Little Bear Banjo Publishing House and Screen Door Factory, a subsidiary of Little Bear Banjo Enterprises, LBBH Ltd.  

With the assistance and encouragement of my friend David Brooks, I recently broke the code on posting eBooks to the Amazon Kindle site.

Here are my first two efforts.

My Banjo Journey, Bealeton, Virginia: Little Bear Banjo Publishing House, a subsidiary of Little Bear Banjo Enterprises, 2018.

In this little book, I describe the part of my banjo journey that had to do with collecting and repairing vintage banjos - somewhere between learning clawhammer, teaching clawhammer, and obsessively collecting niche instruments, I turned my attention to trying to keep these things in a state of repair, workable, or at least collectible.  All that represents my “banjo journey”  . . .  so far.

Socratic Banjo: Clawhammer Instructional Stuff, Bealeton, Virginia: Little Bear Banjo Publishing House, a subsidiary of Little Bear Banjo Enterprises, 2018.

There are three parts to this book, written as an attempt to describe my trajectory through life where things banjo are concerned. The first three chapters attempt to convey the basics of clawhammer banjo playing.  Chapter One captures my recollections of my first clawhammer banjo lesson taught by Bates Littlehales.  Chapter Two relates a lesson taught to me by Dwight Diller many years after I first sat down with him to further my clawhammer education.  The rest of the book is an effort to use what I learned from those teachers, and from many other musicians and music teachers who sought to make clawhammer accessible to me, to teach students of my own.

live links:
Banjo Journey,

Socratic Banjo,

THANKS!  Let me know what you thing!