"Here's a few more that came out in 2012 that are worth getting a hold of:
We Banjo 3 (Enda Scahill, Martin & David Howley) - Roots of the Banjo Tree
Stevie Dunn - Banjo
Micheal Healy - Pleckin' About"
"Tim, I also have a Renaissance head on my Recording A and it does sound nice and mellow, and punchy. I use Newtone phosphor bronze string: 12, 18w, 28w, 38w, and I like those (also use Farquhar bridge set fairly low). I've tried nickel…"
"I have a copy of an old Epiphone banjo catalogue from the late 20s or so (available online), which lists the Mayfair, Rialto and Peerless models along with the more "upscale" Epiphone Recording series banjos (A through E). According…"
"I've also been using the Newtone Phosphor Bronze with 18w, 28w and 38w, but with 11 for the E for my Epi Rec A 19-fret and find them just about right. I like 'em. I've also tried the same in nickel wound, but I think the PB has a…"
"I'll vouch for that -- Stevie Dunne's About Time is a great TB CD! Also, check out Adrian McAuliffe & Cathal Flood's new CD Between the Strings, and Brian Kelly's two CDs, his first self-titled one and the second The Plain of…"
"Has anyone changed a head on a Epi Rec (without professional help!)? I started to, but then noticed the flange that fits into a slot at the end of the neck, presumably to anchor the rim it in place. Is there a secret for removing the rim…"
"What year? Is this the one at Musurgia Instruments in NY? They have one (1928) listed for US$2400. I have an Epi Recording A and I believe the Alhambra is the next one up -- same woods (walnut neck), but more bling. Personally I…"
"I got my Epi Rec A with the armrest off and played it that way until recently, and reinstalled it. I haven't noticed much difference on playing though. The armrest on the Epi Rec A comes fairly close to the tailpiece and fits nicely over…"
Thanks for the kind comment on the mandolin page, Bruce. Neither the laptop microphone (nor my playing!) does justice to the Vanden, which really is a beautiful instrument. I commissioned it having seen Simon Mayor a couple of times and having had the opportunity to play three (I think) of his Vandens. He is a very friendly and trusting musician, willing to pass his instrument into the hands of amateurs like me. Mike Vanden, too, was a pleasure to deal with and I am sure you will have seen the beautiful work on his website. I am privileged to own one of his instruments, though my talent does not deserve it. Simon
I meant to ask: So tell me about yourself and the folks coming from Canada? And if you want to know anything in general about the retreat, let me know. I have gone as an uilleann piping student for the last 3 years and other than being a big fan of it and the fact that they are having me teach mandolin this year, I am not an organizer or publicist or anything else associated with the retreat.
How long have you been playing trad Irish, on what instruments if any other than TB, do you play for gigs or sessions or ??? In other words, what is your story?
(If it helps, my brother is Canadian, converted 25 years ago, as a professor at Simon Fraser.)
Hi Bruce, hope this works as I am not too familiar with this site. Feel free to contact me on john, then the at sign, then liestman.com .
I will make every effort to accommodate all who attend. In years past the mandolin class has mostly been attended by players who are pretty well skilled at mandolin but from a bluegrass or old time background and are looking for how to take the dots on the page (the "skeleton" as I sometimes call it) and play it in a true traditional Irish style. I plan to focus on the wide variety of "ornaments", which are mostly shared with tenor banjo but a few of which either work better on mandolin or just sound different. My general teaching mode is to take one tune at a time, teaching very few tunes actually, and really getting under the covers with all that you can do within the skeleton of that tune, both adding and subtracting and altering notes and ornaments. I totally avoid the notion of having one way to play a tune, with a standard set of ornaments each time through - you should more or less never play a tune the same way twice and you need a nice toolbox of ornaments to draw from to let that happen. I also do not just teach a bunch of fun tunes - I go for technique and especially style.
I come from an odd background, having played jazz / swing guitar for years before moving to trad Irish on tenor banjo, mandolin, and more recently uilleann pipes, over the last 30 years. My wife is a professional violinist and harpist who plays some very trad sounding Irish music on the side. This all puts me in a great position to teach not only "what mandolin does best" but also (especially) how to at least try to imitate the core instruments of Irish music on the mandolin.
To conclude, if you are already selling CDs of your tenor banjo playing you may not get much from the class, otherwise I think it will be a great class. It DEFINITELY is a great "camp".
Good grief, Bruce. What did you get? I must come over and check out your new banjo(s) and do some tunes, too. I've been hibernating and recovering from over-use injuries most of the winter and trying to get some music from my fiddle. The pains are subsiding and the sounds more melodic.
I hope you have lots of fun setting up your Home Page here.
Please send me a brief message each time you post any MP3s of your music on your MyPage.
Once I know you have posted MP3s of your music, I will happily add them to our Jukebox on the Home Page, so that we may all enjoy them.
Just before you get too comfortable though, please take a couple of minutes to check through our site Rules just to make sure you are happy with my guidelines! ...... Thanks!