Here is one of my banjo tunes played expertly by a great Stringband from Pennsylvania
The 18th Annual Banjo Special
A presentation of the banjo in all its glory.
$20.00 admission - doors open 7:30 show starts at 8:00p.m. Sunday February 11th. We are back at the Tranzac Club,292 Brunswick Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2M7
Reserve advanced tickets here: https://chriscoole.com/event/2180304/463524808/the-banjo-special
The Banjo Special, once again and for the 18th year, brings together 4 of Canada’s top players to celebrate this wonderful instrument. Come and join Chris Coole, Arnie Naiman, Brian Taheny, and Chris Quinn, and our special guests, as we present an evening of songs and tunes with banjos at the heart of it all. There will be; breakdowns and marches, picks and bare fingers, songs new and old, tubaphones and flatheads, Vegas and Gibsons. And, it will all be handled with flair, fun, and big style.
Join us as we and our special guests bring fiddles, guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, basses and voices to rally ‘round the banjo; raising it up for all to hear.
Meet the banjo pickers.
Across Canada and the United States, Chris Coole has become as much of a household name on the claw-hammer banjo as one can become. As a teacher, composer, and performer; he has plied his trade professionally for more than 25 years. Today, Chris is one of the most respected names in the business. He has recorded on more than 100 CDs as a sideman or featured artist. His compositions are performed by other pros. With his vast experience and great musical sense, Chris is often sought after to produce studio recordings for others. http://www.chriscoole.com/home
Arnie Naiman is a unique banjo player for his claw-hammer and fingerpicking styles. He was influenced by folk music of the 60’s and 70’s as well as by the music of pre-war artists such as Uncle Dave Macon, Charlie Poole, and The Carter Family to name only a few: Arnie is a very fine interpreter of these old songs and tunes. Arnie’s own banjo compositions are various; some joyous and celebratory, others haunting and dark. Arnie currently performs with Hannah Shira Naiman, Ragged But Right, and also in the Virginia based old-time String Band, Albemarle Ramblers. Arnie has recently released his solo CD, My Lucky Stars. http://arnienaiman.com/home
From Sligo, Ireland Brian Taheny covers the jigs and reels on the tenor banjo. Brian was originally inspired to take up the banjo through the recordings of The Dubliners with the late Barney McKenna on the banjo. Brian is a wonderful multi-instrumentalist who is often called upon to play mandolin, guitar, bass, fiddle, and banjo. Brian brings this overarching musicality to his approach to the banjo. Brian has recorded extensively and is a fixture on the traditional Celtic scene in Canada and Ireland. http://www.merriweather.ca/brian-taheny.html
Chris Quinn began his Scruggs style bluegrass odyssey in 1979. Having performed on over 100 CDs as a sideman or featured artist, Quinn is a central figure on the bluegrass scene in Canada and abroad. Chris has become renowned for his solid timing, his sense of taste and tone, and his creative back-up playing. A sought after teacher, Chris has taught hundreds of people at camps and workshops; from Quebec to Tennessee, from BC to Asia. As younger players have come along to join the professional scene, Chris has been a mentor to many of them. Today, some of Chris’ former students have gone on to professional careers in music too. www.chris-quinn.ca
I am a banjo player, and I don't normally pay attention to the technical details of what I play too much, but Keenan Reimer-Watts has taken a keen interest in my music, and being so inclined he transcribed the tune "My Lucky Stars" . It's on a youtube clip for you to checkout if you are so inclined!
The Rickard banjo shop is in the same town & live in , Aurora, Ontario Canada. I occasionally pop in there to see what's up & they plopped this new invention in my lap and took this video. For more information on these resophonic banjos and other banjos have a look at The Rickard Banjo website. If you would like to contact me about purchasing one of his banjos, SEND ME AN EMAIL
Here is the clawhammer tabulature for one of my original tunes. Jane happens to be my good fiddle friend Jane Rothfield and she is a great tunesmith herself. "Playin' Jane" can be heard on my album of banjo music entitled " My Lucky Stars"
I have been learning some tunes from Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains "Old Texas Fiddle - vol 2" which is an amazing collection of ear worms so I couldn't resist working on this tune the last day of 2016. It's my digital jam session with Spencer and Rains and band ( sorry to drown out the most excellent banjo playing from Brendan Doyle ) . Here it is "The Scolding Wife"
When: June 17, 2016
Time: 8:p.m. at the Tranzac 292 Brunswick Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2M7
Tickets are available in advance! Get a spot. Reserve ONLINE HERE :
Admission; $15.00 each . Cds will be available for sale at the concert. Showtime: 8:00 p.m.
Chris Coole releases his new recording "The Tumbling River"
"The Tumbling River" is a program of highly narrative story songs, sung and played on five string banjo and guitar - eight originals with four covers. For the June 17 CD release, Coole will be joined by all the musicians who played on the album - Burke Carrol (Pedal Steel), Andrew Collins (Mandolin, Mandola, Mandocello), Brian Kobayakawa (Bowed Bass), Ivan Rosenberg (Dobro), Simone Schmidt (Vocals, Guitar), Kristine Schmitt (Vocals), and John Showman (Fiddle)
"Renowned for his clawhammer banjo picking, Coole now establishes himself as a gripping songwriter." - Roddy Campbell, Penguin Eggs Magazine
Arnie Naiman releases his new recording "My Lucky Stars"
This recording project is a collection of mostly original instrumental music composed on the 5 string banjo over the last ten years.There are some solo, duo pieces with Chris Coole on guitar, and band selections with Chris Coole- guitar, John Showman- fiddle, Hannah Shira Naiman -fiddle, and Max Heineman on bass.They will all be joining us for the concert.
Arnie's website: http://arnienaiman.com/Double cd release
Pete Sutherland's fiddle playing has been a huge source of enjoyment and inspiration to me over the years. When you hear someone playing the fiddle who is special you know it right away, and Pete has whatever it takes to get my inner soul stirred up. This is one of his beautiful tunes that I play with Hannah Shira Naiman called Motleigh, named after an annual music event in Virginia. He recorded a small snippet of it on his stelllar "Poor Man's Dream". Do yourself a favour and buy that recording.
This is how I play it on the banjo: See the pdf tabulature file below
Here is another original tune from "Free Union" by Jim Childress. The cd fiddle banjo duet was recorded in one take. Want to know how to play it? Well check out the pdf file below- Clawhammer banjo tab.
Good Luck and happy picking!
OK - Here is a great modal tune from Jim Childress's great new "Free Union" cd. If you don't have the cd I would recommend you get it. Look for it on Jim's website!
Jim will be coming to Toronto & Villa Nova to do fiddle workshops & concerts along with me and Chris Coole.
NOVEMBER 15 - FIDDLE AND BANJO WORKSHOPS! (and House Concert) at the Crooked Stovepipe. THREE OF THE BEST! Celebrated Virginia fiddler Jim Childress will be joined by Arnie Naiman & Chris Coole, two of Canada's finest old-time banjo players for an afternoon of workshops (on both instruments) and an evening performance. Fiddle workshops are suitable for any players who have a few tunes under their belts. Jim will be teaching a couple of his tunes and elements of his style. A beginner/intermediate clawhammer banjo workshop is available as well. Workshops are 2:00 to 4:00 PM - $25.00 House concert in the evening. For bookings and further details EMAIL
OK - Here is a great modal tune from Jim Childress's great"Turkey Sag" cd. If you don't have the cd I would recommend you get it. Look for it on Jim's website!
Jim will be coming to Toronto & Villa Nova in November to do fiddle workshops & concerts along with me and Chris Coole. More on those details soon!
Virginia Fiddler Jim Childress has released his second cd of original fiddle tunes titled "Free Union". Having known Jim for many years I was honored to be asked to play banjo and some guitar on the the album which features superb melodies backed up by Uncle Henry's Favorites and Barbara Payne. His first cd "Turkey Sag" is a must have as well. Check out Jim Childress's website and get the cd. You will love it - guaranteed!
At Aurora Cultural Centre 22 Church Street
Apr 25th • 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
This concert does more to scratch the banjo itch than anything else you're likely to experience! Four of Canada's best and most experienced players (Brian Taheny, Chris Coole, Arnie Naiman and Chris Quinn) take the listener on a journey that follows the path the banjo has taken since the early 1800s, through to present day.
Special guests include Kathy Reid-Naiman and Leon Taheny.
Thank you to concert sponsor Rickard Banjos of Aurora!
Tickets $25 in advance
$30 day of concert
General admission seating
Thank you to generous concert sponsor Rickard Banjos, Aurora.
*Kindly note that the Advance Ticket Price is applicable until end of business day (4 pm) on the day before the concert. All ticket sales, either in person, over the phone or by email must be received no later than this time in order to process at the Advance Ticket Price. All orders received after the close of the business day will be charged at the Day of Event ticket price
I love playing this tune clawhammer style on the 5 string banjo. Have a look at my tab I've attached here - for advanced players.
Pete Seeger inspired me and millions of people around the world in the power of song for the good of us all. He published a book called "How To play the 5 String Banjo" the first one of it's kind to use tabulature as a learning tool, and it's the book that got me going on the banjo when I started.
Here is a song Pete wrote in 1957
To my old brown earth
And to my old blue sky
I'll now give these last few molecules of "I."
And you who sing,
And you who stand nearby,
I do charge you not to cry.
Guard well our human chain,
Watch well you keep it strong,
As long as sun will shine.
And this our home,
Keep pure and sweet and green,
For now I'm yours
And you are also mine
Gotta love Uncle Dave Macon. Exuberant spirit & great banjo playing! Here's a 1925 Vocalion 15032 recording
Yeah - Here is a banjo version that stuck in my head for a long time. Master Kyle round peak clawhammer. I was fortunate to hear him play in the mid 1970s jamming at the Brandywine Mountain Music convention in Pennsylvania. He was making and selling banjos back then - I should have bought one.
We had a super fine time at Music In The Wood in Rockwood Ontario teaching banjo & doing an evening concert.
The tune we were learning in the intermediate/advanced clawhammer class was a fiddle tune called West Fork Gals from Wilson Douglas WV.
Here is the tab in a pdf file. You can listen to the tune on "5 Strings Attached ~ Vol 2"
Well here's another tune of mine I recorded on "5 Strings Attached Volume 2". For you clawhammer players what is interesting about it -is that it is played in the key of G, but not in the standard G tuning most popular. To get into this particular tuning first get into a standard type double c tuning ( g CGCD ) , then put a capo on the 2nd fret and tune the 3rd string down to match the g of the 5th string. So now you get gDGDE. This is a terrific tuning for fiddle tunes in G that may have E or Em chords within the tune and has a beautiful sound.
Here I am playing it on my Jason Romero banjo.
My old banjo pal Chris Coole has teamed up with dobro wiz Ivan Rosenberg to make some wonderful sounding music. They have a nice website you can look at. I've always loved the dobro and promise to give it a try in my next life, but until then check out the video clip.
Adam Hurt happens to be one of the best clawhammer style banjo players going and a great guy to boot, so I suggest you go and buy all his stuff. He put out a stellar gourd banjo recording that's beautiful beyond belief - Earth Tones.
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