"After all this talk about Fred Van Eps here is a post to encourage us all. All we have to do is practise 8 hours a day for the rest of our lives and we will still never be as good as Van Eps ;-(
This is a rare recording made in 1959 of Fred Van…"
"Cool info, guys. I have a copy of that "Hobbies" interview buried in the stack somewhere but I haven't seen it in 10 yrs. I think Howard Weilmuenster sent it to me. Howard is one of the best sources for FVE info...if not the best."
"Yes indeed, Welcome to the House of Fun.
I am delighted that Mike's Youtube videos brought you here but I am a little surprised that you have been drawn by mine, as they usually have the opposite effect on folk :-)
If you need any advice or…"
"I am a fan of Weston ; ).
I have the piano parts, but the book I bought was banjo only. In fact, I had all the banjo parts too, I just wanted to see them complete in order. It tuned out that it was worth it for the other content.
"In the fourth part of Jim Walsh’s interview with Fred Van Eps from the April 1956 Hobbies magazine Van Eps indeed lists George Gershwin as an accompanist:
“Which reminds me that this would be a good time to list the accompanists I have…"
"i 've read somewhere that Frank edgar Banta said in the late 60 ' s that george Gershwin used to play on some FVE ' tunes but couldn 't be credited on the 78rpm because of the exclusive contrat between Felix…"
"In the article George Van Eps says that the two played together at home and that he sat on Gershwin's lap. No mention is made of the two friends recording or performing in public.
Do we know for a fact that Van Eps really chose his piano…"
"Gershwin? I wonder about that. No recordings of Eps with Gershwin (or vice versa), no mention of Eps in any Gershwin bio I can find.
For all his amazing genius musicality, Gershwin wasn't a particularly stellar piano-player, certainly not…"
Wow, Ian, these are gorgeous, and not at all different iterations of basically the same banjo idea. I would imagine there's a good variety of tone and response. The Amboyna z-b particularly knocks me out. How does she play and sound?
The XX special was bargain of the year! I have one just like that and would never part with it, have owned it for 20 years. My old banjo teacher, Horace Craddy found it for me. Enjoy it, a friend for life!
Hi there Ian in Blackpool, its an Ozark 5 string. In the picture I'm at Art In Action an Arts Festival in Oxfordshire. I 'm also into oil painting as well as banjoing. I've just started learning classic banjo. Ive been playing for just over 2 years now. Started with Scruggs style then progressed into clawhammer. Found myself at a bit of a learning plateau kinda stuck too much at first position but recently i started to learn a lovely song called "Colorado Buck Dance". I found that classic style has really opened up the fretboard for me. One thing i'd like to ask. I play classic tunes the sameway as clawhammer, bare fingers and just using my thumb and index finger. Is this correct or should i be using threefingers as in scruggs style also should i be using picks or is it personel choice down to the individual.
Thank you for your comment, you are welcome, i have many van Eps cylinders and Vess L. Ossman too, and of course many old 78r.p.m.
Only one about Tarrant Bailey J.R.
I am thinking to put some on this site, as soon as possible, because many are unknown, and i'm thinking aout many people who must be interrested to heard them, if i have sheet music i will post it in same time.
I like your performance on Morley's Palladium March.
Hi Really Nice Man, you must teach your wife how to play Banjo, I reckon she could be playing second parts quite quickley then you could play duets like Eric and Pat. Also she could become a member of this site and perhaps mine would not be the only female voice heard :-)
I make banjos currently sold through Elderly Instruments. These are a Farland style all wood beveled rim banjo 11.5 diameter. Normal scale length is 25.5 for the clawhammer player. However, they may be ordered direct with classic scales of 27 or 27.5.
Thanks Ian, that's very generous of you. I'll have to dig out my "to-play" list (which is getting longer by the minute...) and see what I can extort, err... I mean, nicely ask for :)
I'm very happy with the sound of my banjo, by the way, now that I've converted it somewhat. The Renaissnace head and Chris Sands heavies give it a booming tone which is almost worthy of the old killing machines, and I'm getting some nice, thunderous bass notes with the appropriate picking technique. Gotta love how Bill Ball played those thunderous bass notes!