Shawn McSweeny
  • Male
  • Toronto, ON
  • Canada
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Shawn McSweeny's Discussions

Ossman Plays “A Gay Gossoon”
7 Replies

According to the 1910 census info posted by Marc recently, Ossman had some Irish on his…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Trapdoor2 Mar 17, 2016.

Shufflin' Pete (1899) Ossman Arrangement

Shufflin’ Pete was written by pianist and composer Edwin F. Kendall in 1899. Ossman recorded…Continue

Started Mar 9, 2016

Ossman’s “A Southern Belle” Transcribed
17 Replies

“A Southern Belle” was written by Max Eugene in 1903 and recorded by Ossman for American…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by marc dalmasso Mar 8, 2016.

Ossman's Morningside Caprice
2 Replies

“Morningside Caprice” was published by S.S. Stewart in 1896.  Vess L. Ossman is credited as…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by thereallyniceman Feb 25, 2016.


Shawn McSweeny's Page

Latest Activity

Shawn McSweeny replied to Rob MacKillop's discussion Eastman EBJ-WL for CB rep?
"Hi Rob- Yes, the string (and scale) length is 2" shorter. With advancing years, my colleague found the long-scaled Van Eps had become a bear to play. He finds the shorter scale WL is more accommodating to his left hand. The WL's…"
May 12
Shawn McSweeny replied to Rob MacKillop's discussion Eastman EBJ-WL for CB rep?
"Hi Rob -The Eastman WL2 is a close copy of the original. In fact, a friend and fellow collector loaned his c.1905 WL2 to John Bernunzio, who sent it on to Eastman in China for use as a template during development. I have found they play well,…"
May 12
Shawn McSweeny replied to carrie horgan's discussion Most Popular Classic Banjo Tunes
"Joel : By 1901, Ossman had recorded WR for Columbia, Berliner, Edison, Zonophone, Victor and Edison Bell.  Just listened to the linked version plus a couple of others, and the restated second strain is consistently modulated at the end.…"
May 3
Shawn McSweeny replied to carrie horgan's discussion Most Popular Classic Banjo Tunes
"Joel  : Ossman's 1890's recordings, with no modulated strain, set the standard for WR in the banjo community. Of the several WR recordings by other period banjoists,  I'm not aware of one that includes it. The CE score…"
May 3
Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion NEW PAGE ON WEBSITE ADDED
"My pics of the Unger "Snakewood Electric", shot on one of Doug's visits a few years ago. Peghead veneer and fingerboard are snakewood. I agree that finding pieces large enough for a neck blank is doubtful. "
Apr 30
Shawn McSweeny replied to David Wade's discussion It's here! The new Clifford Essex Weaver
"Even though it has drifted considerably off-topic, this has been an interesting, if sometimes intense, discussion. Thought I'd add a few miscellaneous points : 1. The Ossman and Glynn engagement referred to above, was at the Madison Square…"
Apr 12
Shawn McSweeny replied to Steve Harrison's discussion The Darkey's Barbecue (1896).....Vess Ossman
"That was a huge amount of work Steve. Nice job. However, some inquiries may have saved you the trouble. Ossman recorded this as a banjo solo in key of C, titled "Hot Stuff Patrol". The banjo score for "Hot Stuff Patrol" was…"
Oct 20, 2018
Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion Tony Trischka's excellent video on "Classic Style Banjo"
"Joel : The A/C notation change and string durability are secondary factors. One mustn't overlook dramatic shifts in musical taste as a leading factor. Dance music started becoming popular very early in the 20th century. By about 1907,…"
Oct 3, 2018
Shawn McSweeny replied to david caron's discussion Pride and Progress
" The RS Williams banjos are fairly close SS Stewart copies, but otherwise there is no affiliation. The company operated out of Toronto, and the banjos were made, as I understand it, in Oshawa (a town about 40 miles further east, for you…"
Mar 30, 2018
Shawn McSweeny replied to thereallyniceman's discussion F.C. Musselbrook and The London Banjo Club
"Hi Ian;  This is a terrific addition and nicely presented. I'm sure the Musselbrook family will enjoy it. Glad to have helped out with the recordings."
Feb 8, 2018
Shawn McSweeny replied to Texican65's discussion Early Ossman recording interest...
"If you are so very lucky as to find any such very early recording, congratulations !! However,  I doubt it will help you much in your present quest.  The expected poor condition and marginal sound quality of such recordings offer…"
Sep 18, 2017

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Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 2:50pm on February 19, 2014, thereallyniceman gave Shawn McSweeny a gift
I would like to send Shawn all my thanks for the "LOAD" of work he has done and information and photos he has provided for the recent site upgrade. So everyone, let's give a BIG THANK YOU to Shawn!
At 4:39 on January 21, 2016, Peter LaBau said…

Hi Shawn- sorry to be slow to respond, I only check in here once in a while, all the while knowing I need to do it more frequently! Thanks so much for your note, and it's so nice to know that something I did affected you in a such a positive way. In answer to your question- yes, I have the banjo Doug did for me all those years ago- in fact, he did the banjo twice for me. Th original inlay patterns he did on the fingerboard had to be thrown away- the fret scale was off, and it never played in tune. As beautiful as it was, I had to replace the fingerboard, and in so doing I went from a flat board to a radiused one, which is what I have on all my instruments now. The flat inlays couldn't be moved over, so for the longest time, I had just the pear bars that descended from the nut, and the rest of the board was just blank. Two years ago, I sent the banjo neck back to Doug to have him add bars up at the top of the board, and add in some position markers in between. Here's what it looks like now:

 The pot is a 1910's Tubaphone- 11-1/2" diameter, and the neck is a 28" scale. I have another pot like this that I'm having Kevin Enoch make a new neck for- I'll use that one for raised "D" bass- I use two banjos when I perform- I find that retuning just one instrument never works out real well- the bass string keeps changing after changing pitches. You're Canandian, right? Toronto? It would be fun to meet up one day- I'll hope that might happen. All the best to you- Peter

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