A Site Dedicated to all enthusiasts of Classic Style Banjo
I was raised by a pack of wolves, deep in the forests of Nawthern Alabama...
Ok, perhaps not. I'm told we were a "normal" family...if having an airplane in your garage (sometimes running the engine in the front yard) is normal. We did finish restoring it (a J-3C Piper Cub) and I soloed in it, etc.
I'm an engineering type, working on spare parts for Helicopter stuff, 8 to 5, weekdays. My wife, the inimitable Miz Diane also works with the Helicopter groups, albeit in the contracting and acquisitions end.
I have been playing the banjo since 1979, when I was taught "Cripple Creek" (Scruggs Style) by my now longtime friend, Patrick Camp. Although I started out on the Bluegrass end of things, one of the first tunes I learnt was an 1877 arrangement of "Spanish Fandango" published in "Banjo Newsletter" in the late 1970's. It was another 10 yrs before I attempted another Classic Banjo tune (or even knew what one was).
In 1992, I attended the "Tennessee Banjo Institute" in Lebanon, TN...meeting the likes of Clarke Buehling, Bill Morris, Chris Sands and Eli Kaufman...and listening to them play Classic Banjo. Their performances (and the cassettes I purchased from them) led me down the crooked path of the Classic banjo from then until now.
I have a lot of hobbies...but most have gone by the wayside for Banjo stuff. I have been collecting Banjo Sheet music since the 1980's and have scads of it stashed in boxes in my "music room", along with quite a few banjos...some vintage, some new, some 4-string, mostly 5-string, some are just banjos I got for a song.
I have been actively procuring the materials and equipment to produce my own banjos when I retire. I recently purchased the estate of a local luthier who specialized in producing somewhat illicit reproductions of a well-known banjo manufacturer. Lots of tools and bits and a huge pile of great wood. I've been woodworking since I was a kid and I've started several banjos...discovering my great talent is not finishing projects. ;-)
I have recently adopted the motto of John Steinbeck: Ad Astra Per Alas Porci. Seems to fit me!
Somehow, I cannot post a .pdf file to the ongoing discussion, so I'll post it here.
This is the US Census record for Sylvester Ossman, Musician, for 1910. It shows the full family at the time, including Sylvester Jr.
They were living in Palisades Park, New Jersey.
Posted on December 6, 2015 at 18:44
I nicked a box full of crumbly old sheet music offa ebay a week or so ago. Paid about $0.80 ea with shipping. See attached list for the titles, etc.
All of this stuff is American, pre 1900 and in A notation. Amazingly, not many duplicates (whew!) for me. Sure, some obvious ones like Darkey's Awakening, On The Mill Dam, Queen of the Forest, etc. However, there are a couple of previously unknown publishers (two female!) and nearly the entire output of a previously unknown (to me) New…Continue
Posted on August 8, 2012 at 1:54 — 5 Comments
Yesterday, I drove 2.5 hrs up to the Nashville, TN area for BUW (Breaking Up Winter). BUW is an Old-Time festival that has been held the first weekend in March for the past 15 or so years at a small State Park in Lebanon, TN (Cedars Of Lebanon State Park, no less).
This "festival" (it is really just an excuse to gather OT players and have an extended jam) is one of those places where you meet old friends, play a lot of music and unwind. I usually take a pile of banjos and spend a bit…Continue
Posted on March 4, 2012 at 16:04 — 2 Comments