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 of time playing each...they don't mind different styles of play, last year I taught some classic pieces to a luthier friend of mine.

So, yesterday I had supper in the lodge with my luthier friend and his wife. After supper, he wanted to play "Sunflower Dance" for me. He picked up one of his banjos (a tubaphone style, strung with nylgut) and trotted it out...nicely done too. Then he hands me the banjo and asks for a tune or two.

I played "Whistling Rufus" and a couple of people walk up to listen. We're sitting next to the hearth in the cafeteria and one large man puts a boot up on the hearth and just seems facinated with my playing. When I finish (round of applause), "Play another!" is the general I crank up with "A Banjo Oddity."

At the first "head tap", I hit it perfectly, sharp and loud. The man with one boot on the hearth literally jumped like he'd been shot, shouted "holy sh*t!!" and staggered around with his hands on his chest, feigning a heart attack. Everybody in the crowd had jumped...and then started laughing. I had to stop playing and laugh too.

Fun with the banjo! (I did restart the piece and finish it).

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Comment by thereallyniceman on March 4, 2012 at 19:31

It is good to see that the vellum "flip", well performed, has had the desired effect on the masses.


TBj's flips could knock walls down, but the little smirk from the performer and the hoots from the crowd make it all worth while!!

No more hesitant, timid little flips for you eh Marc?... let them rip!

Comment by Tom Ryan on March 5, 2012 at 21:43

Chris Sands flips could wake the dead - he always insists that they wake up he audience first however.....

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