A fancy polka composed by Paul Eno played on a Clifford Essex Regal banjo.

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Comment by Jody Stecher on December 8, 2015 at 2:37

Here is Cupid's Arrow, sort of.  I get off to a rocky start. My fingers feel like sour pickles weighted with lead. But then I forget to be nervous and it goes pretty well until the end. Then I get the chords all backwards and inside out.  This is my newly set up Clifford Essex Regal. This time it has a fiberskyn head, Nylgut strings, and a holly bridge made by Eric Stefanelli. The sound is a bit lighter (less weighty) than with the old calf vellum and gut strings. I think it is a bit louder as well. This banjo carries well.  Sorry for the botched rendition. I just wanted to share the new sound of the Regal. If someone thinks it sounded better with the old setup (St Louis Tickle and Valley Green Polka, by all means say so.

Comment by Trapdoor2 on December 8, 2015 at 15:31

I love it! Esp. the very end "No, that's it..."

I've tried to play that one occasionally over the years but I always find some reason to give up.

The banjo sounds fine to me. I like fiberskyn. It does lack some of the warmth of calfskin but for a piece like this, who needs warmth?

Comment by marc dalmasso on December 8, 2015 at 20:10

bravo Jody ; it 's a difficult tune to play ; so i see you decided to keep the Regal ; you 're right , it 's a very good banjo

Comment by Jody Stecher on December 9, 2015 at 1:22

Thanks, Marc. I can play it with clarity and no missed notes when there is no video camera going. I didn't exactly decide to keep it, I just had no inquiries about it. Then recently I was contacted by someone who loved the sound from the earlier videos I had done,  but he had no money at the moment. He had some good sensible questions about the setup and string clearance of the fretboard and so on but by that time I had it set up with light gauge steel steel strings, a three footed bridge and a fiberskyn head, after rejecting a Ren head as too bright for this banjo.  I thought the Regal responded better that way than with the old vellum and gut strings. But to answer his questions, and to satisfy my own curiosity, I tried Nylgut and went back to a 1/2 inch two footed bridge and I found this was the best setup of all. If the interested party finds money I'll sell it to him (or to any other interested party) but for the time being I'm keeping it and enjoying it.  The reason I would sell it is because I'm getting old and have too many banjos. Last year I acquired a very well made and good sounding ornate  Arthur E Smith banjo.  But I  recently sold it because….well….she loved this banjo even more than I did and it made her so happy to have it and her husband is a very old friend. You know, it just seemed like The Thing To Do. It's not like it was my only banjo. 

Comment by Richard William Ineson on December 9, 2015 at 14:37

Comment by Jody Stecher on December 9, 2015 at 16:41

£ 15, eh?  I'll take 10 !   What year was this, Richard?  Interesting grammar at the top left. Clifford Essex "introduce", as if Clifford Essex was plural. 

Comment by Richard William Ineson on December 9, 2015 at 16:48

It looks like November,1932, to me. It would seem that a regrettable lapse in the grammar has occurred, as you point out; but, it may be that they were right,and it is just that the rules have been changed since then. It is not customary for mistakes to be made by C.E.&Son, perhaps the advertisement should have read 'Clifford Essex & Son introduce'? Another mystery, to which we will never know the answer.

Comment by Jody Stecher on December 9, 2015 at 16:54

Whoops! I had scrolled down to the top of the advert so I didn't see the date or that this was a BMG page. Thanks.

Comment by carrie horgan on December 9, 2015 at 19:05

Wow, that looks like a real finger-twister.  Great performance.

Comment by Jody Stecher on December 9, 2015 at 19:16

Thanks, Carrie. I humbly disagree. It's a great banjo tune, but a  "curate's egg" of a  performance, but I'm amongst friends here. Cupid's Arrow offers an unusually large selection of opportunities to go wrong. 

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