classic banjo rag played on Clifford Essex Regal banjo.

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Comment by Jody Stecher on February 24, 2013 at 23:08

Here's a demo of my "new" Clifford Essex Regal. I've got Clifford Essex gut strings on it and a bridge made by Eric Stefanelli. This banjo has a neck profile that's very comfortable for my hand. It's got a lot of "oomoh", second only to the 12" pot Tubaphone that Eric made for me, which he describes as "like a motorcycle".  The tune, St Louis Tickle , has been posted by others several times, and many or most visitors to this site are familiar with it so for that reason I thought it was a good one to demonstrate the banjo. Also I occasionally use some different fingerings than other players. The dots are in the library. 

Comment by Jody Stecher on February 25, 2013 at 1:49

Typo alert: that's "oomph", not "oomoh" that this banjo has.  I don't think I can blame the computer spell-checker for this one.  "Oomoh" does suggest some possibilities. A children's chocolate drink? Add 2 spoons of Oomoh to milk.  The name of the chieftain of a band of tribal people in the Amazon jungle, perhaps in a late 1940's black and white grade B film?  An ineffable quality of the heart, neither empathy nor pathos and written as expressive indication on a music score?

Allegro vivace con oomoh.

Comment by thereallyniceman on February 25, 2013 at 9:03

Hey Jody when you said it had Oompah I was expecting a Bavarian Drinking tune with you dressed in lederhosen  ;-)

I like St Louis Tickle but have never really gotten it under my fingers. I guess that is another to go on the list! I also like the spontaneous laughter, my teeth are too tightly clenched when playing to laugh.

I spent most of the video staring enviously at that top tension C Essex. I wish that I had never sold the one I had in the 1970s... silly me!

Another great video!!

Comment by Jody Stecher on February 25, 2013 at 15:16

That "spontaneous laughter" was me half annoyed and half amused with myself for misplacing my fingers and producing a demolished chord instead of a diminished one. 

Comment by marc dalmasso on February 25, 2013 at 18:25

 " c 'est un régal " ; means delicious in French; good playing / both videos , Jody;

regalo in Spanish means gift . and in English ? regal ?

Comment by Jody Stecher on February 25, 2013 at 19:24

In English "regal" means royal. Pertaining to kings and queens, not to Ségolène.

Comment by marc dalmasso on February 25, 2013 at 20:53

ségolène .......... familiar name " la cruche du Poitou "

Your Regal sounds exectly like mine ; Is it numbered engraved on the DS wood or anywhere , ?

mine has no serial number except on the original CE  ' warranty ; was still in the case

Comment by carrie horgan on February 25, 2013 at 20:58

Great playing - I love that tune, it is so catchy and jolly.

Comment by Jody Stecher on February 25, 2013 at 21:15

Yes, the number 427 is engraved twice on the dowel stick, one to the left of the Shaftsbury Avenue address plaque and one to the right. This one also had a bill of sale from Clifford Essex Music Co Ltd. on which the 8 New Compton Street address was printed and a stamped date of 22 Jan. 1953. So this banjo must have been sitting in the shop unsold for quite a few years. More or less the years of the war and recovery. The invoice is written to Mr R H (or perhaps B H) Crook and the price is £21:10. Hand written is "For 'Regal' Banjo and case. One set of strings". The case is in Not Too Bad condition.  The banjo is in fine condition. It came with light steel strings and, although it clearly had been played a lot, with sixty years of dust and grime all over the metal. All this came off very easily. The vellum also had a Clifford Essex stamp, this time with the Grafton Street address. I bought the banjo from a Canadian, who lives in Victoria BC, where there is a sizable English population, and I believe he obtained it from a Canadian as well. So I am at least the 3rd owner but of course there may have been a few or many more.

Comment by marc dalmasso on February 25, 2013 at 22:02

OK Jody , may be , yours could be one of the last from the 36 /42 Shaftsbury ' period because , according to this photo , number 268 is already Shaftsbury ; but n° 224 , also sold via BHO is Grafton St ; so we could think these last two Regal beeing ' bout 1936 ;

mine is Grafton n° 191 ........... ? older but more difficult to date

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