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also, I was very surprised to learn that he is still alive, 92 years old and still performing in Florida. His real name is Dick Hyman, and I'm going to drop him a line:

dickhyman.com/

All of that being said, this a good album in a double-nostalgic Disneyland Main Street USA sort of way; 2020 nostalgia for 1950s nostalgia for 1900.

"Knuckles O'Toole" recorded a bunch of this stuff, have a listen: youtube.com/watch?v=zBdHAiXZK4 /

I need to find more recordings like Virginia Eskin's "American Beauties: The Rags of Joseph Lamb" youtube.com/watch?v=GDuvovk6pc /

I am not sure I agree that a lot of these tunes are ragtime per se, at least not in the way I've come to understand ragtime listening to the music of Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb; ragtime was scandalizing at the time but there was still much more of a graceful formality to it than the jazz that it involved into. I'm no authority, though, and definitions are sort of meaningless when most people would absolutely hear this and say "ragtime!" and/or "dixieland!" /

The playing on this Knuckles O'Toole album is stellar but it was deliberately recorded using an out-of-tune spinet piano that sounds like shit. I don't doubt that many of the venues where ragtime originally rose to popularity had crappy pianos, but this album was recorded in a professional studio in 1958 and to use a bad piano was a very deliberate (and unfortunate) choice. /

I found a vein of mid-19th century "Honky Tonk" piano LPs at a junk shop yesterday, and I want to know everything about the person whose collection they were from.

I brought home a few and as I expected, they've got that Shakey's Pizza Parlor vibe to them; ragtime era music distorted through the lens of 1950s/60s nostalgia, conflated with early jazz and mashed into an old-timey pastiche. /

(In case it's not obvious, I am not attempting RPM challenge in any way, shape or form. The fire wasn't there and this month is going to turn into a dayjob shitshow that is almost certainly going to chew up a bunch of my nights and weekends.)

Well, it's back... or rather, a new event has been organized by some of the regular attendees of the old event. New venue and probably a slightly different flavor, but the crucial thing as far as I'm concerned as that it will be a rare gathering for weirdos who are interested in 19th century , AND it will still take place in a very old barn, which had so much to do with the magic of AEBG.

renfrewmuseum.org/an-early-ban

I thought I had a longish thread talking about the Antietam Early Banjo Gathering (AEBG), an event I was fortunate enough to go to five years in a row. I think perhaps that thread was back on smusi.ch (RIP)

I made some dear friends through AEBG, and found much-needed inspiration for the often-solitary pursuit of obscure old banjo music, and I've missed it deeply every year since its demise in 2015.

@mayor back in my day, we didn't have anywhere to keep our banjo news *but* the hat!

Just got some suuuuuuuper exciting 19th century banjo-related news, have to keep it under my hat a bit longer

There's a lot to be said for going "quit fucking around and just make a bunch of fast and dirty songs, they're probably not going to be great but you'll have Done The Thing and learned a bunch" mode, but it's daunting.

I did wind up buying SID Tracker 64 and then promptly losing steam. I have such lousy creative energy this time of year, although tonight I was fooling around with GarageBand for iPad and Chordion a bit, and then circled back to some banjo stuff, more idle musical tinkering than I've done in a long time. Feels good.

It is, of course, the eve of the RPM Challenge and I haven't made up my mind if I'm going to give it a go, SID style or otherwise.

One jarring thing about a lot of folk instrument books that were written decades ago but are still in print is the photographs of authors/contributors, many of which are from the 1970s; as you page through the books learning tunes you get to know all these young folkies, and then you see contemporary photos of them on the internet and they've all instantly aged 40+ years

Stop what you're doing and listen to Aaron Jonah Lewis' "Mozart of the Banjo: The Joe Morley Project" RIGHT NOW

open.spotify.com/album/4KR0kHV

whoops 

whoops 

If I ever become an all-powerful being of pure light, the first thing I do will be to permanently destroy the "Hillbilly banjo player in the talent show" youtube video that is always at the top of any banjo-related recommendation or automatically generated playlist.

While I'm at it, I will also destroy whoever is responsible for the algorithm that ensures I have to see the words "Hillbilly banjo player in the talent show" every time I go to youtube

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