The Handshouse Studio Gourd Banjo Project seeks to illuminate history through hands-on classroom study, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations of early “American” gourd banjos. As is typical for this early banjo style, the neck and fingerboard are made from a single piece of wood. He wrote about his life in Maryland and Virginia in Reminiscences of an American Loyalist (1738-1789). Local Business. My name is Barry Sholder, and I am the maker of Barry Sholder Gourd banjos and Barry Sholder Gourd Ukulele. Morgan Sexton, Black Banjo Songsters, Lee Sexton, Clyde Troxell, Blanche Coldiron, Banjo Bill Cornett. From shop CAPrietoBanjos. The students said the following about Ernest Hodges, whom they met in 1977: The students later met Leonard Webb of Macon County, North Carolina. On a typical minstrel banjo, the large (mostly bovine, I guess) skin, from some non-local source, covering the entire body of the banjo, was needed for projection to large audiences. He delivered newspapers during this period, and would commonly step into a customer's house to collect money. ", Hindman, Hyden and the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Right: Detail from The Old Plantation, one of the earliest depictions of gourd banjos in the United States (circa 1790). There is some discussion of gourd fiddles, which may have been more common in some areas of the mountains than gourd banjos. The series of Foxfire books, edited by Eliot Wigginton and His Students, are wonderful reading. Unfortunately, the students merely repeat theories developed by revival musicians not familiar with mountain history and culture. Plates 1 and 23 show details of the Jamieson banjo, which somewhat resembles a gourd banjo Benjamin Henry Latrobe observed in New Orleans in 1819. It was sent, according to Jamieson, "with a guard of Royal Dutch Marines." ", "Their [blacks] national instrument is the banjo; some of them play on the violin. John Huron of Bristol, Tennessee, made a replica of this banjo for Colonial Williamsburg. They also incorporated European-inspired design innovations. The Gourd Banjo Project EXPLORING AND MAKING AN AMERICAN INSTRUMENT. Local Business. In 2017, Handshouse Studio selected the ‘Banjo’ as our next object to investigate. These sticks being flexible, strike all the strings simultaneously and this produces a rhythmical, drone effect which if the 'beater' is deft in his movements and skillfully varies his rhythms, adds depth to the tune and gives material aid to the dancers. The hallway of one house had a gourd banjo and a fiddle hanging side by side. In order to recreate these instruments, Pete Ross has thoroughly studied written descriptions and illustrations of the banjo from the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries; examined contemporary African instruments similar to the banjo; and measured and photographed surviving nineteenth century gourd fiddles. Fretless Gourd Banjo, Walnut Neck, Made In West Virginia . The newspaper readers would have been wide spread around the Chesapeake; therefore, the banjo must have been well known throughout this area by 1750. Picking the seeds from the cotton was quite a chore. Robert M. Coates quotes James Weir in The Outlaw Years: The banjo was in Wheeling, West Virginia, by 1806. The cotton referenced by Mrs. Green was grown in frontier gardens for "home-spun" clothing. The banjo is the Negroes' guitar, and certainly it is the first born among stringed instruments. Debow's Review, a southern magazine, published Prof. George H. Stueckrath's historical article, The Upper Country of South Carolina, in December 1859 (Volume 27, Issue 6). Stueckrath discusses the early frontier history of Greenville, South Carolina. The late-18th-century watercolor known as The Old Plantation shows an early gourd banjo player on a romanticized South Carolina plantation. Brogan Boots & Leggings (1870 Minstrel Banjo) 5. The second instrument shows a more elongated body, and may be a "hollow'd timber," or wood frame banjo. There may be an even earlier reference to whites playing a banjo-like instrument in Secular Music in Colonial Annapolis, The Tuesday Club (1745-56). ", "Rum shops lined the streets. Fithian was a tutor at Nomini Hall, owned by Robert Carter. The interpreter for the Shawnees at the siege of Boonesborough in 1778 was Pompey, an African American. Communities consist of families; therefore, free black families were being formed alongside those of white servants and wage earners. George R. Gibson began playing old time banjo in Knott County, Kentucky, ca. The banjo, banjo songs and dance certainly came into east Kentucky well prior to the Civil War. Banjo Heritage by Clifton Hicks, released 23 June 2020 1. The Carter family was one of the most prominent in Virginia. Because of the fragility of gourds and the ephemeral quality of early pre-manufactured folk banjos, only two early gourd banjo-like instruments are known to exist. ", "A boy would stand behind the fiddler with a pair of knitting needles in his hands. He learned from his father, Mal Gibson (b. 2:48. If you want to see how I built those kits, just go to my web page, Pete's first published piece on banjo history explores the discovery and significance of the Haitian Banza, one of the most important early banjos that exists today. Heinegg, in Free Africans in North Carolina and Virginia, lists a William Ferguson as the head of household of "8 free colored" in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1820. George Gibson, Ernie Williams, Cousin Emmy, Dock Boggs, Rufus Crisp, Virgil Anderson, Lily May Ledford, Roscoe Holcomb, Tab Ward, Frank Proffitt, Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed, Lee Sexton, Morgan Sexton, Lead Belly, Pete Steele, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, JD Crowe, Clarence Ashley, Fred Cockerham, Dwight Diller, Gaither Carlton, John Snipes, Dink Roberts, Clifford Essex, Joe Sweeney, Archibald Ferguson, Dan Emmett, John Hartford, Picayune Butler, Gus Cannon, Art Rosenbaum, Grandpa Jones, Snuffy Jenkins, Buell Kazee, Bascam Lamar Lunsford, Uncle Dave Macon, Tommy Makem, Luke Kelly, Charlie Poole, Ola Belle Reed, BF Shelton, Hobart Smith, Samantha Bumgarner, Peggy Seeger, Mike Seeger, Jean Ritchie, Ralph Stanley, Odell Thompson, Wade Ward, Hedy West, Fred McDowell, Uncle Homer Walker, Mississippi John Hurt old time, folk, trad roots pickers songsters. Clifton Hicks - Shortening Bread (Early Gourd Banjo) - YouTube He worked at Homeplace on Troublesome Creek in Perry County. Unfortunately, Dr. Drake does not describe the type of banjo for which Mr. Rector made strings. ", "... they [Negroes] generally meet together and amuse themselves with Dancing to the Banjo. He was playing bluegrass on a local radio station in Harlan by 1956. The ninth was, "Frolics not permitted in the home of church members." Teilhard has been making gourd and early era banjos for the last 16 years. Carter employed, in addition to Fithian, both a dancing master and a music tutor. 1785–1795, of a slave playing a banjo-like instrument The gourd banjo was known and described earlier in the West Indies and South America than in America; however, the banjo did not survive in those places as a folk instrument. Sources: Epstein provides some evidence that African musical instruments to play that thing played right,..., stopping at our father 's store, would pat time for his own buck-and-wing dancing. `` years the. 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