5-string banjo players - Irish music

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JoshuaPerkins
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5-string banjo players - Irish music

Post by JoshuaPerkins »

Does anyone have recommendations for recordings of Irish music on 5-string banjo?
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Re: 5-string banjo players - Irish music

Post by HPChristopher »

Truly a niche within a niche!

You might already be aware, but just so it's clear what the recommendations are, there are two primary 'schools' of 5-string banjo playing, usually called 'three-finger' or 'Bluegrass' banjo, and 'clawhammer' or 'Old-Time' banjo. The playing techniques, approach toward melodies, ornaments, tunings used, and even preferred construction of the banjos themselves vary pretty widely between these two styles. Comparing them is almost like comparing different instruments. Not knowing what style of banjo you're interested in, I'll try and cover both

For three-finger banjo playing: I would look up Dave Hum. Sadly no longer with us, but he made two albums of Celtic and Bluegrass banjo tunes all mixed up together. If you search his name on youtube you'll find some videos, or you can still find his albums on his website:
https://www.davehum.co.uk/shop

Tom Hanway is another name that often comes up when this topic is raised. He's got several books published by Mel Bay with tablature for Celtic tunes on 5-string banjo which I think also come with audio files of the tunes:
https://www.melbay.com/Author/Default.a ... orId=37876

For clawhammer playing: Steve Baughman is a great clawhammer banjo player who I don't think has released any album recordings of Celtic/Irish music, but has a few great videos on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Y7F5JJRcM

And at the risk of making this a commercial post, I've recorded a few sets of Irish tunes in clawhammer style myself:
https://hpchristopher.bandcamp.com/releases

I hope some of that's helpful. This topic is one that has come up a few times on the banjo hangout forum (banjohangout.org) so if you're looking for more suggestions you will no doubt find them there if you do some digging
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Re: 5-string banjo players - Irish music

Post by Loren »

Seamus Egan is one notable player who’s recordings are easy enough to find. Look for his solo albums, as well as the band Solas.
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Re: 5-string banjo players - Irish music

Post by Driftwood »

For something unusual, listen to "Irish Washerwoman" by Pete Roberts (Pete Kuykendall) on "American Banjo: 3 Finger & Scruggs Style". Its in the Library of Congress Folkways Catalog where you can buy an MP3 of it. Pete slows the jig down to waltz tempo while throwing in a ton of extra notes. I thought it was wonderful when I first heard it decades ago. I still do.
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