Clinch Mountain Echo

V/A - Masters Of The Banjo

A National Tour Of Traditional Banjo Styles

(Arhoolie CD 421) 1994


Masters Of The Banjo
CD Tray Booklet picture

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This is a compilation of live recordings made during a 'National Tour Of Traditional Banjo Styles' organised by the National Council for Traditional Arts, in November 1993.

The tour presented several styles of banjo playing, with clawhammer and Irish tenor, two-finger, three-finger and melodic styles all on display. The tour also featured Ethiopoian, Seleshe Damessae singing in Amharic and playing his 'krar', a six string lyre which dates back to the ancient civilisations of the Nile.

Ralph:- "Seleshe would finger-pick that krar lightening fast, and he'd do some sort of talk-singing... We couldn't say much to each other, so we just talked through music. I got a kick out of Seleshe and his krar, and he got a kick out of my clawhammer... when I'd go out to do my part of the show he'd come out on stage and make a bow down to my banjo and sit right there at my feet. When I started playing, why, he would dance around and just have a time. Seleshe would hit the floor every time I played 'Shout Little Lulie'. He really thought it was it, and he would almost do somersaults and such onstage, the music made him so happy".[1]

It's a bit odd that Ralph commented on only being able to communicate with Seleshe through music - his English on the album is perfect, and he did spend twenty years in the US before returning to Ethiopia.[2]

November was a pretty busy month for Ralph, with approx eight of shows on the 'Banjo Styles' tour sandwiched between regular CMB appearances at clubs and festivals:-

(*) 'National Tour Of Traditional Banjo Styles'

The CMB's didn't accompany Ralph on the tour, instead he was backed by a bluegrass all-star line-up, which make the recordings sound a little different and quite interesting:-

It's notable too, that even on a 'Banjo' tour, one of Ralph's a cappella perfomances (Children Go Where I Send Thee) was also so good it just had to be included!


Track:
Title:
CD:
(77:56)
1
The Eldest Of All
- Seleshe Damessae

??
2
A Family Quarrel On Sunday
- Seleshe Damessae

3
If You Come, Come; If You Go, Go
- Seleshe Damessae

??
4
John Brown's Dream
- Kirk Sutphin

??
5
Let Me Fall
- Kirk Sutphin

Larry Richardson
6
Yellow Rose Of Texas
- Kirk Sutphin

P.D.
7
Oh My Little Darling
- Kirk Sutphin

??
8
The Wild Fox
- Tony Ellis

??
9
Wind Chimes And Nursery Rhymes
- Tony Ellis

??
10
Cherry Blossom Waltz
- Tony Ellis

??
11
Hand In Hand
- Tony Ellis

??
12
Bird In The Tree
- Seamus Egan

??
13
Charleston/Mason's Apron
- Seamus Egan

??
14
Lark In The Morning Medley
- Seamus Egan

??
15
The Lover's Return
- Laurie Lewis & Dudley Connell

??
16
The Johnson Boys
- Carroll Best

??
17
McMitchen's Reel
- Carroll Best

P.D. ?
18
Say Old Man, Can You Play The Fiddle?
- Carroll Best

P.D. ?
19
Mississippi Sawyer
- Will Keys

P.D.
20
Sweet Fern
- Will Keys

P.D.
21
On My Mind
- Will Keys

??
22
Evergreen
- Will Keys

??
23
Nobody's Love Is Like Mine
- Ralph Stanley

C. Stanley
24
I'll Just Go Away
- Ralph Stanley

C. Stanley
25
Children, Go Where I Send Thee
- Ralph Stanley

P.D. arr C. Love
26
I Got A Mule To Ride / Rocky Island / Shout Lulu
- Ralph Stanley

Donnie Joe Mullins / P.D. / P.D.

Go To Top Of Page [1] Ralph Stanley and Eddie Dean's book 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' (p.437)
[2] http://musicinafrica.net/directory/seleshe-damessae