As the 2012 U.S. election year winds down, I offer a little John Hartford style Banjo-centic advice to all candidates for public office, reminding them how not to choke in the home stretch!
It’s that time again… mud-slinging, flag-waving, plank-hammering, and squandering mountains of money that could be more productively spent almost any other way. Yes, it’s time to elect the President of the United States!
As the final days of the insane almost 2-year circus and media feeding frenzy wind down, no matter which side of the Looney-toons aisle you park your butt on, you certainly want your favored candidate to walk off with The Big One. Well, here’s how you can help your candidate!
Remind them about the basics of campaigning. Right about now it’s easy for them to get distracted by things that don’t really matter… like the serious issues confronting the nation and the world. Hogwash! Here’s the way to win:
“If you want to get elected to a high political office, you gotta shake the menfolks' hands, and you gotta kiss the womenfolks' babies.”
Listen to "Kiss the Womenfolks' Babies"
4 Ways to Help YOUR Candidate Win!
- Download the MP3 send it to your favorite candidate as a little “Banjo-centric” reminder!
- Send your favorite candidate a link where he/she can listen and learn!
- Share a link to this post on Facebook, Google+ or wherever you virtually socialize!
- Get your narrow butt to the polls on election day and VOTE!
(If you don’t vote you have no right to bitch about the lousy job they’re doing!)
- 2 Bluegrass-Americana sets
- 1 Irish-Celtic set with guest musicians
- 1 solo “Banjo-centric” set by Yours Truly
Starovagankovsky Pereulok 19, Building 2. Metro Aleksandrovsky Garden, Metro Biblioteka im. Lenina.
View Larger Map
20:30 – 11:00
Tickets: 300 RUR
Bring a print of this image, get in for 1/2 price:
And now for something completely different… for me anyway. I’ve been a 3-finger Bluegrass-style banjo picker for, well, close to forever now. But in recent years I found myself attracted by the sound of old-time open-back banjos and the so called “clawhammer” or “frailing” style of playing .
So I let myself succumb to a bout of BAS (Banjo Acquisition Syndrome) and found a nice 1920′s vintage tenor banjo (4 strings) and had a new 5-string neck made for it by French luthier Eric Stefanelli. Eric made a beautiful neck with a “scoop” that may modern old-time players prefer. (Modern old-time???!!!) So I had to get busy and take a view video lessons and do some practicing.
One tune that had been running around my head saying it could work nicely with clawhammer banjo is an old 19th century sea shanty (sometimes written “chanty”) called New York Girls. I’ve heard it in several seafaring films, including an Australian production of Moby Dick. And it’s in the sound track of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
I still have a LOT to learn about this style but I was able to knock out this arrangement of New York Girls. Vocals are better than the banjo, but I’ve been singing a lot longer than I’ve been frailing! So here it is, with my best (worst?) Irish accent for the month of St. Paddy.
WARNING! The chorus of this tune can stick in your head and bother you for days… listen at your own risk!
LISTEN TO NEW YORK GIRLS:
Well it’s been an interesting year in many ways, and with all the furor surrounding the parliamentary elections in Russia, the year end and the new year are going to be more interesting still.
Amid the many things working to divide us, music is one thing that can transcend our differences and bring us together in a very human way. Here at the end of another year is a little song of mine which I hope will brighten your year-end holiday season however you celebrate it. I hope you will share it around with your family and friends.
I wish you peace, health, and hope in the year ahead.
Waiting Out the Winter © 2011 R. Palomo, Jr. Some rights reserved.
Who but yours truly would be fool enough to conceive it, let alone attempt it? Thanks to the folks at the U.S. Consulate, St. Petersburg who caught this clip of my banjo-centric arrangement of the classic Russian rock song “Eto Vsyo” (“That’s All”), written by the “godfather of Russian rock-n-roll”, Yuri Shevchuk, leader of the Russian rock group “DDT”.
Shot during my sound check at the 2011 Russia America Bluegrass Jamboree, Vologda Russia, this is just a short clip of the song. I could wish they had caught the performance that evening, because the Vologda audience received the tune wonderfully despite my bad accent in Russian. But I’m glad they shared it all the same.
Here is the full audio of the song hosted on the Banjo Hangout:
"The banjo tone is really exceptionally good, and the whole thing works great musically."
– Peter Wernick, www.drbanjo.com
If you hated the song you’re sure to hate the video.
Dedicated with no fondness whatsoever to Rep. John Bohner, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Gov. Sarah Palin, the rest of the Tea Party, and the Big Pigs on whose puppet-strings they mindlessly dance.
This video depicts pigs in close proximity to corrupt politicians and business people. After the fact, I realized that in this I may have gone too far and caused offense. If I have, I apologize unreservedly to all pigs everywhere.
Girlfriends are great, aren’t they? I mean, they’ve inspired a lot of guys to write a lot music since music was just banging a couple of rocks together. So the newest song released in my Banjo-centric project, Morning Dew, was inspired by one of those. (Girlfriends, not rocks.)
The year was 1990. The place was the heartland of America. The time was the height of Insane Gulf War I. The girlfriend was Arab. Which did not go over well with my gung-ho neighbors in said American heartland. Never mind that she was Lebanese, from a Christian family, spoke flawless English. But hey, knee-jerking morons will be knee-jerking morons, this is all water long since over the dam, and my native country has gone on to new and improved insanity. The reason I bring it up is because it bears on the title of this song. Said girlfriend’s name meant, essentially, morning dew in Arabic.
The song was written while the relationship was in full swing, but it was prophetic of the eventual outcome. It was that short-sweet-hard-to-beat affair that blindsides everyone once in a lifetime (at least I sincerely hope so). But really, it was doomed from the outset. No, not cultural differences or anything like that. She was (and I presume still is) an intellectual. I was, and still am, a banjo player. How do these things happen? Lord have mercy on us poor worms here below.
So anyway… take a listen to this banjo-centric folk-rock song and let me know what you think:
LISTEN TO “MORNING DEW”:
Thanks for dropping by. Have a nice morning. Stay out of jail.