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Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s

Joe Offer 14 Jun 20 - 05:19 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jun 20 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Starship 14 Jun 20 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,Starship 14 Jun 20 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Starship 14 Jun 20 - 06:52 PM
Jeri 14 Jun 20 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Starship 14 Jun 20 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,kenny 15 Jun 20 - 12:09 PM
BanjoRay 16 Jun 20 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,GuestTF. 17 Jun 20 - 12:55 PM
Vic Smith 17 Jun 20 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,GuestTF 20 Jun 20 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Guest 20 Jun 20 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 20 Jun 20 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,GuestTF 21 Jun 20 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,GuestTF 21 Jun 20 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,GuestTF 21 Jun 20 - 02:22 PM
Charley Noble 21 Jun 20 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,Susanne (skw) 22 Jun 20 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Kay 26 Aug 20 - 04:30 AM
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Subject: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 05:19 PM

I got an interesting and challenging email request from Germany:

    Dear Joe,

    I have been told to contact mudcat or even post my request.

    I'm looking for a particular five-string banjo player of whom I heared a concert in the 80s. I never had a name of him. After years of search I'm still unable to trace him.

    I made some discriptive notes which I would post you if you think that mudcat is the right place for such a search.

    Looking foreward to hear from you and thank you in advance,

    Kay


    Hi, Kay -
    Interesting question. I wouldn't know where to start with the information you've given so far, so I'll need as many details as you can provide.
    Why not send me what you can provide, and see what I can do? If I can't figure it out, I'll post it on Mudcat.
    Alles gute.

    -Joe Offer, Music Editor, The Mudcat Cafe-


    Hi Joe,


    that sounds great. So here we go:


    It must have been in the middle of the eighties that I heard a banjo player on a radio show with Wally Wyhton called "Folk Review" or "Hello Folk" which was broadcasted by the British Radio station called BFBS which at that time was on air in Germany where I live. To this time I was and still am very interested in celtic folk music on one side and on the other in five-string banjo music from America.


    But to come to the point, it was a broadcast of a live performance of this sole artist who, from his pronunciation must have been englich, maybe Scottish or even Irish but surely not American. And he was performing folk songs from the Isles. Only four pieces I still remember:

    1. Steppin out Mary

    2. Will ye go Flanders

    3. Hang your head Tom Dolley
    - although a American song and tune but he did it in a, I would say, celtic version. Firstly he used the origional text saying: "Hang your head Tom Dooley, hang your head and cry. You killed poor Laura Foster and you know you're bound to die..." . Above this he didn't lay the pronunciation with an high on "Dooley" but sang the sentence relatively monotonously without pronunciation.

    4. My favorite was a song of which I in 30 years was unable to find the title. It was a sad love-song. All I still remember is the refrain which goes:

      "If I find a way and the time to return
      Battered by the storms, blown by the wind
      Will you still be there when the snow lies all around
      And the leaves that once were green have turned to brown?"

    Somewhere in the net I found the complete text but without any link to the bonjoist or other folkies. Contacting the provider failed to get more informations on it.

    Above all, his sole instrument was a five-string banjo which he was able to pick in a general bluegrass style but also played old style and clawhammer elements as far as I remember.
    The artist must have been around his 30s in the mid eightys.

    I'd be so happy trace this artist and if you might have an idea.
    All the best and greetings from Germany,

    Kay




That's quite a request. Is Mudcat up to the challenge?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 05:30 PM

Here's more of the song that was quoted:

?

Well the hills have all grown silent neath the flowry silken veil
The mewland streams lie frozen, see how winter tells its tale
(?) cold winter (?)
Leaves fill the trees, young birds sweetly sing
Bring thoughts of how I miss you

Refrain:
If I find a way and the time to return
Battered by the storms, blown by the wind
Will you still be there when the snow lies all around
And the leaves that once were green have turned to brown?

Winter sheds its blanket and then cold wind disappears
(?) flowers once more, though the snow was severe
(?) forest (?)
The changing seasons, such beauty in (?)
And thoughts of how I miss you

(Refrain)

Well the hills have all grown silent neath the flowry silken veil
The mewland streams lie frozen, see how winter tells its tale
(?) cold winter (?)
Leaves fill the trees, young birds sweetly sing
Bring thoughts of how I miss you

(Refrain)
And the leaves that once were green have turned to brown?


source: http://www.villasubrosa.com/Nathan/texts/muckle2text.html





Kay posted much the same request at another Website a few years back, and the suggested answer was a group called Muckle Ado:

Members of the group "Muckle Ado":
    These are the names I have: Gordon Inglis (12 string guitar, mandolin, drums), Colin Frost (6 string guitar, mandolin, drums) and Dave Britain (6 string guitar, banjo).

    I did find a Facebook page of a Colin Frost in Liverpool playing Beatle songs. I emailed him. No response yet.

    I tried looking for the other men....especially Dave Britain. Do you know how old these men would be?


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 06:16 PM

Radio 2's Country Club was hosted by Wally Wyhton, although that doesn't help much with the song search. I'll see if they have archived materials.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 06:36 PM

If there are materials still available from the show, I don't have the skill to find them. Incidentally, the BFBS often carried BBC2 shows for overseas troops.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 06:52 PM

Dwight Diller? The accent could well have sounded like a midland accent and he played in Scotland and presumably England too around the specified time. QED.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 07:50 PM

I got here, but that wasn't much. Just the song and a possible group (Muckle Ado).


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 14 Jun 20 - 07:54 PM

I saw that. Hard sucker to track.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 15 Jun 20 - 12:09 PM

Not a lot to go on here - I can think of 2 Scottish musicians who were soloists , playing 5-string banjo, playing Scottish Folk Clubs in the 1980s - Iain Mackintosh [ but he would have been in his 50s in the 1980s ], and Ian Walker.
"Muckle Ado" I think were from Fife in Scotland. My brother made one of their cassette tapes which I may still have somewhere. I'll have a look when I get the time. The mystery song might be on it, you never know. But if this is a search for a solo artist, they are irrelevant to this discussion.
What is meant by "folk songs from the Isles" ? - which Isles ?
The 4 songs you mention are Irish [as far as I know ], Scottish and American with one possibly a contemporary original. Not really any clues to the singer's origin from repertoire.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: BanjoRay
Date: 16 Jun 20 - 07:58 PM

Definitely not Dwight Diller. His first British trip was in the late 90s.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,GuestTF.
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 12:55 PM

Sounds like Tom Paley.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Jun 20 - 03:52 PM

... or Pete Stanley.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,GuestTF
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 03:23 PM

Now I know that song and I seem to remember putting harmonies to it with the writer in the dim and distant. Something at the back of my mind says Amos & Rocks.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 03:29 PM

I've contacted them. I'll get back when I have an answer.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 20 Jun 20 - 06:50 PM

Could it have been Ian Clarke ?


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,GuestTF
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 02:07 PM

I've been in touch and it's definitely Adam Amos and Noel Rocks. Edinburgh based duo from 1980s. They have a web page and their albums can be purchased therefrom.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,GuestTF
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 02:19 PM

PS Noel Rocks is the banjo player and Adam Amos on guitar.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,GuestTF
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 02:22 PM

PPS; www.amosandrocks.com


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Jun 20 - 08:52 PM

Sounds like another great search that is closing in...

Charlie Ipcar, aka Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Susanne (skw)
Date: 22 Jun 20 - 06:05 PM

Definitely not Iain Mac, I'd say, though Wally Whyton did play cuts from some of his concerts for British forces in Germany on Folk Review or Forces Folk. But I never heard him do any of the songs mentioned above in his solo gigs.


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Subject: RE: Locating 5-string Banjo Player from the 80s
From: GUEST,Kay
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 04:30 AM

To "Guest TF",

its only now that I see, that my greetings have not posted. Sorry for that and many, many thanks for your comment on Amos and Rocks. They deffinitely were the artists. A 35 year-search came to an end. I'm very happy and bought the new CD as well as I obtained the two old LPs which are not avaiable in digital form. Now I have to see how I can hear them....
I also tried to contact Noel Rocks via the Amos & Rocks website but noone answers. If you have luck, please keep me informed (kayfuhrmann@gmx.de)!
Still unsolved is the question if Rocks also performed solo. I could swear that my recording was of him ond only his banjo.
Many thanks again,

Kay


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