Friday, January 25, 2013

“Coleman’s March”

A happy Banjo Friday everybody! I know the Fridays have been banjo-less around here in January, but never you fear: I have a fun banjo series planned for February—& I have some very fun banjo music for you today.

If you’re familiar with Banjo Friday, you know that I’m always happy to showcase the banjo in unusual settings, so when I saw today’s video, I knew I’d have to post it. For one thing, as regular readers know, I’m a big fan of Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, who I think are true forces for good in the music world & indeed in the world in general.  These women have been touring Asia with American Voices Abroad, bringing their wonderful renditions of American old-time music to kids, & of course as is typical, they are teaching & encouraging participation along the way. You can read about their travels on their blog.

Fink & Marxer are also teaming up with some top musicians from the countries they’re visiting, & in this show in Malaysia, they are joined by Kumar Karthigesu & Vick Ramakrishnan of the Malaysia World Music Group on sitar & tabla, as well as by fellow Yank Barbara Lamb on fiddle.

I love this version (though I might wish the sitar were brought forward a hair in the mix)—there is something so odd & yet so right about the mix of banjo with sitar & tabla. If you want a more straightforward version as a point of contrast, here’s a link to Fink & Marxer playing “Coleman’s March” on 5-string & cello banjo respectively.

Hope you enjoy it!

Image links to its source on The tablature is for mandolin.


  1. You got me googling Coleman's March. Is it the same tune the eponymous Coleman -wrongly accused of murder- extemporised on his violin, sat on his coffin on the journey to the gallows?

    1. You are right, Dominic. I found the story on Mandolin Cafe--hadn't known that before. Thanks!


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