Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Shake Sugaree"

OK, I know I said that last week would be the last of the webcam features for awhile! But as Robert Burns said, “The best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft a-gley.” The feature I had planned for today simply isn’t ready, so I’m sending my banjo-playing self into the breach. I did find a rather low-tech solution to the banjo causing the webcam mic to “clip”—I sat further back. Now if I can just learn to look at the little webcam’s “eye” when I play….

Regular readers will remember “Shake Sugaree” from my Elizabeth Cotton feature in the Guitarists We Like series; I play it a bit faster—I’m playing a banjo after all—& my singing certainly is no match for Brenda Evans’ (nor is my banjo playing a match for Elizabeth Cotton’s guitar!) but I really get a kick out of this song. Hope you enjoy it too.

No post tomorrow, so wishing you all a happy Sunday & Monday.


  1. You Know John, This Is A Song I Remember My Mum Singing When I Was Little.How Strange.I Havnt Heard
    0R thought about it in Years......Thank You Sir!

  2. Hi Tony: Thanks! Great that you have that memory of the song.

  3. Great song. (Just checked out the lyrics online. Might learn it myself).

  4. I've never heard that song before -- and I must say I'm glad you haven't pawned your home. From what I can see, it's a lovely place. You are turning me into a real banjo fan - thanks, John.

  5. Hi Dominic & Sandra

    Dominic: There are lots of verses--I don't do them all. The playing part is pretty easy, but it's hard remembering all those things to pawn!

    Sandra: Yes, I'm glad not to be in that boat. Maybe we all come around to the banjo eventually!

  6. Great playing John and although I didn't know the song before I enjoyed it thoroughly. I feel quite at home in your kitchen now.

  7. I'm just doing some catching up on what I've missed the past few days. The Burney article was a delight. I've been researching and writing about Frances' sister Sarah Harriet, also a novelist, and a few other women writer's of the period. Frances may have suffered from the questionable status of scribbling women, but the opportunities for publishing what you did finally get down were unprecedented, allowing a great flowering of women's fiction. It must have been a heady time.
    The Frank O'Hara piece was an eyeopener. I don't know his work but will make a point of looking him up. The gaps in my poetry education are abysmal. Thanks for bringing him to my attention.

  8. Hi Alan & Mairi

    Alan: Glad you liked it. There are advantages to having one's office in the kitchen corner.

    Mairi: Thanks--I also thought Audrey's Burney article was very good--interesting that you're researching this time period too. & yes, most certainly look up O'Hara!

  9. As for all that pawning, shame you couldn't do "special effects" and have things disappearing from the kitchen as the song goes on! :)

  10. I don't think I saw the Elizabeth Cotton, or maybe I missed it, but I enjoyed this. Wouldn't have wanted it any slower, though!

  11. Hi Dominic & Dave

    Dominic: If I really started making things in the kitchen vanish, Eberle might take the webcam away!

    Dave: So glad you liked it! Elizabeth Cotton's version isn't a lot slower, but my guess is it's a few metronome ticks less. Some of that is simply that a guitar has more "sustain" than a banjo (which has almost none)--"sustain" being an instruments capacity for maintaining a note's sound over time.


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