Friday, December 18, 2009

“Silent Night”

Happy Friday everybody—as promised, I do have a holiday tune for you all this morning, & a well known one at that—“Silent Night.” As a bit of a wrinkle, I’m playing it “classical style” (essentially like guitar fingerpicking) on a 5-string banjo.

I made this recording a couple of years ago, & no doubt I could play it better now, but I was satisfied with the take when I recorded it, & still don’t have any real objections to the performance—perhaps a few quibbles, but that’s it. Long-time followers will remember that this same music & slideshow was posted last Christmas Eve. Apologies for the re-post, but I wanted to jump start the Holiday Music series. Between last weekend’s rehearsals for & performances of the McCall Christmas Concert (with attendant driving) & the
accompanying if unrelated disaster of a our furnace vent pipe coming askew in snow & wind & causing up to $5,000 of damage before we caught it (coming home from dress rehearsal & finding the fluorescent light fixture in our utility room filled with water was a big clue), these have been a busy couple of weeks. We’ve also been hit by snow, then rain, power failures & the general scatteredness of coming back to day-to-day life after a week & a half immersed in an out-of-town performance.

I also feel a bit remiss because I failed to wish Jewish friends & family members a Happy
Hannukah earlier in the festival—so almost belated wishes to the Rosenbergs & the Kleins & Sue R., & all readers who observe this holiday. My plans for playing “Chanuke, Chanuke” in frailing style on the banjo (in the odd D minor tuning!) will have to wait for another year.

There will be another holiday music post Monday morning, & that will involve guitar. But this time around it’s the banjo. Hope you enjoy it!


  1. Thanks for the music. Sorry to hear about your furnace disaster - I hope everything is mended, warm and snug for Christmas.

  2. Beautifully simple and simply beautiful.Thanks for this.
    That's some weather you're having,John, hope all the damage is fixed now!

  3. Hi Alan & TFE: Thanks to you both--so glad you liked the music. The furnace itself was unaffected, tho the pipe is currently held together with a type of very strong tape that's used on mobile homes. The damage was all from water, which leaked thru the vent pipe once it was knocked helter skelter. We lost a good deal of insulation, & I'm sure the laundry room ceiling will need to be replaced, & there will have to be work done on the roof come spring. Not sure what else, but we are fine, just a bit rattled!

  4. Beautiful! I have never heard a carol played on a banjo before. So sorry to hear about the home damage. I hope the performances went well.

    Merry Christmas, John!

  5. Hi Karen: Glad you liked the song! The performances went fine, & the home damage is under control, tho there will be a lot of work to be done; sounds like we may lose one wall in the laundry room as well.

  6. that sounds so sweet on the banjo!!!!!

  7. Hi Heather: Glad you liked it! That arrangement isn't all that hard to play--all things being equal, you could probably play it for Xmas '10, if not before!


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