Talk Report: 2018-12-12

The History and Mystery of the Banjo by Steve Price and Pete Dunn

Gosh, what a great time we had this morning with Steve and Pete entertaining us with live music, anecdotes and stories of the Banjo. The two met busking years ago.

We all agreed it was uplifting to hear the sounds that were created by the duo. Steve on Banjo——not one but five banjos were used to demonstrate his skills and with many flicks of the wrist sounds were created that got our feet tapping, our voices warbling, and actions creating. Pete on Guitar—— the soft mellow sounds combined to produce the perfect compliment for Steve, especially during their rendition of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” from the film “Bonnie and Clyde” originally played by Earl Scruggs, who developed a three finger style of playing.

I didn’t know that the wooden part of a banjo could be made from mahogany —— even a church pew! as we saw, as well as ivory and bell metal. Steve regaled the tale that Joel Sweeney played the banjo for Queen Victoria, and she was amused!! George Formby actually played the Banjo-lele, an in your face instrument. Loud and liked by loud people.

It’s a portable instrument, goes on holiday with Steve!! And the twosome go busking ‘for the hell of it’ in Bristol. (much to the embarrassment of their families)

Some of the songs they sang included, “Mr Bojangles” ‘Snowbird” ‘Where do you go to my Lovely” “ Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” with audience participation, including actions! and from the Film “The Deliverance” Dualling Banjos, for guitar and banjo.

The morning sadly ended too soon but closed with all of us feeling in good spirits, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

We can’t wait to hear from Steve about his Channel swim, when he raised money for the French Hospital Scanner. Watch this space!