Barenaked Banjos

by Dan Levenson

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1.
Katy Hill 02:22
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Dr. Dr. 01:43
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Texas Gals 03:11
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Forked Deer 02:45
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Rocky Pallet 02:05
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Needlecase 02:18
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Old Bell Cow 02:14
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Fortune 02:12
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Duck River 02:14
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June Apple 03:09
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about

My most popular album over the years!

Original liner notes: Dear Friends,

It has been more than 2 years since the release of my last album, "Light of the Moon". That album was unique for me as it was my first project as a solo performer and thus very different from my stringband albums with the Boiled Buzzards. It was a pretty bold move to have gone from music supported by three other musicians to going it alone, but you have been clear to me that it was a success. Thank you.

With that in mind, and after 5 years on the road as a solo performer, many of you have been asking me for an even bolder project - solo clawhammer banjo! Well, here it is. All instrumental, solo, plain, unadulterated Bare Naked Banjos - four of 'em! I sincerely hope you enjoy this one as much as my past projects. I know I enjoyed recording it.

Dan

About the recording:

This album was recorded by Wes Linenkugel at his home studio in Toledo, Ohio on April 26 & 27, 2000. All of the tunes were played live to a Tascam DA - 30 DAT and appear without any cuts, edits, or punch-ins. The mic used was an Audio-Technica 4050 set about 1 foot from the head. A minimum of "presence" was added, but no other effects in order to maintain a natural sound. The same set-up was used for recording all of the banjos on this album.

About the banjos:

Four different banjos were played on this album and each tune lists the instrument played. The description of them follows:

Vega #2 - 1999 Vega Tubaphone #2 by Deering Banjo Co. - 11' pot with a Tubaphone tone ring, calfskin head and No Knot tailpiece. The maple neck is a standard 26 1/4" scale and has a frailing notch cut in from the 17th fret. It is strung with D'Addario medium banjo stings. I have been amazed by the responsiveness and deep beautiful tone of this instrument. It is currently my main stage instrument. Several years ago, The Deering Banjo Co. of Lemon Grove, CA acquired the Vega Banjo Company and is now hand producing these fine new Vega banjos.

11 13/16" Tubaphone - 1915 (approx.) Vega pot with a Kevin Enoch neck - 11 13/16" pot with Tubaphone tone ring, calfskin head and No Knot tailpiece. The maple neck was built in 1992 by Kevin Enoch of Beltsville, MD. It has a 25" scale with a frailing notch cut in from the 17thfret and the Boiled Buzzard inlaid in the notch. Strung with D'Addario medium banjo stings. It has a deep rich tone especially in the lower register though it is not quite as tonally responsive in the upper. It has a beautiful feel to the neck and the slightly shorter scale length makes it a bit easier to play.

Flesher Fretless - 1990 Minstrel banjo built by Bob Flescher while he lived in Peach Tree City, GA. Bob now resides outside Los Angeles where he continues to make these instruments. The style is based in the 1850-60 Joseph Sweeney instruments and has a 12" pot with calfskin head and wooden tailpiece. It is strung with D'Addario Red classical guitar strings 1, 2, 3, 4, and a 1 for the 5th string. The stained maple neck is fretless with minstrel style peghead and violin tuning pegs. I love the rich deep sound I get by tuning it to open double G tuning.

Goodtime - 1996 Deering Goodtime banjo. 11" pot with Fyberskin head and No Knot tailpiece. The maple neck is low profile with a 26 1/4" scale. Strung with light metal banjo strings. For years, I had been looking for a good sounding, inexpensive but quality instrument, primarily for my students. The Deering Banjo Co. of Lemon Grove, CA put this one out and I bought the first one to be sold in September 1996 at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. I find it a pleasure to play, lightweight to carry and just fine for that old time sound. Not as beefy sounding as the Tubaphones, but a nice banjo that is easy to play.

credits

released April 9, 2020

Direct to digital Recording and Engineering by Wes Linenkugel
Produced by Dan Levenson
Post Production and mastering by Crooked Cove Recordings
Artwork and Graphic Design by Crooked Cove Recordings
Banjo Buddah and Banjo Orgy photos by Joel Warren of Beechwood, Ohio
Dan with Vega photo by Joshua Levenson
Buzzard Logo by Annie Trimble.

© ℗ 2000 - Dan Levenson

For more information about Dan and to order his other recordings and books please go to www.clawdan.com

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about

Dan Levenson Old Time Music Tucson, Arizona

Dan’s recordings solo and with The Boiled Buzzards are considered go to sources for old time music. Steve Davis called The Buzzards the most influential string band since Highwoods.
Dan is a master teacher and performer of both the Clawhammer banjo & Appalachian fiddle. He is native of Pittsburgh, PA who calls Tucson, AZ his home.
He is a MelBay author and received a 2017 Master Artist Award.
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