Eli here, you’re trusty Down Home Radio host. When I’m not on DHR playing records and recording interviews, I’m keeping busy by making records of my own! Here’s an album my friend Peter and I did recently. We asked ourselves, “can two banjo players play together?” After some experimentation we were able to answer, “yes!” Here’s a big ad for our new album:
“Twelve Tunes for Two Banjos” is a CD of old-time banjo duets played and sung by Peter K. Siegel & Eli Smith, using mostly 5-string but also 4 and 6-string banjos.
(click tune to hear audio samples)
1. The Worried Blues
2. Jesse James
3. Soldier’s Joy
4. Goodbye Booze
5. John Henry
6. Otto Wood the Bandit
7. Marching Jaybird
8. Sweet Betsy from Pike
9. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
10. Poor Boy Long Way from Home
11. Ever See the Devil Uncle Joe?
12. New Prisoner’s Song
Go to http://cdbaby.com/cd/siegelsmith where you can order online. Its also on iTunes.
About the Musicians:
These are Peter K. Siegel’s first recorded banjo performances since he played on Elektra’s Old Time Banjo Project in 1964. Says Siegel: “You play this thing long enough, it begins to sound pretty good.”
In the interim, he produced more than 60 albums of traditional and roots-based music. Peter’s productions include albums by Doc Watson, Hazel Dickens, Joseph Spence, Roy Buchanan, Paul Siebel, and Los Pleneros de la 21.
Siegel founded the Nonesuch Explorer Series, for which he produced 15 albums of traditional world music. Folk Roots (UK) called Siegel “one of the earliest shapers of interest in world music.” His Gorô Yamaguchi album, A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky, continues to make its way spaceward in NASA’s Voyager Time Capsule.
His recent three-CD boxed set Friends of Old Time Music was released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. The New York Times called the set “a boxed set of awesome and concentrated power” and The Boston Globe called it “a precious, wildly beautiful document.”
Eli Smith is a banjo player, writer, researcher and promoter of folk music living in New York City. He regularly plays in a string band known as The Dust Busters, as part of the Roots ‘n’ Ruckus show at the Jalopy Theater and hosts the internet radio show Down Home Radio. He also presents Down Home Live, every second Saturday of the month at Banjo Jim’s on the Lower East Side as well as the Brooklyn Folk Festival, scheduled for May 21-23rd, 2010.
See below for our review in the Old Time Herald magazine: