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dedogtent
10-10-2008, 09:27 PM
A few of us started a camp band this year as we have wanted to do this for a few seasons. We have pretty good musicians on guitars, banjos, bones, tamborine, and a good lead vocal. I guess I am the weak link on banjo as I started playing only in January. It does help though if you keep playing with others that play well as we try to practice between events. I am hoping we can practice alot in the off season that is fast approaching and really sound good next year. We have a songbook with 27 songs. We play for fun and I don't see any recording contracts in our future. We gave our band a silly simple name, "Camp Soup".

How about anyone one else? Do any others have a fun camp band and what instruments do you play? What songs do you sing or play? Does your band have a name?

Danny
10-11-2008, 02:06 PM
John -

In our camp just as you fellas, two of us play a list of period songs. A Concertina player, and myself on banjo or guitar, sometimes a third on harmonica, tamborine or jaw bone. The concertina player and I have played together a few times for officers receptions, or at living history campfire sings, and myself at living histories or school events.

But, three challenges I have: Apparently the concertina is very difficult to keep tempo on (when the player is an amateur), yet is far louder than period banjo or guitar so I'm forced to readjust meter and it's awkward. As a string player I must also maintain perfect pitch with the Concertina as it does not itself re-tune. And third I cannot get the Concertina player to sing, yet I feel singing the song is actually more important than the instruments. I cannot do both well and no one else in our unit steps up to lead the singing either, so we don't sound all that good and it's frusterating.

I long for another guitar player so that I can play banjo over his chords and rhythm, as was the period style, or for another banjo player so that I can back up his period playing with my guitar. I wish we had a fiddler, someone I could alternate banjo or guitar melody lines with or who I could back up with guitar rhythm. And I wouldn't mind honing tambo or bones skills once in a while behind other players.

John, look what you've done, You've got me wound up now! ... PLEASE, IN N. ILLINOIS / S. WISCONSIN, IS THERE A UNIT BAND, OR A PERIOD BAND, WANTING AN ALTERNATE FOR BANJO/GUITAR/ BACK-UP VOCALS TO PRACTICE WITH?

Dan Wykes

dedogtent
10-11-2008, 09:55 PM
Dan, I would agree it would be hard to play with just you and the concertina player. I think it's very hard to play melody and sing melody at the same time. We are lucky we have a lead vocal and then all the folks start kicking in and singing which is what we want. Our lead singer is also a band director and he is going to try to take up the fiddle which would be a great addition. Good luck with your playing and singing.

dculgan
10-13-2008, 12:34 PM
Hi John

My band started as a camp band. We started playing after drill, battles, etc. and built up our repetoire over many years. I took our name from the way the early minstrels would poke fun and parody everything in society including religious groups. Thus we became the Camptown Shakers.

Dave

RJSamp
10-13-2008, 04:05 PM
... PLEASE, IN N. ILLINOIS / S. WISCONSIN, IS THERE A UNIT BAND, OR A PERIOD BAND, WANTING AN ALTERNATE FOR BANJO/GUITAR/ BACK-UP VOCALS TO PRACTICE WITH?

Dan Wykes

We have several in the 1st Illinois Battalion, see you at Minooka this weekend?

Neal Rudy is a crackerjack Guitar, Banjo, concertina player with knowledge of all the verses on nearly all of the songs....and a great voice to boot. Plus he's a superb brass player (French Hornist but has mastered Cornet, Bugle, Eb Alto, Baritone....and probably could play the Tuba if you pressed him hard enough).

Dave Corbett (Harmonica, Banjo, Voice) has his own professional camp band.

Steve Smunt (fifes, recorders, clarinet, tin whistle, et al) has his own professional camp band.

We've got drummers and singers and an oom-pah-pah band as well, oh my.

dedogtent
10-13-2008, 06:38 PM
Hi John

My band started as a camp band. We started playing after drill, battles, etc. and built up our repetoire over many years. I took our name from the way the early minstrels would poke fun and parody everything in society including religious groups. Thus we became the Camptown Shakers.

Dave


Thanks for the reply Dave. I have listened to your great band from CD's to live performaces at many events. I'm sure we will never get to your level but will have fun along our new journey in camp music.

Danny
10-16-2008, 01:22 PM
We have several in the 1st Illinois Battalion, see you at Minooka this weekend?....

RJ -

Thanks, I will follow the sound of the music and find you fellas this weekend...

Dan Wykes

Company Fiddler
10-17-2008, 02:05 PM
I am the only musician in my unit so I'm usually playing solo around our camp. It is always better to have players who are familiar with each other's playing and have a common tune list. I do find that there are other musicians at most events and an improptu jam session can easily develope. Good luck with your new group!

If any unit in northern Ohio would like to add a fiddle player for a re-enactment or living history event, I would be glad to fall in with you.

reddcorp
10-17-2008, 02:11 PM
We have had a company band for some years now.
We have a couple of guitars, a banjo player, a couple of harmonica players, a fiddler, tambourine, an occassional bodhran, bones, and snare drum. Several of the fellow have pretty good voices, which, I am told, become better as the Who Hit John is passed around.
Sure makes for entertaining evenings around the campfire.
A. Redd
33rd Ala.Inf.

Danny
10-20-2008, 01:19 PM
We have had a company band for some years now.We have a couple of guitars, a banjo player, a couple of harmonica players, a fiddler, tambourine, an occassional bodhran, bones, and snare drum... A. Redd
33rd Ala.Inf.

Andy -

Not sure why anybody would bring a bodhran to a Civil War event, but the rest is great, and Bully for it!

Dan Wykes

reddcorp
10-21-2008, 04:29 PM
Just in case the event is on St. Paddy's and the Irishmen want to play a bit.

A.Redd

Danny
10-22-2008, 01:45 PM
Just in case the event is on St. Paddy's and the Irishmen want to play a bit.A.Redd

Sounds good to me. It's just that the Irishmen of the 1860s of course had never seen, heard of, or played a bodhran :-o

Danny (McCarthy) Wykes