Sunday, January 18, 2009

Banjo versus TV: Week 49

A weekly check-in on the Banjo versus TV project — J.R.'s resolution to spend more time in 2008 on his banjo than on TV. This post covers 12/02/2008 through 12/08/2008.
Banjo 312 hrs, TV 296 hours

This week's event is something I made a big deal out of last year: I performed in Flatts & Sharpe's annual recital.

Last year (as you'll recall) I played a sing-along Preamble from Schoolhouse Rock, complete with slide show. It was pretty labor-intensive. But all that fuss and pomp helped to mask my lack of skill.

This year I'm a better player. The Banjo versus TV project has really helped. So with the urging of my banjo instructor, Dave, I decided to play it straight and to perform a simple medley of my two best songs: I'll Fly Away and This Land Is Your Land, with the latter played as a sing-along.

The performance went very well, except for one embarassing, rookie mistake.

I lost my picks -- which wasn't, itself, the rookie mistake, though it was a rookie mistake.

No, the rookie mistake was that I walked up to the mic and told everyone that I'd lost my picks but was going to play anyway.

It's like saying, "Hey, everybody. If this next thing is bad IT'S NOT MY FAULT! It's the lack of picks."

Really, I know better. When there's some problem before a public presentation you shouldn't draw attention to it, or start off in such a weak, apologetic fashion. I should have just sucked it up and played.

Ah, well. I got the crowd singing along and everyone seemed to have a good time. I got lots of compliments.


-jim said...

JR, I have video of your pickless performance which showed you are plenty proficient. And yes, you did get everyone singing, but you forgot a couple versus to the song. I am sure those are out here on this interweb but I have them if you'd like them.

Let me know if you'd like a copy of your performance or the whole recital. I left a good size stack of disks with Chris at the store.



J.R. Jenks said...

Jim, that'd be great. I stopped by the shop, but they didn't have any CDs left (or couldn't find them). Please let me know how I can get a copy of the performance.

Yes, I trimmed down the number of verses to a manageable two. I'd have loved to lead everybody in a more full version of the song, but I'm no Pete Seeger and I didn't fell I could keep everyone singing for all the verses like he does.