Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Been diving head first into ITM tenor banjo playing lately. In American traditional music (old time, bluegrass) fiddle and banjo duets are a mainstay of the music. What are the ITM recordings there the focus is the fiddle and banjo? There are some great YouTube videos…..Fergal and Enda Scahill, John Carty and Kevin Burke…but I"m not really finding many recordings. Thanks!

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Check out John and Maggie Carty’s ‘Settle Out of Court.’ Also, Paraic MacDonnchadha’s ‘Not Before Time’ features some tasty duets with fiddler Claire Egan.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Fiddle & banjo does seem to be a less common duo than box & banjo.
One recording of a fiddle/banjo duo that I have is https://thesession.org/recordings/772
which is nice but might be hard to get now.

This very nice record by Tommy McCarthy & Louise Costello
https://thesession.org/recordings/4528
probably has some fiddle/banjo duets (since Tommy plays fiddle, while Louise plays both banjo & box)
but I can’t swear to that without getting it out for a listen.

I’m trying to think of other banjo/fiddle duos, but no more are coming to mind.
Most groups that include fiddle and banjo (e.g. Four Men and a Dog) also include box & other backing instruments.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

It is interesting that box and banjo seems to be the favored duet. Enda Scahill has one. Angela Carberry has several. I’m sure there are more. I do have the Carty’s recording and Paraic’s as well. Both excellent.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

The Cronin/Burke recording is on Ceol Alainn for free as a download. Or at least, it used to be. The link should be there in the comments of that recording.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

going way back, the instrumental frontline of the Dubliners was always John Sheahan [fiddle] and Barney McKenna [banjo] - early De Dannan was mainly Frankie Gavin [fiddle] and Charlie Piggott [banjo] but became more box related after the recruitment of Jacky Daly.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Cathal Hayden plays both banjo and fiddle on some tracks on his CDs. We banjo 3 might be interesting for you too.

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Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

‘Doorways and Windowsills’ by Antóin Mac Gabhann and Mick O’Connor. There’s 14 sets of really good tunes on it. It’s not available to download but the cd should still be available from Custy’s Music Shop.
https://custysmusic.com/

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Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

We Banjo 3’s earlier albums such as Roots of the Banjo Tree and Gather the Good have some excellent examples of Banjo/Fiddle; however, they’re more centered in the Bluegrass/Old Time tradition then you might be looking for. Teada’s self-titled first album has some very nice fiddle/banjo playing (although it’s not consistent throughout the album). I believe the banjo player was Seán McElwain. Stockon’s Wing "Jigs, Reels, & Songs" also has some great banjo/fiddle playing.

One of my personal favorites is Kevin Griffin, Roger Burridge, Michael Shorrock, and Quentin Cooper’s "Across the Pond". That has some very classic versions of great tunes with fiddle and banjo playing together throughout. It’s a great album available in iTunes.

Oddly enough, there’s plenty of great examples of pipe/banjo, concertina/banjo, and accordian/banjo. It’s curious that there’s not more examples that obviously come to mind for fiddle.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

It is interesting that it doesn’t seem to be a favored duet combination. In American old time music, which was derived in part from Irish and other traditional European music, the fiddle and banjo are the foundation. I guess in ITM the tenor banjo is just a much newer addition to the music.

Thanks to all for the great suggestions! I already had some of these and have bought some others I did not have.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

I’ll second "Across the Pond". Fierce banjo and fiddle.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Ithaca-markb: “This very nice record by Tommy McCarthy & Louise Costello
https://thesession.org/recordings/4528
probably has some fiddle/banjo duets (since Tommy plays fiddle, while Louise plays both banjo & box)
but I can’t swear to that without getting it out for a listen”

I can confirm that it is a very nice recording, and mostly fiddle and banjo.

Re: Fiddle and Banjo Duets

Jus got Across the Pond….EXACTLY what I was looking for! What a great collections of music.

Also got Reverend’s recording and it is full of gems as well. Thanks again for all the suggestions!