Wednesday, February 18, 2015

John Carty - Irish Tenor Banjo and Tenor Guitar

John Carty
London born John Carty is probably my favorite Irish traditional musician.  When I started getting into Irish music his new-at-the-time tenor banjo / tenor guitar CD I Will If I Can was one of the first albums I heard in this style and it made an instant positive impression.  His earlier banjo album with Brian McGrath The Cat That Ate the Candle is also a good one.

Last year I was fortunate to get to see John give a small house-concert style performance with the esteemed fiddler Kevin Burke.  John is also an outstanding fiddler, but it is his banjo (and tenor guitar) playing that I like best.

Here's a video of John Carty playing his 1949 (?) Martin (?) tenor guitar with accompaniment from the great Arty McGlynn.  He seems to choose more wistful pieces for the tenor guitar.

Here's a video of John Carty playing his Ome open back tenor banjo with his daughter Maggie who is also a tasteful banjoist.  They go into the old-time tune Waiting for the Federals (AKA Seneca Squaredance), which is pretty cool.

Lastly, here's a lively video of John in a session-like setting with Irish accordion player Paddy Melia. 

John's tenor banjo playing seems to be more supportive and less over the top than most Irish tenor banjo players, while still proving to be continually inventive.

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