Chuck Levy


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Welcome to Banjourneys

Hello Friends,

Welcome to my online music hut.  Take a look around, set a spell, give me a holler.  My Banjourney has led me to all sorts of interesting people an places, from Ohio and Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, to Mars and back, to The Gambia and Senegal, and home to Gainesville, Florida.  Along the way I have picked a bunch of banjos, a few fiddles, and an akonting or two as well, and some stories to tell.  What about you?

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Banjourneys - cd

I am very pleased to present this collection of songs and tunes. It represents my years tracking down old-time music here in the states as well as my trips to Senegal and Gambia in 2007-8, to learn from Remi and Ekona Diatta, members of the Jola people, and master musicians on the akonting/ekonting, a 3 string African banjo ancestor. I knew I would need help on this project, so I enlisted the best I could find. Bob Carlin, recorded, produced and engineered the project. I am joined by Mike Eberle and Dave Forbes on fiddle. I play 5 and 6 string fretted and fretless banjos, as well as a cello banjo, the “banjonting” (a hybrid between an akonting and a banjo) and fiddle (not all at the same time). The music features traditional fiddle banjo duets, twin fiddle pieces, banjo solos in both the minstrel and old-time traditions, and fiddle/banjonting duets which blend old-time sensibilities and with Jola traditions, to simulate what it might have sounded like when these two cultures first met. Despite how eclectic this may all sound, I think the CD holds together quite well. I expect that old-time enthusiasts will enjoy it, as well as those whose appreciate well-informed roots and acoustic music. The cover was drawn by Roz Chast, illustrator and cartoonist for the New Yorker, while the rest of the package was provided by Tina Riedel, an award winning artist from Boston. To purchase this CD go to the following sites: