Two years ago I was presented by a friend of mine with a very run down old banjo guitar which he found in his grandparent’s loft and asked if I could do anything with it. As I was off work with injury I thought it might be a fun project to try and restore the old girl. I’d never done anything like this before but had a great time trying to reskin this Weltton Banjo Guitar (which apparently was made in the 1950s). While it isn’t perfect I was very proud of what I accomplished, however I then got sidetracked and it just sat gathering dust. Until now!
In another of my YouTube safaris I came across an old documentary by Alan Lomax about the musical traditions of the Appalachian region. I had listened to a lot of this music in the past and my interest was reawakened for traditional American Folk tunes. It was in this reawakening that I came across a recording of the Carolina Tar Heels doing a song called Peg & Awl from 1927 and immediately thought it would be a great one to break out the banjo for!
The song is written from the perspective of a shoemaker who loses his job to a machine – slightly inaccurately as the song is based in 1801-1804 whereas mechanical shoemaking wasn’t introduced in America until the 1840s!
Historical accuracy aside it’s a great song and was really fun to play, hope you enjoy it as much as we did!