We went to a very interesting event in downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. The Pittsburgh Banjo Club meets every Wednesday at 8pm at the Elks Lodge for a combination rehearsal and concert. The public is invited but you have to make a reservation as the place is small. We love bluegrass banjo music, but this is the first time we've heard a banjo ensemble. There were around 16 members, all playing banjos except for two trumpets and an electric bass. Most of the members are up there in age, but there were two teenage brothers. The whole group played old songs and polkas and were a ball to listen to. Here's a video of the group on Youtube.
Frank is the leader and founder of the group. They first got together in the 1950's (I forgot the exact year.)
The two teenage brothers are Enzo and Nico Chiodi. They are members of the Chiodi Family, a trio they play in with their father who plays bass. The boys are home schooled, they don't own a TV, and they spend most of their free time practicing the banjo. They're amazing players! We were so impressed we bought their CD. It will be fun to keep track of their careers to see how far they go in the coming years. Check out their website here to learn more about them.
The place as almost full. Along with good music, they had cheap beer and snacks.
One of the men played a great harmonica solo. I play around with a harmonica, so I had a nice talk with him after the show.
It was a fun evening and well worth the drive to Pittsburgh. We got home at midnight. It was another one of those events that we just happened to stumble into. That's happened to us a lot in our travels.
Today we drove to Hagerstown, MD to visit Jim's cousin Adele and her husband Dick. We saw them a couple years ago when we were in the area and it was great to see them again.
Dick and Adele
They have a beautiful home with a spectacular view of the Catoctin Mountains our their back door.
We had a great visit and hated to leave them. They spend time in Florida during the winter, so we'll see them again in a few months.
See you in a few days.