Companion Tab Books
Devil In The Kitchen
Celtic Music on Clawhammer Banjo and Guitar
This recording was done just as I was discovering the wonderful fiddle music of Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. There are several tunes and medleys from those sources, but also well represented are Scottish tunes, Irish tunes, and tunes with lots of fancy variations drawn from my concert repertoire at the time, such as “Bay of Fundy,” “Rakish Paddy,” and “You Married My Daughter.” Three great fingerstyle guitar solos round out the project. The project was recorded on reel-to-reel tape at Larry MacBride’s Marimac studio in Indiana, and I’ll always be grateful to Fred Campeau for his steady guitar accompaniment after being presented with the tunes and their relatively complex chord sequences right on the spot.
The Bee's Wing / President Garfield's Hornpipe
- Professor Blackie
- The Bay of Fundy
- The Bee's Wing/President Garfield's Hornpipe
- Farewell to Killikrankie/Archie Menzies/The Haggis
- The Miller of Drone/Big John MacNeil
- Cape Breton Johnny Cope/Miss Lyle/The Black Mill
- MacNab's'/The Plains of Boyle
- Da Slockit Light/The Smith's A Jolly Fireman/The Bride's Reel
- Rakish Paddy
- Stella's Trip to Kamloops/Devil in the Kitchen/The High Reel
- You Married My Daughter, and Yet You Didn't
- Glen Coe March/ Lord Gordon
- The Stool of Repentance/Come Under My Plaidie
- Trad. Strathspey (Munlochy Bridge)/Heather on the Hill/Sheehan's Reel/Farmer's Reel
- Coilesfield House/Trad. Strathspey/Loch Earn
Reviews for Devil in the Kitchen (Marimac Recordings)
Ken Perlman should be no stranger to lovers of the melodic clawhammer banjo. He has taken this art form to places that it hasn’t and may well never have been, since its heyday in antebellum America. Mr. Perlman has written a book on clawhammer style and recorded several albums prior to this release. This labor of love [“Devil in the Kitchen” on Marimac Recordings] is a culmination of an extensive collecting trip he made to Prince Edward Island. It has been the thrust of his work to play Celtic music on the five-string banjo. From listening to this it appears he has come a long way to perfecting this blending of two disparate tangibles…This recording draws the listener into it. It is not a loud or uproarious thing. Loaded with good Celtic tunes from Prince Edward Island…In places, Perlman eschews the banjo for guitar, and we are treated to first class fingerpicking of a highly complex and expressive nature. His stately technique on a steel string guitar possesses a strong drive and full delivery.This recording is recommended to all lovers of clawhammer banjo, Celtic tunes and fingerpicked guitar. There are hours of listening pleasure contained here along with a wealth of good tunes.
A brilliant player and re-inventor of modern melodic down-stroke (clawhammer) banjo playing is Ken Perlman. Ken also plays outstanding finger-style guitar… As far as I know, I have every tape, book and BNL column he has ever done…
Drawn largely from his recent work with Cape Breton fiddlers, this new album “Devil in the Kitchen” on Marimac Recordings features Celtic tunes from that area. This album only has three guitar tunes on it… For banjo players, that is good news as it means more of Ken’s immaculate banjo work. This new album is awesome, and even better it has an accompanying tab booklet that steps you through some truly beautiful arrangements. This is an impressive album, and I encourage every serious banjo player to add it to their library… A technical masterpiece, with copious liner notes!
…Over 30 tunes are represented in this collection [“Devil in the Kitchen” on Marimac Recordings] by one of America’s great melodic clawhammer players. Perlman, well-known for his books Melodic Clawhammer Banjo and Clawhammer Style Banjo has also written several guitar books…
The CD opens with Perlman on fingerstyle guitar…playing “Professor Blackie.” The arrangement is beautifully performed…It is a soothing opener for the collection. After the opening guitar solo, Perlman jumps into “The Bay of Fundy”… This is Perlman at his best — a pure melodic clawhammer style fully imitative of the plectrum style banjo, with none of the drone sound or rhythmic structure associated with the southern clawhammer style. The piece moves quickly as Perlman plays some of his variations on the basic theme.
“Cape Breton Johnny Cope”/”Miss Lyle”/ “The Black Mill” demonstrates Perlman’s mastery of the style played on this album as he combines pull-off triplets with some of the picking tremolo. As Perlman notes, he is using his index nail with a down-up- down motion to imitate the … sound of this type of music on tenor or plectrum banjo. More is heard on the following track, with a sound reminiscent of Seamus Eagan…
This CD represents a large collection of Celtic tunes from the Northeast U.S. and Canada, well-performed by one of the premier melodic clawhammer players alive. Highly recommended for anyone interested in this type of music, including fiddle players looking for tunes and/or phrasing and melodic ideas. The liner notes are well written, with sources and history of the pieces included.
Live In The UK
Traditional and Original Tunes of Clawhammer Banjo and Fingerstyle Guitar
In May 1987, renowned clawhammer banjo and fingerstyle guitar player Ken Perlman landed in Manchester ready to embark on his first tour of the U.K. Ken's first couple of performances — in the nearby cities of Macclesfield and Northwich — were taped, and excerpts were later released as a cassette by Halshaw Music Company. This CD contains digitally re-mastered versions of all the tunes from the original cassette, plus a few previously unreleased selections. Most of the banjo solos have also been enhanced by the addition of expert flatpick-guitar accompaniment by John Rossbach.
COMPANION BANJO TABLATURE BOOK AVAILABLE!
Ken Perlman: Live In The U.K.
Recorded in the late ’80s, this is an eclectic collection featuring American, English, Scottish and original tunes, along with several accompanied vocals. Now a CD with guitar accompaniment on the banjo instrumentals by John Rossbach.
Companion Tab Book
All selections not otherwise noted are banjo instrumentals.
- Road to Mexico by Ken Perlman (formerly called “Tequila Mockingbird”)
- Rock the Cradle, Joe
- Loons on the Pond by Ken Perlman
- The Mornin’ Blues (guitar + vocal)
- The Rights of Man (guitar instrumental
- Shenandoah Falls
- Sullivan’s Breakdown by Ken Perlman
- The Barnyard Dance (guitar + vocal)
- Fanny Powers (guitar instrumental)
- Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (banjo + vocal)
- Come Ye By Newcastle/Holmes’ Fancy
- Colored Aristocracy
- The Left All Alone Again Blues (guitar + vocal)
- Avalon Quickstep/Julie-Anne Johnson
- Reuben’s Train (banjo + vocal)
- Sandy River Belle
- Speed the Plow/Prince William
Ken Talks About The Recording…
Looked at in context, Live in the UK represents what amounts to a “middle period” of my musical path. My first LP (Clawhammer Banjo & Fingerstyle Guitar Solos on Folkways Records) was pretty much an outgrowth of my fascination with Irish Music, and my later CDs (Devil in the Kitchen on the Marimac label and Island Boy on the Wizmak label) resulted from a deep involvement with the music of Scotland, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. When Live in the UK was made, on the other hand, my interests lay in expanding the boundaries of clawhammer and dragging out of the style every last lick it was capable of. Part of this involved creating a method to play complex breaks and “variations.”
Another aspect was composing tunes specifically for “melodic” clawhammer that made use of the style’s unique potentialities. Because it was the only commercial recording that was made during this “middle” period of my playing, I decided to breathe new life into it by using some modern recording-studio sleight of hand.
The original recordings were played into a multi-track digital tape recorder, and enhanced by the sound engineer. Then I asked guitarist John Rossbach of Syracuse, New York — a very highly talented bluegrass and “old-time” player — to “overdub” accompaniment on most of the solo banjo tracks. This helped smooth out many of the recording-imperfections from the original cassette. Hope you enjoy the result!