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Ed & Don

It was our Spring ritual for almost a decade, starting when I retired in 2010. My close friend and long-time picking pal Ed Britt and I would wait for the first warm, clear day over 60 degrees, and drive into Harvard Square, always early in the morning, to grab our favorite spot along Brattle Street. We would plug our banjos into our portable amps, set up our tip jar, and entertain the folks on their way to work. We would stay through lunch time, and leave around 1 pm, turning our coveted spot over to some other performer. All morning we played one fiddle or banjo tune after another, never repeating a tune, Ed playing the old-time clawhammer style and me three-finger picking. When we first began our busking, passers-by would often ask us if we had a CD for sale, so over the following winter I put one together from various recordings we had made playing in my living room over the previous decade. In the fall of 2014, we made some new recordings, in order to put together a second CD. It was never finished. Sometime near the end of 2015, I noticed Ed was having trouble remembering tunes, and in general was showing signs of confusion. By the end of the summer of 2016, Ed would be diagnosed with Alzheimers. We continued to busk with our friend John Maguire until July of 2018, when the side effects of Edís illness finally forced us to stop. On February 18, 2021, it finally took his last breath from him. The tunes below, in MP3 format, are from our original CD and from those 2014 sessions, for the CD that never made it to Brattle Street. Ed and I also made and posted about eighty videos on YouTube, which you can find by going to my YouTube channel, interspersed among my solo videos. In the last thirty or so, we are joined by John Maguire.



 

 

1. June Apple
2. Child Grove & Sally in the Garden
3. Bonaparteís Retreat
4. Midnight on the Water
5. Grasshopper Sitting on a Sweet Potato Vine
6. Arkansas Traveler
7. Gaspe Reel
8. Sugar in the Gourd
9. Chicken Reel
10. Shady Grove
11. Campbellís Farewell to Red Gap
12. Mississippi Sawyer
13. Rock the Cradle Joe
14. Hard Times Come Again No More
15. Julianne Johnson
16. Kitchen Girl
17. La Bastrange
18. Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss
19. Greasy Coat
20. Old Joe Clark
21. Angeline the Baker
22. Turkey in the Straw
23. John Brownís Dream
24. Whiskey Before Breakfast
25. Sail Away Ladies
26. Sally Goodin
27. Cripple Creek
28. Texas

1. Ragtime Annie
2. Pretty Little Shoes
3. Deep River Blues
4. Sourwood Mountain
5. Cold Frosty Morning
6. 8th of January
7. Black Eyed Suzie
8. My Grandfatherís Clock
9. Half Past Four
10. Liberty
11. Little Billy Wilson
12. Colemanís March
13. Old Yeller Dog

14. Hangmanís Reel
15. Petronella
16. Saint Anneís Reel
17. Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine
18. Sandy River Belle
19. Elzicís Farewell
20. Shoes and Stockings
21. Magpie
22. Over the Waterfall
23. Red Wing
24. Booth Shot Lincoln
25. Shove That Pigís Foot
26. Wounded Hoosier

(c) copyright 2021 by Donald J. Borchelt, all rights reserved.