I remember it like yesterday…
When I got that phone call to audition with the Jolly Boys, it was a dream come true. I knew nothing about playing the banjo, but I wasn’t about to say no to a great opportunity…LOL! I drove to Portland from Kingston, in Jamaica, for a 12 noon audition. I got there at 9am, where I was greeted by the music director Daniel Neely. Right away he handed me a Goldtone four string tenor banjo and went back to the studio to setup for the audition. Soon after I went to the Oracle (Google) to find out how to tune a tenor banjo. I quickly learned it was tuned like a violin (G D A E) or like a four string bass, but backwards. I had been listening to their songs for several hours before I got to Portland (GeeJam Studios), so all I needed to do was to write the chords down and figure out where my fingers went on the fret board. When it was time for me to go in, I must admit I was a nervous wreck. I was somehow able to survive the audition and went back outside to beat myself up for sucking so badly.
The music director came out shortly after and whispered to me “Unofficially, you got the job.” I asked, “How?” He said they were so impressed with how fast I was able to learn the songs, in a few hours, they became curious to see what I could do in a year. There were so many things I learned while with the Jolly Boys for that year of 2010, so this is why I titled today’s blog “The Jolly Boys University”. Enjoy the videos!
Enjoy even more videos here.
Download Donald Waugh’s music here.