This “Banjo Sonata” project explores two themes. First, a sonata is a classical music form that has three-movements and is often performed by a solo instrument. Movement I is in Sonata-Allegro form. Second, the word sonata means ‘to sound,’ so I decided to use the banjos that I have accumulated over the years and play (and sometimes sing) a tune reminiscent of the music from that banjo and its era. This album demonstrates the greater meaning of the term Banjo Sonata by showcasing a variety banjos and banjo sounds. There are many different types of music and banjo styles throughout this project encompassing original compositions, traditional tunes, classical pieces, and popular songs.
“We All Need Heroes”
The purpose of this singer-songwriter/banjo recording project is twofold. First, I wanted to create a collection of original songs that would address the spiritual issues that we all confront daily during these turbulent times. Therefore, there are four songs that are inspired by the events of what is now referred to as “9/11.”
The series begins with “We All Need Heroes” (Track 4) and ends with “If Only I Was A Praying Man” (Track 7). The second objective of this recording is to explore the role of the banjo in American popular music. “It’s You” employees the four-string plectrum banjo in an early twentieth century style while unique five-string banjo accompaniments are juxtaposed with inventive solos such as the raucous banjo solo on “Who’s The Lord Get To Talk To?” (Click Play button to listen to a clip of each song on the CD.)
This album was recorded live in a barn on August 8, 1998, on the J. Peterman Farm during an annual private event. It was performed live by Ken Holbrook, James Moore, and myself, and recorded digitally on location by Bill Johnson, W.H. Johnson Co. The song selection is very representative of the music from my home state of Kentucky and is my first recording of predominantly traditional music. I am very happy with the performances on this recording (playing background banjo and singing the correct words at the same time can be a daunting task) and we at Padraig Records are glad to add this collection of primarily traditional music to our catalog.
“Live in Tokyo, Japan”
Padraig Records/Audio Park Records (PAD35442CD/APCD-2005) Available on Compact Disk.
“Live in Tokyo, Japan” is the latest release by Tim Lake and showcases his live solo show on banjo and vocal with guest appearances by two of Tokyo’s fine traditional musicians, Shofu Yoneya on Shakuhachi and Jo Fujii on Shamisen. Recorded live on October 26, 1997 as a joint project between Padraig Records and Tokyo’s Audio Park label, this performance is unique because it features Lake’s eclectic banjo playing and singing in an unaccompanied format. Seven of Lake’s original songs are featured along with exceptional arrangements of Japanese classics such as “Sakura, Sakura” (with Shakuhachi) and “Tsugaru Duet” (with Shamisen).
Cripple Creek, I Can Play the Banjo/The Chromatic Shuffle, My Old Kentucky Home, Ellington and the Andes On the Banjo/Satin Doll/El Condor Pasa/Caravan, Only Eat When You’re Hungry, Vilvaldi’s Breakdown, Emily, Handel’s Dueling Banjos/Con Alleluia Y Sarabande, Pretty Polly, Was It Something You Said?, Everybody Walks With Jesus, Kojo No Tsuki (Old Castle By Moonlight), Sakura, Sakura (Cherry Blossoms), Tsugaru Duet
“Jazz With Bluegrass And Blues”
Padraig Records (PAD35440CD/CT) Available on CD and cassette
Recorded with his trio, The Little Big Band, these performances successfully blend the singer-songwriter and banjo player attributes of his music. Hailed as one of “the great banjoists of any style” (Dirty Linen — Feb/Mar 1995) and an “especially good lyricist conveying social justice and ecological concerns” (Louisville Music News — April 1996), this recording will appeal both to listeners interested in instrumental virtuosity and fine songwriting. This is his only recording that features standard bluegrass band instrumentation throughout (banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and bass). Each song flows smoothly to the next while retaining a wide range of stylistic influences and a unique and eclectic banjo style. Thirteen of his best songs to date are featured. “Jazz With Bluegrass And Blues” is available on compact disc and cassette.
Jazz With Bluegrass And Blues, Everybody Walks With Jesus, I Come From Kentucky, Fire With Love, A Loser’s Attitude, Sheehan’s Smile, Big Old Ambur Oak, If It Weren’t For Growing Up, conservative clothes, A Great Country, A Big Fat Blowhard Like You, Home In My Eyes, Are You Happy?, Handel’s Dueling Banjos Con Alleluia Sarabande
“An American Concerto For 5-String Banjo And Orchestra”
Padraig Records (PAD35438CD/CT) Available on compact disc and cassette
As winner of Kentucky’s prestigious Al Smith Fellowship for music composition and twice recognized by ASCAP’s Standard Awards panel, this concerto, entitled An American Concerto For 5-String Banjo And Orchestra was composed by Tim Lake and released as a LIVE recording on Padraig Records. The premiere took place on April 27, 1993, by Tim Lake and the Atlanta-Emory Orchestra under the direction of Jere Flint at Glenn Memorial Auditorium in Atlanta Georgia. The concerto is a three movement work of original themes with stylistic influences spanning the complete history of music. It is a semi-programmatic work which depicts an immigrant’s voyage to America. This piece is undoubtedly the first of its kind and should be a must for any serious collector of music. Other original compositions offered in this package are unique solo piano works and an oboe/bassoon duet. The potential of the 5-string banjo is further explored with Tim’s arrangement of Beethoven’s classic Für Elise.
An American Concerto For 5-String Banjo And Orchestra, Five Piano Pieces Portraying Fall 1990 (Bozo The Drunk, Halloween, Street Noise, Extremities (Hendrix plays the classics), What To Do (Earthquake 1990), When I First Met Miyuki, Beethoven On The Banjo: Für Elise, and Clouds For Alice
“Only In The Movies”
Padraig Records (PAD 35437CD/CT) Available on compact disc and cassette
A most diverse banjo recording ranging from classical to jazz to Bluegrass combined with original songs in the highest singer-songwriter tradition. This recording sets out to expand the musical possibilities of 5-string banjo repertoire in the instrumental and lyrical categories. The poetic and socially significant lyrics are enhanced by the accompanying banjo while many classical instrumentals are given renderings worthy of a virtuoso, yet accessible to all listeners.
Cherokee, Only In The Movies, Vivaldi’s Breakdown, Sometimes We’re Afraid Of Butterflies, Classics On The Banjo, A Prophet In Your Hometown, Big Blue On The Banjo, This World Is Your World, Bach On The Banjo: Jesu Joy Of Man’s Desiring/Minuet In G, Slide On The Banjo: Red Rooster, Standards On The Banjo, Thank God She’s Gone, Four Brothers, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas/The Lord’s Prayer
“I Can Play The Banjo” LSR Records (LSR 3454) Available on cassette
“Sweet ‘N Sour” LSR Records (LSR 3032) Available on cassette
“It’s Got To Be Love” LSR Records (LSR 3030) Available on cassette
“Same Old Roadside Inn” Rounder Records (RR3028) Available on LP and cassette
In 1996, Dr. Lake finished his first symphony, “A Symphony Of Kentucky” with Movement III containing an optional 5-string banjo part. Write, email or call us for score/performance information for this new work.
For more information about Tim Lake, recordings, and other merchandise, contact:
Padraig Records, LLC
P.O. Box 31