[Dixielandjazz] Electric (Electronic) Washboard

mmckay macjazz at se.rr.com
Mon Nov 13 08:00:40 PST 2006

 Future man played here in St. Augustine Thursday and was very well
received.  He was with a sax player whose main attraction seemed to be the
ability to play two saxes at once and I didn't bother to go.  (I was pretty
sure it wasn't MyKOM, let along OKOM!) I have heard Future man play with
Fleck (last year when Fleck was playing) and he does add an interesting
modern mix but I agree with Mike that it is basically an electronic
washboard and contributes more in terms of effect than in terms of music.


Martin D. McKay (Designated (in this case, non-)listener).

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of Mike Woitowicz
Sent: Monday, November 13, 2006 10:51 AM
To: Dixieland Jazz
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Electric (Electronic) Washboard

Jerry Gordon wrote (in part):

"Hey! has any body developed an electric washboard Yet ?? "

The answer is "Yes." The rhythm player with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
(known as "Future Man") uses an electronic washboard.  It's wired up with
synthesized percussion sounds to provide rhythmic background to the banjo,
string bass and reeds in Fleck's band. 

Personally, it's a bit much for me. My own opinion is that a regular drummer
would add a lot more to the mix, and would be less intrusive. On the other
hand, Future Man is the Bass Player's (Victor Wooten) brother, so they're
keeping the family gainfully employed.

With regard to the tongue in cheek comments about "Washboard Artists", one
only has to see and hear washboardists such as Ralf (sp?) Reynolds with the
Rhythm Rascals, or Don Sheske with my band, the Dixie Barons Dixieland Band.
Both are virtuosos on the "instrument", providing background color as well
as solid rhythm. Listen to "Coney Island Washboard" in the Dixie Barons
section on my website and you'll see what I mean. Listmate and drummer Bill
Sargent also plays outstanding washboard. I talked Bill into putting a
washboard setup together a few years ago, and whenever I can, I use him in
my group. The man provides terrific rhythm, colorful fill and outstanding

There are probably numerous other washboard "artists" in the USA and abroad.
Rolf Seidal of the Norwegian band "Louisiana Washboard Five" plays a very
"tasty" style on the 2 CD's this group has published. I'm sure there are
many, many more.

Mike Woitowicz
Banjo Player
Occasional Washboardist
The Banjo Barons Ragtime Band
The Dixie Barons Dixieland Band
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