So on this date, January 6th in 1924 possibly the best banjo payer ever, Earl Scruggs was born! You can read my birthday post to Earl here. When I came home from Target this afternoon and saw that It was Earl’s birthday, I did a search of all-time great banjo pickers and sure enough as I assumed there was Earl Scruggs at the top of the list. As I looked down a couple of the lists, I thought it would be interesting to make a short playlists using music from some of the best contemporary banjo players. The final playlist contains music from six contemporary banjo pickers, two legends, and Earl Scruggs. The two legends are Pete Seeger and Ralph Stanley! Here are the contemporary banjo pickers…… Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn – Bela Fleck is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, he is best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. While I have music from the later in my library I am most familiar with Fleck as a member of New Grass Revival. Read More Abigail Washburn is a clawhammer banjo player and singer. She performs and records as a soloist, as well as with the old-time bands Uncle Earl and Sparrow Quartet.She is married to Bela Fleck. Abigail and Bela recently released the first album they have recorded together! Read More Noam Pikelny is a Grammy-nominated banjo player. He is a member of the group Punch Brothers and was previously in Leftover Salmon as well as the John Cowan Band. Noam was voted the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year in 2014! Read More Tony Trischka is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument . Read More Alison Brown is known for a soft nylon-string banjo sound. She has won and has been nominated on several Grammy awards and is often compared to another banjo prodigy, Béla Fleck, for her unique style of playing. In her music, she blends jazz, bluegrass, rock, blues as well as other styles of music Read More Terry Baucom has been a force in bluegrass since the 1970s. He has played banjo with the likes of the original Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Boone Creek, and IIIrd Tyme Out. Baucom won the “Instrumental Recording of the Year” at the 2001 IBMA awards show. From AllMusic
He is skilled not only at the banjo, but has performed and recorded on both fiddle and bass. As a vocalist, he displays a bass voice that tends to be something of a show-stopper. Many of these talents are often overwhelmed by the sheer bravado of his banjo playing, inspiring critics to use terms such as “macho” and make comparisons with Uzi machine guns, punching people in the face, and mandatory waiting periods for purchasing assault rifles. Full Biography
Enough already here’s the playlist! Enjoy!