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
The title of the new album from Steve Krase is Buckle Up (featuring Trudy Lynn) and that’s just what you should do before you listen to the album! Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride! The worst thing about the ten track album is that it’s only 39 minutes long! The album had me from the opening rocker “Jolene” right on through to the closing track – an instrumental titled “Now”, and there were not many times during the album that my feet were not in motion!
Last year 2013 was a great year for Chicago Blues artist Lurrie Bell. Bell, the son of the great blues harpist Carey Bell released one of his most successful solo albums, Blues in My Soul. Blues in My Soul, released on the Delmark label, was Bell’s return to electric blues after two albums which saw him playing in acoustic and religious styles. Lurrie Bell’s return was positively received by the blues community, the Blues Foundation nominated him for five 2014 Blues Music Awards, and Lurrie won the 2013 Living Blues Award as the Male Blues Act of the Year! Here are Lurrie Bell’s five Blues Music Award’s nominations.
Ok so I can see it now you’re working frantically. You don’t know how you’re going to get everything done that’s due today or tomorrow! Your stomach’s starting to churn, heart is racing a little. Now is the time to turn to this playlist – sit back listen for ten or fifteen minutes and then get back to work, with the rest of the playlist playing in the background…. it works every time for me… hope it does for you……
So this afternoon when I turned on the computer, Spotify loaded to its home page and one of the playlists that was there was Acoustic Afternoon. I listened to a few of the tracks and heard a couple of songs that weren’t too bad. Then I thought ,ok, why don’t I just make myself an acoustic afternoon playlist with some of my favorites. What follows is a 10 song, 42 minute playlist with a mix of some of my favorite tunes, mixed with tracks from some of my favorite acoustic guitarists……
Today we celebrate the birthday of the leader of The Youngbloods and solo artist Jesse Colin Young! Who was born Perry Miller on November 22, 1941 in New York City. His mother was a violinist and his father an accountant. From 1969 to 1972 Young recorded four albums with band mates: Jerry Corbitt(guitar), Lowell “Banana” Levinger (keyboard/guitar) ,and Joe Bauer(drums). Obviously, “Get Together ” was their biggest hit! One of my favorite songs of the Youngbloods comes from the album Rock Concert. “It’s a Lovely Day”
Note to Hot Rize: 24 yrs between albums is too long!!
When I started to listen to a lot of music and collecting CDs, thanks to the used CD bins at Tunes in Marlton, in the early 2000s, I found the music of Tim O’Brien, an amazing multi-instrumentalist and singer. I also discovered the music of guitarist Charles Sawtelle. It took a while before I stumbled upon a great bluegrass album So Long a Journey (2002) from the band Hot Rize. I discovered that both O’Brien and Sawtelle were members of the band, along with Pete Wernick, and Nick Forster. Subsequently, I discovered that the album was a live album that had been recorded in 1996 and was a reunion album of the band, that had retired in 1990. In 1990, the members had parted ways and went on to have distinguished solo careers. From their biography at the band’s website.
The other day I was reading Dave Van Ronk‘s autobiography The Mayor of MacDougal Street. In the chapter I was reading Dave was recalling fellow folksinger Paul Clayton. Clayton was a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a master’s degree in Folklore. Clayton was a true folksinger studying and singing traditional music mostly New England seas shanties and ballads and Appalachian songs. At the point of his career in the mid to late 1950s, that Van Ronk was writing about Clayton had already recorded dozens of albums and most of them revolved around a theme like Songs of Love and Marriage, Songs of Hate and Divorce. and Waters of Tyne: English North Country Songs & Ballads. Van Ronk writes that any time Clayton needed money, he would head to the library and look through an obscure folklore collection. He would then visit Moe Asch at Folkways Records and say “You know Moe. I was just looking through your catalog and I noticed that you don’t have a single album of Maine lumberjack ballads”
Paul Clayton’s tie to Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”
The other day I was reading Dave Van Ronk‘s autobiography The Mayor of MacDougal Street. In the chapter I was reading Dave was recalling fellow folksinger Paul Clayton. Clayton was a graduate of the University of Virginia, He earned a master’s degree in Folklore. A true folksinger Clayton studied traditional music and sang mostly New England sea shanties and ballads and Appalachian songs.
So on the left sidebar there is a playlist of some of my favorite songs from a variety of albums, most of which were released in July August and September of 2014. There are a couple that I’ve added from earlier months basically albums that I didn’t get around to writing about but still really enjoyed! So here’s the list of the albums that the songs were taken from to make the playlist!