Banjo player special
Most of this consists of fairly special news about an extremely special banjo player, so let's ease into it gradually. First, thanks to Mountain Home Music, Crossroads Entertainment, and Bluegrass Today for drawing attention to this video of the Boxcars, augmented by J.D. Crowe, running through 'Blue Ridge cabin home' backstage at the recent Five String Fest in North Carolina.
Next: thanks to Brian McNeal of the Prescription Bluegrass Blog for news of a valuable and entertaining video source on the life and career of J.D. Crowe - not just a legendary banjo player in his own right but a bandleader who spearheaded important developments in bluegrass music and took a major part in the careers of such musicians as Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, and Jerry Douglas. In Brian's words,
'A Kentucky treasure: the J.D. Crowe story' is a video series in multiple parts. As of this posting at least nine parts had been uploaded and apparently there are still more to come. It's a documentary produced by H. Russell Farmer and supported by the Kentucky Educational Television fund for Independent Production.
All nine parts published so far can be seen on Brian's blog, and also on YouTube.
Returning to the Five String Fest, which was sponsored by Nechville Musical Products (with three fine banjos from the innovatory Nechville range going as prizes in the banjo contests) - Tom Nechville writes that the Fest
... was a grand time for all who came. The entertainment was top-notch and we made many new friends. [...] The newest model from Nechville was introduced at Five String Fest and the new FLEX-TONE is being offered now for a special introductory price. 100% of the proceeds are going to support the Festival. Contact me for more details, and act fast. All Nechvilles carry a lifetime warranty. Price is only $2000 plus shipping cost from Pennsylvania.
Of special interest to pickers in Europe, Tom adds:
In honor of the thirteenth year of the Al Ras festival in Mollet del Vàlles, Barcelona, Spain, Nechville Musical Products is building a Custom Walnut Classic valued over $6,000 and offering it to a lucky player simply for donating $4000 to the Al Ras festival.* The Al Ras Classic is designed for pure depth and rich powerful tone. The perfectly sawn black walnut neck-wood is capped with an exotic striped Macassar ebony fingerboard and shaped with a compound radius and wide long-lasting frets. The Diamond Wing pearl and abalone inlay is adorned with a custom Al Ras name plate. Gotoh tuners with black knobs compliment the black and white binding and Eclipse Black Heli-Mount frame. The resonator is a spectacular burl walnut for stunning beauty. The tone even surpasses its looks. [...] This priceless masterpiece is obtainable as soon as the instrument is complete and your payment is received by the Al Ras festival committee.
For more information, contact Tom by e-mail.