16 April 2017

Bluegrass banjo styles since 1945 explained in five minutes

An Easter egg for BIB readers, especially banjo-players:

Thanks to Bluegrass Today for drawing attention to this video made for the Reverb.com channel by Noam Pikelny, who demonstrates and explains the styles of Earl Scruggs, Bill Keith, and Don Reno, and how players today combine elements of all these - a handy introduction in just five minutes.

The video can also be seen on the Bluegrass Today feature, which leads with a twenty-minute solo concert-cum-interview with Noam Pikelny on video for Paste magazine, playing pieces from his new album Universal favourite ('a gem, required in every library of serious banjo music' - Bluegrass Today) and talking about his own banjo and its history.

A bonus for banjo players and bluegrass historians: looking up the first video on YouTube led to discovering this fifty-minute audio home recording of Bill Keith and Bobby Thompson at their first meeting in 1964, a historic occasion described in an appendix to Tony Trischka's book Melodic banjo.

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