16 November 2021

Early music gems for banjo

Many BIB readers who attended the much-missed Johnny Keenan Banjo Festivals will remember Lluís Gómez leading the Barcelona Bluegrass Band, who became regular favourites with the festival's audiences. Lluís has recently brought out Banjo picking tunes: early music gems, published by Mel Bay as a book with online audio ($16.99 for a physical book, $12.99 for an e-book).

It comprises thirty-four tunes taken from medieval and renaissance sources, all arranged in regular open G tuning; read the extract from Jake Schepps's preface that appears on Bluegrass Today, where there is also a brief video of Lluís playing the English tune 'Wilson's wilde'. His other Mel Bay publications in the 'Banjo picking tunes' series include Christmas in the British Isles, a collection of twenty carols.

The vigorous bluegrass and old-time community centred on Barcelona held the twentieth Al Ras Bluegrass & Old Time Festival on 5 November; the report by Michael Luchlan on Bluegrass Today indicates that despite the limitations imposed by Covid restrictions it was vigorous and successful.

© Richard Hawkins

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