06 December 2022

For banjo players in particular

The Dec. 2022 Bluegrass Unlimited magazine (BU) has Thomas Goldsmith's nine-page cover story 'Earl Scruggs: a giant of music, in 1945 and for all time', followed by a mass of banjo- and banjo-player-related content: articles by Tim Newby on Chris Pandolfi and Mike Munford; by Dan Miller (BU editor) on Lincoln Hensley; Dan Miller again on ProPik finger- and thumbpicks; Derek Halsey on the first Earl Scruggs Music Festival; and, in the ample review section, Casey Henry's review of Kristina R. Gaddy's new book Well of souls (see the BIB for 26 Nov.). Even the four BU podcasts for December are all on banjo-players. There is, nonetheless, plenty of good non-banjo content.
Michael J. Miles sends his 'Blue Light Special' e-newsletter, with news of his latest composition, the 'Chicago Roseville Suite'; of his many CDs and music books; of his January and February programmes of workshops for clawhammer banjo and fingerstyle guitar; and of his teaching schedule at three banjo camps in the first half of 2023. Two videos show him playing Bach (banjo) and 'Christmas time is here' (guitar).
Lincoln Hensley, mentored by the great Sonny Osborne, is now producing Krako banjos as part of Sonny's legacy (see Pamm Tucker on Bluegrass Today a month ago). He can also be seen on this seven-minute video, demonstrating the custom Stelling Sonflower banjo which Geoff Stelling made for Sonny in 1979. This unique banjo is now up for auction to benefit the IBMA Trust Fund; full details are on last Thursday's Bluegrass Today.

Update 12 Jan.: The auction brought in $23,500; see Bluegrass Today.
The story of one person's life since banjos took control is well told in a half-hour video interview focusing on Clifton Hicks, old-time player and banjo-maker, who at his first contact with the 5-string thought it was originally a Scots-Irish instrument. Discover the link between what made him an old-time player and what made him an archaeologist. His own YouTube channel is an abundant source of music, instruction, advice, and opinion.

© Richard Hawkins

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