06 June 2023

What's going on here?

The BIB editor writes:

Something decidedly odd is happening. The first indication I saw was on page xvii of Kristina R. Gaddy's Well of souls: uncovering the banjo's hidden history (2022):

Our biases have limited the banjo to being a secular instrument: it is in the hands of a lone white man on a porch, a backup instrument in a bluegrass band [bold type added by the BIB], or a driver of melodies for a square dance or clogging routine.

And a few days ago Lee Zimmerman wrote on Bluegrass Today about Alison Brown:

... as one of today’s most prominent banjo pickers, she has the respect and wherewithal needed to bring that instrument front and center, and give it the proper positioning it deserves. It is, as she herself says, more than merely a background instrument, and, as such, it deserves the respect it’s sometimes denied.

How has the idea of the banjo as 'merely a background instrument' crawled out of its grave? Who, since 8 December 1945, has seriously believed it? Did Earl Scruggs live in vain?

© Richard Hawkins

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At 2:51 pm, Anonymous Frank Galligan said...

I couldn't agree with you more Richard...stuff and nonsense!


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