31 May 2020

Detached notes

On the Deering Banjos blog Keith Billik hosts a podcast in the 'Picky Fingers' series, interviewing Ron Block (left). For well over an hour, Block talks about his development as a player, the way he practises, his banjos and other hardware, playing with records and trying to copy the sounds (which he still does), favourite albums, fitting in with the band, playing with Damien O'Kane, and much more. Worth hearing for anyone into playing.
Jake Blount's new album Spider tales was released on Friday (29 May) by Free Dirt Records. This is first-class old-time music, with a strong insight behind it. The press release says: 'Blount is determined to show that this music didn't form in a vacuum, but in the face of ruinous hardship.' (Dwight Diller has said much the same in a different context.) Links to two videos and much more detail are on the Free Dirt press release.
Kristy Cox, who should have been touring in Ireland during the past week as part of her European tour organised by mygrassisblue.com, has released a single, 'Finger pickin' good'. The song was written by Kristy, Jerry Salley, and Bill Wythe; the finger-pickin' was provided by Kristy's fellow Australian, guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel. See this Mountain Fever Records release.
Friday just past was also the release date for the new Smithsonian Folkways album of 1962 performances in New York city by Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton (see the BIB for 29 April). Producer and musician Peter Siegel, who made the original recordings, emphasises what a landmark the performances were, both for the audiences (who had not been confronted with this kind of authenticity before) and for the musicians (who were powerfully encouraged by the reception the audiences gave them).

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