21 January 2022

Fred Geiger, 4 Sept. 1940-12 Jan. 2022

The BIB learns with great regret of the death of Frederick Casper 'Fred' Geiger, jr, on Wednesday 12 Jan. in a fire at his home near Wolfsville, MD, in which his cat also died. Fred Geiger was one of the sixty-eight prominent players surveyed by Tony Trischka and Pete Wernick for their authoritative 1988 publication Masters of the 5-string banjo. His contribution to the 'Mottoes and advice' section of the book was the single line: 'The banjo, not the fiddle, is the instrument of the devil.'

Regardless of the spiritual danger, he was a perennial contributor to Banjo News Letter with his long-running 'Chorducopia' column, as well as product reviews. For a musician of his abilities, he was gravely under-recorded: his sole album (see cover image above), issued under his name as Ridge Runner RRR 0014 (1978), can be heard on YouTube. John Lawless's obituary on Bluegrass Today gives further details and two more videos from the handful on YouTube.

© Richard Hawkins



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