10 February 2022

The BGS presents Stillhouse Junkies; Aoife O'Donovan interviewed; and Bill Evans on nine historic banjos

Colorado's Stillhouse Junkies (Cody Tinnin, bass; Alissa Wolf, fiddle; and Fred Kosak, guitar), who are on the bill for this year's Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival in June, are featured in the latest Weekly Dispatch from the Bluegrass Situation (BGS) online roots magazine. A five-minute video of the trio performing the song 'Haskell town' can be seen here and on YouTube.
On 22 Jan. the BIB reported that Age of apathy, the third and latest solo album by Aoife O'Donovan, had been reviewed on No Depression by Maeri Ferguson. The BGS has now published a major interview with O'Donovan by Kira Grunenberg, 'On "Age of apathy", Aoife O'Donovan explores the emotions of her past', which focuses on sense of community (in contrast to the isolation of the pandemic), the passing of time, changes in life situations, and more. Five YouTube videos are included - four official videos, and one recorded at a live performance. In addition, the Fretboard Journal editor Jason Verlinde interviews O'Donovan on the FJ's Podcast 354.
Specially for banjo devotees, Bill Evans contributes to the BGS a feature, 'Watch: Bill Evans plays 9 historic banjos in 9 minutes at Ear Trumpet Labs', based on a video he recorded at the Ear Trumpet Labs workshops in Portland, OR, last week. The video - illustrating developments in banjo construction, music, and playing styles - can be seen on the BGS or on YouTube.

The banjos comprise three replicas by Jim Hartel of instruments from the late 1840s-early 1850s, a Cole 'Eclipse' (c.1911-12), a Vega 'Whyte Laydie' (1917), a Cammeyer 'Vibrante Royale' zither-banjo (c.1936), two 1930 Gibson Mastertones, and a 2010 Gold Tone cello banjo. This is in effect an encapsulation of Evans's show 'The banjo in America'; he announces that for those who’d like to see and hear more, Tiki Parlour Recordings will release this spring a DVD/CD set featuring nineteen songs and medleys played on ten different banjos.

© Richard Hawkins

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