Monday, March 28, 2016

Oh, the Joys of Banjo

It was in Taipei around 1993 that I first heard the intricately funky but captivatingly cool sounds of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. A musically gifted roommate - you know, the type of guy who always had a guitar and could craft a song out of any givent moment - was introducing me to a variety of new and ecclectic sounds he'd discovered in college. But Bela Fleck wasn't the first banjo player to intrigue me - that distinction goes back to my youth in the 70s, and the cool and seemingly out-of-place but amazingly appropriate sounds of the Coolest Man on Earth, Mr. Steve Martin, playing the banjo on Saturday Night Live. Only recently have I started listening to banjo again, as I discovered this beautiful little diddy called "Freddie's Lilt" from Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. I had created an Avett Brothers station on Pandora, and one day on a whim I added Steve Martin, and the magical sounds he gets out of a Deering Clawgrass Banjo. There is something so whimsically beautiful and folksy about the sounds of bluegrass that just oozes the best of Americana.

So, take a seat in the rocking chair and kick back to a wonderful song.

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