North Carolina native Tony Ellis comes from a family of traditional banjoists and fiddlers. Inspired by Flatt & Scruggs, he took up bluegrass banjo in the '50s. He studied for a time with Don Reno, and joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1960. He served a two-and-a-half year apprenticeship before quitting professional music to raise a family, but continued to play in the Bristol, Tennessee area with old-time musicians such as George Pegram and Tommy Jarrell. Except for "Sally Ann," which Ellis learned from fiddler Tommy Jarrell, and "Little Brown Dog Waltz," a circus tune from the 1800s, this is an album of original tunes for banjo or fiddle. Marches, waltzes and old-timey style tunes -- Tony Ellis plays it all, accompanied by Mike Craver on piano, pump organ and calliope and producer Stephen Wade on banjo, among others.