Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
North Carolina Banjo Collection
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, World Music, Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
Essential for Every Banjo Player
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 04/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every banjoist ought to have these CDs. Then again, everyone ought to become a banjoist, or at least one in every home. The selections form a nice picture of the history and development of banjo playing in one of the most banjoeyed areas of the country, North Carolina.
Master banjoist, producer, folklorist, and fashion plate Bob Carlin provides a very serious set of notes and introduction to the CDs and a very nice order to help illustrate the history. Like his books on music--I would recommend his recent book on Carolina Piedmont string bands in which one can see pictures of many of the performers on these CDs and follow the changing context of the music--Carlin tries to present the most information, the most music, and let it talk, without drawing too many conclusions and conjecturs. He has the mark of a man who knows that when you really know something, you know how little we all know.
The first six tunes on the first side are special to me, as Carlin begins with six African American banjo players from North Carolina. They are first, even though the earliest one of these recordings was made in teh 1950s, as part of a statement about the African American origins of the banjo in general, but also of North Carolina banjoing in both clawhammer and finger styles. I particularly love the work here by Dink Roberts, my favorite banjo player.
While the clawhammer and other down picking word on the first CD are important to my ears and my style, I am most impressed with the recordings of finger picking styles on the second CD. I haven't seen or heard much of that kind of banjo playing before. Current old time music banjoists tend to be pretty glued to clawhammer. If they do finger styles it is often the older more archaic styles favored by Dock Boggs or Charlie Poole. Yet, on the second CD we see the rise in both virtuosity and musicality and countriness and bluesiness of finger style banjo in the Carolinas starting from work that was just beyond that of the 19th Century Classic banjoists, to work that was ready for the next step, taken by a Carolina banjoist named Earl Scruggs: BLUEGRASS.
As I have said, this CD set is nice wonderful and listenable music like all banjo music. I realize I might be prejudiced being a man who has gotten 4 banjos in the last 5 years. But then if you listen to this, you might get prejudiced too and get you a banjo or two!"
Worth It If You Like Old Time Appalachian Banjo Music
Justin | Brisbane, Qld, Australia | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first started learning to play the banjo I really didn't know too much about it, I didn't know any one else who played, and had to teach myself (not as hard as it sounds already knowing how to play guitar). At first I started learning bluegrass and 'melodic' clawhammer but it wasn't terribly satisfying and I gave up for about a year. Then I decided to persue some other types of playing which were far more satisfying to play for my own enjoyment. This is the first CD where I really found the style of music I wanted to play. It is known as 'Old Time' banjo. 'Old Time' banjo itself encompases a wide range of styles, some geographically specific, but it is mostly based on the classic 'clawhammer' technique. That's it for the banjo lesson, now for the CD review. Nice music. It's a half/half mix of newer recordings which are nice and clear, and older historical recordings which have poor sound quality. Still, it suited my purpose very well. Of particular interest to me were the follwing performers: Etta Baker, Marvin Gaster, Bertie Dickens, Kelly Sears, Snuffy Jenkins and A.C. Overton. There are other good tunes on here but the abovementioned are my favourites. I also own Kentucky Old Time Banjo (see my review) and Black Banjo Songsters Of North Carolina and Virgina (see my review). In order of enjoyability (is that a real word?) this CD ranks second behind Kentucky Old Time Banjo and better than Black Banjo Songsters etc. . If you're a fan of old time banjo, pick this CD up, it's well worth it. If you're interested in learning old time banjo I suggest you buy at least this and Kentucky Banjo."