A Must for Any Aspiring Banjo Picker . . .
Gary Popovich | Chesterfield, VA USA | 04/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Amazingly, there's not a lot of recorded evidence of Bill Keith's revolutionary melodic banjo stylings available. This collection was released in the mid-70's, long after his short stint with Bill Monroe and not so long after the ground-breaking "Muleskinner" recording with David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Richard Green and the late Clarence White.
"Something Old . . ." is a warm, accessible effort that shows off Bill's trademark melodic picking ("Crazy Creek", "Sugarfoot Rag"), his jazz influences ("Caravan", "Jordu"), and his understanding of Scrugg's style picking ("Farewell Blues") - all done with a remarkable balance of flash and taste. The backup band is anyone's dream - Tony Rice on guitar (his solos on "Crazy Creek" and "Farewell Blues" helped set the standard for modern "newgrass" picking), the aforementioned Grisman, fiddlin' genius Vassar Clemments, and the (then) Seldom Scene's redoubtable bassist Tom Gray.
So why only four stars? While the vocal w!ork of Jim Rooney and Al Jones is OK, I'm still astonished to this day that Bill did not utilize Rice (at the time one of the great new voices in the genre) on any cut. (This would be roughly akin to having Pavarotti beat tambourine with the Three Tenors).
That aside, any bluegrass fan will find this worth a listen, and banjo players will find a lot of ideas to mine."
One of the masters
William W. Smith | Basking Ridge, NJ USA | 07/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Keith was one of the innovators of the so-called "melodic style" of banjo playing. Where Scruggs used a three-finger pattern of arpeggios that track the tune, Keith actually plays the tune in intricate runs. The result is something Scruggs never dreamed of, though Scruggs is, of course, *the* master of his own style.Bill Keith was a member of Bill Monroe's band many yers ago, so he knows bluegrass. But the most interesting cuts on this disc are the hornpipes and other fiddle tunes that Bill Keith re-created on the banjo. Crazy Creek is a wonderful banjo tune when Keith does it. I would have given this recording 5 stars if Devil's Dream and couple other favorites had been included.There is not a lot of Bill Keith marterial easily available now, so this is a good chance to pick up one of the real pioneers in 5-string banjo music. Bill is still on the summer bluegrass festival circuit. You should catch him if you can."
Glad i PICKED this one up
William W. Smith | 07/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like all the tunes. Lots of great players. Fun to hear No Expectations, and Auld Lang Syne.I had a workshop with Bill in Santa Cruz. Great musician. He has evolved a solid understanding of music theory and its application to the banjo. A true pioneer of the instrument !!!"