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Blues Banjo and Mars Hill College

Posted by Bob Buckingham on Monday, June 15, 2009

Last Tuesday afternoon I drove up to Mars Hill College to give a banjo workshop on Blues Banjo as part of the Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week up there.  There was a good turn out and it was good to see lots of familar faces incluiding Geroge, Jim and Steve to mention a few.

Blues banjo is just something fun I enjoy.  I play blues on everything including fiddle and mandolin.  It alls tarted iwht my mother's affinity for the bues and a guitar many years ago.  Ealry gutiar heros included Chuck Berry, Billy Strange and Muddy Waters.  Not all blues artists but they all understood the blues.  When it cam to banjo Dock Boggs was a blues monster as was Virgil Anderson.  Earl Scruggs understood the blues and his ealry playing really shows that especially some of his backup on those old bootlegs of live shows.

Blues is the other finger in the glove of old time and bluegrass.  As bluegrass gets more slick, the blues are shed for some narcissitic sweetness that reflects the more modern aspects of the corporate music. Once I had a Southern Methodist preacher tell me back in '69, "Boy, don't ever wash the mud off your style."  I have tired to keep it.


John White has a great blues banjo CD avaiable at CDBaby that I can recommend.  I would like to hear from any other blues banjo players if you are out there.  That is all for now.

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