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"Must hear" clawhammer artists?

Posted by raharris on Thursday, July 8, 2010

The question comes up every few months, and I've compled a list.  Some of the people on the list were in my collection before I started copying down others' recommendations, and some are now in my collection because I've taken others' advice.

This too will evolve.

- John Balch
- Riley Baugus
- Laura Boosinger
- Gaither Carleton
- Bob Carlin
- Fred Cockerham
- Chris Coole
- Mary Cox
- Kyle Creed
- Dwight Diller
- Dan Gellart
- Rhiannon Giddens
- Cathy Fink
- John Hartford
- Roscoe Holcombe
- David Holt

- Adam Hurt
- Tommy Jarrell
- Walt Koken
- Brad Leftwich
- Dan Leveneson
- RD Lunceford
- Reed Martin
- Bruce Molsky
- Arnie Naiman
- New Lost City Ramblers
- Ken Perlman
- Mike Seeger
- Matoktie Slaughter
- Kirk Sutphin
- Uncle Earl
- Wade Ward
- Abigail Washburn
- Gillian Welch
- Linda Williams
- Oscar Wright

Some collections:
- Clawhammer Banjo (three volumes), the County Records collection that includes Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Oscar Wright, Matokie Slaughter, Gaither Carlton, Wade Ward, et alia.

- Old Time Banjo Festival -- with Laura Boosinger, Bob Carlin, Cathy Fink, Dan Gellert, David Holt, Adam Hurt, Reed Martin, Bruce Molsky, Arnie Naiman, Mike Seeger, Bob Smakula, et alia.

- Banjo Gathering -- Scott Ainslie, Steve Baughman, John Cohen, Alice Gerrard, Gordy Hinners, Brad Leftwich, John McCutcheon, Rafe Stefani, Bob Thornburg et alia.

- The Old Time Mountain Banjo -- Frank Jenkins, Charlie Poole, Clarence Ashley, Bascom Lamar Lumsford, Buell Kazee, Coon Creek Girls et alia.

- Close to Home: Old Time Music from Mike Seeger's Collection, 1952-1967

- Stay all night . . . and Don't Go Home (Jarrell/Cockerham/Wright)
- Down to the Cider Mill (Jarrell/Cockerham/Wright)
- The High Lonesome Sound (Roscoe Holcomb)
- An Untamed Sense of Control (Roscoe Holcomb)
- Classic Mountain Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

6 comments on “"Must hear" clawhammer artists?”

strumn1 Says:
Friday, July 9, 2010 @4:22:05 AM

Adam Hurt
Jason Romero

raharris Says:
Friday, July 9, 2010 @5:51:57 AM

How could I have forgotten Adam Hurt!! As for Romero, I love his banjos but have never heard him play. Does he have any recordings?

strumn1 Says:
Friday, July 9, 2010 @6:22:12 AM

Yes, part of the group called "The Haints". Excellent playing.

raharris Says:
Friday, July 9, 2010 @6:55:43 AM

I'll look them up. Unfortunately everything I've found on YouTube features Romero from the back. One one full on vid -- Mole in the Ground -- cut off part way through.

Bill Rogers Says:
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @12:41:03 AM

One of the most brilliant players around, far too little recorded, is Howie Bursen.

raharris Says:
Saturday, July 17, 2010 @5:30:29 AM

Never heard of him, Bill, but I'll see what I can find. Any suggestions?

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