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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6919 reviews in the archive.

Dan Gellert: The Old-Time Tiki Parlor presents Dan Gellert

Submitted by banjo bill-e on 5/12/2016

Where Purchased: Elderly

Overall Comments

This is a combo CD/DVD with the same material presented on both formats and consists of Dan alternating between solo fiddle and solo clawhammer banjo, with about half adding vocals. It's all Dan and it's all live and all very real and and all awesome!

Now, you either like solo mountain-style fiddle with it's screech and squawk or you can't be in the room with it, so you will know in the first few seconds of "John Henry" if you are going to hate this, (as my wife does!), but if you don't hate it and hang with it you may find that it grows upon you with every listening until it becomes one of the coolest things you've ever heard. Dan's cross-tuned fiddle often sounds like two fiddles playing together as he saws and sings, or growls as the case may be. I find this sound to be most addictive!

As for clawhammer banjo, Dan is as good as it gets, with rhythm that always makes you move. Dan plays steel and gut but always fretless. His takes on Coo-Coo and Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms are fresh and unique. And he has his own little licks and tricks that I can't figure out for the life of me. Nobody sounds like Dan. 

This is very raw music and it's very vital and engrossing. It is NOT background music---crank it!

All in all this is one of the most enjoyable recordings that I have ever heard and just keeps getting better with more familiarity. If a Dan Gellert fan then this is essential. For anyone else tired of music which is copycat,  too-slick, and sterile, this is your antidote, right here!

Overall Rating: 10

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