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List some of the most underrated banjo pickers

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Jan 24, 2020 - 6:40:03 PM
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6889 posts since 2/14/2006

List some of the great underrated banjo pickers, who for one or more reasons haven't won any big awards aren't in the biggest bluegrass acts out there, or maybe haven't gotten on social media too much.. I'm looking for mostly underrated pickers who are in a bluegrass band, traveling for shows, and recording a little too.

 

If you know, list who they pick with and maybe the state they're from.  That would be helpful for me.  

Thanks!!

Edited by - cantpick on 01/24/2020 18:45:50

Jan 24, 2020 - 7:42:05 PM
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roydsjr

USA

665 posts since 5/17/2007

Little Roy Lewis (The Lewis Family) now Little Roy and Lizzy show. He probably recorded more Bluegrass Gospel than any other Banjo player out there. He is still going strong. He's been at it probably 60 or more years. He's from Lincolnton, Georgia I believe. 

Edited by - roydsjr on 01/24/2020 19:43:04

Jan 24, 2020 - 9:56:41 PM
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3887 posts since 9/21/2009

Wynn Osborne! The guy is an unreal picker, that receives very little attention. I'm not sure if he even plays professionally now or not.

Jan 24, 2020 - 11:06:03 PM
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Mooooo

USA

7816 posts since 8/20/2016

Although he is highly respected in the bovine community, Kevin "Warpdrive" Hendrix is one of my favorite banjo pickers and deserves more attention. He is very inspiring and a heck of a guy. Currently in Cincinnati pickin' up a storm on his Hatfield banjo.

Jan 25, 2020 - 3:51:02 AM
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17 posts since 1/9/2011

Charles Wood. From Seneca S.C. Check out his website charleswoodbanjo.com/
His I have purchased all of his cd’s and they’re great.

Jan 25, 2020 - 4:14:55 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

49194 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

Denis LePage ; well known in Canadian Bluegrass circles. Give a listen to his Arab Bounce (3rd time through especially) at 21:49
youtu.be/ZmAzjL2V09s

Edited by - chuckv97 on 01/25/2020 04:22:41

Jan 25, 2020 - 4:55:01 AM
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geemott

USA

241 posts since 7/7/2005

Alison Hinson of The Hinson Girls (aka The 4 Hinson Girls). They seem to have retired after 3 CDs, to raise families. But the banjo picking on those is awesome.

Jan 25, 2020 - 6:07:53 AM
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KCJones

USA

691 posts since 8/30/2012

Billy Failing has a solo album and it's great. He can sing too.

Andy Thorn is never mentioned in great picker discussions but he can tear it up. Check out his picking on the Emmitt-Nershi Band album.

Jon Peik is a personal local favorite of mine, currently picking with Chicken Wire Empire.

I'm not sure if he's underrated or undiscovered but Josiah Tyree is a younger guy that should be watched, he can pick like a madman. Seriously go check him out. 

Edited by - KCJones on 01/25/2020 06:09:01

Jan 25, 2020 - 6:14:43 AM
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BobbyE

USA

2681 posts since 11/29/2007

Joe Mullins does some stuff that sounds impossible to me but he manages it.

Bobby

Jan 25, 2020 - 7:17:40 AM
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1744 posts since 2/10/2013

I have always been impressed by Dennis Caplinger's banjo playing. He is also a very good fiddler. Herb Pederson's banjo playing doesn't get enough recognition either. Herb was good enough to "fill in" for Earl Scruggs when Earl was ill and unable to perform.

Jan 25, 2020 - 7:45:18 AM
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12828 posts since 10/30/2008

Robert Montgomery with the Warrior River Boys. Very solid traditionalist -- with a love for Rudy Lyle licks.

Edited by - The Old Timer on 01/25/2020 07:47:19

Jan 25, 2020 - 7:58:54 AM
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conic

England

765 posts since 2/15/2014

Dennis Caplinger, is very good, I got got his banjo book years, a great picker

Jan 25, 2020 - 8:17:46 AM
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GStump

USA

360 posts since 9/12/2006

Ben Freed is (was) a great picker. passed away all too soon. many others of course, too many to even try and remember.

Jan 25, 2020 - 8:55:17 AM

200 posts since 10/26/2008

I'll second the Charles Wood nomination. He can do it all and then some

Jan 25, 2020 - 8:55:38 AM
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4 posts since 7/8/2015

I'm a big fan of Harley Bray

Jan 25, 2020 - 10:34:10 AM
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2180 posts since 4/5/2006

Like most, I cut my teeth on the usual, Scruggs, Dillard, Stanley, Crowe, Emerson, Osborne, et al. I became a big fan of Ben Eldridge from the time I first heard his work on the Cellar Door album. Although Ben could & did, at times get pretty wild with the melodics, his musical taste, IMHO, was impeccable.
There were several So. Ca. banjo pickers that were top notch, ranking right up there with the best of the best. Among them was:
Pat Cloud
John Hickman
Bill Knopf
Craig Smith
Bill Peck
There were others, some who went on to gain national recognition, their names still in the forefront. But these guys just never got the recognition I thought they deserved.

Edited by - monstertone on 01/25/2020 10:35:33

Jan 25, 2020 - 3:00:44 PM
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3029 posts since 5/29/2011

Bill Holden, Gene Parker, Bill Emerson, John Hickman, Lamar Greer, to name a few. Allen Shelton was well known but his name does not come up as much when people are talking great banjo players. Rudy Lyle is another one I don't read or hear that much about. Rual Yarborough and Walter Hensley seldom get mentioned anymore.
One of my personal favorites is Troy Brammer of Collinsville, VA who showed me more on the banjo than any other individual. My playing style was changed into its present state when I met him many years ago.

Edited by - Culloden on 01/25/2020 15:15:10

Jan 25, 2020 - 3:45:57 PM
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4121 posts since 6/15/2005

Mark Delaney, who plays banjo with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass.  Also, Ben Greene, with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road.

Edited by - arnie fleischer on 01/25/2020 15:48:09

Jan 25, 2020 - 4:28:13 PM
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1355 posts since 10/5/2006

Silvio Ferretti with "Red Wine".

Drive, clarity, originality, solid clean picker who really knows how to work with his dynamite band.

Jan 25, 2020 - 7:41:59 PM
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1196 posts since 4/13/2017

quote:
Originally posted by BobbyE

Joe Mullins does some stuff that sounds impossible to me but he manages it.

Bobby


I agree. Joe is a fabulous banjo picker, and a nice guy to boot.

Jan 26, 2020 - 8:34:48 AM

1744 posts since 2/10/2013

I think Bill Emerson and John Hickman received recognition. John Hickman played with Byron Berline and Dan Crary. I have always read a lot and heard their music played. Bill Emerson joined the U.S. Navy and that took him out of the limelight.

Jan 26, 2020 - 9:31:38 AM
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TomL

USA

61 posts since 1/26/2008

Rudy Lyle. Should be more widely recognized as a seminal figure, along with Snuffy Jenkins, Scruggs, Reno and Stanley. Playing with Monroe, he did not take many breaks. Those he did take are beautiful. Moreover, his backup on songs like "I'm Blue and Lonesome Too" is simply amazing.

Jan 26, 2020 - 9:57:48 AM
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4121 posts since 6/15/2005

I failed to mention Greg Cahill of Special Consensus. Great player, great band leader.

Jan 26, 2020 - 11:10:21 AM
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Players Union Member

Catman

USA

521 posts since 5/15/2006

Unfortunately they are no longer with us, I always liked Eddie Shelton’s picking as well as Billy Wheeler. Billy Wheeler did some fine work with Cliff Waldron over the years and Eddie’s “Expedition” recording is hard to beat. ??

Jan 26, 2020 - 11:11:51 AM
Players Union Member

Catman

USA

521 posts since 5/15/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Catman

Unfortunately they are no longer with us. I always liked Eddie Shelton’s picking as well as Billy Wheeler. Billy Wheeler did some fine work with Cliff Waldron over the years and Eddie’s “Expedition” recording is hard to beat. 


Jan 26, 2020 - 12:19:20 PM
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133 posts since 3/26/2015

Larry Wallace that played with Jimmy Martin through the 90s is as solid as it gets. Mark Pruitt is another. Russ Carson. There are so many. I don’t know of any that is playing with a touring bluegrass band that is not a great player.

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