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Oct 27, 2021 - 12:31:54 PM
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32 posts since 12/2/2013

Howdy folks,

I just posted an interview with the one and only Stephen Wade in which we focused on his experiences with two-finger banjo. He tells incredible stories, picks 18 pieces on several banjos, and rattles off the longest list of two-finger players I've ever heard in one sitting:

  • Bascom Lunsford
  • Frank Proffitt
  • Doc Hopkins
  • Dick Burnett
  • Roscoe Holcomb
  • Dee Hicks
  • Chesley Chancey
  • Hobart Smith
  • Louvenia Smith
  • Pete Steele
  • B. F. Shelton
  • Kirk McGee
  • Lawrence Eller
  • Ross Brown
  • Omer Forster
  • Lee Sexton
  • Morgan Sexton
  • Lewis Hairston
  • Marion Underwood
  • Gus Cannon
  • Fleming Brown
  • Doc Watson
  • Wade Mainer
  • Will Keys
  • Uncle John Patterson
  • Etta Baker
  • Raymond Perry
  • China Poplin
  • Clyde Davenport
  • Virgil Anderson
  • Ola Belle Reed
  • Land Norris
  • Howard Fenster
  • Samantha Bumgarner
  • Clifford Glenn
  • Lee Monroe Presnell

Of course there are additional artists to mention, so I've copied Stephen's list and added to it here. I look forward to adding more names to the list as I learn more about the style and its players.

I might one day tab out a few of Stephen's arrangements to share with my Patreon supporters, but for now, I encourage you to check out this video as you have the time (it's an hour and 40 minutes long, so make some popcorn). 

Stephen at one point tells the story of his performance at the White House in 1979. To check out never-before-seen photos from that day as well as other relevant links to our conversation, click here.

tunefully,

Matt Brown

Edited by - brownsdream on 10/27/2021 12:42:59

Oct 27, 2021 - 11:37:14 PM
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janolov

Sweden

41261 posts since 3/7/2006

Thanks for posting this!

Oct 28, 2021 - 4:12:07 AM
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dbrooks

USA

4142 posts since 3/11/2004

Wow! Nice work, Matt.

David

Oct 28, 2021 - 8:53:20 AM
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Emiel

Austria

9997 posts since 1/22/2003

I will watch that interview, and the list is very nice too. But it should be mentioned that many of these players were not restricted to two-finger picking, but used other ways of playing too.

Oct 28, 2021 - 9:32:06 AM
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32 posts since 12/2/2013

@Emiel you are right, but it is not interesting to me to make a list restricted to musicians who only play two-finger. That sort of mindset would remove Ralph Stanley from a list of three-finger players because he also played clawhammer, and that seems a little silly to me. I hope you enjoy the interview!

Oct 28, 2021 - 10:33:43 AM
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Emiel

Austria

9997 posts since 1/22/2003

quote:
Originally posted by brownsdream

@Emiel you are right, but it is not interesting to me to make a list restricted to musicians who only play two-finger. That sort of mindset would remove Ralph Stanley from a list of three-finger players because he also played clawhammer, and that seems a little silly to me. I hope you enjoy the interview!


Yes, of course… I just thought it was some info worth mentioning, nothing more, no criticism… :-) I'll comment on the interview later. I've been watching some of it already and will finish later. It's a gem for sure…

Oct 28, 2021 - 11:01:54 AM
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32 posts since 12/2/2013

@Emiel cool! Of course, our conversation now makes me want to start a spreadsheet of every old-time banjo player and include which picking styles each played....maybe someone more organized than me will undertake that!! :)

Oct 30, 2021 - 5:50:30 PM
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6745 posts since 6/27/2009

This is an amazing interview! I was hoping I would find it here on BHO. Stephen is such a delight and a national treasure. I’ve listened to the first part and see I have over an hour to enjoy.

Oct 30, 2021 - 5:53:51 PM

32 posts since 12/2/2013

I'm so glad you are enjoying it!

Oct 31, 2021 - 9:45:18 AM
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8298 posts since 3/17/2005

Gotta make time to watch this video soon. Thanks for posting.

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