Wondering if anyone might know specifically what model banjo Herb Pedersen was playing in the late 60s to early 70s when he was recording with the Dillards. I've been going back and listening to Wheat Straw Suite and Copperfields and I'm really impressed with the tone of whatever banjo he's playing. From the few video clips and blurry pictures I can find it looks like a Gibson with the flying eagle inlay, but I'd love to know for sure if someone has some insider knowledge as to the model and year. There is a thread from many years ago on this topic, but it seems like the discussion only ventured into what banjos he's played since the 80s to present.
Two of his best efforts (and there are many) , imo, are his playing on “Old Man At The Mill” on the Copperfields album, and his banjo on Linda Ronstadt’s “Faithless Love”. But no, I don’t know what he played back then. I saw him about 5 years ago with The John Jorgensen Band and he was playing a Deering.
Old Man At The Mill https://youtu.be/jEbzB39UZK8
Faithless Love https://youtu.be/UMUw67bNQ8Q
Edited by - chuckv97 on 09/27/2022 13:51:25
Please post what he says. I'm a big fan of Herb's, both with the Dillards and later. I've got a live board recording of Chris Hillman and Herb when they played the local Sierra Nevada Brewery. Not much banjo, but the harmony singing is the best!
Thanks for the suggestion! I sent him a message about it. I'm eager to hear what he says. And I agree, his harmony singing especially while keeping the backup licks going is top notch!
I don't know the answer to your question, but feel compelled to post a related note.
I've been an admirer of Herb Pedersen's playing and song writing since first hearing the Dillards' 'Wheatstraw Suite' in the 1970s. Big-name bluegrass musicians don't often tour the UK, so imagine how excited I was to learn that he would be visiting the UK with Chris Hillman, and playing in the nearby town of Brighton. I attended the show, but sadly Herb played no banjo. However, the music produced by Hillman and Pedersen that night was amongst the best I've ever heard. Just two voices, two guitars and occasional mandolin. They clearly had a special bond, rather like that almost magical connection you find between brothers. It seemed almost surreal to be listening to two legends of the bluegrass and country rock world in a small club in Brighton. I'll never forget it.
Herb owned a Granada at one time.
I started learning BG banjo in 1970, and Wheatstraw Suite was probably one of the first 5 BG recordings I purchased. I was only 15 years old. It rocked my world, and to this day I still listen, about once a year, to Wheatstraw and Copperfields. I was aware at the time that Wheatstraw was somewhat controversial when it came out, what with its string arrangements and all, but it pulled me in in a way that nothing since has come close to in the world of BG. Just effing brilliant.
So many great cuts on Wheatstraw, especially She Sang Hymns Out of Tune, Don't You Cry and Reason to Believe. What a recording, and what a time.
I used to play Copperfields at parties with a lot of rock fan friends. I think many of them got indoctrinated….
A really good banjo player seems to be able to make any decent banjo sound better than it is. I read that Herb served as a replacement for Earl Scruggs when Earl was unable to perform. I listen to him singing when when was a member of Desert Rose. He probably doesn't get enough recognition as a banjoist. I especially enjoyed hearing Herb and Vince Gill singing together.
Edited by - Richard Hauser on 09/29/2022 15:22:05
here is a good look at it ,,seems to be the right time period
with ray park and vern williams
Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 09/30/2022 07:56:39
Hmmm…Ray playing a G chord and Herb on the D…..
'Gibson Style 6' 8 hrs
'Not for humbugs ...' 9 hrs
'He Made It!' 9 hrs
'Tecumseh Valley' 9 hrs