From Grandpa Jones to Gillian Welch

Grandpa Jones


Now, to be honest, I have never consciously listened to Grandpa Jones.  I’m sure I’ve heard his music at some point.  He’s a banjo legend & I happen to know about a tribute concert that is taking place for his tonight.  I won’t be able to attend, although it sounds like it’s sure to be an entertaining evening.  This tribute show includes the Ramblin Jug Stompers and The Lost Radio Rounders both bands of course include a banjo!

It is good to see new bands appreciating the older music that influenced them as well as raising general awareness about it by bringing it into the modern day.

Speaking of the modern day, there are plenty of other talented banjo players out there that I feel as though I need to start paying more attention to.  For one, Gillian Welch.  Although she plays other instruments, the banjo is used frequently in her work.  I spent a few years protesting against her music every time someone in my family would put it on, but recently I’ve begun to appreciate a few of her tunes (and it doesn’t hurt that she plays the banjo!!)  I suggest that you check out “The Way the Whole Thing Ends” from her album The Harrow and the Harvest.  This is the song that made me start to enjoy listening to her music.

Banjo adds a special sound to whatever song it is in.  From old, like Grandpa Jones, to new, like Gillian Welch it creates a special happy, but also mournful twang that I’m starting to think can’t be beat.


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