Posts tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

October 23, 2013

Banjos Everywhere

Last night, I watched “No Direction Home” one of the documentaries about Bob Dylan (and one of my favorite movies).  Although the movie is (of course) mainly focused on Dylan- it covers his musical background and influencers very well.  You see everyone from Hank Williams to Odetta.  It was interesting for me to see (this is the first time I’ve watched it since plunging into the banjo world), how many artists use the banjo in their work at this time. Of course, there are the “singer-songwriters”, like Dylan himself, but the folk movement (of course) included a lot of banjo.  Everyone from the Jim Kweskin Jug Band to The Weavers (of course) had someone picking at the banjo.

I may digress here, for a moment.  “No Direction Home” is one of those movies that makes me both overwhelmed by all the music that is in the world, as well as so happy that I will never run out of new bands and new musicians to discover.  It is so interesting to see all of the bands and solo acts that influenced Dylan, as well and who were around in the same era as him.  Although their music is more or less all part of the folk revival, they are all such diverse musicians and that’s what makes the movie great (and it doesn’t hurt to see numerous pictures & clips of Bob himself).  Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger are of course a part of the documentary, and it is nice to see Pete holding onto his banjo throughout his entire interview, the banjo such a part of him that they can’t be separated.  Perhaps someday, I’ll be heading in that direction, but for now, I’m still in awe of all of the amazing musicians of yesteryear as well as today.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

September 12, 2013

Me and the banjo

So, perhaps I should kind of introduce myself to start off. I’m Lilly- but for this blog, I’m “Lil.”  I love learning new instruments, and there are so many that I would love to learn.  My newest venture is the BANJO. These days, it seems like the banjo is everywhere, it seems to be having a resurgence of popularity and it seems that musicians are incorporating it into a lot of the music they play.  I started thinking about the banjo more & more when my dad started planning a banjo tour for the performing arts center that he works for.  Last fall, even though I was at college, the banjo consumed my mind & my family’s minds.  Then, I began to get more and more interested in the banjo when I started listening & learning about Bob Dylan. This might sound weird, considering that Dylan doesn’t use banjos in the majority (or all?) of his work, but listening to Bob led me to Pete Seeger.  Growing up in a VERY music oriented family means that I already knew who he was, but my interest began growing.  Over the summer I read a biography of Seeger called “How Can I Keep from Singing?”: The Ballad of Pete Seeger by David King Dunaway. I decided it was time to learn this instrument. So, with a stroke of luck I received one on “indefinite” loan, and I started in.

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Here she is… “Susannah.”

ANYWAY. In my blog I plan to outline my journey in learning the banjo, learning about those that play the banjo, and pretty much anything I absorb that catches my interest about the banjo.  So, let’s see how it goes!