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Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular

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Album Review

Banjo innovator Tony Trischka's vision has cut a wide swath across the contemporary music scene, touching both time-held and progressive traditions with folk and bluegrass. Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular is less a new thrust in a new direction than an overview allowing Trischka and his talented friends to revisit highlights in their own careers. Overall, the effort veers toward conservative, instrumental music ("Bon Qua Blues") supplemented by the occasional vocal ("Fox on the Run") that most listeners would recognize as bluegrass. On each cut, Trischka is joined by another renowned banjoist within a bluegrass setting (mandolin, bass, guitars). On the opener, "Farewell Blues," he's joined by none other than Earl Scruggs; on "Twilight Kingdom," "Ivory Toad of Catalan," and "Armando's Children," he's paired with Béla Fleck. As one might guess, the earlier selection with Scruggs is a little less adventurous than the ones with Fleck, but since the acoustic instrumentation remains the same, it all flows of a piece. Perhaps the oddest partner on Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular is comic Steve Martin. Those with longer memories, however, will recall Martin's television appearances when the banjo often formed part of his standup act. With lots of talented sparring partners and solid material, Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular will especially appeal to Trischka's older, more conservative fans. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

A flawless album from a master banjo player

i've had this album for about 4 years and it has definitely stood the test of time. I listen to my fair share of blue grass, from Trampled by turtles to the punch brothers, but i've not found an album that i can compare this to. That says nothing about it's quality, but it is definitely unique. it has many of your typical blue grass picking songs like "Farewell Blues" and "Pluckin Rag" (which are flawless, don't get me wrong) but what really draws me to this album are the songs such as "Armando's Children", "ivory toad of Catalan", and "arcadia" which really display Tony Trischka's mastery of melodic banjo playing. I'd consider some of the songs closer to classical banjo than bluegrass, while others are undoubtedly bluegrass. I honesty don't listen to every song on this album, but the 70% that i do listen to, i'm blown away by. I highly recommend this album.
If there are other artists who play in the style of "armando's children" that you know of, definitely let me know


Born: January 16, 1949 in Syracuse, NY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The avant-garde banjo stylings of Tony Trischka inspired a whole generation of progressive bluegrass musicians; he was not only considered among the very best pickers, he was also one of the instrument's top teachers, and created numerous instructional books, teaching video tapes, and cassettes. A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka's interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio's "Charlie and the MTA" in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Tony Trischka

Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, Tony Trischka
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