Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Here's A Good Reason To Play Banjo Slow

Because it sounds soooo good!


@BanJoe thanks for posting. I’m a big KB fan and have heard this song several times before…but never quite as slow as was recorded here. It’s a beautiful tune . Looks like it was recorded a few years ago…


It is an older clip, from June 2007…“but the song remains the same.”
I have always thought the banjo was an amazing instrument. It’s “that sound.”
I know for a fact, but cannot find it anywhere, that Earl Scruggs did an album of “popular music,” which included Broadway show tunes and other such non-traditional banjo songs.
It seems to have vanished from the earth, but I may still have a copy buried in my record collection (Full disclosure: As a former DJ, I have hundreds of records that never hit it big, and I don’t own any hit records.) The point is, even Earl knew the banjo had more potential than most realized. He knew it when he was a kid!
Bill Keith realized it.
Bela Fleck realized it.
And Jens Kruger realized it.
I LOVE hard-driving bluegrass, but when I’m noodling I tend to drift off into softer playing & more lyrical areas. Jens plays most of the notes I hear in my head, and it is a joy to watch him. He seems to have a complete understanding of the banjo & how to make it produce unexpected sounds. Here’s a little 30 second demonstration he does where he violates the #1 rule of banjo: He presses the on the bridge with his hand, mutes the banjo a bit and makes it sound like an electric guitar with a wawa pedal or a bluesy keyboard. Here’s the clip from a “Deering Live” episode.
Some day, with lots of practice, I hope to be the Court Composer, but Jens will always be Mozart!

1 Like

Love the video. Just like @BanjoBen when he nails a new lesson. gif


And that’s the reason I chose “Away in a Manger” to learn for Christmas. It’s just a nice slow tune. That D chord Is a stretch for me, but it’s so worth the effort.

1 Like

@BanJoe another thank you for posting that first video that was beautiful

I could listen to music like that all day, instead of the crap my wife’s grand kids listen to which I would never call music