Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Just One Band or Album

If you wanted to introduce someone to bluegrass music to get them interested in the genre, and you could only recommend one band, or one album to that person, (excluding the obvious choices of Banjo Ben or the Purple Hulls!) which one band or album would you recommend and why?

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Flatt & Scruggs at Carnegie Hall

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Probably the Bluegrass Album Band- they really are a great example of the common traditional bluegrass style. Them, or Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, or Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, or JD Crowe & the New South, or…

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To me it would depend on what their current tastes are. If they were into jazz I’d send them to Fleck, into country I’d send them to Lonesome River Band, classic country to Jimmy Martin or F&S or many others. If into punk rock, I’d send them to Billy Strings.

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Punk rock bluegrass… seems like an oxymoron :rofl: :rofl:

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Flatt, Scruggs, & the Foggy Mountain Boys’ Foggy Mt. Banjo album. Some of the best classics on that one :wink:

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I’d think it would depend on their age and taste in music.

Something with singing for most. If they like Swing or Jazz maybe something instrumental.

do they play an instrument? then something that highlights that instrument.

The goal is to give them something they can relate to.

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Sounds right on the money for some of this new stuff coming out to me.

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@BanjoBen I’m sensing something in your comment about punk rock…

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I’ve been in a Balsam Range mood lately. Marc Pruett is one of my favorite banjo players, I was listening to him years ago. They are all great musicians.

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Doyle Lawson. Probably the “Help is on the way” album.

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These are some great answers and ideas!

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I’ve been listening to the Papertown album lately, I love the picking and the theme, as there’s several paper mills in my area. It probably doesn’t help I’m addicted to trains…

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“Will The Circle Be Unbroken. Vol I”
It’s not 100% bluegrass, but it sneaks it in there when you’re not looking and you like it before you know it’s “not cool.”
(Like Ben said, it depends on who you are sharing it with. I actually know people who hate bluegrass because they associate it with barrooms, but love gospel music bands that play banjo, guitar, bass & fiddle. But that’s not bluegrass. It’s gospel music.)

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If they are into country music, introduce them to a country artist that has made a bluegrass album. That way they’re not shell shocked when they hear the obnoxiousisity (I just made that word up) of the banjo player!

Seriously, there are countless country artists that have made bluegrass albums. One of my favorites is not too long ago when Alan Jackson made his debut Bluegrass CD titled “The Bluegrass Album”. It’s not hard core bluegrass like Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, etc, but it’s really good music.

Some folks that aren’t into Bluegrass need to be gently eased into it.

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Isn’t that name taken? :wink: :grin:

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I guess they were all so busy thinking of words to songs, that they didn’t have anything left for album titles!

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You have to get creative with these titles.

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This is a good album by the way…top-notch pickers, Merle songs and a couple standards.

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I’d recommend Alan Jackson “The Bluegrass Album.” Why? Because Alan Jackson has name recognition and will likely pull one in who might not otherwise give bluegrass a chance. And by the way, it’s a fantastic album! Is this Rich from Sheridan by chance??

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