Local banjo purveyor selects top 'picks' of 2021
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Well, we are sure many of our listeners would like to leave 20, 21 in the rear view mirror. One of the things we can be thankful for from the previous year is all the new music that was released today. We focus on the music that sprang from the instruments created by the locally based dear banjo company. That company has been crafted the iconic stringed instruments out of their spring valley location since 1975 from bluegras to blues, to world and experimental K P S's. Christina Kim spoke with CEO, Jamie Deering to break down some of last year's best in banjo music.
Speaker 2: (00:40)
Jamie, the first track we're gonna listen to comes courtesy of celebrated Americana artist. Rhian gins. What can you tell us about I shall not be moved well
Speaker 3: (00:50)
For those in your audience that are familiar with RHN gins. It should come as no surprise that she's come out with another really great record. This time accompanied by her partner, Italian multi instrumentalist Francesco there. The album is titled they're calling me home and is a blend of original composition and traditional songs that have been given new life. Thanks. Tori's hauntingly resonant, voice the tracks on the record encompass of really great blend of old and new and their version of the classic spiritual. I shall not be moved, has a particular significance given the commemoration of Martin Luther king Jr day earlier this week,
Speaker 2: (01:26)
Let's take a listen.
Speaker 4: (01:33)
Speaker 2: (01:55)
So beautiful. Mm-hmm
Speaker 3: (01:56)
Brianna in Francesco actually recorded this album in a studio just outside of Dublin while two were stuck in Ireland during the pandemic. Oh wow. So it's interesting to hear the product of that sort of forced musical exile as we enter the new year.
Speaker 2: (02:10)
So really an international affair we just heard, I shall not be moved by ran and gins and Francesco thereI for our next song. We're gonna hear something a little different. Jamie, what can listeners expect from timeless by PVA Krishna and Ryan Kavanaugh? Right.
Speaker 3: (02:26)
So timeless is actually the sole appearance of banjo on a Prova Krishna's recent album intuition. She is a highly accomplished Southern Indian violinist, who has put out a really great record featuring eight of her own original compositions in her work. She's been known to blend her Indian classical influences with various styles of music from around the world, such as jazz, Italian, Flamingo, and bluegrass. And for songs like timeless, she's joined by ban joist, Ryan Kavanaugh, who adds this fantastic jolt of energy into Christian's composition.
Speaker 2: (03:20)
I can hear that layered composition that you're you're talking about. So how did this collaboration come through? Ryan
Speaker 3: (03:25)
Was recommended to Krishna for this project by master guitarist, John McLaughlin. And it's not hard to see why hearing and pick away on top of the Indian rhythms and percussion is literally awesome. And it's great example of what happens when distinctly different musical styles merged to create something new and exciting.
Speaker 2: (03:49)
Okay. So next up on our list is one of your personal favorites for the year. Jamie, tell us about ne fish mountain and their track, a Sparrow song.
Speaker 3: (03:57)
So one of my favorite albums of the past year with songs for the sparrows by ne fish mountain who perform and play with dear bands and are good friends, the music they play is this interesting blend of bluegrass and traditional Jewish musical stylings. When they release this album, it immediately occupied a semi-permanent rotation in my car CD player for the year, the strong playing style of Eric. Limberg the main instrumental list, really compliments the tight vocal harmonies that he shares with band mate and wife, Donny Zelo. I particularly like as Sparrow song for its hopeful and inspiring lyrics. Especially after the last two years, we've all
Speaker 4: (04:32)
Had not worth the truth. I've heard you sing and face to face. I, when they see themselves and their heat and they don't see you, it's so amazing. Love the days come don't fear. Just fly, fly.
Speaker 2: (05:12)
Oh, that is hopeful.
Speaker 3: (05:14)
Yeah. The fish mountain are joined on this track by noted musicians, Jerry Douglas and Brian Sutton who add incredible death to the recording. Aside from this song, you'll also hear a few instrumental tracks that really round out the album and make for a smooth soulful bluegrass experience
Speaker 4: (05:35)
Too many times.
Speaker 2: (05:36)
All right. So for our next track, we're gonna take listeners on as much a historical journey as a music ago. One, tell us about Tony. Trish's leaving this lonesome land.
Speaker 3: (05:47)
Well, when I first got to sit down to listen to Tony Trish's album, shall we hope the experience was a lot like listening to a play the song styles of playing words, and sounds completely transport you to an older time with lyrics that convey the grit, hardship and raw emotion of civil war era America. It's not an easy thing to do. And they did it amazingly on leaving this lonesome land. Tony is joined by celebrated blues guitarist guy Davis, who is also a talented a player in his own right to say nothing of the songs, evocative lyrics, Davis's musical background, really IBUs this track with an unmistakable blue sensibility.
Speaker 5: (06:29)
My call hands, they dig the holes. Mys field is full of songs. C O nine need the red Oak tree hard gave out at 63 C O dropped his whole and fell. Never made it to the evening. I never made a break to run. Now I dig his grave in the, as song.
Speaker 2: (07:09)
This one's giving me chills are those hand claps.
Speaker 3: (07:11)
Yeah, it's amazing. The song is sparse rhythmic and powerful, and it really conveys the weight that sits on this album. The level of strife and very real situations of the era highlight a fraught history that is brought to life through their compelling musical performances. I appreciate this album immensely, and if it needs to be mentioned at all, I always love hearing our long time during artist and friend Tony Trish on the banjo,
Speaker 5: (07:44)
Praise a stone above his head on mark for the sleeve. That's
Speaker 2: (07:52)
Jamie. We've got one more song on our list and it's from a locally based musician to boot. Tell us about curly headed woman by Clinton Davis.
Speaker 3: (08:00)
So Clinton Davis is one of our featured during artists who plays on both our Vegas Senator and our good time America model banjos. The track we're about to hear comes off of Clinton's album. If I live and don't get killed, what a name, which was released last year on Tiki parlor recordings, it was cut during the pandemic. And Clinton describes the album as his own form of social distancing. That somber approach has definitely made apparent in some of the more stripped down tracks, which really embody the high lonesome sound of bluegras greats like Roscoe Holcomb and Tommy Gerald Clinton plays all the instruments on this album, including banjo, Manin, guitar, and piano. All of which really goes to show what a talented musician he is.
Speaker 6: (09:00)
Rocks are in the mountain. Fish is in sea curly, had the woman made food out me. Tell me how long do I have to wait? Can I get you now? Must the
Speaker 3: (09:20)
Really love his style. Nothing on the album sounds the least bit rushed and every song ripples with heart and nuance from Klaw hammerer open back to blues guitar. This record will practically transport the listener to a creaky back porch to NA Electra
Speaker 6: (09:35)
Girl ahead. A woman was the cause of it all. Tell me how long do I have to wait? Can I get you now? What
Speaker 2: (09:50)
If you're like me and you wanna keep hearing more? You can find the full playlist of Deering banjo companies, best banjo recordings of 2021 at blog dot Dearing, banjos.com. I've been speaking with their CEO, Jamie Dearing. Jamie, thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks for having me enjoyed it.
While there are plenty of reasons to leave 2021 in the rearview mirror, one of the things we can be thankful for from the previous year is all the new music that was released. Today, this comes courtesy of Deering Banjo Company, who have been crafting the iconic stringed instruments out of their Spring Valley location since 1975. From bluegrass to blues, to world music and experimental, Deering CEO Jamie Deering offered some of the company's top picks for banjo recordings last year.
"I Shall Not Be Moved" by Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi
To those familiar with celebrated Americana Artist Rhiannon Giddens and her impressive body of work, it should come as no surprise that she’s come out with another great record - this time accompanied by her partner, Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. The album is titled "They’re Calling Me Home," and it's a blend of original compositions and traditional songs that have been given new life thanks to Giddens’ hauntingly resonant voice. The tracks on the record encompass a distinct blend of old and new, and their version of the classic spiritual "I Shall Not Be Moved" has a particular significance given the commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day earlier this week.
"Timeless" by Apoorva Krishna and Ryan Cavanaugh
"Timeless" is actually the sole appearance of a banjo on Apoorva Krishna’s recent album, "Intuition." The latest record by the highly accomplished South Indian violinist features eight richly conceived new tracks — all her own original compositions. Krishna's work is known for her seamless blending of her Indian classical influences with various styles of music from around the world, such as jazz, Latin, flamenco and bluegrass. She’s joined on the track by banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh, who adds this fantastic jolt of energy to Krishna’s layered composition. Cavanaugh was recommended to Krishna for this project by master guitarist John McLaughlin, and it’s not hard to see why. Hearing him pick away on top of Indian rhythms and percussion is a great example of what happens when two distinctly different musical styles merge to create something new and exciting.
"A Sparrow's Song" by Nefesh Mountain, with Jerry Douglas and Bryan Sutton
A personal favorite of Jamie Deering, "Songs for the Sparrows" is the latest full-length album release from Nefesh Mountain, who actually perform and play with Deering brand banjos. Their music is an interesting blend of bluegrass and traditional Jewish musical stylings that make for a smooth and soulful bluegrass experience. The strong playing style of Eric Lindberg, the main instrumentalist, really complements the tight vocal harmonies he shares with bandmate and wife, Doni Zasloff. "A Sparrow's Song" offers listeners a particularly hopeful feeling with inspiring lyrics that seem to respond especially to the past two years of hardship we’ve all had.
"Leaving This Lonesome Land" by Tony Trischka, with Guy Davis
Designed as a concept album that explores the strife of Civil War-era America, Tony Trischka's "Shall We Hope" takes listeners on as much a historical journey as it does a musical one. The experience of listening to the full album is a lot like listening to a play, where the songs, styles of playing, words and sounds completely transport you to an earlier time. To supplement Trischka's deft musical talent, an impressive stable of accomplished musicians and vocalists join in on various tracks. For "Leaving This Lonesome Land," that duty falls on celebrated blues guitarist Guy Davis, who is also a talented banjo player in his own right. To say nothing of the song’s evocative lyrics, Davis’ musical background really imbues this track with an unmistakable blues sensibility. The song is sparse, rhythmic and powerful, and it really conveys the historical weight that sits on this album.
"Curly Headed Woman" by Clinton Davis
Rounding out the list is a tune from local artist Clinton Davis, who's album "If I Live and Don't Get Killed" was recently released by Tiki Parlor Recordings. Davis cut the record during the pandemic, and described the album as his own form of social distancing. That somber approach is definitely made apparent in some of the more stripped-down tracks, which really embody the high lonesome sound of bluegrass greats like Roscoe Holcomb or Tommy Jarrell. Clinton plays all the instruments on this album, including banjo, mandolin, guitar, and piano - all of which really goes to show what a talented musician he is. Nothing on the album sounds the least bit rushed, and every song ripples with heart and nuance. From clawhammer open back to blues guitar, this record will practically transport the listener to a creaky back porch in Appalachia.
To find the full playlist of Deering Banjo Company's top picks for banjo recordings in 2021, you can visit blog.deeringbanjos.com