John Dowling is interviewed by Leon Hunt in the latest copy of the Banjo Newsletter. The interview covers John’s musical journey so far, including his childhood attempts at violin, his victory at the 2002 USA National Bluegrass Banjo Championships, and his latest project, The Underground Sessions, which was recorded in a Cornish tin mine. You’ll [...]
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John Dowling will be running a bluegrass banjo workshop on June 24th in London. John has been playing banjo for 17 years and teaching for 15. He won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2000, and went on to become the only European to have won the USA National Bluegrass Banjo Championships in [...]
A beautiful documentary about Canadian banjo luthiers Jason and Pharis Romero is now available on the Fretboard Journal website. The movie was filmed by Matt Miles who was a regular attendee at British bluegrass events before emigrating to British Columbia 18 months ago. Matt says he has been “super busy” since moving, and told us, [...]
Eagle Music have announced the details of their 5th annual Kruger Brothers/Deering Banjo day. This year’s Banjo 5 event takes place on May 28th at the company’s North Light Gallery, near Huddersfield and features the usual seminars, workshops and concert with the Kruger Brothers headlining the event. As usual, Greg and Janet Deering will be [...]
Chris Cooper, banjo player with the Down County Boys, will be leading a 5-string workshop in May. The workshop is titled “Beginning Scruggs Style” and will focus on subjects including timing, right and left hand techniques and practice methods. It will be followed by a jam session led by Joe Mcilvenny and Bob Mclean of [...]
Luthier Phil Davidson and banjo player Leon Hunt have launched a new venture together. The Fairfield Banjo Company is “the culmination of over 20 years of experience, collaboration and experimentation by two of the banjo world’s most prominent figures” and will produce a small number of banjos which have been designed and built by Phil [...]
Mat Martin has produced a free PDF booklet about clawhammer banjo. A Small Clawhammer Banjo Book is an excellent starter guide to the 5-string, with chapters on choosing an instrument, care and maintenance and instruction for basic and advanced techniques. There is also information about different tunings and tab for several tunes including Cripple Creek, [...]
The Observer yesterday published an article about banjos and old-time music in the eastern US. The story follows Rose Skelton as she travels along the Blue Ridge Parkway with a banjo, attempting to learn the instrument by immersing herself in the old-time culture. You can read the article at the Guardian website.
Tom Nechville, banjo guru and friend of ukbluegrass, has recently been featured in a television piece in his native Minnesota. In this short episode of Minnesota Original, Tom talks of his beginnings in music, explains his unique banjo design and shows us around his workshop.
15-year-old Edward Bennett of Penzance has recently returned from the USA with prizes from three youth banjo competitions. Edward has been playing clawhammer banjo for less than 3 years, but won first place at old-time music festivals in Morehead, Kentucky and Clifftop, West Virginia, as well as third place at Galax, Virginia. As old-time music [...]