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Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular


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Audio CD, January 23, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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How much banjo can one fan stand? This release should delight those five-string aficionados for whom too much plunk is never enough. Veteran virtuoso Tony Trischka enlists the services of fellow banjoists ranging from seminal inspirations (Earl Scruggs) to pupils and acolytes (Béla Fleck, Alison Brown) to wild cards (comedian Steve Martin) for a series of duets supported by stellar bluegrass musicians such as Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and members of Union Station. Most of the tracks are instrumentals, though Dudley Connelly provides vocals on traditional bluegrass standards such as "Fox on the Run" and "Live and Let Live," with Nickel Creek mandolinist Chris Thile and frequent duo partner Michael Davis teaming for harmonies on "Run Mountain." The musical interplay throughout is predictably superb, but the three cuts pairing Trischka with Fleck suggest that another extended teaming of mentor and prized student would truly be something special. --Don McLeese

1. Farewell Bllues
2. Bon Aqua Blues
3. Fox On The Run
4. Twilight Kingdom
5. Run Mountain
6. Escher's Waltz
7. Doggy Salt
8. The Crow
9. Ivory Toad Of Catalan
10. Arcadia
11. Old Cane Pole
12. Live And Let Live
13. Armando's Children
14. Plunkin' Rag

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 23, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B000KG4BOK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,920 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have enjoyed the music of Tony Trischka for more than twenty-five years and managed to see him perform twice with Skyline in the mid-Eighties. This latest release features an all-star cast (Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile) along with like-minded banjo players who share the spotlight on each track. Whether the banjo players are traditionalists (Earl Scruggs, Bill Emerson) or more contemporary stylists (Bela Fleck, Noam Pikelny, Scott Vestal), this release is a banjo picker's delight.

Here's a rundown of the guest banjo players on each track:

1. "Farewell Blues" - Features legendary performer Earl Scruggs (who just turned 83 this month!).
2. "Bon Aqua Blues" - A Trischka original featuring Rhonda Vincent's banjo player Kenny Ingram.
3. "Fox on the Run" - One of only three vocals, featuring Tom Adams, who spent several years with the Johnson Mountain Boys.
4. "Twilight Kingdom" - Another original, featuring Bela Fleck, who also co-produced the album with Trischka. At 8:34, it is by far the longest track on the album. Unlike most of the tracks, which fall into a definite bluegrass vein, this displays their newgrass style.
5. "Run Mountain" - Features young banjo phenom Noam Pikelny, a former student of both Fleck and Mark Vann (who Pikelny replaced in the bluegrass/jam band Leftover Salmon after Vann's untimely death). This is the second vocal number.
6. "Escher's Waltz" - Another Trischka original, featuring Alison Brown, who came to prominance with Alison Kraus and Union Station in the late-Eighties.
7. "Doggy Salt" - Another Trischka original featuring Scott Vestal, who has worked with Larry Sparks and Doyle Lawson before enjoying a successful solo career.
8.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gary Popovich on April 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Tony Trischka has always taken the road less traveled (at least as far as the 5-string banjo is concerned) throughout his career, leaving an indelible mark as an innovator and composer while confounding (and often infuriating) the traditional bluegrass world. While I've always admired Tony's incredible musical reach, I most enjoy his inventions when employed within the "traditional" bluegrass instrumentation. "Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular" works wonderfully on that score, with Tony teaming up with many of the genre's most influential banjoists (from Scruggs to Fleck) and the cream of the bluegrass aristocracy (Douglas, Thiele, Rice, Bush) to create yet another fabulous soundscape of the first order.

At this point, one would expect the mentor/mentee combination of Tony and Bela Fleck to produce memorable picking, and they don't fail here - I particularly love "Twilight Kingdom," with its lovely harmonics and tempo changes. But just about every banjo combo clicks on this CD - it's great to hear the 83-year old Earl Scruggs still be able to tear up "Farewell Blues;" to me, one of the biggest surprises (even more so than Steve Martin's fine contributions) is the playful duet between Tony and big Kenny Ingram (currently Rhonda Vincent's and formerly the late Lester Flatt's banjoist) on "Bon Aqua Blues." The few vocal tracks are also fun - if you wonder why "Fox on the Run" would ever appear on a Tony Trischka CD, wait until you hear the verse with what are actually the original Manfred Mann chords. Plus, you'll also get to hear (briefly) Michael Daves on "Run Mountain" - Daves is currently touring with Tony to support this CD, and his singing and guitar picking are of such otherworldly quality that it's only a matter of time before he becomes a bluegrass star in his own right.

If you love the 5-string banjo, this is as close to heaven as it gets. And if you have the opportunity, catch Tony with his "DBBS" band to experience the magic.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sue Davis on February 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is the coolest!!!!!!!!!!!! Tony Trischka must be heard!!!!!!!!!!!!! Saw Tony play for the first time on The Ellen Show last week with Steve Martin. Loved the music, had to have the CD---can't play it enough!!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By the_global_village_idiot on December 31, 2007
Format: MP3 Music
The 5-string resonator banjo, long the center of insert-unpopular-musician-of-choice-here jokes and stereotyped as the only instrument for toothless rednecks, has finally met its match in this album.

Tony Trischka is a banjo player's banjo player, and I've long thought him grossly underappreciated; he can lay down a rock-solid Scruggs rhythmic groove and/or marry it with Bill Keith-level melodic stylings. But that ain't all; he's got his own sense of structure and chromatics and Trischka's style is absolutely his own. He plays with wit and verve and real joy. He's an extraordinary student of the instrument; although most of his work is on a modern resonator banjo, played three-finger style, Trischka is also an accomplished clawhammer player and can also play moving pieces on African instruments that were the progenitors of the modern banjo.

This album doesn't include any of those older forms of music, but - well, heck - it is the Double Banjo BLUEGRASS Spectacular, after all. In creating this disc, Trischka has summoned a Who's Who of the best players working to join in a brilliant collection of tunes featuring two banjos.

What a joy to hear Trischka and Earl Scruggs together on a reprise of "Farewell Blues." At 80 some-odd years old, the man who created the sound of bluegrass banjo can still lay it down and Trischka is brilliant with him - accenting the work of the master and never upstaging him. There are extraordinary readings of songs with the likes of innovators like Noam Pikelny and Alison Brown. In fact, just about the only player you'd wish was on this album who isn't is Bill Keith, and one suspects that Trischka would have done almost anything to have him on this disc (Keith truly despises the entire process of recording).
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Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular
This item: Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular
Price: $14.99
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