December 2022

The Tradition

Notes & Queries – December 2022

Notes More Mockingbird Walt Crider, the historian for the Seven Mountains Bluegrass Association, wrote: “As a follow up to the ‘Listen to the Mockingbird’ song story (October “Notes & Queries”), I was visiting the Gettysburg National Civil War Museum when I heard ‘Listen to the Mockingbird’ coming from one of the displays. It was about… Read the full article

Earl Scruggs

A giant of music, in 1945 and for all time Earl Eugene Scruggs was born Jan. 6, 1924 in Flint Hill, North Carolina, in farm country in the Piedmont region. Early in his life there, he came up with a new, rolling, sometimes blazing-fast banjo style that has kept his name out front through the… Read the full article

The Artists

Chris Pandolfi and the Evolving Nature of Bluegrass

 “I discovered bluegrass because of the banjo,” says banjo-picker Chris Pandolfi from the Grammy-Award winning Infamous Stringdusters.  “I got into playing the banjo because of Béla Fleck.  I was a Flecktone fan and really inspired by the music.  That is what led me to buy my first banjo and of course everything points back to… Read the full article

Lincoln Hensley

Continuing the Scruggs Style Banjo Tradition Earl Scruggs helped define bluegrass music as we know it today and he originated the style of playing the five-string banjo that formed the foundation for banjo players in bluegrass music.  Many banjo players feel that there has been no one that has matched Earl’s mastery of this style,… Read the full article

Mike Munford and the Soulful Machine

“I had no natural inclination towards music, beyond being drawn to the instrument through this one song that brought me in,”  explains banjo picker Mike Munford, the 2013 IBMA “Banjo Player of the Year,” about his discovery of the instrument that would change his life.  That one song was the Flatt & Scruggs’ classic, “Foggy… Read the full article

The Sound

Gold Heart Locket

Jeff Black credits a small-but-mighty banjo with providing inspiration for his song, “Gold Heart Locket,” recorded by Black (B-Sides and Confessions/2003) and later by Sam Bush (Circles Around Me/2009). “I’ll always think that song was in that little banjo,” said Black, during a songwriter’s round at The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville. In an exclusive interview for… Read the full article

The Venu

First-Ever Earl Scruggs Festival

Finally Takes Place with Potential for the Future Intact The Earl Scruggs Festival has been in the works for years now, yet the pandemic reared its ugly head and the hard decision to postpone it for two years in a row was made. Many music festivals had to shut down for at least one year… Read the full article

Reunite to  Play Rockygrass 2022

Photos by Kevin Slick “I think it’s the 50th anniversary of Rocky Grass and Craig Ferguson is always looking for ways to respect tradition while also welcoming new audiences,” says Nick Forster. “And he was just steadfast in his commitment. He just said, ‘Look…we have to have Hot Rize. We cannot do the 50th anniversary… Read the full article