Author Archives: Bud Bennett

Highlights of the McConnell Library Appalachian Music Collection- Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn

  http://   A few years ago, I was listening to an album I randomly picked out to play by a band called The Sparrow Quartet.  I knew it was a project that old-time banjoist, Abigail Washburn had put together, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Geoff Stelling- Master Banjo Luthier

More and more, the word “luthier” seems to be one that people don’t know the meaning of.  Basically, a luthier is a person who makes musical instruments (and these days one might be hard pressed to name more than a few people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rex McGee- Banjo Playing Enigma

I first became aware of Rex McGee somewhere in the early 1990s at the first Merlefest that I ever attended.  At the time the festival was pretty small but it was packed to the gills with music and workshops.  These … Continue reading

Posted in bluegrass, music | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Banjo Masters Interview Series- Previews

There are a lot of things I like about our Banjo Masters interview series. One of the first things that come to mind about that is how I really enjoy picking who to interview.  My thought on that subject has always … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Night Noises

Last night after work I met my wife out in the country for dinner.  We met at our cabin in the mountains of Floyd County and ate at the picnic table outside since it was a cool evening.  As we sat there, … Continue reading

Posted in nature, New River Valley, people | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Banjo Construction Photos- Form vs. Function

I like banjos. There….I said it.  I guarantee that is a true statement too.  I like to play them, I like to hear them, I like to learn about them and I just plain like to look at them sometimes. … Continue reading

Posted in bluegrass, McConnell Highlights, music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Bullard Interview

For those who want to jump right to the interview-  Part 1…… Part 2 As a banjo player, I have always been attracted to music that is a little out of the mainstream.  For several years I played banjo in a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Banjo Masters Interview Series

For the past two years, our Archives department has been conducting interviews of master banjo players and builders.  As of now we have published interviews of Butch Robins, Sammy Shelor, Jens Kruger, and Tom Nechville.  This is a fascinating and … Continue reading

Posted in bluegrass, McConnell Highlights, music, people | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Interview- Tom Nechville- Banjo Building’s Mad Scientist

  Tom Nechville- Banjo Building’s Mad Scientist https://vimeo.com/173492693 A few years ago when I came up with the idea to interview various banjo masters, I intended to focus on both players and builders that I felt were innovative, influential, and … Continue reading

Posted in bluegrass, McConnell Highlights, music, people | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A.J. Gaither- Home Made Musician

A.J. Gaither is not technically an Appalachian, he lives in Arkansas actually.  He does though, live by the Appalachian belief in using what you have, repurposing things to make up for what you don’t have and making the best of your … Continue reading

Posted in music, people | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment