Category Archives: music

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Highlights of the McConnell Library Appalachian Music Collection- Alison Brown

Today I am highlighting a very non-traditional selection. The music today is mostly jazz with enough Celtic thrown in and a nod to Doc Watson so I feel it appropriate enough- besides, I love jazz music played on a banjo … Continue reading

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Highlights of the McConnell Library Appalachian Music Collection- Conversations With North American Banjo Builders

This month’s highlight selection is very different from all of the others. This week I am featuring volume 1 of a 9 DVD series in three parts. This series is composed of interviews of banjo builders. AND HISTORIANS!! (I have … Continue reading

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Jens Kruger Interview

(Photograph ©John Hildreth 2014 and used with permission.) I can remember the first time I ever heard The Kruger Brothers’ music.  I had heard the name Kruger Brothers and was aware that Jens was an amazing player but that was as … Continue reading

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Fred Robbins- Preserving Bluegrass History

Musicians play music. Once a note is played it can not be reclaimed.  If a listener or would-be listener misses that note, too bad.  Nothing to be done about it. Photographers take pictures and make films.  When a photograph is … Continue reading

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Sammy Shelor Talks about Life, Music, and Banjos.

On my frequent trips to Meadows of Dan a few years ago, I would often see Sammy Shelor around.  It is a very small town after all, and Sammy and his family have lived there for a very long time. … Continue reading

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