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banjos

January 26, 2011

It’s not just the sound they make, which is glorious and makes me think of fresh grass, peeling paint, and cold whiskey sweating in a glass. It’s something about their shape, the long delicate neck attached to the stout, reliable base. Elegant and stalwart, delicate and hardy.

portrait of Creole George Guesnon. Noel Rockmore, 1960s, Preservation Hall, New Orleans

[here]

[here]

Originally made from gourds and animal skin, the banjo was brought to America by African slaves in the 17th century and became particularly popular in the last 60 years with the rise of bluegrass and folk music.

If you wish to know and hear more (like me), The Banjo Project is an unreleased documentary directed by Mark Fields and narrated by Steve Martin for which they’re trying to raise enough funds to finish (it looks like they have). I hope so. Keep an eye out.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 27, 2011 12:05 am

    Who knew Steve Martin was such a banjo fan? Very cool.

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