Jake Sawicki is the banjo player for the self-described thrash grass band, The Native Howl who hail from Leonard, MI. Their 2016 release of "Thrash Grass" unleashed the newly-coined genre of the same name, combining the aggressiveness and intensity of thrash metal with the melodicism and precision of bluegrass. Jake is here to talk about pushing the boundaries of how a banjo can be used, appearing on the TV Show "No Cover" and spending the last few months touring with shock rockers GWAR.
We're very excited to feature the longtime banjoist for Alison Kraus & Union Station, Ron Block, on Deering Live. When it comes to bluegrass banjo, Ron is simply one of the best in the business. His feel, tone, and timing drive the music that is rooted deeply in tradition but continues to push it into the future.
British clawhammer virtuoso Dan Walsh joins us on Deering Live to talk about his unique take on clawhammer playing, and whether clawhammer should be regarded as a technique or a genre. Dan is a long-time Deering artist and if you are not familiar with him, he has a fascinating approach to playing banjo. This episode will be well worth tuning in for!
"Can you play clawhammer banjo on a resonator banjo?" It's a question that comes up fairly often both on online forums and out in the public. The answer is yes, of course, because a 5 string banjo is a 5 string banjo. The real question is should you play clawhammer banjo on a banjo with a resonator? Is it okay?
Learn clawhammer banjoists Dan Walsh's thoughts on whether clawhammer banjo should be a banjo technique or a musical style.
Michael J Miles is a composer and musician who grew up in the heart of urban Chicago and teaches at the infamous Old Town School of Music. His inner jukebox spins with 500 years of pop songs on late night radio, infused with conversations about poetry, politics, and singing around the piano with his Irish family. These songs turn into setlists, and compositions and as they say, the rest is history.
Michael is an electrifying performer, educator, and bender of genres. You simply have to hear him play.
Join banjo virtuoso Jens Kruger for the next season of his very popular Deering Banjo Masterclass series! In this episode, Jens will explore Back-Up Concepts and Ideas, across a variety of styles. This one-hour show will feature a 30-40 minute talk from Jens, followed by 20-30 minutes of Q&A. See you there!
Max Allard is a gifted young 5-string banjoist in the 3 finger style. He has been the winner of the 2018 RockyGrass Banjo Competition and the 2019 FreshGrass Banjo Award. He performs as a solo artist, in a duo with his brother Otto Allard, and has toured the midwest with the Minneapolis based progressive bluegrass band Barbaro.
Max has a new album out called Odes / Codes that was produced by banjoist Jayme Stone. You can take a listen to it below. He is an extremely good young banjo player. He is currently studying composition at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory.
"A new mature and poetic voice on the 5 string banjo. Beautiful compositions and a very nice touch.”
— Béla Fleck
5-string banjoist Hank Smith returns to Deering Live this week to talk about the different aspects of composing music on the 5-string banjo that isn't in the bluegrass style.
Detroit Brooks is one of New Orleans top session and touring guitar and banjo players on the scene. He has toured around the world and recorded or played with musicians such as Dr. John, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Donald Harrison, Charmaine Neville, and many more. Detroit is deeply concerned with keeping the traditional music of New Orleans alive. He created the Danny Barker Festivalwhich celebrates the music of Danny Barker and brings groups into the schools of New Orleans to teach about the banjo in New Orleans music.
When playing the 5-string banjo for bluegrass, the 3-finger style is the go to technique. A seldom talked about topic for players trying to hone in their skills is having a strong right-hand technique. Of course, this is assuming you are playing right-handed - if not it would be your left hand. A strong right-hand technique is essential in getting a good tone and rhythmic feel to your playing, and can open up a new world to how you approach your playing.
In this lesson, Deering artist Hank Smith demonstrates some exercises and techniques to help you improve the consistency of your right hand attack and ways to achieve different types of tones.
This week we're featuring Tony Furtado on Deering Live. Tony has been away from the banjo scene for a while but in 2021 he came storming back with his banjo-focused release Decembering. Tony is a monster 3-finger style banjo player and has recorded with Alison Kraus and many others.
This article is designed to guide you through the entire process of arranging folk tunes on the fingerpicking 5-string banjo. I’ll be talking you through the thought processes, and techniques, that I would use, as well as helping you to build up some useful skills along the way. I’ve always felt there was a bit of a leap between the simplified versions of tunes that you might learn initially, and the complex, inventive arrangements that a skilled folk band would put together. Hopefully, I can help you bridge this gap.
Victor Furtado is a monster of a clawhammer banjo player who while deeply understanding and respecting the old-time tradition, has developed new techniques to bring this style into the modern acoustic music space. Victor has won numerous awards including the 2019 Steve Martin Prize For Banjo. We are excited to feature this young banjo wiz on Deering Live!
5-string banjo master Ryan Cavanaugh returns to Deering Live this week! In this episode, we will explore how to comp chords for 20th-century American music styles other than bluegrass.
Ryan will show you examples of how to voice chords on the 5-string banjo for styles such as traditional New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop, modal jazz, funk, and rock & roll.