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Music

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn: Echo in the Valley (album review)

Simple in design yet virtuosic in execution, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn absolutely astound on Echo in the Valley.

Recent
Music

Jayme Stone: The Other Side of the Air

A more European-classical sound than the kora collaboration.

Music

Habib Koité / Eric Bibb: Brothers in Bamako

Two musicians merging with as little friction as possible.

Music

Top 10 Culturally Significant Banjo Moments

In the shadow of Earl Scruggs’ death, it’s worth taking a look at the role the banjo has played in American popular culture.

Music

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Leaving Eden

A perfect synthesis of old and new on the follow up to their Grammy winning Genuine Negro Jig.

Music

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones: Rocket Science

The 'Tones return with after a six-year break, this time with original harmonicist Howard Levy back in the fold.

Music

Old Man Luedecke: My Hands Are on Fire and Other Love Songs

Luedecke is a masterful songwriter with an ability to convey experience way beyond his years. On these 11 songs his voice and banjo combine beautifully with the other instruments and harmony vocals.

Music

Kieran Kane: Somewhere Beyond the Roses

Strange and compelling music that seems oddly familiar in its very weirdness, like a feeling you didn’t know you had for another person you'd never met before, or an appetite for an exotic cuisine one has never tasted.

Music

"Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs": An Interview with Otis Taylor

The critically acclaimed bluesman talks to PopMatters about his musical path, bringing the banjo back to its roots in black music, and his new album Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs that marks his return to the guitar.

Stephen Humphries
Film

Full Circle: Béla Fleck, Paul Simon & America's Return to the World Community

Béla Fleck didn't ask to be the Avatar of the New American Culture (avatars never do). He happened to be in the right place at the right time with a banjo and a digital recorder. The remaining dots are ours to connect, and we've begun to connect them.

Jeffrey Pinzino
Music

Happy-Go-Plucking

Steve Martin, Sufjan Stevens, and Kermit the Frog all know it and you should, too: the banjo is hands-down the coolest instrument out there.

Music

Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko: Africa to Appalachia

The kora, with its lacelike and intricate patterns of notes, is the more attention-catching instrument, and you could easily forget that this album is a partnership and start to think of it as a Mansa Sissoko project.


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