'Just Around the Bend', Mike Seeger's Last Documentary, Explores Southern Banjo Styles and Tradition, Out Sept. 20
In celebration of what would have been Mike Seeger’s 86th birthday, Smithsonian Folkways has announced the release Just Around the Bend: Survival and Revival in Southern Banjo Styles – Mike Seeger’s Last Documentary, a 2-CD and DVD set that serves as both a tribute to Seeger and a documentation of regional banjo styles, techniques, and tunes.
In 2009, Seeger, his wife Alexia Smith, and filmmaker Yasha Aginsky traveled throughout the Appalachian Mountains, recording musicians from different backgrounds and with different styles, primarily in their homes and on their front porches. This would be Seeger’s last time traveling through Appalachia; he passed away later that same year. The musicians featured on this album display an incredible range of stylistic diversity that points to the continued resilience of the banjo as a means by which local and regional culture is preserved,. The collection features performances by Riley Baugus, Rhiannon Giddens, Leroy Troy, and many others. In producing this set, which boasts 43 tracks, Seeger and Smith made sure to honor the histories of the songs as well as the personal histories associated with them.
This set is a culmination of Mike Seeger’s career and life as one of the most important and influential documentarians and performers of folk and old-time music of the 20th century. He was a member of both the New Lost City Ramblers and part of perhaps the most influential family in the history of folk music.
Just Around The Bend: Survival and Revival in Southern Banjo Styles - Mike Seeger's Last Documentary will be released on September 20th and is available for pre-order here.