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  • Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings release from 2012

    Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings release from 2012

    Now Available: Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition by Stephen Wade

    Stephen Wade’s new album Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, coinciding with the publication of his new book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press), is now available for purchase from folkways.si.edu in CD and digital download formats.

    Purchase or Hear Selections from Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition

    Innovative and often surprising,Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition explores knowledge older musicians have bequeathed to younger players. Inspired by past banjo masters of frailing and of two- and three-finger styles, Stephen Wade, accompanied by Mike Craver, Russ Hooper, Danny Knicely, James Leva, and Zan McLeod, mines new creative possibilities with pump organ, piano, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, Dobro, washboard, rhumba box, and bass. From ragtime to reels, lyric songs to mountain blues, from Irish American to African American, across moods spanning brooding to jubilant, sentimental to stark, the banjo and its many voices finds new vibrancy on these recordings.

    The album emerges from decades of personal contact, of skills and repertories passed along by living example. For Stephen Wade, a musician who writes about music,Banjo Diary takes its inspiration from the earlier field recordings that form the core of The Beautiful Music All Around Us. “Find the people who know how to play this music,” his teacher instructed him years ago. Urged to explore this creativity in its home environments,Banjo Diary chronicles eighteen of those experiences in sound and accompanying notes and booklet photographs.

    Called in 1979 “a wondrous artist” by Time magazine for his landmark stage show Banjo Dancing, Stephen Wade has continued on as a documentarian, recording artist, radio essayist, and scholar. Prospecting for American folklore wherever it thrives, his last project for Smithsonian Folkways involved one such find: multi-instrumentalist Hobart Smith. That work resulted in Wade’s critically acclaimed In Sacred Trust: The 1963 Fleming Brown Tapes (2005). Now,Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition extends its underlying message, telling of “an education written indelibly in a musician’s heart.”

    For information about the book The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience, including an extensive events schedule, please click here.

    Stephen Wade’s new album Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, coinciding with the publication of his new book, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (University of Illinois Press), is now available for purchase from folkways.si.edu in CD and digital download formats.

    Purchase or Hear Selections from Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition

    Innovative and often surprising,Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition explores knowledge older musicians have bequeathed to younger players. Inspired by past banjo masters of frailing and of two- and three-finger styles, Stephen Wade, accompanied by Mike Craver, Russ Hooper, Danny Knicely, James Leva, and Zan McLeod, mines new creative possibilities with pump organ, piano, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, Dobro, washboard, rhumba box, and bass. From ragtime to reels, lyric songs to mountain blues, from Irish American to African American, across moods spanning brooding to jubilant, sentimental to stark, the banjo and its many voices finds new vibrancy on these recordings.

    The album emerges from decades of personal contact, of skills and repertories passed along by living example. For Stephen Wade, a musician who writes about music,Banjo Diary takes its inspiration from the earlier field recordings that form the core of The Beautiful Music All Around Us. “Find the people who know how to play this music,” his teacher instructed him years ago. Urged to explore this creativity in its home environments,Banjo Diary chronicles eighteen of those experiences in sound and accompanying notes and booklet photographs.

    Called in 1979 “a wondrous artist” by Time magazine for his landmark stage show Banjo Dancing, Stephen Wade has continued on as a documentarian, recording artist, radio essayist, and scholar. Prospecting for American folklore wherever it thrives, his last project for Smithsonian Folkways involved one such find: multi-instrumentalist Hobart Smith. That work resulted in Wade’s critically acclaimed In Sacred Trust: The 1963 Fleming Brown Tapes (2005). Now,Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition extends its underlying message, telling of “an education written indelibly in a musician’s heart.”

    For information about the book The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience, including an extensive events schedule, please click here.