Few people know as much about traditional American banjo styles--or play them as well--as Mike Seeger. On this extraordinary DVD, Mike teaches two- and three-finger picking, up-picking, clawhammer and other dominant old-time banjo techniques in a variety of tunings and regional styles.
Many of the skills that Mike teaches are enhanced by demonstrations and performances by some of the country's leading old-time banjo players. These informative workshop sessions, with Doc Watson, Greg Hooven, Kirk Sutphin, Etta Baker and Joe and Odell Thompson, capture the true spirit and variety of old-time music. Mike Seeger's own interpretations of the styles of Charlie Poole, Wade Mainer, Kirk McGee and others help make this a powerful and comprehensive lesson. This DVD is for anyone, beginner to advanced, with a desire to play and better understand this uniquely American music.
Eighteen songs and instrumentals are taught, including Molly Dear, Snowdrop, French Waltz, Reuben's Train, Tom Dooley, John Brown's Dream, Backstep Cindy, Old Corn Likker, Marching Jaybird, Soldier's Joy, Needle Case, Baptist Shout and White House Blues.
". . . one of the most significant videos to be released to date on old-time banjo playing and old-time music in general. The key elements to the success of the project are the very broad scope of styles considered within the label "old-time," and the easy-going confidence and expertise displayed by host Mike Seeger in molding this dizzying array of musicians and playing techniques into a coherent presentation. . . . Homespun Tapes and Smithsonian/Folkways are to be congratulated on pooling their talents to create a product that works equally well as both an instructional and educational resource. For these reasons, (this video) should endure as an important documentary of old-time music and could be considered essential viewing for most of us who are interested in old-time banjo and the history of old-time music." -- Bill Evans, Old-Time Herald