Sonny, I can’t thanks sufficient to your insightful article that you just each produce every week. I learn lots of music articles in numerous on-line publications each day, a couple of are fairly good, most are simply truthful, and plenty of are only a waste of my time. Yours are like gold to me. The best way you candidly, “inform it such as you noticed it,” makes for nice studying, and an incredible assist for these of us making an attempt to make sense of the music enterprise (particularly bluegrass).The saying “you don’t know the place you’re going in case you don’t know the place you been” captures what your articles are all about! Sustain the good work!
Len..I admire your time and your form phrases. At my age, each little bit helps, and once I inform a narrative it could be the fifth or fifteenth time that I inform that very same story, and typically they differ a bit. However I nonetheless inform mainly precisely what I noticed.
Should you’re making an attempt to make any type of sense out of the music enterprise, primarily nation which is now pop, and particularly bluegrass which is now dangerous nation, or I ought to say weak nation…in my view….and the previous saying, “You don’t know the place you’re going in case you don’t know the place you’ve been.” That holds a lot fact for what they name nation now and it’s starting to trickle down into bluegrass, sorry to say.
I look ahead to this column each week. I take into account it a treasure. I’ll ask you one thing I’ve at all times questioned about.
I’ve heard lots of of individuals over time discuss your fashion of banjo enjoying being among the many greatest (which I occur to agree with), however I don’t ever hear anybody speaking concerning the Osborne Brothers rhythm. I’ve at all times felt there was a really distinctive “drive” to the rhythm part. You have got this distinctive vamp, or “chop,” like us hillbillies name it. It nearly has a double vamp, at instances…like when a snare drum provides an additional hit for accent.
I’ve by no means heard every other banjo participant, myself included, have the ability to recreate it. That, mixed with Bobby’s broad mandolin chops and Jim Brock’s highly effective Music Man Sabre, made for a percussive and distinctive rhythm. I observed Bobby would usually drop out to give attention to a vocal line, however then when he would come again in with the chop it might be like getting hit with a tidal wave of sound. I’m positive the Granada and Bobby’s Fern have a bit to do with that.
It looks as if your vamps and Bobby’s chops grew to become extra outstanding in your music after you not carried drums. Was this by design, necessity, or each?
My authentic query right here: In your opinion, what makes your vamps so highly effective and distinctive? I feel I’d relatively hearken to your vamps than most gamers lead enjoying. Have an amazing day!
Hey Tom, good to listen to from you.
Once we had Jim Brock, who was the very best electrical bass participant ever, who’s now enjoying drums by the best way, we additionally had Robby (Bobby’s son) enjoying drums. We didn’t want Bobby’s rhythm nor mine that a lot. The vamp I did on the banjo got here from watching Bobby’s proper hand and Dale Sledd’s proper hand. It’s completely different, I perceive that, however once we stopped carrying drums my rhythm vamp was a necessity and, yep, it was my design.
My vamps had been so highly effective and distinctive, as you acknowledged, was primarily as a result of I wasn’t afraid to do it.
And that final a part of your query, I’m not even going to touch upon. I’m simply going to thanks for it.
Good day Sonny,
I’ve acquired two issues I’d wish to ask your opinion of. First, as soon as (’80s) I confirmed you a 1925 TB-Granada I had just lately bought, and the very first thing you probably did, was to place your nostril to the flange, and inhale like an addict getting a repair. Ever since that day, I additionally do the identical once I encounter an authentic previous instrument. I’m wondering why you do?
Secondly, I’d like to listen to your opinion of how the plastic head modified the sound of the good pre-war banjos, as lots of the most revered information had been lower with calfskin. When did you turn? Have been there some gamers that caught with calfskin?
Thanks, at all times loved your music.
Paul, thanks for becoming a member of us and thanks to your time. The previous devices, like a 1925 Granada, used a distinct type of glue that had a particular odor, and the very first thing I did was odor that glue, and that might inform me if it was genuine. That was why I did it, though I understand that I regarded like an addict getting a ‘repair.’
Secondly, the plastic head for a banjo was the best enchancment ever, and I actually don’t suppose it modified the sound of the actually good pre-war banjos. I can solely consider the Scruggs tone that might have modified when he began utilizing plastic.
I switched in 1961 and a few of guys nonetheless tried to make use of calfskin, they usually realized shortly that it wasn’t definitely worth the effort as a result of the pores and skin heads took upkeep in your banjo day-after-day, tightening and untightening the pinnacle, which concerned eradicating the resonator, and so forth and so forth.
I perceive that the Osborne Brothers had been the primary to file the Darrell Statler music (in 1967) – My Favourite Reminiscence. You probably did an amazing job, after all. Merle Haggard recorded it a lot later.
How did you join with Statler? Did you file every other songs of his?
Thanks for taking my query.
Tom, thanks to your query and I admire your involvement in our little free-for-all.
My Favourite Reminiscence was not the one Statler music we recorded. The opposite ones included Up This Hill and Down and When You Wind Down. The Haggard music was not the identical because the one we recorded. Teddy Wilburn discovered the Statler music among the many others. He was a genius at simply that.
When you’ve got one thing you want to ask Sonny, you’ll want to put up it within the feedback under, or send it to us directly.