Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mountain Music

This is my cousin Gary Smith playing the banjo at a recent family reunion in West Virginia. I try to make it back every year from my home in Chicago and it's always a thrill to drive through the hills again and see my family. And this year, listen to authentic mountain music!

Gary reminds me a lot of my dad. He looks like him, for one thing, and also plays the banjo like my dad. He even knows one of my dad's favorite pieces and played it for me at the reunion. There's a lot of music bouncing off the mountain in West Virginia and I appreciate it more each year.

The banjo is a time-honored instrument there (along with the fiddle). My dad's all-time favorite banjo playing came from Flatt and Scruggs. I think he and his brothers never had any formal music training but just picked it up from whoever else was around playing.

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