Could you tell us which more innovative banjo players you are currently listening to? And which directions do you think are most promising to you at the moment?
well, i'm interested in banjo players that use it as a paint brush, rather than a demonstration of technique. there's some really cool players that don't participate in the "banjo" realm that i like. andrew tuttle from australia is of particular interest. dixie dave, bassist for sludge metal band weedeater is a very interesting banjo player. jeff pinkus [bassist for butthole surfers, honky, melvins] is a very cool banjo player and has a video on YT called 20lb jockey that is astounding. daniel higgs. there are many of these folks and it is our job as fans to seek them out and not just listen to: a. the same stuff we've always listened to b. the two main guys at the top of a genre. stripmall ballads does some really interesting stuff.
Hello Danny. Do you feel that banjo players generally value tradition over innovation? And, if so, do you think it is necessary to master and emulate the greats before you can push boundaries- or is it getting in the way of progress?
Many thanks, Ritchie
The "out" or "free" jazz players like Ornett Coleman, Sun Ra, some Coltrane and others have a cool feel in the music that I love; you are the only banjo player that gets me to that kind of space. So this is why I ask you: when a student has learned the basics of diatonic harmony and melody on the instrument, what will be the principles which should guide the further study to try and understand how to begin to play like this?Danny Barnes responded on 09/16/2016