If you have been on the Hooks & Nuts page in the last week, you will know by now that Elle King plays banjo! Well, now we can also present an equally entertaining Elle King interview.
San Diego songstress Gayle Skidmore treats us to a sparkling rendition of her song "The Impossible Sum", live from the Deering Wood Room on her vintage Deering Goodtime banjo.
Getting to know who the pioneers were in any endeavor makes us appreciate what we have been gifted by their dedication. Many hands make music, including our own. We are familiar with names like Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bill Monroe, but how many of you know who Ola Belle Reed was? This legendary country singer and banjo playing pioneer, best known for songs like her signature tune “High on a Mountain” and “I’ve Endured” came to my attention recently and I thought you would enjoy hearing about her too.
At the age of 3 1/2, Willow told her mother that she wanted to play banjo. The hardest thing for her Mom was to find a banjo small enough for her to play! Here in her own words Willow tells us the story of this early inspiration:
Mary James has literally entertained thousands throughout her lifelong career starting from the age of 6! Born in Geneva, AL, she is one of 6 children from a family of great independence and a sense of adventure. At one time the family lived in a Visqueen tent in the northern Minnesota, cooking on a campfire, getting water from a deep hole they dug and reading by the northern lights through the clear walls of their plastic tent. Knowing that banjos players are, as a whole, folks who march to a different drummer, we can see why Mary, a multi-instrumentalist, chose banjo as her primary instrument today!
The sisterhood of banjo is legion and women have been important in the growth and expansion of the banjo for decades. Their passion, dedication, innovation, and sense of adventure are alive and well in today’s young women banjo players. Today we would like to introduce to you to a new section which will highlight just a sampling of the beautiful new talented young women who play Deering banjos.