Tony Trischka plays tribute to Earl Scruggs with "Brown's Ferry Blues"

by Jamie Latty

On January 6th, the banjo world and bluegrass world at large celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday of banjo legend, Earl Scruggs. Tony Trischka, who has spent a lifetime studying Earl, is paying tribute with the upcoming release of 'Earl Jam - A Tribute to Earl Scruggs', of which the single Brown's Ferry Blues is released. 

The origin of this story is a fun one. 

During the pandemic, Tony received a collection of over 200 rare recordings of songs by Earl Scruggs and John Hartford, which were seemingly recorded at private gatherings at Scruggs' home. They offered yet another insight into a man that Tony had studied for most of his life. Tony studied these recordings and slowly began playing them at small venues including Joe's Pub in New York City. 

Ken Irwin of Down The Road Records heard Trischka perform the tracks and convinced him to create an album of this new material. The project became 'Earl Jam - A Tribute to Earl Scruggs' and the first single to be released is 'Brown's Ferry Blues', which was chosen as it quickly became Tony's favorite recording of the 200 that he received. 

Undoubtedly, it is the star-studded cast of the single itself that will have people talking. A who's who of Bluegrass a-listers, the single and video features Billy Strings, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Michael Cleveland, Mark Schatz and of course, Tony himself, playing his signature Deering Golden Clipper banjo, which sounds FANTASTIC, if we do say so ourselves. 

Tony, who is also a renowned banjo teacher on the ArtistWorks platform, filmed a few licks from Brown's Ferry Blues while he was in their studio on the Deering Goodtime Two! Check it out - 

The album will be released on Down The Road Records in late spring and can be pre-ordered/pre-saved now! 

Here is the tracklisting. What song are you most looking forward to hearing? 

  1. “Brown’s Ferry Blues”
  2. “San Antonio Rose”
  3. “Chinese Breakdown”
  4. “My Horses Ain’t Hungry”
  5. “Roll On Buddy”
  6. “Freight Train Blues”
  7. “Casey Jones”
  8. “Dooley”
  9. “Cripple Creek”
  10. “Amazing Grace”
  11. “Lady Madonna”
  12. “Bury My Beneath the Willow”
  13. “Shout Little Lulu”
  14. “Little Liza Jane”
  15. “Amazing Grace Postlude”


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