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Reviews: New Banjo Book and Clarence Ashley Record in The Old-Time Herald

The latest issue of The Old-Time Herald is out now, and my writing appears in the form of two reviews in the magazine. They are for the LP Clarence Ashley, Live and In Person: Greenwich Village 1963 and for the book, Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World, by Richard Jones-Bamman.

You may have noticed I've written more reviews on this site over the last year, and I wanted to expand my writing portfolio a bit more. Last fall, I answered a general Facebook request by editor Sarah Bryan to recruit new reviewers, and these are my first to appear in the quarterly magazine. The spring issue also includes the annual festival guide, so you can plan your summer.

Clarence Ashley, Live and In Person  was released by Jalopy Records in April 2017. This is a vinyl-only release, compiled from two concerts at Gerdes Folk City in Greenwich Village in October 1963. He is accompanied by Tex Isley on guitar and autoharp. The LP includes an essay on the backcover by John Cohen and a 16-page booklet with notes by Peter K. Siegel, who recorded the concert. The album is available from the Jalopy Records website.

Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World was released in October 2017 by the University of Illinois Press. Author Jones-Bamman is emeritus professor of music at Eastern Connecticut State University. The book features several interviews with current banjo builders like Kevin Enoch, Jim Hartel, Jason and Pharis Romero and others. It also serves as a bit of a tribute to the legacy of Will Fielding, a wonderful builder based in Vermont who died in 2014. The book is available in hardcover and paperback through the University of Illinois Press website and Amazon.

If you want to know my opinions on both of these items, you'll just have to pick up the latest issue of The Old-Time Herald, or better yet become a subscriber. I'll be sure to alert you to future writings I do for the magazine.


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