Next to Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe is the most influential five-string bluegrass banjo player in the history of the instrument and The Banjo Style of J.D. Crowe will provide an overview of his long career, teaching tunes and techniques from J.D.’s earliest days with Jimmy Martin through his time with the Kentucky Mountain Boys, his classic ’70s and ’80s recordings with his band The New South and his remarkable work with The Bluegrass Album Band. Special guests will include Ron Block, best-known for his banjo and guitar playing with Alison Krauss and Union Station, and Ron Stewart, who is currently playing banjo with Seldom Scene and who played fiddle with J.D. Crowe for more than eight years. They will provide valuable insights into J.D.’s approach by demonstrating solos, licks, and techniques.
This series is designed for intermediate to advanced players and consists of eight one-hour live Zoom workshops. Each live workshop will be recorded in high-quality video and audio and edited for viewing and study both during the course and after its conclusion. Detailed tab and handouts, in downloadable PDF format, will be available to students before each workshop session.
Here are some of the tunes Bill will cover in the course: “You Don’t Know My Mind” (two solos), “Sunny Side of the Mountain,” “Blue Ridge Cabin Home” (two solos), “Free Born Man,” “Black Jack,” “Molly and Tenbrooks, “Bear Tracks,” “Hold Watcha Got,” “The Old Home Place,” “Dark Hollow,” and “Come Back Darling.”
Bill says, “We’ll also take a deep dive into J.D.’s right- and left-hand techniques (pick angles, wrist arch, note separation, muting techniques, pull-offs, etc.), his rhythmic approach and accenting, back up, and much more. In addition, we’ll explore J.D.’s approach to country-style tunes and slow-song back up and cover the many blues-influenced licks that expanded the vocabulary of bluegrass banjo and influenced generations of banjo players.
Bill talks about what he’ll be doing in The Banjo Style of J.D. Crowe.