Fans of clawhammer banjo music will be pleased to discover the innovative group, Odegaard's Original Banjo Suite. From the Spanish-flavored, melancholy "Eric's Gold" to the gently melodic "Early Garden," these original compositions bring a distinctly modern tone to string band music. Vocals are restrained to sounds only, not delving into words, rather, sighing like the wind, or chanting that creates an African sounding influence, as included in "Phoenix." But then, this is an out of the ordinary string band, as it brings in cello, djembe, and other instruments not typically included in that style, which expands the range of sound and allows some intriguing combinations, such as banjo and gently percussive congas on "Birchdale" or banjo with hammered mandolin and ukelele on "Phoenix." In all, this is quite an ear-gladdening release, and listeners who enjoy it will want to pick up their other samplers, Banjo Suite II and Banjo Suite III, as well.
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