To most folks, a banjo is a banjo is a banjo. But to folks who play banjos, certain brands ring out louder and clearer than others. One such brand is Stelling, and Stelling Banjo Anthology pulls together a number of players who swear by the brand. Put together by none other than the president of the company, Geoff Stelling, the recording features multiple appearances by Bill Emerson, Chris Warner, Murphy Henry, and a number of others. However, Stelling Banjo Anthology isn't just a banjo album. Each cut also features a number of other players and various combinations of fiddles, guitars, mandolins, and basses. This collection is rich in traditional pieces like "John Hardy" and "Shuckin' the Corn" and modern classics like Emerson's "Little Juniata" and Don Reno's "Banjo Special." One also wouldn't want to miss Warner's romp through Gary and Randy Scruggs' "Trousdale Ferry Rag," a tour de force in banjo picking. Since most of these tunes last three minutes or less, the collection holds a generous 21 selections. With such a fine group of players and a cadre of Stellings that they obviously love, it's little surprise that Stelling Banjo Anthology succeeds as well as it does. Banjo pickers and bluegrass fans will love it.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.