The Banjo Kings

The Banjo Kings, Vol. 1

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With the exception of Bela Fleck, the banjo has been largely extinct in jazz since around 1930 other than being utilized occasionally in dixieland bands. With the trad revival, in 1951 producer Lester Koenig of Good Time Jazz decided to form the Banjo Kings around the playing of Dick Roberts and Red Roundtree. Backed by a changing rhythm section, the two banjoists are featured on selections cut on four different occasions during 1951-56. But instead of it being Harry Reser-type virtuosity, this group is more of a nostalgic sing-along variety, performing music that often sounds quite corny today. Unless one has the desire to sing along with such songs as "By the Light Of The Silvery Moon," "In The Good Old Summertime" and a couple Stephen Foster medleys, this disc can easily be passed by.

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