Plays the Classics

Plays the Classics

3.0 1
by Raymond Fairchild
     
 

When banjoist Raymond Fairchild burst upon the folk revival scene in the early '60s, he was hailed as the real deal. His picking borrowed from Earl Scruggs and others, but he had also carved out a distinct style that combined the three-finger method with single note runs. Plays the Classics was compiled from two albums that…  See more details below

Overview

When banjoist Raymond Fairchild burst upon the folk revival scene in the early '60s, he was hailed as the real deal. His picking borrowed from Earl Scruggs and others, but he had also carved out a distinct style that combined the three-finger method with single note runs. Plays the Classics was compiled from two albums that Fairchild recorded in the 1980s, Raymond Fairchild Plays Requests and World Champion Banjo. He's joined by guitarist Josh Crowe, bassist Wayne Crowe, and fiddler Arvil Freeman on 13 classics stretching from "Flint Hill Special" to "Under the Double Eagle." It's amazing what Fairchild can do with even a simple piece like "T for Texas," expanding this instrumental version beyond the four-minute mark and never running out of ideas. His single-note work is fluid, bluesy, and quite original here. Of course, he's just as adept at offering breakneck renditions of "Rawhide" and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." As good as Fairchild is, however, Plays the Classics isn't a one-person show. Josh Crowe offers some nifty flat-picking on pieces like "Clinch Mountain Backstep" and Freeman's bow work livens up tunes like "Roll on Buddy." Whether the listener is a banjo player or a bluegrass fan, Plays the Classics is a fine recording and a good introduction to Raymond Fairchild's ingenious picking. ~ Ronnie Lankford, Jr.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/30/2002
Label:
Copper Creek
UPC:
0722321019423
catalogNumber:
194

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Plays the Classics 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album clearly shows why Raymond Fairchild, the "King of the Smoky Mountain Banjo Players," is one of the best banjo players around. In an interview, he once exclaimed, "The older I get, the faster I get!" In addition to his speed, Fairchild is also known for his technical skill, dexterity and plain 'ol virtuosity on the five-string banjo. With masterful precision, Fairchild adeptly offers classic banjo tunes from Earl Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, a variety of bluegrass instrumental standards, and even a hard-driving banjo arrangement of Bill Monroe's showpiece, "Rawhide." I wish he would have put his own signature tune and classic, "Whoa Mule" on this one too. Fairchild was born on an Indian reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. He now lives and performs regularly in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Accompaniment on this album is first-rate and is courtesy of Josh Crowe (guitar), Arvil Freeman (fiddle), and Wayne Crowe (bass). No mandolin or dobro is offered, but the banjo and fiddle trade expert breaks throughout. While these classic tunes have been recorded a great deal, you'll be hard pressed to find better versions than those offered by banjo wizard Raymond Fairchild. Just like the first time I heard these numbers, they still manage to get my blood flowing and elevate my adrenaline level. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)