A happy Banjo Friday everybody! I know the Fridays have been banjo-less around here in January, but never you fear: I have a fun banjo series planned for February—& I have some very fun banjo music for you today.
If you’re familiar with Banjo Friday, you know that I’m always happy to showcase the banjo in unusual settings, so when I saw today’s video, I knew I’d have to post it. For one thing, as regular readers know, I’m a big fan of Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, who I think are true forces for good in the music world & indeed in the world in general. These women have been touring Asia with American Voices Abroad, bringing their wonderful renditions of American old-time music to kids, & of course as is typical, they are teaching & encouraging participation along the way. You can read about their travels on their blog.
Fink & Marxer are also teaming up with some top musicians from the countries they’re visiting, & in this show in Malaysia, they are joined by Kumar Karthigesu & Vick Ramakrishnan of the Malaysia World Music Group on sitar & tabla, as well as by fellow Yank Barbara Lamb on fiddle.
I love this version (though I might wish the sitar were brought forward a hair in the mix)—there is something so odd & yet so right about the mix of banjo with sitar & tabla. If you want a more straightforward version as a point of contrast, here’s a link to Fink & Marxer playing “Coleman’s March” on 5-string & cello banjo respectively.
Hope you enjoy it!
Image links to its source on traditionalmusic.co.uk. The tablature is for mandolin.