With The Song of the Banjo, her first album since 2009, GRAMMY-winning musician/composer/producer/entrepreneur Alison Brown plants another flag in her journey of musical exploration. Alison is joined on her latest project by Indigo Girls, Colin Hay, Keb’ Mo’, Jake Shimabukuro, Rob Ickes and Steve Gadd.
Acclaimed as one of today’s finest progressive 5-string banjo players, the 2015 IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award/2014 United States Artist Fellowship recipient and Compass Records co-founder mixes seven masterful originals with six surprising covers of pop and rock classics from the ‘70s and ‘80s (“Dance With Me,” “Feels So Good,” “Time After Time,” “Carolina in the Pines” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and the Deluxe Edition CD bonus track, “What’s Going On”), boldly going where no banjo album has gone before.
“How sweetly she has taught her banjo to sing, whether humming winkingly behind the melody or delivering it with a breathy humanness that is as technically awesome as it is melodically seductive.”
The Boston Globe
For their mission, Brown and her co-producer, husband, label co-founder and bassist Garry West have assembled an equally unconventional all-star ensemble, including Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, Keb’ Mo’, Colin Hay, uke master Jake Shimabukuro, legendary studio drummer Steve Gadd, fiddler Stuart Duncan, Irish phenom guitarist John Doyle, bassist Todd Phillips, guitarist Jim Oblon, Dobro player Rob Ickes and pianists Will Barrow, Joe Davidian and John Jarvis.
Combining stunning virtuosity and unerring taste, Brown, with her signature model Prucha banjo (and on “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” a custom wood-body banjola), creates a roots rainbow of folk, jazz, pop, Celtic, classical, Latin and Americana.
For Brown, arranging recent classics from The Great American Songbook for the Great American Instrument makes the listener hear banjo in a new way. “Most listeners don’t know how to hear what a banjo is doing, but in the context of a familiar tune they are able to hear the voice of the instrument, and understand what’s unique about how it’s played.”
Dynamic, introspective and even romantic, The Song of the Banjo is an album for people who didn’t know they liked the banjo. For banjo lovers, Alison Brown’s new CD rekindles that affair.
Pre-order the album now for $11.99 at CompassRecords.com. The first 200 orders received for this album will include an autographed copy (see website for details.) Deluxe CD version includes bonus track not available on the digital download.