« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1374 - Béla Fleck / Michael Morris

2022-10-13 | 🔗
Béla Fleck is more than a virtuoso banjo player. He’s also a banjo missionary, an evangelist for an instrument he feels is often misunderstood and pigeonholed. Béla talks with Marc about how he wanted to move banjo music away from negative stereotypes and open audiences up to its world music roots, its classical applications, and of course its bluegrass heart. Also, Marc talks with director Michael Morris about the new movie To Leslie starring Andrea Riseborough and, oh yeah, Marc Maron.

Sign up here for WTF+ to get the full show archives and weekly bonus material! https://plus.acast.com/s/wtf-with-marc-maron-podcast.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey folks. Today's episode is sponsored by square space. If you need a website like he did with a deputy ipod back on that score. Space is the best way to create a beautiful web. Yourself use the square tools to grow your business or your personal brand. With these, whereas Video studio, scores base, email campaigns and the new scores member areas where you can offer exclusive bonus content to your audience, go to squarespace dot com, slash wtf for a free trial and when you are ready to launch use, offer code deputy have to save ten percent off your first purchase. They website or domain that squares based on slash w tia offer code, w e f I'd, What do the show shall we shall we do it?
all right. Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck necks, what the buccaneers what's happening mare- and this is my podcast- welcome to it. I am not broadcasting from the regular place- I'm not broadcasting from my garage studio, I'm not broadcasting from the bunker, in LOS angeles, I'm in york city. flew out here takes a treatment. This amount of of overcoming anxiety these days to sort of get it together to travel without worries about the cats, the just one. Your life is tethered to pets. comes a little nuts I mean have been nuts with cats before different points in my life different cats, but there is a period where I'm pretty sure I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and I might
need to move out of my old house, but I couldn't see that see forward with it, because I didn't want boomer, do not have a point. To rome, then I have a place to live. Boomer was an outdoor cats or my I'm You have to stay in this house, no matter what for over long it takes boomer to die an boomer disappeared years away. but nonetheless tethered to fats, panic people do with kids, but anyway I made it. Did here. I flew on the plane. I was with the I was with jeremy strong, not together, but he was on the plane and we ve been, walking. Lately I've been able with him coming up very, very good guy earnest sky give me a lot of information about rest, I should go to when I'm in london next week, for my shows, I believe, they're still ticket. For the air booms the theatre live, podcast taping, with David big deal
you gotta deputy of pod dot com, slashed tour fur informed about that today. In the city I just earlier just before I I said I might be. A bid. Half a meat com I went over to catches, saw my buddy dave D. dave from the dopey podcast set me up with the buffet of it's an pickled products and a bit of bobcat the end, cats, as I do that every year and do that until I get back, bees are armed attack. I guess the year we pride take little half my life, but not a ton, but here man, I'm here tonight, I'm gonna, be doing a music benefit. Would jimmy the vienna gonna play a few with Vinos band and play song with jimmy varnish also can be their tremendous honour totally nervous and that's why I'm in new york- I don't even know if I'm going to do any comedy, I'm going to do the music and then I'm going to going to go to the whitney and
I'm a member there for the couple times I'm here want to catch b to the arts, but I get their memory privileges and go see the edward hopper new york, if exhibit tomorrow I'm then go to bird land on saturday to see I run carter play in preparation. To talk to him and proper an area couple. My fair places to see my friend sam website, go to the door. Maybe go to this saga, go to clyde. Do the meets and stuff that I like to do I don't feel like I'm gonna go to the sour I've kind of I dunno it sit in the same way used to with me that place for many different reasons, but I don't know I've been doing plenty. A comedy long sets hadn t the ain't to do more along sets? I don't need to go. Do fifteen minutes sets at a place. It's head or miss, so try to in all my time. Otherwise, when this beautiful thing whether that is happening here in manhattan, so we got to
Yesterday. I should tell you this: we gotta they were fleck, the banjo player, songwriter and composure and Michael morris director of new movie, I'm into leslie. Now I to a screening of this movie the other night, and this the first time I saw in a big screen. I brought kit and there are supposed to be a q and a with me in the sky, I go more as a director and I never seen it on big screen before I gotta be us with the it looks amazing he shot at all on film, which was kind of the intense shooting equity. I get too takes three takes and we shot it like. I was only he shouted, my question three weeks, but it looks great, and in its really kind of a sweet movie. Andrea, Sparrows is stellar any just. it came out great and it was funny watching them we're supposed to do a q and a and the person who is supposed to do the q and a from npr was a no show. So I said
well just I just so happened to be a pretty good interviewer. Why don't I handle it? So we We did a version of what you are about to here. In a way, only me, word sort discussing we were here were Michael Morrissey. Director he's he's done. episode of television, including better call sol, ass. We is his first feature and its now play in theatres and available to rent or purchase on digital on demand. forms- and this is me kind of Talking about the experience of it with michael going a little bit about his life. And work, I'm proud of a movie he's proud of it, and if you can go see it, it's heavy its touching it's moving in any. Does it ends? Ok you'll feel uplifted, but it doesn't. I guess I heard somebody said, there's not a false note in the movie really and I never. I that's a new language. To me the idea of a false note.
random gleason mention it about his new movie. The benches of any share in I saw him on south myers einstein. He brought it about false notes, but the same with that as we in this is me talking to the director the two leslie Michael moorish, so now I do like before you asked me this movie I had no idea who you are fair enough we are clearly not from here now I was born in london. I raised in london and- and I was a theater director in london. Actually sarah laugh. How old are you I am for how old am I am forty eight? I don't usually ask people that be look very young. They do yeah, like you, know, you're, holding up pretty well, forty eight, you know yeah, you get it you're, not wrinkled up, not yet yeah. It's coming
so but like what do you mean in in a you, come from big family in london? I come from a small family. Actually, just myself my sister, oh yeah, she's a she's, an artist she's a really earned. A sculptor yoga welcome, think figurative, abstract. It's a good question. Its figurative about colorist like she's, really free. She really towns and she's she's. She went to the school in paris and yeah one their prize their minds, just as she says, she's just full. She someone you see who is able to sort of channel feelings into stuff. Like you know what I mean like yeah it will. You will feel something when you see it right here: yeah, energy and she's in london, yeah she's in london she's she does or she makes a living as a painter, yeah and as sculptor and a painter, yeah boy, she's doing she's doing great. What's her name, Annie morris, really yeah yeah check it out and her and her husband too, actually idris khan, phenomenal artist. while that may that a great couple anyway, that's sister me and there and your folks artists. No,
My mother was in the theater. Actually when she issues from new york and she was in that part of the cafe lama situation there. The sixties, I just talked to harvey fires. and he was part of that he was yeah big was a. It was a real thing. My mother was she a warhol person. She was not, she was she would be like. I wish he wasn't cool enough, but she was, as she was more of a stage man. She would like the stage manager for the playwright who's just used, like I think, a year or two ago, called them, Israel, horovitz yeah? I know him, Israel was was a really one playwright, especially early on in his career, I did indian wants the bronx you did not. I did you did sure I did it when I was in college. I didn't you know as part of stage two I did. I was I I I must have been Murph. I love that play yeah, it's a it's a big play, it's a you know he's one of those guys who came into trouble for his a year later in life
by that. But there is a few those plays it. I mean, if that's great pull a line was a great play. That was there, he had his foot, so I should say that that I knew him his whole life and he knew me my whole life a merely because my mother was it was really difference with them early on and yes, you are about what you said, but I don you know, I don't think it overshadows the delay. You see they had a playwright. He was. He was one of the few american playwrights that wrote like up like a french playwright in, I guess, and his son to beastie boy is It has always been a vc boy, not day by day talk about his dad much now, but there are great family though he actually his daughters are pretty. Certain is of a son. Is a novel like that that riddick the ridicule family, she grew up. with a little of that, but the about better ugly, an environment that was at least art positive. Yes, that's it I've never thought saying about that way. I am stealing it gets what it was. They did they'd never made their living in the arts, but was important, yeah yeah. So do you go to school, for it now
I didn't. I went to I static as I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to be very early on in a theater directors righted from sixteen. So so I went to school for english. I studied English meekly were like any a fancy school oxford. You went out for you. yeah yeah. I guess you're hurt his fell like work. Yet his fancy out of it. Now I guess I'll have a year. Wait where were you Boston, versatile yeah? That's fancy though it's not just the prided big private school, expensive, more space, and also assure the ever that doesn't mean is good. They did, they say we taken over the entire city, I think, but I I studied english- and I did stage through by did it or I directed some theatre now did a minor and film studies, which is it with an art history, major airliner, the I did art history
and an english history. Those are my my three I loved you. I don't think I've really grab my brain thoroughly around my studies but tat. I showed up- and I took it in here yet- and I did a lot of stuff you know did. The english journal wrote, poetry, the idea of the same thing you did. We had a similar track. I didn't realize that yeah I was big into writing. Poetry, yeah! I I I I I will do it sometimes as an exercise in? I don't necessarily show anybody, but it is part my process sometimes too, to write things, in the form of those type of thoughts yeah. I think it gets harder unless you commit to it gets harder to keep that part of your kind of creativity alive. I say why it's it's it's like its word, yours is a like. In a sense it like you, have your good a poet lets you kind of gotta be a lot of data. What's gonna be your life because any you ve gotta be most times you ve gotta, be an academic and you gotta live in that insulated. Worldwide poetry is important
I'm not condescending at our trivializing it, but you just you can write a few lines, it can't be. You can't be just be I'm poet. Maybe you can, but the one one palm doesn't make a poet in their rights. A life here. At that moment, leaving school over. I thought that's what I was going to do now and then exact which all yea- and I thought, like I can't make a living- is a poet no one can become like the poet in residence, at the zoo or something- and I was like that's not familiar- that sounds air conditioning job- is that a job, a poet in residence at the zoo didn't give my day, I just had a regular zoo. Just I kind of liked that idea. What are you I'm the poet in residence, los angeles county zoo, while you know that to me I genocide. I I be aligned to theatre directing wishes and exactly a great living, but You know, even if it was more in the world, had to community yeah. He's item yea I mean I know a couple people that are poets.
one guy who I went to college with you, I don't know, it's all just that world, it's very specific but theatre, you're acting, so you just jump in do any acting. No, I mean I acted in school. I she acted in one of his rose I did line and about. I was in it and directed it because it was hard to wrangle the cost, and so I would just would step- and I did enough acting to know that I was an actor. you know, but I have a real reverence for it like I really and I I liked the fact that I know that I'm not an actor. If you know what I mean yeah, because, it allows me just to sort of participate in a different way. it's like their directing thing, like I noticed from watching too actually our movie on a big screen last night that that there is something about the gift of a director and lynch Shelton added as well. Is wedding things sort of play out. Knowing when step in or when to stop it and in wesley there's a lot of long shots, not
long. I mean timewise that that you're not talking and young, If there's certain courage and now you ve, got to have a certain confidence to to to let that sit and not be like. I don't know: yeah yeah, onto long? This was never let me I get it gets. You did a lot of plays my my favorite playwright, near growing up was Harold penta right happens is all about everyone additions with that birthday party, all of the countries which were then that the caretaker is what like these plays. I've pauses and you realize ellie on. I think it was just not being able to do place. That told me this is that silence is not silent. Gentlemen, like most of what we say is not in the words that were using no eight daily something I learn all the time more and more specially, actor because a film actor, because there's a lot of tricks in film acting that I don't really know because I'm so enough, we are in it in frenetic buddy
but in the end, your movie, because of of how I approached it, you know I doing things that I've never done before, but I think that's correct and fear. Any baker is a big task is well yes, you The men had europe enter daddy, does do better but yeah man, I mean you know its powerful. If people can hold it, that's the thing change it. So we made the movie a change it, so we made them not shorter, which was one of the hardest things we got. The movie took place, we really loved, but it was two hours and forty five minutes come on yea of two hours of forty five minutes and we loved it was, and for our producers, and even though we all in the back of our minds and you couldn't be two hours and forty five, although that crazy, it's coming up on tat hours now, it's just on. You can imagine what you like what yet? Where was? Where was all that meat and well with me a well you ve got a? U like everything I shot is in there. All set for one thing almost here is that this maybe there's only two, by the time we got it to your section. I when we get when she gets the motel. I really love
way, the story was devout with an unusual script, because most stories about this subject by people struggling with a dick in any way, a usually either a straight downward spiral or there are kind of like unexpected set aside works in everyone's happy at the engineer and and what I love about the way the story is told is, is its uncompromising then when you meet leslie, unless they meet your character area, there is a slow tat. You know it is a slow turned towards. You know. I don't know sort seeing her as someone, so it just felt really the real way to tell the story story have some degree compassion. I really liked it. When compassion. I really liked it when we got the right, where there's a combination of hurt, truly or close to if having enough. He yes, she like you, she couldn't get over as well, either that process of white. She can't really poor guys anymore. She can't she can't hide her her her hustle. Yet
So why this this script just popped at you right away yet did for reason that there's a lot of reasons I mean, I think it's, it's ryan's, just a beautiful I too, he underwrites things. Wait now s written anything else he has but I haven't, read anything else. I read this he's now he's ready, prolific right actually, but I mean he hadn t had a movie made earlier. netflix, but even I think this is the one this was came from. His hot Enough was vastly be added and him near rice boiler andrea yeah. He worked with years ago as well yeah we did on a show called bloodline on netflix, yet together and you just knew she was the one day this yea. My very first I still got the you know the the copy I wrote, Andrea riseborough right under the title. She's it she's not on paper you'd go, oh you know she's from the north of england, the texan here she has, it does of absolute true life. Just
stay about her. She can't do anything else that you know. You say that he and you're right a lot of actors have tricks. People but Laurence olivier's to talk about that dude. You know that the thing which warned when someone said the how's it going. He was a biggest are in hollywood, said it's awful. It's awful. They know my tracks in the annex doesn't seem to have tricks here. The andrea is just like an instrument. You know she'll chill tune herself to wherever it is that that that we we, we think the character being what that janneus and then she just goes. You see how she s is. She goes yeah it was it was. It was amazing and work with her and in then so the kid to outdo cast kid. You knew him when I see him yeah wet whence a owen whose is so great seeing. How is is huge, he's getting huge now, but he was cost, as he was caused a photo double do not forget about as a photo extra bloodline, because he looked a bit like a young Ben mendelson. We needed a young bed meddlesome for picture and her and use it
Let's go get in florida. While he came in and then a season later gland kessler writing the show was. I think we need to do some flashbacks with young Ben mendelson here. So we will. I get. Let's call that kid and hope we can act. He was brill, he was so brilliant. I tell you this. I've never seen this happen before for realistic, shirley s right bloodline, he was so that in the second season of that show, he didn't just lay the young Ben mendelson. He also played Ben son in the same season of the same ship. Well, never seen that before it's crazy yeah, that's an interesting idea. He sort of ease the real thing, and so asking me I'm going to keep pressing on this. I was your choice. You much, I went off, I know you whenever I went there and I was obsessed with this choice of itself when it has like somewhere in in my initial along the line it got put my head that John hawks had turned it down: no eat it. There was an early conversation with the costly processes.
And I know you know and and and a pretty says. Oh you know. John John grey and- and I love janitor for me, winters bone was ways a big influence on me that movie I saw that earlier. Yeah love it and he was so so striking in their failure, and so I think early on there was there was Certainly a conversation of of oh Joam would be great joy with that kind of idea. By the time we can to actually costing the film here I come and what happened. I think I think John was out of the picture that point by hope it anyway? Yes, but we haven't, I went cost the fell right and, is a combination of it was a hundred percent, combination marin near- and I think I mentioned you before- that- making real be genuinely memorable among love that you gave a lucrative transgressed, which was a heartbreak. I must have one eight times I rose and that
and then randomly a photo view from a peace that the new york times did on the air? Is a black and white photo hiding in a chair off looking up and I lived, and I think I sent it round to my whole- produces it, you know a lot of produces impaired. maybe like this, and I said that sweeney here like is sweet, and I already knew what I was seeing in your payments and its funding as it wasn't from glow, which has a great- and I too I am I've- just wasn't a glow watches. He added no you're right right, riah, but for marin it was really from more than dressed and sort of trust. Why appreciate that cause idea? For the whole time I kept thinking, I like it when their gimme the game in the script talk to me and how to know who told me that John hawks think- as am I want you to know that guy now but may not, but of course but then I'm judging myself in It- and I was really like- I dont- see this happening. It may now was talking my manager last night, the screening, because I and do it just because its covert I grieving idea, whatever I'm not there. I gave this and then
yeah in then I got the tax from chelsea from chelsea handwork, unlike what is dubious, yeah like Michael Morris, wants you to do his movie. think you should do it call him and you don't just don't say, notifies eleanor's. That was imperative right. Yet, like shiva there's, no questions. How do you know her? She is like use has been. One of my wife, my great friends soya for years. Yet She and Mary were seen as they may. They show that some I've had some stupid event and they just it was just a click. You know they just have they just made each other laugh why? I had a great time doing it, and I thought it came out really nice now, but I'm curious now so yeah, the the the the critical reaction is great yup it's crazy- was ninety seven percent on run tomatoes item thirty questioner reviews yeah getting on for forty years and
people really busy veto as yet ninety seven still yeah so now like? Ok, so what what happens with it from way from a business stamp, so now like it's not really big release. You can buy it. It's getting great critical acclaimed you are now. Obviously, andrea's can be in the game for awards some kind of least indy spirit right, sag This is not yet, as this is my first film, I have no frame of rough, for there. So you know- and I came into it and it feels Odd. Always feels ought to talk about anything I guess so big, like you know, as I get older and as I talked to more people there, there is and intent act certain point two to sort of get the moon out there more and to get it recognition anyway. You can and andrew border that is, is award campaigning, but obviously were too early
the game, but he is. Someone must be thinking that I hope so because I think it's deserved urinary. Absolutely I mean if it awards a crazy for issues, her fucking. Yes, this is heard. Our movie man. Yet I mean this is like where, because everyone talks about her being the thing a real thing, and this is she real things the hell out of this? She does she really does actually and and and that's what, if thereby anything you want awards to at least be a man and the care about who wins anything that there's a nomination process? And that's really, even because you, you get to kind of you get to recognise bunch of danger, and so you think worth if its. If it's the reasons of what's what might you have missed? That's really reach really powerful and challenging the airy performance in the hopes and but like, more practically. How do we get it more theatres you know it's. It's really difficult. I've had a crash course in this, since this movie has been released. So this is
where we are released on and on at home with, like you know, called a video on demand, the streaming stuff yeah. You can get it on apple, yet on amazon shirt and because of that because it kept with it. That was hat, that was released on the same day that it was really since it they call it a day and date release. Yet there seems to be a third. And out there in the world. The movie theater chains don't approve of that that they they want was called a window where you said they will get their own earlier. This we are two or a myth. So, if you come you come at them. Sanguine were also available home, a lot of we chains are not interested in showing the film that's just a policy, it's nothing you they would even think they've seen the film they just say. We call it what about the smaller theater yeah Well I mean I think people have to go you know they re be great. People went and by the way this is a movie shall on films we said is designed
to beat it shot in a white screen is two three five, which means it's the say. It's the same set of epic ratio that you want to see in a movie. At a great looks great. It really looks good on a white man, so cards, even though I want people to see it if home is the best way, that's the best way, but yet, but I just saw some people tweeting, I e the closest theatres in another state. You know, I know I know what I mean. I think that adds film distributor. You have fell in love with the film at south by software and they bought it for absolutely the right reasons that you know they didn't buy it, because this was gonna, be in a top gun maverick. They bought it because they love it here, but I think there's a reality. It seems to me about how you really something this, I didn't, I hope I hope, there's a second life for more theatres, ok nor great job and I was honored to be part of it. While it was an honor to have you thanks good talking to you. Thank you. There you go good guy, nice guy, talented. Movies great two wesley, it's in theatres,
on digital on demand. Now I'm pretty good in it? I as my friend city row, he mentioned to me that my friend, Steve brow was a friend to his and his wife, and he had seen it. and I was like. Why did you tell me about it? Indeed, if you like it where's my buddy, the brill with here the text ha where's that and then, of course he went mentioned to Steve and even however, wrote I just remembered. I did me detects: u s We got. I saw two ass. We very moving movie congrats, I'm being in thing and sharing screen with incredible accuracy like you got to be in a sort of sam shepherd, your play the same shepherd role, its pretty cool best merit performance since night of january. The sixteen which is a play I did with. In states troop in college. He said that I'm impressed and jealous, which is where, because I'm not an actor, but I really want to do cool shit. I said extra back. Thanks about the movie I held my own. I think so. Good flick,
Steve said, I was so nervous watching her crutch so hard in knowing you were coming up, but you did hold your own, which is sort of like a lasting in the ring with thyssen, something stooge. She was incredible fear was fearsome, so congrats. I said thanks as very nice. A nice exchange. But that's why I guess it was like that I did I didn't go in nervous. I just was like. I can only do the best. I can do so bailiff black, is a banjo player. Is the banjo players. One of the great banjo players is taken the instrument to new places he's onto right now to support his album. My bluegrass art in gotta, bailiff dot com for tour dates and tickets, he's affair, this show and he sent me his record's and yo. He sent me a personal, correspondence, and I'm like I gotta get up to speed damn bailiff fleck I mean, I know he was great and I haven't heard his name forever, but I didn't know his stuff, so I had to like I had I'm like this. Guy wants to talk, he's the
deal. I should talk to him, but I'm gonna have to listen and nine hundred records and figure out he's coming from, so I did that and here I am talking to a bailiff lack. I guess mostly in terms of what I listen to banjo wisest, probably scruggs, well, yeah and you know- and I liked those records he made with his kids yeah- that was Earl, scruggs experience or whatever it was wasn't review their drugs review yeah, and then I got the kids albums too yeah you know cause. Like Emily felt like there are trying, like you know, make make dad sound, groovy yeah, brave move for him to yeah? Is Without your guy we're he's, a guy who turned me on like when you hear that when you're gonna be a banjo player, and you hear Earl Scruggs, it's like that. into a zombie to looking for abandoned,
and figure out how to do it, and it's just it has to be him. It's not just any boy media. He had this magic, something agenda, yeah, I was him for me. He turned the trigger for me sometime around for five years old when I heard the beverly hillbillies, which makes no, that's cause, I'm in new york city kid queen s, pleasure that we on tv yeah. You know what I mean you, how young I woody my age or older depends on how old you are. I'm fifty nine I'm an old I'm older, I'm sixty four okay, so you're so you're catching the tail end of that show actually being on television or were you watching it on a channel eleven or I think it was on channel eleven yeah? It was in the morning. I remember it was light out there. It was repeat yeah, but no, but that that opening thing I mean, I think that probably got everyone into banjo like anybody, who's going to register banjo that doesn't grow up with a banjo or with music like that that's where you are going to hear it. Yeah it's one of those things with banter, where you get all these, like amazing, that opportunities for the banjo but their couched in southern culture.
and a certain kind of like look. down on a little bit, like you know, a dueling banjos, for instance. Without that were me away, I had their record right, but you know it's it's connected to like oh, a male rape scene, and then you ve, In our family, how billy's, which is all about you, know how them or their actually the smart people in the barrel that you guys are the smart people, but it and then there's. Incline enough argument, breakdowns all connected to sort of these states, time as you refer to that really see locked this down and when people forget about its actually african instrument at LA I'd swear to me, though, I think I'd like adding register deliverance. I just rewatched it dont connect that music with that rape seen what I the comedians did never. I gave a delete duty and also was about squealing like a mooring, well and also morons right, like. I just remember being fascinated with the kid who is playing on the bridge and wondering whether or not he was you know who that guy? What Right do. You know who he was
I know he wasn't a banjo player and in fact it was a claw. He was doing clause the hand that you see is doing claw hammer style and that here the bench of you here is three fingers style of, but it was still the most compelling seen ever Oh yeah, it changed my life somehow cause. I knew now that we talk about it, never forget it and I guess the beverly hillbillies I never really associated personally, but I know what you're saying is true culturally, but I don't know that es, I associated it as I got older with with complex music, you know with with bluegrass music, with music as a guitar player that that I just can't my brain around cause, I'm not! I don't practices, right and highly what he gets that speed and I never understood a banjo. Well, it's it. It's a trick. It's a trick. For it is it it's of in our view that, because you alternating your right hand, fingers. You only have to play one third is fast, and these open strings.
and all of these tricks of open strings it make you able to to blaze how he had, but, but I do like to point out that banjo was like before it was a white southern instrument. It was the in in Louis Armstrong, spurs bands. It was born in early jazz, so the pigeon hauling as little irritating psmith, I'm very serious about banjo, and will you maybe you can tell already by AL so much and aid for it to get stuck in this one, although fabulous A banjo music sure at this this, nor that seems to be your mission in life, is too to free, the banjo or to do to move it everything well I act
I think so. I was growing up in the sixties and but what? Where did you grow up? What part of queens I grew up in Manhattan? My mom and my grandparents were in queens and moved there when I was pretty young, so one hundred street and west end avenue your folks weren't married, my mom and my step, my mom and my father split up when I was one or two something like that, and you have relationship with him now I didn't meet him until I was in my forties. I had to go, find him yeah. Why is a trip? What so? Okay? So are you now? Where do your your people come from? What's the well think Bela roofs as some of you in a hurry up. Maybe we're really why me a jewish? Yes, I want my mother's side. Ninety mother say my father's. My father's side goes all the way back to both ruth I did that finding your router, so I you know that for so where pale of settlement, though a route which part of ours in which tone, and then I have to get out of here about minsk- is likely r r c. That's it. I just know pair of settlement bellers I'd I'd probably do have the towns, as they did, have pretty
ro undertaken. She, your dad wasn't jewish decidedly not decided when They life finally met him and he was he was a professor of like dead languages and stuff and maryland merrill india in it was a profound serve dead languages as an interesting guy. Very smart guy tried to make it as an opera singer. Even when it named me Bela after me. bar talkin and lay oceana check and all these great glasgow. Users, but he was not around in any way away. that way? So how does your mother? account for that what the hell it could go so wrong to where you can even engaged with the guy. I think she tried I think I'll, just him here. I think he felt like or they married
I'm an older brother too. Oh you do so. He hung around a little while for that guy a year long on your part and in italy, the coop for whatever, whatever their reasons were, but at any rate it was. I made a few overtures and never got a reaction. So eventually I just trapped him in his lair. I went to this college indices, I stood at the end of the line. Did he know you were the the the banjo master? Well, that's what I found out after after meeting him and getting to know him a little bit yeah my found my. Records at his house, it was bizarre. It was very slippery, and where the shirt so that now, I'm pretty sure he passed oh you. I have every reason to think that he's passed at this point. I think I did get to say goodbye to him at a certain point, professor of dead language, yeah, yeah yeah, so get the say goodbye yeah. I was passing through and I was I wanted to maybe introduce
his grants unto him and he didn't know louder than now, but then I found him in a hospital bed. You know how it is. That is what I believe were last day is because I have been able to find out whatever happens been several years you can find out fine I'll bet ya know, maybe he's fine, but I don't think so. Did he made his grandkids now addendum, it was just a little too sorry man gave him get that, but I think it sooner if it's ok it life is better, I think the way it all worked out probably yeah. It sounds like he might have been a difficult man yeah he was yeah and your mother was what she musical now what she did Mary cellist, so that was that was a good thing, Joe paladin. I've got a good italian aspect hell: yeah can in connecticut you tell us the duty play with will we went into the the seventh army symphony, so he was in germany for a long time you mean like our plane, cello yeah. How did that?
work, that is, I think, that's the way to be in the army in the band shadow that on a marking banned, you not point out door now as great orchestras. In fact, what's bizarre is like it turned out that one of the conductors he worked with later moved to nashville and became the main guy in the national symphony and and conducted real many many years later years stepped out. Whenever I don't think, I think I got to introduce them at that point. At one point yeah, I don't He remembered there's a lot of people that went through this but the army severity valley was a crack orchestra here, and so he got where they point swing music. What were they do? Mono, classical, really, australia, the classical yeah ha what they needed in germany, americans playing for german journalism using actors who, I dare say you grew up with classical mouse yeah. yeah man, he not the kind of classical my father would have wanted me to hear. Probably does he like the really wacky harsh, you know hungarian, an avant garde type stuff in work progressive stuff, my stepfather liked
brahms and you know a hand handle and right whose his tastes were a little more more general. The teach you how to read music know that we we didn't do music together, but I would listen to them. Play the music in the inner know. If they come, we have people come over here and play string quartets on Saturdays- and I just listen, I said- fall asleep, trying to read the score, but I did just looking at the notes going up and down here. I did they get had anything to do with me. I wanted to go play the banjo, but I liked it so then, years later, when I did tried in oak, I met people who great, classical musicians and I wanted to try to play with at least I had her. I knew I was supposed to sound, somewhat sure, Well, I mean it without reducing about some of the footage from the throw down is that what is called the throw down your heart, throw down your heart? Is that you know you have to eat the rhythms and it's much in some ways in terms of scales, but not its.
both are undertaking right than what you used to end its more repetitive, but that is the sort of hypnotic act of the original music seen right. Well, it's deceptive has sometimes you- something similar because it has less harmony, but it isn't necessarily simpler. It's just different it's located in a different way in theirs nuance. Here I mean for sure I mean why get that in a minute, so you start playing banjo when fifteen fifteen. So was playing some guitar, as I didn't have the nerve to ask for a banjo from anybody. I never thought anybody could really play it. It was still impossible, but I ended up guitar and more in a band, no no displayed, you know though songs and yeah stuff of folk songs of the day. You know, but you weren't, some kind of wizards, oh not at all. Now I was one of those kids is kind of like he likes the guitar recipe. when I got my bench. Oh yes, I went to see my grandfather on my just before
high school and I he said, hey I've. I know you like guitar. I found this band your mom's dad yeah great I did and he said I got. I profoundly set a garage sale here. You want it like and believe it and just landed in my lap the day before high school started and that began an obsessive relationship with me where I wasn't obsessive with the guitar. It is this which wasn't flipped though I had the banjo. It became everything to me and I dont know why may be bought. It has something to do with the father stuff too. That was like a need to prove worth. It became the thing that I lord myself into and by the time I was out of high school, I was pretty darn. I could play a lot like when some of the really good players and went right into professional you just what there is something magical about a banjo here, especially Your clothes like, if you hear recording you, don't necessarily get all of the new us. Not just the new
but there's all these harmonics and the strings ring into each other, and it's like sitting in your lap and the sound is coming up at you and I just still love just to play in it, But how did you learn? I see taken some less adversely got the peat Seeger book. That's the book that was announced it I've started it. Well, then, I started taken some lessons and I just started going through teachers kind of if I was moving fast, so easy Do you feel like you're, a prodigy a ban I was. I was because mice third teacher was like and still one of the great bear players of all times. Guy named tony tricia, who came from turkey's modernist lay a crazy free awesome, primitive, wild, technically virtuosity player ha and dumb. I could play a whole lot like him by the and a high school marilla. He would say: oh, are you guys were playing together? I couldn't tell who was who close my eyes, and then I had, figure out o my god there already. There already is one of him. So now find my own way.
sounding different, but I went right into professional groups. Had a high school at a high school through at high school, it even go to college nope, You get a high school and your banjo wizard. What years it? Seventy six So what are you? Gonna do well the quest like everybody would tell me, including my other teachers layer. not going to make a living playing the banjo not gonna happen. So you better learn a bunch of instruments, and maybe you could get a job in a country ban playing fiddle. Mandolin banjo pedal steel banjo, like I don't think I want you to know that be like one of the men, drowse or marty stewardess under his command jumpin around an outfit yeah. I wasn't me so so I joined a band, I just got into bands and I follow a ban through to its. You know: a better band. But like three a year in queens, we're in manhattan. At this point, ok iron manhattan, your banjo I urge that a high school in air and inspired banjo player, what kind of banned
brass band, but there's there's this progressive. Bluegrass thing has been going on for a long time. So are there there were bans where I could do like. I have to point out I got my mind, blown when I heard chick korea at the beacon theatre, which has a couple blocks from where I lived it at that point here and wanted to play that kind of music director with him. I didn't yuck several records. We, one in the can too that's gonna come out important yeah yeah yet was, loss. Abril met a true tour, an ingenious cat to be around what was it about your career, sound that what was it about what he did? Well, there's a lot of kinds of jazz year, and some of it is like on the back of the bead and Sleepy in the lounge he- and some of it is like when when I heard somebody play like with his forward lean this latin via energy. I was like. Oh, I could relate to that. I could see somehow that working on the banjo and it just again it clicked for me, and had the same impact on me as hearing earl Scruggs of light. That is what I want to know and charlie
I have the same impact as he play with a lot of fun, manassa onward lean rhythm relay- and I think banjo is as a precaution instrument as enemies aunt em a melodic instruments, so you have you you get turned on by rhythm. It's a good good instrument. if you can get into that group, will you I guess, there's a Angelo groove! That's! I think everyone sorted familiar with the blue grass banjo move, then you can move around, but so these bans? So you're saying there was a a Have we a progressive bluegrass music in the as long as I was already firmly established, all the views lot right. Musicians with these that sort of alongside that first all country, like Well, there's a guy named John Hartford, who wrote the song gentle on my mind, but he s actually a progressive bluegrass creator. What what what does it mean to be a progressive bluegrass, where I am
that she don't play or do didn't display the old cabin home on the hill. You you look for ways to like your influenced by the beatles in your influence by lead. Plan in your entered influenced by everything around you and you included in your music and dumb, and it makes for personal, music and stuff, It's not a museum, bf thing or a carbon copy of another time. It's you being you and that's been the key bluegrass surviving in my opinion, is people making it their own and making it new periodically fear and that's islets upon thing to be part of that. That side of what would I be able, the town yeah Why me? How do you like latin scruggs, like if you like, Earl Scruggs, you know what that sounds like and that would be yeah you know in the sixties, they tried some bob dylan songs and they did some express dragon telling of when people are point covers yeah, but is our electoral there's a vibe to bill monroe and latin scruggs in the Stanley brothers and Jimmy Martin, all these cats, that you know it's like if you like, what country museum, like you know like the new slick stuff, but you, like you, know,
decline or you like you know it's way back, but I mean, but bluegrass is sort of of its own in country. Eight seem it used to be the same thing back. You know when you go back to the forty and fifty there was all on the same stations, but it got separated out and it became a you know more take your think me a box that, like that sort of thing, rather than a pop centrist thing, which was I for so wasn't about it? So it seems like a lot of blue grass was in about songwriting. It was about playing. I wouldn't say that I think a great bluegrass book is full of great songs but they're of a certain perspective a certain time, and here they are tell the story of a person that grew up in this place here and so they're. You know they're very true, they're, very real and but I think, there's a lot of weak blue grey, songs out. There is a lot of weak bluegrass playing out there and there it is. And how can you think? That's it. That's the problem. You can't, but people don't all right. If you dont know what is supposed to sound like you, don't know what it could sound like see, a lot of folks that in a wood liked play it and that's cool, but
They can't represented at its highest level any swayed relieve Martin. Has he he's good here he's good I'll, get very creative, the always looking for his own way. The way to do he's not trying to imitate anybody's as europe ask you for advice, yeah I were on a I'm on his board. He gives away money to poor poor poor your player, yet that are really really great. He feels like it takes as much work to you know to play the banjo as it does to You know be a scientist when he loves it a doctor and they don't get paid. You don't get paid commensurately for it. So he started that up Steve Martin prize and put together a team of folks like tony trish, we're talking about me and others. The out to help him figure out who to give it to pretty cool. Tell me that guy though the guy who you said is coming out there, the guy you're playing well in high school of emu, john hartford near how will junk like? What do you mean like? I didn't play with them, but I was a hero. I mean he just started doing songs about people smoking dope, He did sounds about you, no real life stuff.
but he be added in a bluegrass framework. And it was. This isn't am called the steam powered airplane. That is, is this one of the great classic things just turned bluegrass to this new place and then where's abandon came not too long after that called new grass revival here, as ambush an agenda, and I join that ban when I moved to tennessee enough, eighty one and is asking for the floor, towns or area flecked tones was after nine years of being in numerous new grass was a very progressive like we did long jams and different kinds of right. Unique but your first, a few records are prey pray forward. Now more or less I was always pushed like. I recorded to korea song on my first solo. Albania. Now and I didn't start out with a straight like I moved to kentucky and then I got into it. I was like a progressive new york, yankee banjo player, fear, and I was trying to. I was gonna wanna, be a yankee man to play. I won a blackberry like of rural scruggs
gonna, be like nato harrowing out: ok, but a yankee banjo, where meaning that you were a mimic like I didn't really know how it was supposed to go. You know, there's gatekeepers in all these different kinds of music and I moved I moved yeah. I moved to kentucky after how long how like, after your first one before you first write, it was a no, it was seventy nine, so it was three years after high school. I moved down there to to to get the real groove yeah. So was. That was your first grail here. You go down there near with your proficiency. That's pretty impressive right! So do you get into a sort of banjo wars? I had the other folks that new you tell me, I was not none at all. it's special, you know, and then I had a lot of things I needed to get together. If I was going to be any good and oh shit, like those people well they're like the gatekeeper you're, like the people that banjo gatekeepers, we need to know. If you were me, you would have found out, but I come and they say. Ok, you know, you're making your bans are wrong. Your banter sounds like shit. You know you there
You don't have good town in the utter landowners, their people that work. in the banjo community and- and I got some really good advice for they became some of my good friends. I scruggs no, not pit, players so much was over. There was a guy named harry sparks and gary Becker in, and they were they were guys. I really knew and really were supportive of keeping. You know the great things. But bluegrass together, which unhindered the god musically down. There was a guy named J D, crow and J D, just past last year. He was the a machine who assisted me boys just a glorious. Your player on an in an old school style I coming out of scruggs, but he on and progressive in his way, but really really the thing about him was his sense of time and tone, and I didn't I couldn't you know even called can to nobody could it was amazing, but he couldn't do what I did, but I don't know that he would want to hear it. frantically himself here. He was never liked theory. I guess that must be. The sort of thing is that you
yet these guys it or doug into themselves by you know it's. because nobody sounds like them. You're supposed to be yourself right, that's the war, but like I think that virtuosos it's trickier to find yourself because of your proficiency, I think. Sometimes you discover europe antics self through limitation. That's exactly right! That's exactly right! I could agree more so, when you go down there like outside making your banjo and me what, when you have to adjust, abandoned its, although screws around it, he others all kinds of ways. You can change the sound and This guy set you straight on. That's where I finally got old banjo this, banjo that I still have and that these benches that were made in the thirties or the like, though pump holy grail here, earl played one. He played a granada, but these were gibson master tones from the nineteen thirties and they made him right and they had a sound and a thick at a depth and clarity and dumb nobody's touch them so much
I got down there. I realized that I needed one of those and I got one and then these guys helped me set it up and get it. So this is like this at various of banned Jia. Yet, and there are like hundred thousand dollar items if you get one with a without the original neck here, which is Take some of the old next on hold up that. Well, ah, so you can get, but a thousand hours voting one guitars, are a lot more than that. Now you know the old ones yeah. Why me I'm not paying for guitar that much then, but I know what you mean or you can then some money. I die tat jason, his bills per se, some real money, annette fifty nine less Paul here, I'm sure you ve ran through him yeah good guy. Here we did something I did it played on something for him recently for her georgia voting. right. So yeah you play with his wife's a fiddle player. I know hurry idea heavy and I hung out my wife
It's a banjo player tia and we hung out with them at the grammys one year when we all won and got stuck in the line together and we've known each other and that's great yeah he's a good guy, solid genre, really cool dude yeah. I like that, he's not afraid to speak out about his views about things I know a very active and it was her involving yeah yeah. Further from that community attribute the thing that really is so archie if you figure out how to make your banjo and make it sound different. So what in your style at that time need, to be relaxed or tightened and needed to be too everything needed to be tightened up and everything is in new york, it was all I could do all of these sort of bluegrass, the came out of a jazz time. You know they put their oliver the ideas and there was a phenomenal bunch of musicians, people like Andy statman and tony tricia and cosac. But let me ask you real quick before I lose it cause yeah we're talking fast as that is there is the like. I probably could have washed it can burns doc about this, but was there alongside of the country
edition of banjo playing. Is there I've been just now that originated in jazz, William more strength, stuff, ok you know that's the stuff that is also. Why didn't you say, land stuff? Well, yeah. I mean, I think, you're from new orleans. You know like that term. You would call a new one, mincemeat. Ok, but me abbot, to evolve into what may be thought it more crackerjack, manta playing gdp body. Just me, you see them in the movies. You know and they're show offs with a flat pick. Okay, I have this incredible. Take her away with the shang going it yeah jack, like almost like django, reinhardt kind of guitar playing yeah I guess so yeah exactly those I was flurries yea. I words up the nag. Yea amazing technique, yeah, but then a kind of died out like when, when the guitar came into jazz, banjo pretty much died in instant death because black folks we're happy to see it go they can. They connected to slavery, are laudable white ex put on black face and sang songs about
how great it was on the old plantation. You know all these connections and racist images for them they wanted to get way from it. So when a guitar showed up, it was like. Let's do that, let's shoot rid of this banjo thing and then it sort of got excised from the black community. But it's interesting because it's interesting how quickly you know I talked to taj. Mahal went through it, so he benjamin here as well. He has other things: yeah yeah, but like he picked up some old, you know crappy k guitar he used to have in the garage. You know we were talking about skip James and he was able to pick that guitar up and within really, you know to seconds go all the way back to africa with those notes you know, and you could hear it immediately and in but oddly you're the most affected, way to sound truly african is with a banjo inter those types of runs of notes. Well, yeah, there's just a tone yeah! That's you know when you know what that sounds like Now that the banjo sounds like
I don't know that you think it sounds like a white southern thing which is again a great musical portended, you no doubt about the banjo. I I think I knew it kind of vienna. You know it in your head, but you don't know it in your body and I knew that, even as before the high school. I know it came from africa as you seem to have that much to do with me at the time was. I was trying to learn this bluegrass, the languid rang out it did you ever take it upon yourself to learn the forced ring. Rifts I wasn't interested I'll. Tell you what you do now. No, I mean in the four string things on the five string right yeah. I would do that if you can do those cord runs. Some of them have sort of some workarounds and it's not really what the five string does best, but there's some ways, because I'm using three finger picks all the time. So that's why racing yeah? It's a different texts. Almost like a mandolin thing, yeah huh will be very similar, so it's gotta kentucky and get this you. You learn how to tighten up. It's all about tat.
I'm taking another tease the tat taste tone time turkey, ikea and- and these guys play like you know, macroeconomic there were capable of playing much more metro. Then I was because, like I said up north, it was about the ideal living thing about it, right, cheese that delays man that pace but up north people were what kind of crazy idea can you come up with an down south it was like can play in time. The two different points of view right and so I was trying to get get to appoint where're. You know I could do both. That was my go and you I didn't, I think so I mean more or less. There was a lot of people stopping using banjo in the bluegrass world had to make their music. Like tony rice was great guitar player. He wasn't banjo David Grossman had this quintet planes, madeline yeah
but he wasn't using banjo and I was like, if I think, if I could play with that kind of time and still have this technique, maybe I could find my place in that community. Well, why do you think they wanted to get rid of the banjo because it overtook everything in it and it made the music what they were trying to sorta get out from under, partly, which is what I did when I went to the flat toned is drop all the other bluegrass instruments, but it also was because there really wasn't anybody yet who could do that stuff on the banjo and fit into that kind of a group and why Tat was the owl take down the band jonas, not just take down the banjo, but play the kind of intricate music that they were. A play was moving in a jazz direction. I wasn't really modern jazz. Well, I mean but
but not like they were trying to encapsulate in new orleans sound, which is a regional banjo jazz. Right now I mean they're trying to moving dissembling grisly was really into. I would save you listen do it you'd say was more like a jangle. Oh, you know out a jungle. Combination of jazz and Jan goes arbitrary and antonia rice to was a little more modern. He was, he was maybe more into sixties, jazz and you know, or not, or net butter, mccoy I enter to his stuff and he was into things like that and he was figuring out how to play that on a bluegrass with a bluegrass technique on the guitar, because I was in the four tones records and there's some of them were made me wonder if he'd ever played with Zappa. I wish, because there were some runs like that, because in the production and in the way that you guys we're handling the instruments and and envy opposition orchestration, they were so tight and he liked to fast and and and organised yeah. You know it almost mike. I will. I don't know that that belong if he must have played with a banjo by at some point we would have had to scroll.
Because it just seems like something he would do. Yeah even John mclaughlin, John maclaughlan did a banjo solano on record somewhere back there in the past and reminded yeah. It's a guitar joe, but it sounds awesome. So what these guys are kind of moving away from the mandarin you're trying to integrated into what they're doing that's when you put the wet tones together now, some years later, I first I had the kind of dig my way in and I wanted to get in with the cats and those where those were the ground risen in those guys christmas and new year and sam sandwiched light still like the banjo, but dont tony rice was like the holy grail. If we use that word, alot authority worries today by at its true he was the catch you. to play with if you, if you played anything in this music, those two guys, india, so I wanted to get in with those guys and in a manner if I'm on my way, also jerry douglas great over dollar or just annoy him, did you home?
It's hang around for a while. A great a great thing to do is invite someone to play on your record. Yeah. I've actually got someone who's going to pay to. Have you do a record? Then they'll go you know it's a small investment of time will yeah the session spend a couple of days and then so I would invite over my my grade It's a busier any chance. He would play on this record and then send it say: yeah, ok, we'll play with play a couple of tracks and then pretty soon they'd say as guys. Okay, then it asks you to do something and then you're in okay since. When do you know that you'd arrived in? Do that pocket that you wanted to be in and tony rice hired me to planning on one of his albums and amuse the still one of the greatest experiences ever here which, on a cold on the shoulder, yeah yeah so great, just as you were a guy who now because he lay he played with crow, crow guy we're talking about energy em. He knew how to make them make it effortless play banjo. He had us company is as great soloists when the greatest soloists and get in bluegrass qatar, but he knew how,
a company in such a way that it was like flying. You just felt like you were flying and you could do things that you couldn't like a great joy this drama or any kind of great drama or any great rhythm player. That knows how to put his energy to making the other people sound good, the aunt Hannah gift, you know, that's the thing I always envy about guys. You can really play in an end sort of get on like as it feels like a lot of banjos like flying that you know You figure out how to do that and you get on that role. It is never stop its addictive way I could imagine that the leg with guitar, unlike a kind of neo crunchy you're, my rhythm, is a specific might. My in I don't I don't Well, I do ok by me, but I'm not I'm not claiming to be any kind of musician, but I do envy whatever practice it takes to get to that place. I just never did it and I couldn't yeah, but it's important to you. It's like a part of you are right areas. The thing I've I've had to settle into whatever dirty kind of guitar plain. I do as my limit to a degree as a
to compare myself? You know too, twelve year olds on on instagram yeah. Well fast, fingers is not necessarily the only go. He has got about zimbabwe, expression of you and I know our music eyes. I m to him, and I believe that I am there to a degree yeah by, but for some reason there still something about fast fingers. That seems very important to my allowing its appealing, but whoever you are you there, somebody faster and like I go through the same thing likely idea I could play like maclaughlan you I wish I could play like in some of these acts that that just how many urgently yeah I mean
I think, I'm my I'm. I've come to terms with. I there's a certain speed like in my sixties. I don't think I'm going to get any faster at this point, so the true speed of the great electric guitar players in particular, or piano players. You know sex or even wanting to do that, though I don't like either of there, because it's still about phrasing, I mean that's sort of my other thing you know is: do you really want to listen to that? That's what I've also come. Maybe it's a justification for my lacks, but I go. You know I don't really want to hear people play at that speed all the time. It's amazing! I love it in a mum, but I want to hear them playing some great notes. That mean something- and I wanted to hear some heart, so I'm getting company, I'm about moving in that direction, so when when because I seems like that. The harmonica player on the flat tones, like that than the first record than tat you were a coward leaving holy shit man out- is that it's a blues heart, that's crazy, thing. It is playing all the notes that don't appear to be on the harp. He eddies it has released them call overblown or he blows the notes to different pitches and he can play any key on any harp. It's bizarre
attaining that whole band. Like it, you know I could feel that was sort of in terms of like your tight kind of situations of of that jazz trip. That's what was happening right yeah, I'm in everybody, had different strengths. So how can we put something together here? That's really is honest and all of us, so you know victor in future. Man had this incredible funk. Part of their Laying out has all this, gary and music. All this, you ask musical jazz. I have my bluegrass to bring into it and if we could, I'll, be ourselves together in the room. It was gonna, be something you know, and it worked and I would write these complex pieces and they were the guys that could I gonna try to tee these things to my bluegrass heroes. He I'd be like jumped tony rice. Had this voice, like they have too many brains van too many brains get rid of some of these parties. Man I'd be like and then so I was simplifying tipp to accord with those guys, and I met these cats victor wooten in future empowered and at what they were like what else you, god,
If you got any more yeah, it was like one and then I got to work on creating a lot of it doing a lot of writing yeah cause. They could do anything that I could imagine now at this point Why are these guys year? Are you building an an audience? Yes? So when I left new grass revival after you know, pudding thing together, sort of as an idea. I decide. Ok, I'm ready to like try this thing and go out and fight the good fight, and maybe you know with wax sown with afflicting be this is impossible. This will never be a big thing by banning of so many years from now. Maybe if I commit to being a bandleader, maybe so and in a way It will be able to survive and when I won't be able to hold onto these guys, but I gotta you know I'll, just be a bandleader and I'll try to do this near new banter thing and then it just took off It is like within the first three years it was. We were on Johnny Carson, we're on our scenario. We were, you know, all kinds of stuff. then we were in at carnegie hall for the first time opening up for people and it just, kind of exploded, and it still makes an omen no sense that it would have the banjo. Well, I think they like
to see the banjo with, like blue and white guys table and together funk, basinger mocha near harmonica anna. Yet I was not what they expected and write it kind of presented as a novelty trip. That's wide johnny Carson would put it on and then them them, but then the music was there is enough music to make. You may become back and listen again and if you listened a few times, maybe you might start leave keeping it in your life and are you solemn records ia? great yeah. For that tie me. I think there were some in a couple hundred thousand type there, and when did you start winning grammy's? a long time or did they call me this isn't luci of the grammys for awhile, really until he was seven or eight hundred number that we were nominated, but then all of a sudden started happening, and it was, you know, so show how many did you do with the flag tones always done. A lot you still work with them. We recorded lately, but we get together and play oh yeah guys and we're back to the original group
happened, was howard left after three years out of boredom he was bored with us at the end that at and, having already Horrida went out into freelance stuff. You know, do a lot of different stuff, his own music. He added with Kenny login for awhile, kido de rivera in a jazz stuff, but then we gotta, Jeff, coffin and jeff played saxony with us and he any more of a funk, driven sacks involved and then and then a winner, leroy died and dave Matthews bankers to open up for David, join. He took that slots, so he's been with they matthews ever since. In that that we took a few years often, then we asked howard if he wanted to come back and he was he was into it. I'm not your leg I'm very weird about Dave Matthews, but I am I dont know if I can name one of his songs. It's thing I thing like something, bout me in my judgment. Alas, there. I don't know what it is we all do that by, but that you- is the less you do that the more stuff there is to enjoy, but I'm very guilty of very enough having very catholics.
Well. If it isn't this, I don't wanna hear like what one is welcoming about, is oddly enough about bluegrass. If we're talking about traditional bluegrass, I wanted to be flattened scruggs. I wanted to be that in that we're talking about jazz, I what kind of blue eye one! Only nokia whole train, you know the classic about fusion. I wanted to be whether reported or return to forever. I don't want to hear the out either you know, but but at the I've gradually as occurred to me about that in a silent way. Man. How come I meant stuff? Is you know you can't be beat, but yeah, but I just realized, but if I lighten up, I can enjoy a lot more music and happy. So I guess that's what I gotta do I mean I'm I'm running at a time. I should probably do I I can take it in man. It's like you know I I really can. I can take it in like you know, even like every engaging what your stuff could you know you sent me that package a records it took me a while and unlike what do I gotta tell you. I got because I like country I scruggs, I white, banjo to a degree by magna within a banjo all day. I don't know, but oddly in in the press,
es of listening to your stuff, if I can listen to over and over again where the flight times was was good I mean I appreciate the the muse I know that it's great, but this stuff, did with the indian musicians toya like that, like classical stuff like me, and I was in a blue grass and that's fine. You know I, but I there is part of that sort of right now get it. I know it is a right and it's enjoyable, but but the stuff you did which korea right and this too you did with Josh belly of that interpretation of that kind of almost american classical stuff that I thought I could do. I could do that like I I find myself listening to that again and the indian stuff. I love that shit yeah to pursue like how after the fact earns you you're moving through all these other things, but it still seems like you're a banjo missionary you're trying to- to to validate this instrument right in every air. Every way possible, yeah
I avoided bluegrass for a long long time here, nea and I'm only just came back to it. This year didn't irregularities, which you know what they call me s, heart yeah, I don't know if you know chick korea had her record got my spanish heart. Are you just move? That is less record? No was quite away back. What is the last one? I know he ain't he passed away before. I could talk to him really yeah but I know he heat now. I always but he was a latin guy, goes all of spain and all this latin. Not he would do the one to know my discovered. He was an italian guy from Chelsea Massachusetts I always thought it was interesting that we all think of jakarta and we even one latin grammy together for outcome in the nature of a solid, and you know it is anyone, know this silent. No, we didn't mention it loud that wouldn't have been the night, but I thought there was a parallel because I'm on the bench, a player from york city plant in other came into bluegrass. The grass is gonna, be part of what I do, no matter where they wanted to be, or not it's just in their. So
sure I learnt that sir ear and banana my love it. You know its greatest is really great thing, I'm proud of it, but like when you make decisions around taking instrument to a different place, which you seem to have done over and over again like with with the flag tones and then I don't know what came next was classical I think I think I was maybe out for happening at the same time. I have this path and edgar Meyer, whose agree on classical musician as well as a lot of other leaders, and he was the first musician like truly boat issues classical musician, that I know that was kind of in my age group and he started showing me box. Unlike sitting down on giving me the time, you don't know how to read music that now I still don't read. I use this banter tablets very slow, but I've I've got work around basically never tried to read music. I tried the problem. Is that the banjo the way? tuned. There are
You know there's a lot of different places to play. The same note oh and the distance could be this far I've I'm holding my hands three feet apart here before this find the same note right and then you're going to play sixteen notes in us in the end for five seconds. So how are you going to sight? Read that so you gotta know what you gotta know where the note is more than you have to know what the note is here. So if you see the patterns, you see the numbers, then you can. You can just in can regard out. I've to arrange the tablet. You're like that whole classical record was a big job because I had in order, the tab at your join the moment? Josh are neither so that you don't wanna, be bored and get sick and tired of your trip. You gotta go find new stuff so that weight or a lot that's also drove you, then I think, is a little bit of attention deficit disorder. You know you just if you're that make sense to me if you're pure music guy yeah, are you don't owe me a lot of light everywhere or ebay, but I mean you're in a world of of of dick, where I don't know what the differences, but it's not like you No producers telling you like you know we gotta do that song over and over again
on the one already, I'm the one that says: let's do it, who first overhead is. I want to get it really? None. I mean like to sell records a yankee. We want this to sound the same, be we want the new record right to be like the one that saw the bunch a record right whereas, like it seems like in the world the musician during its like. Where can we take this saying? Yes, we avoid all those like, for instance, we would put. We have sort of a hit like of the eight one head of a tune. Halt sinister minister was instrumental buddy. I did really well and we would want uneven playing it. I was of the accounts yeah. We haven't even play at gigs, for while we just got tired of interest, we were always like people say They came to see us the first time that it was just so new and special, and then, when we came back next year? If we played the same stuff, it wouldn't be new inspectorate, and so when we came back we'd make sure we had all different set it let settlers year after year and so they would have a possibility of having that experience in over and over again with the same ban. We wouldn't be you, no, what was coming, which is not
where you build a music career, really I've discovered it out that near that people want to hear the hits the atlantic vehicle one. Indeed ever laden sinister minister. I can't believe you did that we came to see. You came all this way you known so now. And up in chick korea was, he wouldn't want to play spain and when he did, he would play I screwed up version but with all the wrong note, because he was so sick of it, but then later in his life he was like Alice place. Paper can play. then we'll play it right. Yes, do it in a given where they want what is to happen in a thrill, a certain point in your life that something connected like that in a more of a mass way in air and not set not not ashamed of it bear out of it. So so you're saying the african thing, the classical thing in the indian thing, thou happens, I'm a thing to be done in what is an ongoing. You know you what's interesting, trying to learn that I never like going come. We will have it about that. Indian thing is I'm kind of like fascinated with indian music, a man and you I knew I'd, there's something about meditative kind of repetitions. Like, I, can listen to it all day, long yeah I like that records
I will have to come together. Edgar I was telling you about edgar Meyer. We had written a piece of a banjo concerto, a duo, concerto bass, banjo concerto for the nashville symphony. Did he was he one of those on the three bands? player record. No, no, you he's a base blair. What's at one with the three, then that's my only tricia who s home and bill Keith yea, and you really do your homework. I thought there was going to be a guy over here, like with a you know. Within this tour, you have everything I was listening: yeah yeah, yeah. Okay, so thank you for that. So anyway, we had written a piece in the nashville symphony built a new hall and they wanted nashville composers to write a piece for the new, the new hall here, and so they asked to do and we are what we just did something for you guys and they said well. What is it book and shared, oh, and so we started looking at who we might want to do that with learn from india had on the list was like Bobby mcferrin and went marseilles and art, and our favorite pick was Zack here Hussein Zack here is like
sky we always wanted to have time. They sit our guy now he's the tablet, the cobbler god here so ill, and these the guy we were able to to get. You know him. Guy we most wanted to learn from this. He had the most information that we didn't have, and so we re large writing with a rhythms, but also on the bottom was called the melody of rhythm there's a lot of melody too in because it yet it does. It actually has notes that the tunnel, the tablet does by our indian music emmy trapped on the tablet discuss. He plays a tablet nor I said he knows that in inside out. So we started writing this classical work that used edgar's harmonic knowledge- try and figure out how to use these indian rhythm, sue, ann and classical harmony and dumb created, whole thing, and then we started touring what's up here and that led to know a lot of the other great in players and going over to india, good bet and numb, and I just experience in fact knights, like here and of a bunch of world class blair's, came to see my blue grasp hand in india in san francisco
oakland, he was real sweet. They live up there. He lives there yeah and they did these files will cover or the the tabla player who played sitar on that one, though, when you put out who played the others, was no sitar, and then there was none of the bought to place I'd guitar that sounded like the idea of the emerald city, where known ass. He that would sound like the turbine, that's their enemies weighing it new indian style, yeah hoeyer here because I obviously for me, I didn't realize it with his eyes wondering about because I heard that am, I guess they gotta, like a dog player on this right? No, it's that's this guy he's in amazing, musician, yeah and so distorting enter. Back with those guys and realizing that banjo worked really well with those instruments. It's a cousin and they liked it. They were like well that sounds like one of her cousins have aren't inmate. They might even claim it and say nah. It comes from from from india for
not now they ve items like there is like it seems like there is some form of of banjo in china and one in india in several in africa. That's right that you here that I get middle east to you. If you're gonna go to primitive instruments, you can either have a gourd or or a drum that you're gonna stuff I don't know when they started emptying things making holes, but it seems like a lot of that. Stuff is just string over something that has a tone of its own ass right, natural thing in the world right but does need that skin has a sound to india, vibrating membrane that I mean that what makes a different but, but I again like, I think, it's sort of amazing that seems like yours journey in life is too to demystify or two. He held billy eyes yeah, I mean while, while I have to point out to people ready
I do love hillbilly, music and bluegrass idiot. I wouldn't play of anger if it wasn't for that, of course, but I think I got tired of being laughed at as a teenager, walking down the street and people sell it saying squealed like a pig or ye are right as like very serious about the banjo, and I like, unlike that, so I think I'm my care of carried that through, like I wanted to add something to prove between that and my parents at you. Patient united, something the prove. So that's when I tried to do be able to sort of like a, but it makes perfect sense in that it's the instead itself is, is not only time was, but a bear. And of many instruments around the world. so you know understanding like even in that in the documentary, were You play some bluegrass rifts fur. all those africans. The They literally are laughing because It's so impressive and an elite in just here their familiar enough with what
instrument can do what it is, but to hear that you know that pay. in that energy, which is different, I mean the music in that, in doc some of that african music very fast and it very its its complex and rhythms, but they're, not bluegrass rhythms. and their lala times therein sixes and threes, and a lot of four four oddly enough in. Why mean its evil? That's right, language than is here Ababa mall, some that, although a monster sag sat a record air like like this, rhythms are very interesting, because that's what I was talking to talk about it You can hear that coming up through like skipped seems to me for some reason, but but a lot of those guys a bit but been but a kind of change to a four for pretty well yeah fact, but it bob Emma such a bad, I am. We went to see him and in denver with reflect on tat night off end of and he called his ear. He said my bag didn't show up, for you guys come by
We all played a whole night with bob a mile in denver at them at this, but then gabrieli, a completely unrehearsed justice banned from Chakra yeah. I think they got stuck on a flag or something or in africa or something right. Can you help me? It was awesome. So much fun see that Well, that's amazing. You've got to be a pretty top notch musician to pull that off. Well, I mean he'd start and we just get on there, who just jump on board. He had a great time will talk to me that about the the african stuff about, like the the what it wants I want the it's not as simple as it seems Try to do it. You know I saw you trying to do a yeah. I had a leaner, let the chips ball where they make. As we were filming. You know every day, new music with new people, and sometimes I can figure it out. Sometimes I couldn't the satellite phone at the time I call abbe then we were new to our relationship, but I call her. I said I don't know what to do. I mean we're filming. I don't know. I can't do that. She said just play like it. as musician, just rib, spawned and don't worry about it.
you know and irregularities musician. What does that mean instead of like feeling like like when you play bluegrass or even with the flag tones? I feel like I'm driving the the I know every known, I know what is supposed to be. I can hold it together, but then, can play where you just leave a lot of space and play over the top and loom. Let things fall where they fall. And if you have the right attitude, it can be awesome and I have a bad. Within and between being fur and being set like like war. Now, these very complex structure Is he a like with the flag tones or I classical stuff, where it's all set and then totally playing with chicken whoever and do not lately free and are too different sides of, me and most musicians honestly shirt on so in this case, sometimes I could be the me that will knew what was going on and could like really deliver. You know funding we'll stop, and sometimes I had to be the me there was just responding to stuff that I had no idea what time signature we were in and hearing it back. I would be was honest.
You know, that's all I giving I've worked some of their natures. Like you know, you like it was interesting when You got pass the rifts that you now into the petitions that they were playing. Well, that's! What's what happens? If you? You know you can relax and let the un's just take over you to start. You know yeah, that genocide of playing where you use your ear and you just respond, and usually you don't know what you did when it's the best you just like. I don't know, I'm displaying and he's doing I gotta do this and I don't know what it is but There's this guy, this blind musician, that I play some piano named Antonia. We had that experience displaying together. Were he what he play just triggered a lot of stuff out of me that I didn't know how to do. But just did it yams exciting, to hear hear it when I got home, so you know what happened. It was like it was likes six weeks of just one. after another being like an incredible
I challenge and then I was hoping it was going to be good, and when I got home some of some of it was you know a lot of. It was thought that what's what's going to be the next thing now, what are you going to do? Just ah we'll have this record with zakir and edgar and rakesh Theresia, this indian class, more indian, classical. Well, I'm saying indian, but it's a combination. It's just a port. Eyes. Playing their instruments gets really cool amusing, hybrid, hybrid music into whose dick music and were putting that that's coming and my wife and I abigail how'd. You me her playing banjo yeah kind of she's part of the community. How long you ve been together, I think about twelve years, something like that, may be longer cover kids here, young. Kids for an old man. Here they play music, so do your little ah little theodora, play. The drums is four years old. He plays like like a dunbar, I mean really see place like what is it these kids it or like just sort of have this. We can do it yeah, I'm here
Watch you out of there. I watch it on I e g o a time, but there these kids. Now that is it thing in the water is it like ina seems like the world is filled with prodigies all of idea. I mean, I don't know that their prodigies there they, both just real musical kids, have just been around at their whole life. You know whether they like it or not in an orgy golfer, soon as nine and he's like he winds these golf tournament in he interesting I say hey. I want to learn a little bit of banjo any time I'll, be glad to tell you there's no papa. You play banjo. I play golf and he's amazing, but I'm late has become interested in fiddle any sings like a bird like with perfect pitch. So I think me nothing could turn a mere helpful, but I don't have to musicians I'll be there? But how do you mean to abrogate we're just gonna wars We came to see me and she's lobo, younger and dumb didn't like it hurt
I think she likes the real. You know traditional stuff, you know the old time stuff. So it wasn't her thing. You guys record some old time stuff, some tweet yeah yeah, but over the years we we met through the community and then I always thought she was an example of the kind of person I That was william and then one day we were both warrant with other people, and I stopped her and now and then how, when and spend the best thing that ever happened deployed? Well, we go toward together. We take the kids and we go on a tour bus and play in a small. and then use and the in know like we even I place the same venues, Robert Tarrytown, yet all things may arise and dumb and we go play we get six or seven, or maybe eight or nine banjos onstage and trade him around she's, really good performer, like she's, very good with the audience I kind of stand there and try and think I have to say, and let the music do it's thing. She she's got the communication skill, that's really beautiful, she's, a great singer too! So it's nice, it's nice great yeah! What's what's
Take the banjo out really, are you sure, that might work good with it must give it a shot. You wanna, you want me to demonstrate sure I'd like, listening, sound, good I'll even way at the neck, somebody to it ass. Well, that's where you are playing on that african stop a year. We once you get up there. It becomes almost more of the protection instrument when your way up there, yet like below louder way up here on down like the others, a power to an author so like when, once when you
I have indian music what what what what riff do? You start with? Maybe the women like you know that twenty it's cards like the starter, the trim good scales like to I'm sorry to interrupt, but this is one I love the it's just not what you ever tried those benzo. Well do without one with a banjo is if you banned this, the bridge moves and things get out a tune. So I do a little banding, but if you get, I mean I've loved you, had a more of unbending bending career, but it's just than ever just goes out of tune didn't you ever think about in a banjo made to him bend well. Electrical hey. I lose all the sound
of a solid bridge. I do not believe that that you bailiff I cannot have a guy make you a banjo. You can bender well, they we do have these. So it's a it's a it's like a bender yeah, he called scruggs tuners. Are they yeah? Is that okay, so that you should do it by ear where he would bend the string in the song by ear? He bring it back up perfectly back in the old days, but then they created these qam tuners that were mechanical and now they make. he's one once bill. Keith was involve making these ones that have stops inside the keys here inside the timid, ursa air wow. So I one of unwary due to play hold pieces. Of other people's music is annoying charge for it, but dare
what you got an original one. I could play just like to start playing and see what happens. I could just play a little bit and see if anything good happens. If it's not good, please don't play it for anybody. Why the I like to just break the find my way out of things and start just throwing my hands around and see what happens? Well, that's what I do yeah, but I'm not I'm very limited! That's what we all do I gotta get fur tomorrow share whenever, on thursday disregarded just recorded guitar before you came over just pretty much and see the, and then I just want from as aid gee back to ie, but it was good that was a good year. You ready
The aim of these on a german the
what school take
and it happened it's great talk. It's great plan with you thanks for calmly, thanks for have me, was it was really fun conversation. I am a big fan of the show, pritchett running: do it all the time yeah? So you so you are you're. Gettin ended, yeah, good thanks man as How do you go? Will banjo your guitar yeah the whole though ride its most. Recent album is my bluegrass art and you can go to bailiff reflect out cobb too. to find out where he touring for dates and tickets. So ok, that's at hang out a second. This special story is presented by amazon and a cask creative folks. I want to talk to you about gift giving like a man I someone a shirt by some one pants. by some one. You know, a set of spoons, though
that would be an interesting give. That would be a memorable gift, but but ultimately it be like I don't use spoons, but semi spoons. It was weird, but those are the marin spoons. They show people but they wouldn't use them. That's the point is I never know what to do people and the holidays only make it harder, it's a great season to spend time with family and friends. But if you like me, the anxiety of getting the wrong gift can be overwhelming. The ones gift give experiences- stands out my mind as just being terrible, with my first serious girlfriend, I was in college and they must sarah and shoes pankey but kind of him but came like you know, westchester jean grow up like that. No one grows up like that. So far Whatever reason I bought her a ralph lauren sweater, it was not a cheap sweater. It had to be a four hundred dollars, whatever it was just a a cable sweater, a heavy sweater like a irish sweater, didn't it didn't reek of being ralph Lauren. It was like a nice sweater. I liked it
And I gave it to her and it was like she'd might as well have opened the box and there was like a dead rabbit in there. And it was one of those moments where she's like why would you get this for me? Do you no me at all there's, a lesson in all of this. Why you might not be able to find the absolute perfect gift. You can take a lot of stress out in the process of getting them, which is why using amazon makes sense for the holidays, the grating right away, ordering things on amazon as gifts as well? You could just do it and then it goes there that you don't have to leave your house or wonder about packaging or anything else, and you can write a note with amazon news other than you. There are things you can do like when I order stuff off amazon. I don't. I don't write a note to myself. Ok man, happy day by, but it's is exciting when I get boxes could actually never know. What's coming, that's me. So try not distress out too much with the holidays. Coming up, you ve got give shopping at your fingertips with amazon
thank you for listening to this story, brought to you in partnership with amazon and a cask creative sh, the legendary deals at amazon now back to the show. Work folks for full marin, subscribers there's a new ask, marked anything episode posted with answers to your questions about lots of stuff. Here's my answer to your question about why we haven't had bob Dylan on the show and then I was told that just call Jeff frozen so Jeff Rosen, look man we long time ago and look. He knows that people know the show and I call Jeff, and I should like you who course. I remember you and I know the showing whatever I said morley chances, man. I want dylan to do this. One thousandth episode of important me: where are the chair of that happening and jeff frozen, said zero euro chances likewise right, because you know he doesn't he's got no
to grind, doesn't feel I doing our views, grated interviews, though astern you did was refer the eight hour p it just like just doesn't do you know if there's no reason. And, unlike what about you, do you want do an interview and he's right? Why I had this job for his lungs I've had it don't talk? Ok, that's posted down! for full marin subscribers to sign up, go to the lincoln the episode description or go to w E f pod dot com and click on w e F, plus next week have ralph macho on monday- and after Henry louis gates on thursday You don't know I'm in london We have arrived at a t: f, the booms, very theatre on Wednesday october nineteenth with comedian and writer David, but deal tickets for that. on sale. Now my stand up shows at the booms very on saturday and sunday october, twenty second and twenty third when ireland amid vicar street on Wednesday october, twenty sixth oklahoma city,
the tower theatre on Wednesday november. Second, I'm in doubt texas, at the majestic theatre on thursday november third, san Antonio, at the tobin center for the performing arts for shows on friday, november forth and houston at the when theatre at war them centre on Saturday november. Fifth, amendment each california, the carpenter performing arts centre on saturday November twelve eugene or at the holt centre for the performing arts. it's on Friday november eighteenth and bend oregon at the tower theatre on Saturday november nineteenth in December, I'm in Asheville north carolina at the orange peel for two shows on Friday December second and then nashville tennessee, the james K, pork centre on set. December. Third at my age a special taping is a town hall in new york city on thursday, for eighth goaded, deputy of pod dot com, slashed tour for all dates and ticket So here is a little more of me and beta
yeah. maybe the
I gotta
Transcript generated on 2022-11-15.