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Adams County Banjo CD

Track List:

Ginny Whitt's

Box Elder Beetles

Funky Mountain Special

Sawmill Shuffle

Three Sailors From Dublin

Farmer John

John Henry

Santa Cruz

Worried Man Blues

The Village Bear

Brushy Creek

Alice Chickabee

Lowlands of Holland

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Lock, Stock and Barrel

Tom Adams CD: Adams County Banjo

  Available again from Rounder Records at AdamsCountyBanjo.com
  15 Tunes including 7 Tom Adams originals
  $18.00 including shipping to U.S. addresses

"Tom Adams is among the precious few banjo pickers who can blend the most melodic of rolls with the flashiest, straight-ahead power licks. In short, he does it all."
– Sing Out! Magazine

"This album will undoubtedly broaden people's perception of the creative breadth of Tom's music."
– Ian Perry, Banjo Newsletter

from the notes by Tony Trischka     —

"The Right Hand Man returns, and this is very good news for banjo players of every hue and stripe, as well as all lovers of exquisitely crafted acoustic music.

From straight-ahead bluegrass to poignant ballads to Celtic to blues, this music evinces originality, solidity, and emotion.

A man who is never satisfied, Adams is always looking for the indefinable and unreachable top of the banjo mountain, always searching for the perfect solo. Adams County Banjo is as close to the top of the mountain as you're likely to get. It's a masterpiece."

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Adams County Banjo Tab Book + Adams County Banjo CD


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Liner Notes

The Right Hand Man returns, and this is very good news for banjo players of every hue and stripe, as well as all lovers of exquisitely crafted acoustic music.

Tom knocks us out once again, on this, his second solo Rounder release. From straight-ahead to poignant to Celtic to blues, this music evinces originality, solidity and emotion.

With a sense of timing to die for, Tom is able to achieve a state of profound bluegrass perfection - not sanitized, but with the same attitude that Earl Scruggs brought to his playing circa 1956 - that rich tone, that rightness, that freedom of role-juxtaposition. There are serious moments in "Funky Mountain Special," "Worried Man Blues," and "John Henry" when you almost feel that you're hearing Earl at the height of his powers. Tom's natural attention to detail is that good - little bends and slides, an infinite ability to turn the time inside out in his own way and still have it in the deep pocket and sounding completely appropriate. His improvising on the second break of "Ginny Whitt's," and "Lock, Stock and Barrel" are two more examples of this exhilarating proclivity.

Having served as one of the Sunny Mountain Boys between 1983 and 1985, Tom also lets the Jimmy Martin influence creep in. "Brushy Creek," though credited to Charlie Moore and Bill Napier, sounds like a wonderfully hard-hitting outtake from Jimmy's Big and Country Instrumentals. Fiddler Ron Stewart even conjures up echoes of Vernon Derrick in his solo.

"Swing Low" features just banjo on the solo outings. There's no trading to the fiddle or mandolin. This is something that Bill Monroe would allow Earl to do on live shows back in the late '40s. Why not? Tom's so good you just want to hear more.

Bluegrass is, however, not the only flavor served here. Tom's pensive picking is showcased in his limpid original "Box Elder Beetles" and the traditional "Lowlands of Holland." The latter features tin whistle from Brooke McLoughlin and the bodhran of Myron Bretholz. These textures are a wonderful addition to an album already overflowing with great ideas.