Bela Fleck

I was a big fan of a writer named Jack Vance, a science fiction writer. He always wrote about these guys who were either going down a river in a strange world or would be in this one land where people acted really strange, and he’d have these interactions with them that were strange – he’d usually get run out of town or something. Then he’d end up in the next town over where the rules were totally different. And I love this stuff.

“I was a big fan of a writer named Jack Vance, a science fiction writer. He always wrote about these guys who were either going … Read More

There are a lot of chapters to the banjo’s history. Part of it are the roots in Africa, where it’s a more primitive instrument. Then it comes to the United States where it morphs into the slave music that they created here, which was very African in origin.

“There are a lot of chapters to the banjo’s history. Part of it are the roots in Africa, where it’s a more primitive instrument. Then … Read More

I first heard the banjo on the Beverly Hillbillies, and from then on I was banjo-conscious. But I didn’t actually get one until my grandfather gave me one, almost by mistake. He knew I was playing a little bit of guitar. He saw a banjo at a flea market and bought it. I took it home with me and just never put it down. I was fifteen.

“I first heard the banjo on the Beverly Hillbillies, and from then on I was banjo-conscious. But I didn’t actually get one until my grandfather … Read More

And then Earl Scruggs comes along and transforms the banjo into a virtuosic modern instrument. For the first time, the Southern banjo style becomes the identity of the banjo, and everything from before is wiped off of people’s consciousness by the power of that explosion.

“And then Earl Scruggs comes along and transforms the banjo into a virtuosic modern instrument. For the first time, the Southern banjo style becomes the … Read More