Washington, DC area banjo player Joe Zauner has joined Patent Pending.
Zauner, who has been playing banjo since 1973, is like several of his new bandmates in Patent Pending, in that he cut his bluegrass teeth playing in Washington, DC-area clubs in the late 1970s, including the Red Fox Inn and the Birchmere.
Over the years he has done stints with several celebrated local bands in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore areas.
More recently he played banjo with the Roland White Band, the Dixie Bee-Liners, the Valerie Smith Band and spent the 2013 season with the Jeanette Williams Band.
His banjo heroes are Earl Scruggs, Ben Eldridge, Eddie Adcock, Jim Mills and Bela Fleck.
Joe’s behind-the-scenes work includes service as stage manager for IBMA FanFest performances in Nashville from 2005 to 2012, and as an artist co-ordinator for the Grey Fox and ROMP festivals.
Zauner says of his recruitment to Patent Pending ………………
“They invited me last Fall and we started rehearsing in December. I really enjoy their music (lots of great originals) and their three-part harmony singing is dead on. There’s lots of room for me on the banjo to play both traditionally and in more contemporary styles. Whatever serves the song.
I’ve always known they were out there over the years but although we have lots of mutual friends our paths didn’t cross much. It’s a great opportunity and I’m sure I will enjoy it.
Buster Sexton had played banjo with them for a couple of years before me I think. He’s retiring to Florida, I’m told.
Their band goes back almost to the days I was in Stars & Bars jn the late 1970s. They have certainly earned a solid and enduring reputation all over Virginia and beyond. It’s gonna’ be fun.
Lucketts next Saturday night is my ‘debut’ performance. Looking forward to it and practicing hard.”
Zauner joins Eldred Hill (mandolin, lead and harmony vocals), Rusty Williams (rhythm and lead guitar, harmony vocals), Leigh Taylor-Kron (bass, lead and harmony vocals) and Keith Dill (fiddle, lead and harmony vocals).
As Joe says, their first date together is this coming Saturday evening, April 26, at Lucketts Community Center, corner of Rt. 15 and Lucketts Road, Lucketts, Virginia.
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.
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