Banjo All Stars trading cards – 2nd edition to be fan selected

Bluegrass Trading Company, the people that brought us the Banjo All Stars trading cards earlier this year, is getting ready to produce a second round of collectible cards for banjo lovers.

Creator Colyn Brown tells us that one of the biggest reactions to the debut series of cards – other than appreciation for the original artwork used in their design – was disappointment that one influential player or another had been omitted. He is planning to correct that with Series II, and is asking fans of the trading cards, and banjo players in general, to submit nominations and votes for who should be included.

Interest is high, as 116 players have been nominated, including deceased pioneers like Allen Shelton, Bobby Thompson, and Don Stover, to newcomers like Billy Failing, Eli Gilbert, and Josiah Tyree. Plenty of today’s top banjo pickers are also in the running, like Jim Mills, Noam Pikelny, Pete Wernick, and Ron Stewart, plus other important 2nd and 3rd generation players like John Hickman, Roy Clark, and Mike Lilly.

All are invited to nominate and vote, and the current top vote getters are:

  1. Béla Fleck
  2. Steve Martin
  3. John Hartford
  4. Jim Mills
  5. Noam Pikelny
  6. Allen Shelton
  7. Jens Kruger
  8. Steve Huber
  9. Charlie Cushman
  10. John McEuen

In a clever move, Brown is funding Series II by offering memberships to the Banjo All Stars trading cards and it only costs $25 to join. The membership not only allows you to nominate and vote for the players whose faces will grace this next batch of cards, more than 60 in total, but also serves as a pre-order for Series II when they are available next spring.

Since Colyn commissions new portraits for all of the cards, there is a substantial time lag – and considerable costs – in creating a new series.

If you don’t yet own any of the first generation cards, they are being offered now at a 50% discount. Like sports trading cards, you can purchase individual packs of 8 cards, or get the entire first run set of 42.

Larger prints of these terrific portraits are also available for $30. As an owner of both the first edition cards and the Earl Scruggs portrait, I can assure you that these are beautifully produced, and definitely collectible quality.

Full details are available online, whether you want to join and vote for your favorites, purchase cards for yourself or a gift, or order framing size portraits of pickers like Earl Scruggs, Sonny Osborne, Don Reno, and more.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.