The venerable Banjo NewsLetter has dedicated its December issue to the career and music of the great J.D. Crowe. Surely among the finest bluegrass banjo players ever to don picks, BNL uses the recent announcement of Crowe’s retirement to remember the many decades of artistry and technical brilliance he has given the banjo world since first joining up with Mac Wiseman in 1955 at the age of 18.
To even briefly sketch his musical career leads you to recognize what a crucial figure in the development of modern bluegrass he has been. From Mac’s group Crowe went to work for Jimmy Martin for several years before striking out on his own. He formed the Kentucky Mountain Boys with Doyle Lawson and Red Allen, before launching The New South, one of the most storied bands in the history of our music.
But it was the recordings he made as part of the Bluegrass Album Band with Lawson and Tony Rice that forever cemented his place in the banjo firmament.
For this special remembrance issue of BNL, the magazine has presented a recent interview with Crowe, plus an article containing tributes shared with the editors from many of the top banjo players of the day. Each expresses a mix of gratitude and appreciation for the man who has epitomized banjo excellence for most of their lives.
The December issue also includes a number of tab transcriptions taken from the AcuTab Crowe book. This is one that is certain to become a collector’s item.
Banjo NewsLetter offers individual issues for direct sale from their web site for $6, and online subscriptions are only $19.99/year. Print subscriptions are also available, with rates dependent on the mailing address.
Christmas time’s a’ comin’!