George Jackson is a Kiwi fiddler who makes his home in Nashville, working as a recording artist and free lance bowman for hire. Born in New Zealand, he never heard bluegrass music until he was 14, but having moved to Australia, he became the three-time National Bluegrass Championship on fiddle.
Jackson is preparing to release his second album of traditional and original fiddle music this fall, Hair & Hide, a collection of banjo and fiddle duets with some of his favorite five stringers. Included are 14 tracks recorded with assistance from Brad Kolodner, Jake Blount, Frank Evans, BB Bowness, Joe Overton, Wes Corbett, and Uma Peters. The format is to have each banjoist cut two tunes with George, one original and one traditional, to show how well this old time pairing works with both.
Jackson says of the album title that hair and hide is literally what bluegrass and old time music is made of, in the form of bow hair and animal hide, which were once used for banjo heads.
While enabling pre-orders for the album today, George is sharing this live video of one of the tracks, one called Neighbor Mike, captured with Brad Kolodner on banjo.
He describes the video thusly:
“I wrote this tune and named it in honor of my neighbor across the street, Mike. Mike embodies neighborly spirit, he’s always happy to help with odd jobs around the property, he has all the tools one could imagine, and he is always working on something. Despite growing up half a world away from each other and having very different life experiences and cultural backgrounds, we just like hanging out and I really appreciate the neighborly comradery we’ve built up living next to each other and helping each other out over the past few years. Mike’s just a good bloke as we’d say back home, and I thought this tune kind of illustrated his busy work ethic and his generally fun loving attitude.
Brad’s banjo playing is sublime on this track, and I also wrote this tune with Brad’s super clean, delicate, and precise style in mind for the collaboration. Keep an eye out in the video for Neighbor Mike’s cameo appearance at the very end!
Brad Kolodner and I filmed this live video in Mike’s back yard back in the spring. Filming by Kaitlyn Raitz.”