Billy plays mandolin with Wood & Wire, based in Austin, TX, and Alan is the retired former banjo maestro with Country Gazette, and long time professor in the commercial music program at South Plains College. At 72, Munde plays only when he wants to after a long career in bluegrass that started with Jimmy Martin in the late ’60s. And he wants to play with Bright in their duet setting, where they focus on original instrumental music.
Long known for a willingness to experiment within the confines of bluegrass banjo, Munde has a well-deserved reputation as a technical master of the five string. He is among the chief innovators of playing fiddle music on the banjo, with an approach that never sacrifices the driving sound Earl Scruggs gave us in order to replicate complex fiddle tunes. That is in evidence in this live video of he and Billy, with Dom Fisher on bass, playing Oklahoma Bound from the new CD.
Of course, Bright’s no slouch himself as the two trade off and twin a bit on the Munde composition in the key of G.
In keeping with their theme, 8 of the 10 tracks on Es Mi Suerte were written by Munde and/or Bright, and recorded with Dennis Ludiker on fiddle, Fisher on bass, and Trevor Smith on second banjo. They include a healthy dose of grass along with some Texas waltzes, and a touch of Tex Mex Cajun.
Oklahoma Bound and a few other selected tracks are available now to radio programmers in advance of the album release at AirPlay Direct. Look for the full project on September 14, when it will be offered on Alan’s web site and popular download destinations.
Wood & Wire are invited showcase artists for the IBMA’s Bluegrass Ramble during this month’s World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh. Alan will join them to preview a few tunes from the new record on a couple of their sets.