Ryan Cavanaugh checks in

With the spirited discussion about the boundaries of bluegrass music going on in the comments of our recent post, IBMA at the Crossroads, it’s timely to catch up with banjo wizard Ryan Cavanaugh.

Ryan is a singularly accomplished picker, equally at home in a traditional bluegrass format, or an electrified modern jazz setting. For example, he’s doing a grass show this weekend with Jeff & Vida at Everett’s Barn in Georgia, along with Shadd Cobb and Jeremy Darrow.

At the same time, he has started work on a new project with jazz sax great Bill Evans which promises to be an exploration of original jazz/rock fusion in a piano, bass, drums rhythm section.

Ryan has put together this clever video to explain his next album, Back Country To The Future, and to appeal for some crowd funding through Indiegogo.

WARNING: this is a jazz fusion project with synth banjo out front. If discussion of non-bluegrass music upsets your sensibilities, don’t watch!!


Ryan is making noises about recording a bluegrass album shortly, which will certainly be something to look forward to.

We understand that he also is the featured centerfold in the new Deering Banjo catalog. Fully clothed, we trust.

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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.