Banjo wizard Ned Luberecki has announced a March 31 release date for Take Five, his next album of music for the five string.
Many grass fans know Ned from his on-air job at SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, or from his lengthy stint as banjo player with Chris Jones & the Night Drivers. Others still recognize him as the current five slinger with the Becky Buller Band, but anyone who’s met him knows that he has a wonderful sense of humor which comes through even in his instrumental music. No easy feat, that.
He’s also a banjo picker of the highest order who combines an adventurous spirit with remarkable virtuosity, certain to make this new project a must have for banjo fans.
Like his previous releases, Take Five will mix his own original banjo tunes with new compositions from top Nashville writers, classics from the bluegrass and old time banjo catalog, and Ned’s clever interpretations of jazz standards. Ever the nerd, he even includes a version of Where No Man Has Gone Before, instantly discernible as the Star Trek theme.
He pays homage to many of his heroes, from Tom Adams’ Adams County Breakdown, to a medley of Buck Owens’ Before You Go and Let The World Keep On Turnin’, and then to the cool jazz of the late ’50s and early ’60s with Blue Monk, Girl From Ipanema, and the title track, Paul Desmond’s big hit with Dave Brubeck in 1959. Even the album cover conveys the hip cat vibe of that era in jazz.
Bluegrass lovers have plenty to chew on as well in his Bb medley of Done Gone and New Camptown Races, both numbers that banjo players love to hear, and his own new pieces, Night Driver and Earls Court.
For accompaniment, Luberecki brings in full bands to assist in the studio, including his former employers, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers. Also offering an assist are Missy Raines & The New Hip and the Helen Highwater Stringband, with vocals provided by Amanda Smith, Becky Buller, and Dale Ann Bradley.
The tracks will be available soon on Airplay Direct for radio programmers.
We’ll certainly be looking forward to this one.