During the show, to be televised on ABC November 6 at 8:00 p.m., she will offer a live version of her current hit, Red, with the assistance of Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer. The recorded version of the song includes a banjo, prominent in the introduction, and Swift has used a six string banjo herself on stage and in music videos.
Gill and Krauss, of course, have many laurels outside of their bluegrass background, and Bush is actually nominated for the 2013 Musician of the Year award by the CMA. Meyer has a reputation as a virtuoso bassist in both the classical and new acoustic communities.
Presumably, this will be a more acoustic treatment of Red than the album cut, which takes a rocking turn, with Alison and Vince sharing in harmony vocals and Sam on mandolin. No word yet whether or not this quartet will augment Swift’s road band, or serve as the full complement for a pared-down rendition of the song. Percussionist Eric Darken will also be part of her ensemble that night.
While we doubt that Taylor is making a move to the wonderful world of bluegrass, it is much to be hoped that she will continue making the banjo a visible part of her stage show – and maybe even include a little five string picking in future.