Tony Trischka on Regis and Kelly

Tony Trischka - TerritoryTony Trischka will be appearing tomorrow on the popular, syndicated morning talk show, Live with Regis and Kelly. Tony is only two weeks away from the release of his latest CD, Territory, and it is safe to presume that he will perform something from this new project on Live.

The show airs in most markets at 9:00 a.m. local time, and a searchable listing of show times can be found on the Regis and Kelly web site.

We had a chance to discuss Territory with Tony recently, and he shared a few details about the new CD, due 3/25 from Smithsonian Folkways.

Territory is a departure for me in that most of it is not full band. I do a little clawhammer, turn of the century and bluegrass – it’s a pretty wide range. There are 12 solo tunes on the album…mostly original tunes.”

The CD features 21 tracks, including a few with the twin banjo theme of Tony’s prior release, Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, which was released last year on Rounder.

“The move to Smithsonian is just this ‘one-off.’ I’m still with Rounder and have a new project planned with them after Territory comes out. When Territory was first set in motion I was doing a lot of solo gigs and wanted to have something updated (Solo Banjo Works with Bela being over 10 years old at the time). That was the immediate impetus for this project.

There are five songs we recorded for the Double Banjo project that we decided weren’t bluegrass enough. Leatherwing Bat features me and Pete Seeger (singing and playing) with Bruce Molsky on fiddle. Mike Seeger joins me on one of my tunes on banjo and harmonica. Bill Keith and I duet on one of my tunes with Paula Bradley on piano (kind of New England style—Bela’s suggestion). I do a turn of the century tune (Banjoland) with Bill Evans…nylon strung banjos. The last is a medley of two neo-old time tunes that I wrote and perform here with Jawbone…a short-lived band featuring me, Bruce Molsky and Paula Bradley. Here Paula plays guitar, Bruce is on fiddle and clawhammer banjo, and I’m playing clawhammer.

Finishing it all off I included four tunes with an incarnation of the double banjo band…two originals plus Molly and Tenbrooks and Salt River. The line-up is Michael Daves guitar and vocals, Brittany Haas on fiddle and Skip Ward on bass.”

I asked Tony about the inspiration for some of his compositions that are included…

“I wrote one tune each for my wife (Eighteen – in double C tuning), my Son (Sean – drop C) and my daughter (Zoe – drop C). I also include a medley of two tunes, each one written exclusively on one string of the banjo. I also have a tune called Fox Chase, featuring the band with Michael Daves. I was inspired to write this after hearing DeFord Bailey (the first African American to be on the Grand Ole Opry in the late twenties through the fifties) playing harmonica on a traditional Fox Chase tune. Bailey was outrageous.”

No audio up yet on either the Trischka or Folkways sites, but we’ll keep an eye out.

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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.