Is this bluegrass? Most assuredly not, but fans of the five string banjo should enjoy this interesting use of the instrument.
Virginia banjoist John Bullard has just released his most recent album, Classical Banjo: The Perfect Southern Art, where he performs popular music from the Baroque, Romantic, and Classical periods. Unlike his previous efforts, which primarily featured his transcriptions for banjo either solo or in duet form, this latest finds him recording selections from Bach, Grieg, Telemann, Handel, and others with quartet, chamber orchestra, and chorus.
John has chosen only portions of these well-known compositions, those especially well-suited to the banjo, instead of recording full-length pieces.
The album, produced by Jayme Stone, is available for sale now from CD Baby, and John has posted a number of videos from rehearsals for the sessions.
Here is his arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, a piece many banjo players have tackled…
… and the Waltz from Lyric Pieces by Edvard Grieg.
Additional videos are posted on YouTube.