Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and a motorcycle?

Gourd banjo

A drum with a stick.

A: You can tune a motorcycle.

I was listening to a Rascal Flatts song this morning, and found myself wishing the banjo was more forward.  Then I was listening to Charlie Parr, and wishing he was playing banjo. Apparently, I am in the mood for banjo.

First, check the gorgeous tone on this gourd banjo played clawhammer style by Adam Hurt:

This is amazing once it gets going: Ross Nickerson playing Stairway to Heaven:

Here Jens Kruger plays Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1. It’s as pretty as you think it might be:

Finally, the late Mike Seeger talks a bit about the gourd banjo, and plays a bit. There are banjo jokes at the end.

I love unconventional banjo, especially when it’s used as a lead instrument in pop or rock music. If you have recommendations, send ’em my way. I’m gonna go ’til I hear banjo.

(PS: That’s Ashley Campbell on banjo for RF)

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