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Revisiting "Banjo: An Illustrated History" With Bob Carlin On Monday's Access Utah

The banjo is emblematic of American country music. It is at the core of other important musical movements, including jazz and ragtime, and played an important part in the development of many genres, such as folk, bluegrass, and rock.  The instrument has been adopted by many cultures and has been ingrained into many musical traditions, from Mento music in the Caribbean to dance music in Ireland. Virtuosos such as Bela Fleck have played Bach, African music, and Christmas tunes on the five-string banjo, and the instrument has had a resurgence in pop music with such acts a Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers.

 

 

 
Author, broadcaster, and acclaimed banjoist Bob Carlin is out with a new book, “Banjo: An Illustrated History,” which traces the story of the instrument from its roots in West Africa to its birth in the Americas, from its coming of age in the Industrial Revolution and its place in Victorian parlors and speakeasies through its role in the folk boom of the 1950s and 1960s to its place in the hands of songwriter John Hartford and comedian Steve Martin. Thursday on AU we’ll learn the fascinating history of the Banjo and hear some great music.

 
Bob Carlin is an author, researcher, radio and record producer, and one of the best-known banjoists performing today. With more than one hundred articles for music magazines such as Fretboard Journal and Bluegrass Unlimited and numerous books, instruction manuals, museum catalogs, and album notes to his credit, Carlin is truly an expert on banjo history. Carlin writes a regular column for the banjo bible, Banjo Newsletter.

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.