Tag Archives: banjo

Jazz guitarist Steve Blailock dies at 69

Steve Blailock, a consummate guitarist and banjo player who was a fixture on the New Orleans jazz scene for some two decades, died on July 19, 2013 in Pearland, Texas. Police allege that Blailock shot his wife, Jing Blailock, and then turned the gun on himself. He was 69. Blailock was a native of McComb, [...]

YouTube du Jour: Don Vappie

Tonight, Don Vappie performs at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at 8 p.m. Here he is at the Dew Drop in Mandeville playing “Careless Love” with La Planche à Laver.

pLink Floyd, Nickels & Diamonds (Independent)

In a 1991 interview with OffBeat, Béla Fleck expressed frustration at being constantly credited with “bringing the banjo to jazz.” While much of the world may be ignorant of the instrument’s long history in the genre, it’s not a problem we have here in New Orleans. Stroll down Frenchmen on a random night and you’re [...]

YouTube du Jour: Don Vappie

Don Vappie plays tonight at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta. Here’s Vappie in a video package assembled by the Jazz Ascona festival, which takes place yearly in Switzerland.

YouTube du Jour: Danny Barker

The late Danny Barker expounds on the difference between day people and night people.

Don Vappie: Give Me Back My Banjo

In 2007, the Folk Alliance hosted a concert by three banjo players at Memphis’s Marriott Hotel. The three men sat in a semi-circle of chairs, the drum-like bodies of the banjos in their laps, the thin sticks of their fretboards pointing to two o’clock. It was a historic occasion, for all three men were African-American, [...]

Amanda Henkel, Amanda Henkel (Desire Street)

  There are two kinds of relationships with country music. You either love it or you hate it. I have tended toward the latter, but here we have Slidell-native Amanda Henkel—definitely country—and I cannot get enough of her voice, lyrics, and band. Every time I turn on her banjo-strumming ballads with stories of sadness, lyrics [...]

Hearts Full of Soul

“I’d hear him backstage warming up, and that’s when I heard his voice as a solo artist,” Ben Jaffe says of Carl LeBlanc. LeBlanc plays banjo with the Preservation Hall Brass Band. That led to LeBlanc’s new self-titled solo album on Preservation Hall Records, an album that presents him as “New Orleans’ Seventh Ward Griot.” [...]

Taking Back the Banjo

If there was a moment where the banjo was branded with a stereotype, it would have to be when Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight went on a canoe trip down the Cahulawassee River in the film Deliverance. Years later, the banjo cannot entirely shake the associations, so it’s thought of first and foremost as a [...]

Danny Barker Rocks On

Danny Barker’s hand runs down the back of her neck and trails the sharp curves of her body. ”Just like an 18-year-old girl,” says Barker, turning his guitar over and polishing its back. But he allows that the guitar is as well-seasoned as its player. Barker remembers receiving the instrument as a present from the [...]