Backroads and Banjos Archive

Friends of Old-Time Music

Original Air Date: 03-12-2014

On this episode of Backroads and Banjos, Art takes a look at collection compiled for Smithsonian Folkways by his friend Peter Siegel entitled Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival. This box set chronicles …

Brooks Berry

Original Air Date: 02-19-2014

Art shares tracks from a recording he made for the Bluesville label in 1959 featuring the well-known blues artist Scrapper Blackwell and the relatively unknown singer Brooks Berry. The LP, My Heart Struck Sorrow, was …

Sharp Short Shanties

Original Air Date: 01-15-2014

Art looks at one of his favorite genres in American folk, the Sea Shanty. Typically a work song, these call-and-response tunes have become popular among folk enthusiasts. All of this segment’s selections come from a …

Vern Smelser

Original Air Date: 01-8-2014

Art takes a look at the works of Indiana musician Vern Smelser. The selections from this segment are taken from a Smithsonian Folkways LP recorded in 1964 called Fine Times at Our House: Traditional Music …

The Skillet Lickers

Original Air Date: 12-11-2013

This episode Backroads & Banjos features a trip to Dacula, GA to visit the son and grandson of Gid Tanner, the legendary member of the Skillet Lickers. One of the first string bands to be …

Joseph Spence

Original Air Date: 11-20-2013

Art takes a trip down to the Bahamas to look at the work of guitarist Joseph Spence. Spence’s work, which combined the sounds of calypso, blues, and sacred music, inspired American guitarists Taj Mahal, Ry …