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Tony Trischka

Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular – 2007 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Dave Bagdade

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CDs by Tony Trischka

Since the 1970s, Tony Trischka has been one of the most progressive and consistently interesting banjo players around. His many recordings have featured a number of multiple banjo settings, including "Fiddle Tunes for Banjo" with Bela Fleck and Bill Keith, another duet record with Fleck, and "Rounder Banjo Extravaganza" with Tony Furtado and Tom Adams. His latest is exactly what the title indicates: a series of (mostly) bluegrass recordings fronted by Trischka and another of a series of banjoists.

Trischka has assembled quite a cast. The backing band includes mandolinists Sam Bush and Chris Thile, guitarists Tony Rice and Dudley Connell, Dobro icon Jerry Douglas and Ron Stewart on fiddle.

However, the main focus is properly on Trischka and his banjo guests. These range from more traditional players such as Tom Adams, Kenny Ingram, Bill Emerson and the legendary Earl Scruggs, to trailblazers like Fleck, Scott Vestal, Noam Pikelny and Alison Brown. There are even a couple of tracks featuring comedian Steve Martin, who acquits himself admirably.

This record is a must for any fans of excellent banjo playing, as there is not a single clunker to be found here. The playing is terrific throughout, the material is first rate and the accompaniment superb. Highly recommended.