Miller Reviews: Ned Luberecki – Take Five (Thank God for Good Banjo Music)
After an indeterminate length of time hiatus: I’M BACK. Let me tell you fine folks, wonderful readers of Western Free Press, there are few things that can drag me back to my keyboard pounding after months and months of American political drudgery. One of those things is banjo music. Good banjo music. I mean the kind of banjo music you write back home about. Write it out, slap a stamp on it, mail it off, care of family dog (she’ll understand why I’m so excited to hear a record like this). After all, I’ve subjected my family, most specifically the family dog, to hours upon hours of banjo music. Don Reno, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, and even those weird hippies (Jerry Garcia picked a banjo and inspired head shop owners across the face of the Earth to blast bluegrass all day long and confuse their already terminally confused customers).
After all that banjo music I’ve gotten picky. You see, I play banjo myself. I love the instrument, and I’ll only listen to pickers who really do something interesting with the music. By interesting I don’t mean AC/DC covers or any nonsense like that. What I want from my banjo music is intense jazz covers. More specifically, a version of Take Five that allows me to finally seem semi-socially appropriate while sipping exorbitant amounts of apple pie corn liquor. Yes that’s right, you heard me folks, a hillbilly can be a hip cat too! I’m a big Dave Brubeck fan. I also dug out a special crevice in my soul for bluegrass music. Ned Luberecki is one of those rare individuals who can spark two seemingly disparate points of my psyche simultaneously. The result: pure genius!
You’ll notice I rarely have anything bad to say about the records I review. That’s because I don’t waste my time with disappointment. I thoroughly enjoyed this record. It made me smile. It made me write. For a brief moment it killed my reclusive tendencies. For that fact alone you should buy this record. I don’t know how many times I have to say it, by some real music already! If you continue to buy the sludge oozing out of music row and other assorted third world Hell-holes of New York City and Los Angeles you will only further the development of my agoraphobia. Don’t do that.
I could provide you with some fancy quote to close out this review, something about the beautiful intricacy of Ned’s banjo picking that elevates the humble persona of the instrument and dispels the false perception that the banjo is intended for pig squealing hillbillies. I could do that, but I would have to show my class and that is a dwindling resource; a resource I’d rather horde far away from the teeming masses. Instead I’ll just say this:
BUY THE RECORD HERE. DO IT NOW.
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