Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Great Earl Scruggs

Banjo innovator, bluegrass star and beloved performer Earl Scruggs died March 28, 2012 and already news sources are filled with obituaries and tributes that track the career of this great American musician. Hired as a young man to play banjo with Bill Monroe, the greatest bluegrass bandleader of the time, Scruggs went on to great success as half of the duo Flatt & Scruggs and continued to grow and evolve as a musician for decades, ultimately playing with everyone from Johnny Cash, Sting, Elton John, and John Fogerty to Vince Gill and Billy Bob Thornton.

Anyone wanting to to hear some of Scruggs' music from the peak of his career should listen to the 5 disc collection, Flatt & Scruggs 1959 - 1963. This detailed record of an important time in Scruggs' recording career illustrates the technical virtuosity and the general musical appeal of this legendary performer. As long as bluegrass music is played, there will be a banjo player somewhere working out the Scruggs' part in "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." He'll be missed.

Also of interest:

The Three Pickers: Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Ricky Scaggs (CD)

The Crow by Steve Martin (CD) Scruggs guests on this recording

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