Banjo Player’s Blue
High Fidelity might be a fresh-faced looking group of young pickers and singers, but make no mistake — their sound is vintage bluegrass.
Banjo Player’s Blues, their third album, hits the mark with band’s title track hit, an old tune by Charlie Monroe. A close ear will note one variation: instead of Banjo Joe the song mentions Banjo Jer, a nod to the group’s five-stringer.
But this CD is stacked with plenty more that fans of the sound from the 1950s and 60s will enjoy.
As expected, based on the title and the band’s influences, this work is banjo-centric. There are three songs with twin banjos, including the 1955 Arthur Smith/Don Reno classic, “Feudin’ Banjos.” Kurt Stephenson picks the five-string while Jeremy Stephens handles the tenor banjo.
Jesse McReynolds, who cut “Tears of Regret” with his brother Jim in 1955, returns to join High Fidelity on their version. Shades of the Country Gentlemen show through on “Helen.”
Banjo Player’s Blues also includes gospel numbers and takes on jam session standards such as “Turkey in the Straw” and “Southbound Train.”
Rounding out the band with Stephens (guitar/banjo/piano/vocals) and Stephenson (banjo/guitar/vocals) are Corrina Rose Logston (fiddle/guitar/vocals), Daniel Amick (mandolin/guitar/vocals) and Vickie Vaughn (upright bass/vocals).