Famous New York Banjoists Trivia

This Contest is Closed
The winners are Al Gassman & Hal Olson

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JANUARY 27 TRIVIA QUESTION

Who are two famous native New York state banjoists?

A. Tony Trischka and Pete Wernick

B. Allison Brown and Gina Britt

C. Gina Furtado and Rob McCoury

D. Bill Keith and Dan Tyminski

E. Terry McGill and Mike Munford

ANSWER is “A”

Additional Bowden Comments

Two winners this time, well done. New York banjo pickers are mighty proud of Tony and Pete, who have certainly achieved their own style of banjo over the deccades, while still honoring Earl Scruggs as the NECESSARY foundation. I’ve met them both “away” from the stage, and they are very nice guys. Very encouraging to younger pickers and singers. Pete is from New York City, and Tony is from the Syracuse area.

Allison Brown is from California; I don’t know where Gena Britt is from. Allison originally performed with fiddler Stuart Duncan before he moved East. Allison and her husband now own and operate Compass Records. Gena is the banjo picker with Sister Sadie.

Gina Furtado’s home state I don’t know, but Rob McCoury is from Pennsylvania. Gina played a bit with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers before putting out a solo banjo record — she plays a very modern individualistic style, and sings. Her music is “quirky”, I would say. Rob has spent his ENTIRE career working with his Dad Del McCoury. He also performs now with The Traveling McCourys, as Del has cut back his schedule to take it a bit easier.

Bill Keith, although certainly beloved in New York where he lived for years in Woodstock, is from Massachusetts, as Bill Monroe loved to point out when Keith was a Blue Grass Boy (Bill called him “Brad” Keith, not wanting two Bills in the band). We would have given partial credit to anyone selecting this answer. Dan Tyminski orginally was the banjo player in Green Mountain Bluegrass with his brother Stan on guitar — that’s right, they’re Vermonters! And before Dan played mandolin with the Lonesome River Band, or sang George Clooney’s part in O Brother Where Art Thou, or played guitar with Alison Krauss, he was a mighty fine banjo player!

Terry McGill is from New Jersey and is the banjo playingest feller that ever came out of Bergen County. He currently plays with Redwood Hill. Terry and I played together in the Old Time Bluegrass Singers for 10 years. Mike Munford is the banjo wizard from Baltimore Maryland, playing with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. For decades he hid his lamp under a bushel FIXING BANJOS at a music shop in Baltimore, and giving lessons. Word of mouth from his students helped launched him into band work. He is the epitome of a modern banjo stylist.

Dick Bowden

Dick Bowden recently retired after a 45 year career in the paper industry, and moved from Connecticut to Big Indian NY (Ulster County) where he ekes out a precarious existence as a groundskeeper. Dick has been performing bluegrass music on banjo and guitar since 1966 in his home state of Maine, throughout New England, and internationally with The Case Brothers - Martin & Gibson. He has performed for HVBA with the Old Time Bluegrass Singers, and also sent in a squadron of Dick Bowden's Flying Circus. Most recently Dick has played Dobro (tm) with the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Dick has written many articles for Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass magazine) and HVBA.

3 Responses

  • Two winners this time, well done. New York banjo pickers are mighty proud of Tony and Pete, who have certainly achieved their own style of banjo over the deccades, while still honoring Earl Scruggs as the NECESSARY foundation. I’ve met them both “away” from the stage, and they are very nice guys. Very encouraging to younger pickers and singers. Pete is from New York City, and Tony is from the Syracuse area.

    Allison Brown is from California; I don’t know where Gena Britt is from. Allison originally performed with fiddler Stuart Duncan before he moved East. Allison and her husband now own and operate Compass Records. Gena is the banjo picker with Sister Sadie.

    Gina Furtado’s home state I don’t know, but Rob McCoury is from Pennsylvania. Gina played a bit with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers before putting out a solo banjo record — she plays a very modern individualistic style, and sings. Her music is “quirky”, I would say. Rob has spent his ENTIRE career working with his Dad Del McCoury. He also performs now with The Traveling McCourys, as Del has cut back his schedule to take it a bit easier.

    Bill Keith, although certainly beloved in New York where he lived for years in Woodstock, is from Massachusetts, as Bill Monroe loved to point out when Keith was a Blue Grass Boy (Bill called him “Brad” Keith, not wanting two Bills in the band). We would have given partial credit to anyone selecting this answer. Dan Tyminski orginally was the banjo player in Green Mountain Bluegrass with his brother Stan on guitar — that’s right, they’re Vermonters! And before Dan played mandolin with the Lonesome River Band, or sang George Clooney’s part in O Brother Where Art Thou, or played guitar with Alison Krauss, he was a mighty fine banjo player!

    Terry McGill is from New Jersey and is the banjo playingest feller that ever came out of Bergen County. He currently plays with Redwood Hill. Terry and I played together in the Old Time Bluegrass Singers for 10 years. Mike Munford is the banjo wizard from Baltimore Maryland, playing with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. For decades he hid his lamp under a bushel FIXING BANJOS at a music shop in Baltimore, and giving lessons. Word of mouth from his students helped launched him into band work. He is the epitome of a modern banjo stylist.

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