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(540) 745-2001 • info@countysales.com

TOM NEAL 'Banjoland'

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Surprisingly, we don't see many records of Keith Style or so-called "Melodic" 5-string banjo picking these days. Here is one, and it's very well done --Nr. Neal has clearly absorbed the work of Bill Keith and Alan Munde, as well as the traditional style giants Scruggs, Reno & Crowe, and he has melded all of these into his own dynamic style. The title tune --which starts the record --is perhaps the least effective on the album. But Neal quickly gets down to some fine versions of classic tunes like CINCINNATI RAG, MILLER'S REEL, MISS McLEOD'S REEL, NEW CAMPTOWN RACES, REUBEN and the swinging CHARMAINE,. He is well backed by a variety of pickers like Michael Cleveland and Jon Glik on fiddles, Frank Solivan on mandolin, Russ Hooper (dobro) and Marshall Wilborn on bass. Of the 14 cuts, 4 are so-so vocals, but for any aspiring Keith style banjo picker, there's a lot of good music here.