High Fidelity – Banjo Player’s Blues

by | 13 Jun, 2020

High FidelityRebel Records is excited to announce the release of High Fidelity’s latest recording Banjo Player’s Blues (REB-1874).

Recorded at Tunesmith Studios in Goodlettsville, Tennessee with trusted co-producer/engineer Brad Benge, Banjo Player’s Blues is a showcase of the band’s love for tradition, brother duets, virtuosic instrumental innovators, well-crafted harmony, gospel music, and yes, banjos. The album is available today, and the group will celebrate its release tonight with an online event, live from the World Famous Station Inn, at 8:00 p.m. Central.

Banjo Player’s Blues flawlessly delivers the characteristics these talented singers and multi-instrumentalists have been inspired by and cultivated: a passion for tradition, musical prowess, and sweet harmonies. Their love for the sometimes overlooked early innovators of this music is evident throughout the album and is presented so authentically as to make these uncommon songs seem both fresh and familiar. Even the tracks that listeners might recognize come from such an uncommonly traditional source that their delivery feels as new and exciting as when they were originally recorded.

The opening song, Old Home Place, is not the often-rendered classic from The Dillards but rather a nearly forgotten Reno & Smiley number revived. The tone, drive, and phrasing of Kurt Stephenson’s banjo kick-off display his undeniable talent and knowledge of varied bluegrass banjo traditions. This is followed by You Made the Break from Paul and Roy, aka The Tennessee River Boys, which features the beautiful brother-duet style singing of Jeremy Stephens and his wife Corrina Rose Logston, whose traditional yet distinctive style of fiddling is also showcased.

High Fidelity has been influenced by many of the bluegrass greats, including Jim & Jesse. Tears of Regret is an early Jim & Jesse recording which features a collaboration with Jesse McReynolds himself. Jesse is the oldest active member of the Grand Ole Opry and appears on this song almost exactly 65 years later after its original recording. The South Bound Train, released as the album’s first single back in March, is another Jim & Jesse original that was recorded in the 1960s but did not see the light of day until it was released commercially in the 1990s. Reimagined with twin banjos, it is a high-intensity number featuring the trademark vocal trio of Jeremy, Corrina, and Kurt.

As a follow up to The South Bound Train, the title track  is being released today as a second single.

I’ve loved Banjo Player’s Blues for many years. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Charlie Monroe fan and this is one that he recorded on a 1960 LP for REM Records, featuring J.D. Crowe prominently on the 5-string banjo. J.D. told me that this was his favorite song he recorded with Charlie. High Fidelity is all about the banjo, so we really needed to record this one – Jeremy Stephens.

Banjo Player’s Blues showcases the tight musical relationships formed in the band during their years of touring. Bassist Vickie Vaughn and mandolin player Daniel Amick lend their voices to His Charming Love, an early quartet style gospel song, and Vickie takes the lead on the Stewart Family’s Dear God. Turkey in the Straw showcases Corrina’s expert hoedown-style fiddling while Daniel, usually on mandolin, takes up the guitar on this track. Twin banjos have become a regular staple on High Fidelity recordings, and they are featured on three tracks here. In addition to The South Bound Train and Turkey in the Straw mentioned above, the group deploys double banjos on Feudin’ Banjos, with Kurt on 5-string banjo and Jeremy playing tenor banjo in a tribute to the original 1955 version by Arthur Smith and Don Reno that was later immortalized in the movie Deliverance.

High Fidelity offers listeners a chance to experience the riveting energy and grit of early bluegrass that doesn’t sacrifice precision for purpose. Where so many other bands offer a pale imitation of the past, High Fidelity presents a meaningful interpretation that captures the true essence of the music these artists learned from the genre’s early masters. Every note of their performance is delivered with meaning, reverence, and undeniable talent.

Click here to stream or purchase Banjo Player’s Blues on your platform of choice.

Track List For Banjo Players Blues:

1. Old Home Place
2. You Made the Break
3. The South Bound Train
4. His Charming Love
5. Tears of Regret (featuring Jesse McReynolds)
6. Turkey in the Straw
7. The Picture on the Wall
8. Banjo Player’s Blues
9. Dear God
10. Feudin’ Banjos
11. Helen
12. Take My Ring From Your Finger
13. Got a Little Light