Rex McGee of Stokes County, North Carolina displays a restless intelligence from the moment you encounter him. Raised on the family farmstead, son and grandson of musicians, he's a skilled multi-instrumentalist who became hooked on the banjo at age 13.  Now 46, he's deeply respected by the best players in bluegrass and jazz.  If he's not as well known as some others, that's because his priorities were with raising his family.  He came off the road as a young man and worked as a pharmacist, playing music on the side.  That's not stopped him from exploring new territories in jazz, rock, classical, bluegrass and Celtic music.  He tunes his banjo in fourths, like a bass; he says the tuning sets him free to focus on improvising rather than on the mechanics and illogic of fingering in traditional tunings.  This week, as he prepares for a rare public performance with some of his friends, we hear his music and listen to an interview with ATBR host Paul Brown.  Also on the show: lots of other great bluegrass and old time singing and string band music, plus African-American old time banjo and gospel.

Episode 61 Playlist

  1. Road To Columbus
    Brandon Lee Adams
    Hardest Kind Of Memories
  2. You'll Get No More Of Me
    Laurie Lewis And The Right Hands
    The Hazel & Alice Sessions
  3. Hold Me
    The Buck Stops Here
    The Buck Stops Here
  4. Cornbread And Butterbeans
    Carolina Sunshine Trio
    WPAQ The Voice of the Blue Ridge Mountains
  5. Blue Eyed Jane
    Doc Watson
  6. Prettiest Little Miss In The County-O
    The Monks
    Ragged But Right
  7. Down In The Water
    Old Time Reverie
  8. Break 1 - Cedric Special
    Jim Eanes & The Shenandoah Valley Boys
    Jim Eanes & The Shenandoah Valley Boys
  9. Cripple Creek
    Earl Scruggs
    Foggy Mountain Banjo
  10. Kripplekrunk
    Rex McGee
  11. Cigareetes, Whusky and Wild, Wild Women
    Sons Of The Pioneers
    RCA Country Legends: Sons of the Pioneers
  12. Sunset Road
    Bela Fleck & 'The Flecktones
    Live Art Radio Sampler
  13. Did You Ever See Galax Miss McKrunk?
    Rex McGee
  14. Break 2 -Krunkberry Blossom 
    Rex McGee
  15. Jig of Retribution / Roan Mountain Grown
    Rex McGee
  16. Roustabout
    Dink Roberts
    Black Banjo Songsters of NC & VA
  17. He's My Rock
    Brother John Sellers
    Classic African American Gospel
  18. Down By The Riverside
    Sister Rosetta Tharpe
    The Gospel Of The Blues

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