Bullard Goes To Bat For Classical Banjo

By Madison Warren

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Album cover designed by Travis Ladue with photo by Michael Wilson

With its roots in folk, bluegrass, and early African-American music, the banjo may not appear to have a place in the classical world. But John Bullard’s collaboration with other musicians on his recording Classical Banjo: The Perfect Southern Art reveals the bright, sweet-sounding instrument’s ability to fit snugly into the music of Marcello, Handel, Bach, Telemann, and Grieg. The album also reveals the perils of arranging for such a distinct sound, most notably in Bullard’s attempt to reinvent Schumann’s Three Romances for the banjo. Though not effective all the way through, the disc has enough charm and deeply expressive moments to make a convincing case for the instrument’s versatility. Continue reading “Bullard Goes To Bat For Classical Banjo”