Picking the banjo

The political situation in the USA is so depressing, given revelations of torture and racist police violence, that only music can get us through it. We have to withdraw sometimes to let the despair settle and nourish our spirits so we're able to step back in again. Sue has been playing the banjo, and I've been noodling around with her harmonica collection.

One of Sue's favorite performers is Elizabeth Cotten. I had never heard her till I met Sue, and now I'm a devoted fan. If you want to see a woman of dignity and great beauty playing a guitar left-handed and then a banjo in a way that she herself created, here's a video--and at seven minutes in, she picks up the banjo.

I was searching around for some harmonica instruction and found Annie Raines doing this duet. Annie says she learned to play that way by listening to Walter Horton.

So if a good dose of the blues is the right medicine for what ails you, come on in and listen.

Sign in or get an account to comment.