Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Banjos...and Ultrarunning

During today's run along the C+O Canal I had banjos on my mind.

Just before I parked at Cushwa Basin in Williamsport, MD, my XM radio (on channel 28, The Spectrum) delivered a rousing rendition of Ho Hey by The Lumineers.

And shortly before that, Mumford and Sons' I Will Wait

Now these songs are both sing-along, foot-stomping, banjo-featuring tunes that are perfect accompanyment for the my head.  I still don't and never plan to run with any listening device.  It just seems, well, wrong to me, when I'm in the midst of nature.  But that's just me, because it appears from my personal observation that listening devices are probably more common than not; i.e., a majority of runners I encounter are using one.

But I digress.  The point of this post is that I love the banjo and both of these groups and the tunes mentioned are excellent examples of how the banjo is making a real comeback in the world of contemporary music.

Which takes me back to the Kinks in the early 70s, who were one of the first rock groups to feature the banjo in rock music, with the iconic Lola, some 40 years ago:

[Video credit YouTube, here.  Note: what I find interesting is that the banjo is unmistakably there in the opening chords, yet I can't detect it in the video]

And for your further enjoyment here is a list of the best played banjo in a rock song, from Keno's Classic Rock n Roll.  See # 4:

Anyway, enjoy the trails, and if you're lucky, the banjos will be playing in your head.


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