From Hillbillies to Hipsters: The Brave New World of the Banjo
Turn on the radio in any major city. Start rolling through the stations, and notice where you hear the distinct sounds of the banjo. The first instance will probably be on a contemporary country station—maybe a Keith Urban song or the hook in Eric Pasley’s “Friday Night.” Next, you may hear picking on the oldies or classic rock station, an Eagles song or some Neil Young. What may surprise you is hearing the banjo on contemporary pop, and even college or alternative rock stations. From Mumford and Sons to Bon Iver, the banjo is popping up in new and unusual places.