Mike Seeger’s final project debuts #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart

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Smithsonian Folkways’ ‘Just Around The Bend: Survival and Revival in Southern Banjo Styles – Mike Seeger’s Last Documentary’ debuted #1 on Billboard Bluegrass Chart.

This 2-CD and DVD set that collects the fruits of Seeger’s final trip through Appalachia in 2009, documenting regional banjo styles, techniques and tunes, creating a glimpse of the vigor and diversity of the region’s old-time banjo artistry.

Recorded months before Seeger’s death, the collection features musicians from many different backgrounds from throughout North Carolina, Virginia (Seeger’s home state), West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee. These virtuosic players, including Riley Bagus, Rhiannon Giddens, Leroy Troy, and many more, display an incredible range of stylistic diversity that points to the continued resilience of the banjo as a means by which local and regional culture is preserved, even as new generations project their own voice onto well-worn styles.

‘Just Around The Bend’ is not only a fascinating look at the ever-evolving state of Southern musical heritage, but a loving tribute to Seeger and his life’s work as a musician, folklorist, and documentarian of the people.

Explore excepts of the collection below from Riley Baugus, Rhiannon Giddens and Joe Ayers.

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