For Throwback Thursday, Fiddlefreak is time warping back about 4 years to the summer of 2010, when banjo picker Adam Hurt released Earth Tones. A collaboration between Adam and luthier David Hyatt with musician and recording engineer Paul Roberts, this little project has gotten under my skin and refused to let me put anything else into regular rotation. Gourd banjos are sick, no doubt about it, but this music sparkles with hints of West Africa and mesmerizes with relentless loops of oldtimey goodness. Something about this particular gourd banjo in the hands of this young master just takes the gourd to a new place I’ve never heard before. I dunno whose crazy idea it was to make a custom-grown bottle gourd into a two-headed wonder, but it sounds wonderful.
All tracks on Earth Tones feature a fretless gourd banjo handcrafted by David Hyatt of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Adam talks about his unique banjo in the video below. The first tune medley here comes from Buddy Thomas of Lewis County, Kentucky and the second tune from Walter McNew of Rockcastle County, Kentucky via Matt Brown and Mac Benford. Enjoy!
LISTEN: Old Beech Leaves / Sheep and Hogs Walking Through the Pasture
LISTEN: Black Jack Grove