Rounder Records released its first album in 1970 with a collection of banjo tunes by North Carolinan George Pegram and over the course of the next 18 years--this CD was first released in 1987--Rounder became one of this country's premier folk/bluegrass/traditional music labels. Tony Trischka was given the daunting task of selecting 24 tracks that reflected the depth and breadth of the Rounder catalog. While Trischka overlooks Pegram, this anthology still covers the early pioneers (Snuffy Jenkins and Johnnie Whisnat), as well as mainstream pickers (J.D. Crowe and Alan Munde) and the progressive artists (Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka).
The artist listing is a bit misleading in that only the banjo player is listed with each song and not the artist under which the album the song was taken from was originally released. For example, Alan O'Bryant is the banjo player for the Nasville Bluegrass Band, Herb Pedersen's track comes from Here Today (which featured David Grisman and Vince Gill), Richard Underwood plays banjo for the Johnson Mountain Boys, etc. In other words, none of these are solo recordings, although all but three ("Banjo Picking Girl," "Lonesome Road Blues" and "White House Blues") are instrumentals. The three vocals are sung by Alice Gerrard, Joe Val and Ricky Skaggs respectively.
Overall, this is 69-minutes of banjo music that will set your feet a-tapping. If you enjoy the five-string banjo, this is worth repeated listens. RECOMMENDED