FEATURED: ‘ Bill Keith – Obituary – 🎼Master of Blue Grass Banjo ‘

#AceMediaNews – Nov.02: Master of bluegrass banjo who brought complex fiddle tunes into the repertoire

Bill Keith, who has died aged 75, was a banjo player whose influence on bluegrass music in the 1960s and 70s was second only to that of the original bluegrass banjoist, Earl Scruggs. In particular his expansion of banjo technique to incorporate the playing of complex fiddle tunes inspired a generation of musicians to extend both their own skills and the scope of the bluegrass repertoire.

Hearing him execute one of those fast and demanding tunes, Devil’s Dream, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 1963, Bill Monroe, “the father of bluegrass”, invited him to join his Blue Grass Boys. Since there could be only one Bill in the group, Monroe used Keith’s middle name, Brad. “Before he came along,” said Monroe, “no banjo player could play those old fiddle numbers right. You have to play like Brad or you would be faking your way through a number.”


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