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Number 279

Pete Wernick and Friends - Dr Banjo Steps Out (Flying Fish FF046)

Pete Wernick has been playing on the American folk and bluegrass scene since the 1960s and was the founder of such bands as Country Cooking and Hot Rize. He was responsible for the development of what's known as Niwot Music, a form of American folk music consisting of banjo, mandolin and bass. This LP, recorded in the mid-1970s, is also notable for its early innovations in phase-shifting techniques, which in all fairness sounds dated now and if I were to be perfectly frank, a little irritating. Where the album is interesting though is in the superb playing, with contributions from the likes of Tim O'Brien, who sings on a handful of songs, together with Russ Barenberg on guitar.