An Interview With Banjo Legend
On the weekend of January 28th, 2012, I had the honor of hosting banjo legend Alan Munde at my Fretmentor workshop for banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle players. Additional instructors at this event included Byrone Berline, a fiddle legend, and Jim Hurst on guitar.
What made this a special event is that I have studied Alan’s banjo style since the day I first started playing the banjo. That was back in 1970. I read about Alan, studied his various musical transcriptions, and listened to some of the best banjo albums (such as Alan Munde’s Banjo Sandwich) that I have ever heard. I never imagined at the time that I would be hosting Alan at my home in my lifetime.
Now, as we adjust the clock forty two years later, I had the pleasure of sitting down and picking a couple of tunes with Alan Munde, as well as Elliot Rodgers, one of Alan’s music partners. In addition to the workshop, we had the opportunity to walk our beaches here in Jupiter, Florida and enjoy some of the restaurants in the area. He was a great guest and one of the most humble musicians I have met.
Next, we sat down and I conducted an interview of Alan Munde about his life and the impact he has made on the history of bluegrass music. This idea came to me many years earlier, when I first saw a copy of the Fretboard Journal on the news stand. I contacted Jason Verlinde, the publisher of this high quality quarterly magazine. Jason was very receptive to publishing an article on Alan Munde. He recognized how significant Alan Munde is as a musical icon and as a banjo legend.
It took awhile to get this article published but we finally saw the final product in print with Issue #37. You can order a copy of this magazine by contacting the Fretboard Journal at their website. You may also still be able to find a copy of this magazine at your local Barnes and Noble or other book store in the area in which you live. I highly recommend that you read the article on Alan, as well as subscribe to or order other issues that are available.
Finally, it was a thrill to get a personally signed copy today in the mail, from Alan himself which read “David, Thanks for all of your work – Alan Munde”. In return, I have to say to Alan, thanks for the great memories and thank you for all you have done for the music world.