Banjo Jack
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Banjo Jack

Band Rock Folk

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Banjo Jack with their electic bass, drum kit and banjo instrumentation has found a unique and excellent sound. This combined with great vocals and good tight song writing makes for a great live show and a bunch of excellent live recordings. Studio efforts are apparently in the works. The banjo has an interesting range of sounds from low and twangy to a high sound almost like a piano and banjo players in old-time and bluegrass music have explored these possibilities for years. Fusion players such as Bela Fleck have taken bluegrass techniques and adapted them to other styles and musical contexts, but no one to my knowledge has placed the banjo in the same context as in Banjo Jack, and made it work so well. Andrew really seems to have developed a way to use the banjo's sounds and techniques to great effect in their style of music which blends blues, soul, country and rock into something they can really work with. Eben, originally a guitarist has become and excellent bass player in the process of making this group and Lou keeps it funky on the drums. Keep playing guys, you sound great! - The Down Home Radio Show


Discography

-Rants and Raves (Demo)
-We are poised to record our first LP in Boston this fall.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

There's no shortage of rock bands carving out a niche with unconventional lineups these days, but by substituting banjo for the guitar and pushing the limits of the instrument's versatility, Banjo Jack seamlessly bridges the gap from traditional to modern. With a completely unique ensemble and sound all their own, they have emerged as an unlikely player in the NYC roots revival scene. Andrew Green plays the banjo in variety of ways, from traditional bluegrass picking, to fevered strumming, to a not quite identifiable bluesy experimental style. Eben Pariser's steadfast thunking bass, rocket fueled by Louis Abramson's hyper-aggressive percussion, round out the group, which can sound like a traditional American roots band one minute, and a full fledged electric rock band the next.

In an age when good old fashioned tunes are hard to come by, Banjo Jack stands apart by writing sophisticated music and lyrics with delicate harmonies and impressive arrangement. All the while, the banjo roots the sound deeply in the traditional American vernacular no matter where the bands' experiments may lead. Green's songwriting shines brightly on numbers like "Man on The Moon" a beautiful and rich waltz-ballad self described as, "a blues fairy-tale about a no-good philanderin' woman." He also proves he knows his way around a country burner in, "Simple Man," which hauls ass like a drunken midnight ride on a diesel tractor, fooling anyone who doesn't already know he's a Queens native. Pariser's voice shimmers on "No Way In," with the syncopated vocals capturing the essence of a soulful New Orleans brass band. This is contrasted with the mournful "Black and Gold," which has such a traditional lonesome sound that people are often surprised to find that it is an original tune. Abramson, a highly polished heavy metal drummer by trade, puts his unique stamp on each of these numbers and consistently approaches them in ways that surprise and intrigue even the band's own members. His powerful attack combined with his clever rhythmic embellishments truly set the band apart.

Started in the spring of 2006 with a debut performance at the now defunct Continental rock club, Banjo Jack has gained considerable momentum over the course of the last year, playing such NYC venues as Hank's Saloon, Kenny's Castaways, Banjo Jim's (no relation), The Baggot Inn, and The Cutting Room. The recent addition of Jon Light (notorious for his pedal steel accompaniment to Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers) has taken the bands' sound to a new level. Lending a refined touch and an element of virtuosity, he glides on top of the music playing delicate leads and funky rhythmic fills in just the right spots. The band is poised to record their first full length album, which will surely capture the same energy and innovation that has already earned them a steady following.

Band influences include: The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Reverend Gary Davis, Dirty Dozen, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Taj Mahal, John Hartford, Nina Simone, James Brown, Radiohead, Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Police