Hooked on Bluegrass

Mike Fleming

It was a combination of the banjo lick in the movie Deliverance, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s record “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” I heard that music and it took off from there.

I kind of went through the back door. Many people are raised around bluegrass. I was a rock and roller and folk singer, and all of a sudden, I heard the banjo. I found an old Silvertone, and started trying to learn. I picked up an Earl Scruggs five-string banjo book, sat down in my little basement, and stayed up all night practicing with help from my friends.

I went to school with Mike Henderson, the mandolin player with the SteelDrivers. He got a mandolin, and I got a banjo. We played in college, and when we got out of college, we started digging a little deeper and found some of the real roots of bluegrass like Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers.

(posted 2/11/2010)

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