• Banjo: An Illustrated History by Bob Carlin

    Montclair, N.J. — Hal Leonard has announced the upcoming release this summer of Banjo: An Illustrated History from their Backbeat publications.

    The book, written by acclaimed banjoist, author, and broadcaster Bob Carlin, offers the first comprehensive, illustrated history of the banjo in its many forms. He traces the story of the instrument from its roots in West Africa to its "birth" in the Americas, and from its coming of age in the Industrial Revolution to its renaissance in the hands of today's craftsmen.

    It features 100 milestone instruments with in-depth coverage, including model details and beautiful photos.

    As well as spotlighting the instruments themselves and providing information on all the main types and makes of banjos, Banjo: An Illustrated History traces the development of the instrument as an artifact and symbol and explores its place in popular and folk culture.

    A special feature in each chapter focuses on a particularly fascinating aspect of the banjo's unique story – from its key role in pre-Civil War minstrel shows to its place in Victorian parlors and country string bands, and from the "folk revival" of the 1950s and 1960s to its appearance on the big and small screen in such productions as Deliverance and The Beverly Hillbillies.

    Banjo: An Illustrated History also profiles those who have breathed new life into the banjo, including Béla Fleck, Tony Trischka (who contributed the book's foreword), Bill Keith, John Hartford, and Steve Martin, as well as the pop phenomena of Taylor Swift and Mumford and Sons. Carlin also showcases the incredible craft and skills of today's luthiers, who are devoted to creating the best sound while assuring the banjo remains not only an instrument, but also a work of art.

    The book will be released on June 7, 2016, and is available for pre-order now at the links below.

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