Often circular in shape, the banjo is one of the uniquely shaped guitar-looking instruments in the market today. Because of its distinct upbeat sound, the banjo is often associated with country music and jazz.
This string instrument is not exclusive to this type of genre. Sometimes, the banjo can also produce different types of music, most especially if it is in the hands of a legend.
Mr. Bela Anton Leos Fleck is considered as one of the greatest banjo players in the world. He was born on July 10, 1958, and is of American descent. He has two bands namely New Grass Revival and Bela and the Flecktones, the latter being an obvious offshoot of his name.
He has shown exemplary achievement throughout his career, evident in the many awards that he’s received. Fleck even got to play alongside the Dave Matthews Band, letting banjo crossover from country to alternative rock!
He has a total of 30 Grammy nominations for his tracks, 16 of which he won. What’s even more spectacular is the fact that he is the most Grammy-nominated instrumentalist of all time!
Throughout his career, Fleck has released more than 30 albums already. During an interview, he was asked which albums or tracks he considered as career highlights. Let’s discuss two of these albums here.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Album
The first will always be the most memorable, at least in terms of a music album. Produced in 1990, Fleck considers this self-titled album as one of the most remarkable because it introduced him and his band to the world.
He singles out a particular track from the album called “The Sinister Minister”. The song is loaded with harmonica sounds and it had a different funky beat but it surprisingly went well with the banjo sounds.
Throwdown Your Heart, Tales from The Acoustic Planet Album
He regards this album as particularly special because every track has a different flavor. The different sounds used in the whole album came from collaborations with different African countries such as Uganda, Mali and Tanzania. The album is heavy with the sounds of African drums.
The album was produced in 2009, and the album inspired the creation of a movie with the same name. The album and the movie are actually a documentary of sorts because these are documentations of his search for the origins of the underrated banjo.
Truly, there are more music options apart from the famous guitar. Music lovers just have to explore more music genres and albums to find new discoveries.
Mr. Bela Fleck definitely proved that the banjo could produce a lot of different music offerings even if it’s not really a mainstream instrument. Fleck is really a legend in his own right. His albums are quite nice treats for the music lover’s ears.
If you’re still not into banjo music yet, why don’t you try listening to one of his many albums today?