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About the video
Tony Trischka plays Blue Skies Pete Seeger Style
About the artist
The avant-garde banjo sylings of Tony Trischka inspired a whole generation of
progressive bluegrass musicians; he was not only considered among the very
best pickers, he was also one of the instrument's top teachers, and created
numerous instructional books, teaching video tapes and cassettes.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka's interest in banjo was sparked by the
Kingston Trio's "Charlie and the MTA" in 1963. Two years later, he joined the
Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka
made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country
Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of Country Granola. In 1973,
he began a two-year stint with Breakfast Special.
Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and
Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to
become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom.
Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe
Beginning in 1978, he also played with artists such as Peter Rowan, Richard
Greene, and Stacy Phillips. In the early 1980s, he began recording with his new
group Skyline, which recorded its first album in 1983. Subsequent albums
included Robot Plane Flies over Arkansas (solo, 1983), Stranded in the
Moonlight (with Skyline, 1984) and Hill Country (solo, 1985). In 1984, he
performed in his first feature film, Foxfire.
Three years later, he worked on the soundtrack for Driving Miss Daisy. Trischka
produced the Belgian group Gold Rush's No More Angels in 1988. The following
year, Skyline recorded its final album, Fire of Grace.
He also recorded the theme song for Books on the Air, a popular National Public
Radio Show, and continued his affiliation with the network by appearing on
Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front
Porch, and other radio shows.
Trischka's solo recordings include 1993's World Turning, 1995's Glory Shone
Around: A Christmas Collection and 1999's Bend. New Deal followed in 2003.
The new studio album was a bluesy adaptation of bluegrass standards that
featured, among other things, a vocal cameo by Loudon Wainwright. Double
Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, featuring an appearance by comedian Steve
Martin, came out four years later.~ Sandra Brennan, All Music Guide