Duo explains 'Secret Life of Banjos'

March 20, 2007 11:00 pm
Jody Stecher, left, and Bill Evans perform "The Seceret Life of Banjos" Saturday at Pistol River. (Photo courtesy of Pistol River Concert Association).
Jody Stecher, left, and Bill Evans perform "The Seceret Life of Banjos" Saturday at Pistol River. (Photo courtesy of Pistol River Concert Association).

Triplicate staff

Two masters of the five-string banjo will perform in concert at Pistol River Friendship Hall on Saturday.

Jody Stecher's and Bill Evans' show "The Secret Life of Banjos" is a program of interactive banjolity never heard before on any world stage, said Linda Elfman, president of the Pistol River Concert Association, the concert's sponsor.

Stecher and Evans bring a shared, passionate, lifelong involvement and fascination with the banjo to a concert that explores and celebrates the diversity, excitement, charm and history of one of America's most celebrated but misunderstood instruments, Evans said.

Concert highlights include solos and duets, original pieces, chestnuts and rarities, 19th century minstrel and classic banjo, bluegrass, rags, blues and old-time playing, all performed on a vast array of fretted and fretless banjos with open backs and resonators, strung with strings of steel, nylon and gut and bearing names such as Gibson, Bacon, Cole and Vega.

Stecher has been playing the five-string banjo for 47 years. His music exemplifies the open door between tradition and creative personal expression. He is a renowned singer and multi-instrumentalist whose music has been a significant influence on several generations of musicians on several continents.He has performed as a solo, in duet with wife, Kate Brislin, and in the bluegrass band Perfect Strangers.

Evans began playing banjo in middle school after seeing Roy Clark play the banjo on "Hee Haw" and thinking to himself, "I could do that." He has spent the last 35 years applying what he's learned one-on-one from such masters as Sonny Osborne, J.D. Crowe, Bill Keith and Tony Trischka into a personal fusion of old and new approaches. Bill has performed all over the world with such musicians as David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Laurie Lewis, and Tony Trischka,

In the hands of the masters, you'll discover a new found respect for this most American of instruments, Elfman said.

Oh, and did you hear the one about the banjo player and the stripper? Yes, banjo jokes will abound.