The Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast in written form.
Masters of the Five String Banjo was a foundational work that has brought banjo fans all over the world closer to the banjo players who built the music we listen to today. Similarly, Keith Billik’s Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast has become a beloved way for banjo players and fans to gain insight into, and feel closer to, the banjo players who are creating the future of the music we all love. The podcast provides a wonderful medium to capture and hear the true voice of these amazing musicians that just couldn’t be done in text or in a book.
The Banjo Book will complement the podcast with the transcribed interviews so listeners can quickly and easily reference and search through the wisdom the podcast continues to capture.
Part of what makes Masters of the Five String Banjo so special to me is the physical nature of the book. It’s always on my bedside for when I want to pick it up and read, I can bring it to camps and festivals, and I can collect the autographs of some of my favorite players. Ultimately I hope to bring The Banjo Book to this physical form by periodically creating collections of Keith’s interviews and publishing them as printed volumes.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I participated in every ensemble my schools offered, and I played and taught drums through college and into the early years of my career in IT. But soon after finishing school I found myself living in the city with room-mates. Practicing the drums, or even just having the space to have them, became pretty impractical. Drums, and therefore music, started fading out of my life. Then, in 2006 I was watching Family Guy with my roommates when a scene came on with Stewie playing the banjo on a porch - and it changed my life!
I had always loved the sound of the banjo and blue-grass music, and when I saw that scene I said to myself “I have a job, I have some money – I’m going to go buy a banjo.” I’ve been playing on and off ever since.
Ten years later I heard the Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast for the first time and am thrilled that Keith is supportive in helping me move this passion project forward.