Jens Kruger is a banjo player’s banjo player, needless to say. In fact, he is everybody’s banjo player, since even people who don’t like the banjo like it when Jens plays it. You don’t get bored when you listen to Jens, and also your ears don’t bleed the way they do listening to some of the rest of us hammering away. All Kruger Brothers CD’s are great and I would recommend buying them all, as I have done over the years.
On this one, Up 18 North, the 8th cut is Dusty Trail. This is a banjo tune in classic “D” tuning (“D” tuning is a must learn tuning for banjo players - more on that in a future post), and you’ll hear Earl doing Reuben and John Henry, among others, in this tuning. Jens also uses the Keith tuners in this tune. You’ll hear Earl using these (well, Scruggs tuners) in Flint Hill Special and Earl’s Breakdown. But what makes this tune a breath of fresh air is that it is actually musical, i.e., it doesn’t fall into the “Q: How do you tell one banjo tune from another? A: By its name” category. The MIDI posted here is just reading the tab, and it doesn’t sound as nice as the tune really sounds (the tuners come up a little flat in the MIDI, among other limitations - they’ll come up flat in real life too, btw, if you don’t keep your nut and bridge lubed with a little graphite or Nut Lube ... wait, that can’t be the name of it ... no, it’s GraphitALL), but you get the idea. Listen to it on the CD and you will find it impossible to resist learning and playing this beautiful banjo tune. With just a banjo in hand, people will mistake you for a musician when you play this thing. Read More