New Banjo Tune: Heavy Pedal

For all you banjo fans out there, I wrote a new bluegrass banjo instrumental called “Heavy Pedal” for The High 48s’ new album Daddy Was a Bank Robber.

It’s in the Key of D (for Driving) and was inspired by my love of the powerful string bends and slides of the pedal steel guitar. This one goes up to 11– have a listen and let me know what you think!

Also, here is a little behind-the-scenes footage of me working out the 2nd break before going into the studio:

Naughty Gnome: How Not to Name a Banjo Tune

Naughty Gnome - A banjo original by Anthony Ihrig

The Dangers of Crowdsourcing Song Titles

Naughty Gnome is older banjo original that I wrote on my honeymoon (I married a good one) and recorded with Free Range Pickin’ on our Flight Risk release in 2008. In many ways it was a study in picking in Bm, in particular, exploring ways to use the D melodic scale in this key (relative major/minor). While I’m still proud of this tune, I kind of wish I would have spent a little more time on the name 🙂

In the months preceding the recording I had asked audience members at shows to help me choose a title. It was a fun process, people would shout out titles and some wrote suggestions down and handed them to me after the show. In retrospect, I feel I should have picked a name myself (mine or a suggestion) that actually fit the feeling of the song. Instead, I took a vote. While the title seemed “funny” at the time I always thought it was too whimsical for the minor mood of the song…

Here is a recent video of me playing the song solo, what do you think of the name, does it fit the tune?

Original Version w/ Free Range Pickin’

Live at the Cedar Cultural Center in 2007