Russ Barenberg: Celtic Departure

When we last looked at a video featuring Russ Barenberg (“St. Anne’s Reel”), the statement was made that his flatpicking style utilized the fingers of his right hand to add body and richness to the standard bluegrass style.  While not a unique approach, as pickers like Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs, among others, have performed songs with this approach, Russ is particularly good at it.
This video, part of the same Transatlantic Sessions that also produced “St. Anne’s Reel”, shows the style in greater close-up.  It also features the same band as “St. Anne’s Reel” – Russ on guitar, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Tod Parks on bass, Aly Bain on fiddle – but also adds Phil Cunningham on piano accordion.
This is a haunting rendition of “The Drummers of England”, a song mostly associated with Uillean pipes or highland bagpipes.

By Jim Weaver

 

 

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