From Old Time to Bluegrass
This intimate look at Ralph Stanley's pioneering banjo style begins with the first tunes he learned from his mother in the old-time clawhammer technique, and progresses through the three-finger bluegrass picking he helped make famous.
Included are both detailed instruction and full-band performances of some of the most beloved Stanley Brothers tunes: Little Maggie, Hard Times, Dickenson County Breakdown, Little Birdie, Clinch Mountain Backstep, Train 45, and more.
Produced by Smithsonian/Folkways and Homespun Video
"Until someone can get Earl Scruggs to do an instruction video, (this video) will have to suffice. And anyone who loved Homespun's Bill Monroe videos which, like this one, had much to interest non-picking bluegrassers, will want this one too. . . . Stanley doesn't just demonstrate: He breaks it down and explains how he plays each tune. . . Just as interesting are his discussions of his early musical influences, including his five-string "Stanleytone" banjo and some of the tricks he uses to create his distinctive picking style." -- Country Music Magazine
". . . More than any other bluegrass performer, Ralph Stanley has preserved the original elements of traditional "mountain" music which were at the heart of his early sound. Old-time music fans and pickers will be pleased with the emphasis given here to Ralph's clawhammer banjo picking . . . Highly recommended for all Ralph Stanley fans and disciples, as well as anyone who would like to learn more about the traditional roots of bluegrass music." -- Old-Time Herald