Ron Block—a recording artist and the banjo player in Alison Krauss & Union Station—entertains the crowd with acoustic songs performed on banjo and guitar, joined by his childhood friend Eric Uglum, during this August 27, 2017, Musician Spotlight at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He also takes audience questions about his instruments.
The program begins with Block and Uglum both playing guitar and performing traditional folk song “Worried Man Blues.” That’s followed by “The Old Spinning Wheel,” which Block says he learned from Larry Sparks.
Block talks about growing up in California and his teenage infatuation with traditional bluegrass. He later cites albums by Flatt & Scruggs and Jimmy Martin as benchmarks of timing and feel, saying that he wanted his own solo album, “Hogan’s House of Music,” to carry a similar spirit. That 2015 album is named for his father’s music store.
With Block trading back and forth between banjo and guitar, the set list also includes: “John Henry, the Steel Driving Man,” “Battle Cry of Freedom,” a medley of “Mollie Catherine Carter” and “Lonesome Road Blues,” “Whiskey Before Breakfast,” “Old Blue,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “He’s Holding on to Me,” and “Ivy.”
Responding to an audience question, Ron Block contrasts guitar playing and banjo playing, then discusses tuning, tone, and taking lessons. The program ends with a medley of “Brushy Fork at John’s Creek” and “Clinch Mountain Backstep.”
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