In May, 1987 renowned clawhammer banjo and fingerstyle guitar player Ken Perlman landed in Manchester ready to embark on his first tour of the U.K. Ken's first couple of performances -- in the nearby cities of Macclesfield and Northwich -- were taped, and excerpts were later released as a cassette by Halshaw Music Company. This CD contains digitally re-mastered versions of all the tunes from the original cassette, plus a few previously unreleased selections. Most of the banjo solos have also been enhanced by the addition of expert flatpick-guitar accompaniment by John Rossbach.
(All selections not otherwise noted are banjo instrumentals.)
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Looked at in context, Live in the UK represents what amounts to a "middle period" of my musical path. My first LP (Clawhammer Banjo & Fingerstyle Guitar Solos on Folkways Records) was pretty much an outgrowth of my fascination with Irish Music, and my later CDs (Devil in the Kitchen on the Marimac label and Island Boy on the Wizmak label) resulted from a deep involvement with the music of Scotland, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. When Live in the UK was made, on the other hand, my interests lay in expanding the boundaries of clawhammer and dragging out of the style every last lick it was capable of. Part of this involved creating a method to play complex breaks and "variations." Another aspect was composing tunes specifically for "melodic" clawhammer that made use of the style's unique potentialities. Because it was the only commercial recording that was made during this "middle" period of my playing, I decided to breathe new life into it by using some modern recording-studio sleight of hand. The original recordings were played into a multi-track digital tape recorder, and enhanced by the sound engineer. Then I asked guitarist John Rossbach of Syracuse, New York -- a very highly talented bluegrass and "old-time" player -- to "overdub" accompaniment on most of the solo banjo tracks. This helped smooth out many of the recording-imperfections from the original cassette. Hope you enjoy the result!
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