Throughout my long carrer, which spans more than 50 years, I have always been pleased to see Canadian born Banlo Artist, KEITH NELSON turn up on a record session, a TV show, a Concert or even a good Pub Gig ! I have never ever greeted him with out a wide beaming smile on his face ! More than 40 years ago, we were both chosen to play on a wonderful BBC TV show fimed at "The Maltings" in Snape, Suffolk ! We went down a storm, playing this lovely old traditional "Hill Billy" tune !
We then had a little break ~ of 30 years, but met a few times each year on sessions ! When I was invited in to play regularly with the BBC Concert Orchestra, mainly on the longest running musical Radio Show in the World, "Friday Night is Music Night" by legendary BBC Radio Producer Alan Boyd ~ one week I was tacet (nothing to play) !
As I sat in the auditorium, listening to our 30 year old recording on my head phones, which we had made at Snape, 30 years before, Alan being a very friendly guy, came and sat next to me and asked me if he could listen ! I handed him the set and within a minute, he told me in his pleasant Scottish brogue "I'm sorry Martin ~ but we've gotta have that ~ we've just got to have that ~ 3 weeks time then" ? I nodded affirmative and I invited Keith to come up from his home in Axminster, Devon, where he lives in a hilltop farmhouse, the next day after the BBC phoned in the date at "The Hippodrome Theatre" in Golders Green, North London, where a few weeks later, the heavy encrusted ceiling cam down ~ you see I told you we brought the house down, didn't I ? Luckily the clock on the wall stopped at 6.12 AM, or about 35 of the string section would have been killed ~ and no funny comments please !
Again we blew them all away in fantastic form, along with "Foggy Mountain Break down" ! I then decided that me must record it before we got too old and our fingers refused to play it ~ and so we did record it a while ago ! I have never in my entire career, despite having played guitar on more than 100,000 recorded tracks, including 40 UK NO 1 UK hits and all 122 Muppet Shows at ATV, with the infamous Jack Parnell ATV Orchestra, ever heard such a fluent and dextrous technique, on a musical instrument, as Keith Nelson displays, with such ease on this track ~ and I'm a very fussy guy !
It seems to me, to be such a fitting tribute and opportunity to dedicate this old tune, to all the Athletes, who are competing in these "Once in a Lifetime" UK Olympic Games ! And so at last, here is "Duelling Banjos" in all it's spleandor, depicting the "Cat & Mouse" tactics of two racing cyclists in a Cycledome, as they keep their careful eyes on each other, slowly circling the track, wondering who will break first ~ when they do break, the banjo braks loose but the guitar keeps up with him ~ until the banjo finally pips the acoustic guitar at the post ! Well done Keith ~ and a lap of honour with the invoice book mate please ! MARTIN KERSHAW ~ Guitarist / Composer/ Author/ Boo lover & Ageing Plectrist !