Twin Banjos is the first album of it's type to be released in over four decades.
Randal Morton and Terry Ferguson began playing banjos together as young
teens in 1960's Memphis, Tennessee. While learning the basics, they both were
to become heavily influenced by a 1968 vinyl LP entitled "The Sensational Twin
Banjos of Eddie Adcock and Don Reno," featuring two harmonizing five-strings
played by two masters of the craft. Today in 2011, this CD issue is their new,
fresh take on the form.
Liner notes include endorsements from three banjo greats, with Eddie Adcock
(The Country Gentlemen) referring to the use of "the influences of the older masters"
and "upbeat banjo stylings." Jack Hicks (Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys) points
to the fact that "when Terry and Randal play twin it's as if it was one banjo," and
adds, "this was really fun to listen to." Grammy Award winner Carl Jackson speaks
of "great renditions of tunes," and tags it with "all of you that listen to this record will
enjoy the talents of these two fine pickers just as much as I have."
Entirely instrumental, with one Randal Morton original, "Green River Road,"
Twin Banjos covers mainly public domain songs of various styles. "Bye Bye Blues,"
and "Limehouse Blues" were early jazz standards. "Red Haired Boy" shows Celtic
as well as Appalachian influences, and "Old Spinning Wheel" is a Bluegrass staple.
There's even a song here with a Memphis connection, "Bully Of The Town."
Completing the core group on these recordings are Brady Howle (Splitwater
Creek, The Sallymacs) on guitar and bass, and Rob Crockett (Good Question)
on drums and percussion. Special guests include Kenny Snow (Splitwater Creek,
Ginger Boatwright) on mandolin and Clint Wagner (Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman)
on fiddle. The album was recorded in Memphis with Rob Crockett producing.
Randal's name is well known in Bluegrass circles, first gaining popularity with his
brother Greg as the Morton Twins, then later having been named National Banjo
Champion in 1975. He has been featured conducting banjo workshops with John
Hartford, Bela Fleck and Bill Keith. Terry has become a well known Memphis
guitarist, performing and recording with some of the finest artists in the region, such
as Reba Russell, Tommy Hoehn, Van Duren, and Graham Perry.
Melodic and harmonic, Twin Banjos is the album Randal Morton and Terry
Ferguson have wanted to make together since they were kids.