Woody Simmons | BanjoRama

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Woody Simmons

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United States - California - SF

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Country: Alt-Country New Age: New Age Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Woody Simmons

BanjoRAMA ranges from an east Indian influence to a fully orchestrated and introspective feel, to a light bluegrass touch. It truly is an eclectic collection and deserves an uninterrupted listening experience to get the full impact and depth of the music.
Genre: Country: Alt-Country
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Raga Rama
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6:51 $0.99
2. Banjo Raga
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3:16 $0.99
3. Firefly
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4:48 $0.99
4. Ashtavakra's Tune
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3:22 $0.99
5. Door To the Infinite
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5:29 $0.99
6. Cowboy Raga
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4:46 $0.99
7. Sally Walks the Dog
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5:28 $0.99
8. Suite For Wings
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5:09 $0.99
9. Trolley Car
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1:57 $0.99
10. Run Johnny (Bonus)
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2:24 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Woody Simmons, best known for her unique banjo style, began her career writing and singing radio commercials just before meeting Margie Adam , Meg Christian and Cris Williamson in 1973. Woody first appeared on Olivia Records playing banjo on Cris Williamson's Changer and the Changed (Olivia 1975) and subsequently toured the west coast with Ms. Williamson's band, playing guitar, banjo, and piano.

Her brilliant musicianship was evident from the beginning with her first album released in 1977. She didnt just put herself out there as a singer-songwriter -- she also made a point to put instrumentals on her albums. In fact all her songs, reveal her talents as a multi-instrumentalist as well as composer.

The new material on BanjoRama shows how she has grown as a musician. The originality of melody highlights the banjo as a solo instrument, and the orchestration surrounding it helps tell the story of each song. The listener is transported as if in an aural trance.

Simmons' style, she calls 'easy listening banjo' music, was hailed in Frets magazine in 1988 (July issue). Her album Oregon Mountains (1977) was singled out by Frets as "one of 12 landmark banjo albums of the century".


to write a review

Wendy Taylor

This has been my traveling music for 30 yrs. and now to have the whole meal instead of a tasty bite is a miracle on cd. Thanks, see you at the Brava theater with great joy. You are my hero ever so long ago when I was out and loving music and dance. Now we get to see you.What a woman!

Jeri Jones

Take the banjo out of the banjo - try some innovative and "out there" cool stuff with it! Woody Simmons challenges the norm on this instrument and takes it to many different levels in such a listenable and artful way.

Lee Anzaldi

Woody Simmons you have struck a banjo cord in my heart...I'm a fly fisherman and love your style of music...I think anyone who enjoys banjo music will not be disappointed with your CD...I heard Banjo Raga as the background music to a Fly Fishing DVD, and fell in love with it...to my surprise the rest of the CD was equally awesome...Firefly in particular is a masterful creation... a musical work of art.
Thanks Woody :)

Eric Paul

The Banjo as Talisman
Forget what preconceptions you may have regarding the banjo and the ‘usual’ place it may occupy in an ensemble, which for many would mean Bluegrass. Woody Simmons banjoRAMA breaks with convention, yet at the same time remains true to tradition. Simmons referred to this unique recording as “easy listening banjo music”. I beg to differ. Sure, there is the hauntingly melodious Door to the Infinite, and the lilting Sally Walks the Dog, but there is also the tactile work over of Suite for Wings, Cowboy Raga’s slow churn to burn, and the exhilarating Firefly, which builds to a mind smacking climax.

Playing an open back banjo of some age, Woody coaxes a wondrous array of voices from her instrument. Using a mixture of clawhammer or frailing, with fingerpicking, she paints pictures of the past, yet at the same time firmly rooted in the present. What makes this all the more striking to me is the arc of time of the recordings; from 1977 to 2001. Being aware of the time frame, at times I felt as though I was experiencing pages from a creative journal.

The choice of instrumentation frames Woody’s beautiful arrangements; tabla, tamboura, synthesizer, saxophone, and guitar, add the “outer layer” allowing her to fly. At once organic and ethereal, banjoRAMA is a testament to the quality of music making from the spirit. Make no mistake; this is life affirming music, both joyous and contemplative.

Here is music for the head and body, aurally rich, meditative, both sinuous and sensual, the call of Woody’s banjo ranging from plaintive to a bark from the heart.

Whether you like old timey music, new acoustic, or new age (though banjoRAMA, in my opinion, is miles away from that genre), you will find a treasure in Woody Simmons banjoRAMA, don’t even hesitate.