Play it Like Earl…

Just about every aspiring banjo player starts off wanting to sound like Earl Scruggs. While Earl didn’t invent playing the banjo with three fingers, he certainly was the one that perfected it and brought it to popularity.

Earl was right there next to Bill Monroe when Bill was becoming the father of bluegrass. Then Earl was right there next to Lester Flatt when bluegrass invaded our living rooms and movie theaters.

In 1969, after 20 very successful years, Flatt and Scrugs decided to part. Flatt wanted to stick to traditional music, and Earl wanted to keep branching out.

In 1969 he formed the Earl Scrugs Revue with his three sons and continued to branch out and expand “banjo music” until his bad back forced him off the road in 1982.

Here’s a snippet from their appearance on Austin City Limits

So while it’s fun to “play it like Earl”, it’s also fun to remember Earl always liked to find new ways to play it.

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