|WELCOME TO BANJOY.COM!|
| Hello to all of you from Bob and Kristie Black, and welcome to our website! Thanks for visiting, and we hope you come back often. We will be regularly updating the various pages to keep you informed about what’s going on in our musical life. We’ll be changing the photos in the scrapbook from time to time, and we'll be making frequent new additions to our GREEN VALLEY RECORDS catalog as well. See you down the road! Your friends in music, Bob & Kristie Black.|
|BOB'S BOOK: 'COME HITHER TO GO YONDER' - Now Available!|
|Bob Black's newly-published book, "Come Hither to Go Yonder: Playing Bluegrass with Bill Monroe," has already been receiving great reviews! Published by University of Illinois Press, "Come Hither" may be purchased online at http://www.press.uillinois.edu/s05/black.html or at Bob's live performances.
A loving tribute to Bob's musical hero, "Come Hither to Go Yonder" recounts many of Bob's most unforgettable moments while touring and performing with the Father of Bluegrass. Also included are 40 rare photographs. Get your copy today! |
|'LADIES ON THE STEAMBOAT" Now Available on CD For the First Time Ever!|
|Bob's premier solo album, "Ladies on the Stamboat," is out once again--with five additional tracks! Originally recorded in 1979, the CD now features A FULL HOUR of music with Norman Blake, Alan O'Bryant, Buck White, James Bryan, Alan Murphy, John Purk, and many others. Now Bob can also be heard in live concert with BILL MONROE and The Blue Grass Boys! Five extra tracks have been added which were recorded at a 1974 concert in Osaka, Japan. Available from Green Valley Records (Check out "Store" page), this CD mau also be purchased at Bob's live performances.|
|NEW CD! |
| BOB BLACK and his band, PERFECT STRANGERS, have completed an exciting new album of bluegrass and original songs. To be released in March, 2003, the album features the "Big and Lonesome" sound of Bob Black, Jody Stecher, Forrest Rose, Chris Brashear, and Peter McLaughlin. Don't miss it! (Rebel: REB-CD-1793) |
| Bob and Kristie are pleased and proud of their brand new long-awaited CD, IOWA SONGSCAPE. A reaffirmation of Bob and Kristie's pride in their beautiful home state, IOWA SONGSCAPE features all original songs and tunes about Iowa, which is a great place--full of interesting people with unique stories, gifts, talents, and ideas. There are lots of wonderful musicians in Iowa too, and many are featured in IOWA SONGSCAPE, including Alan and Aleta Murphy, John Purk, Dave Moore, and Mark Wilson. Also featured are the fiddle talents of Minnesotan Tom Schaefer, with whom Bob performs and records in the group "Cagley, Black, Schaefer, and Njoes."
Jim Musser, reviewer for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, had this to say about IOWA SONGSCAPE: "Dedicated to Iowa and its people, 'Iowa Songscape' showcases the Blacks' enviable knack for crafting elegant tunes and evocative, goosebump-raising storytelling."
|BOB AND KRISTIE FEATURED ON "LIVING IN IOWA" |
| Bob and Kristie Black will be featured on Iowa Public Television's "LIVING IN IOWA," a program which presents stories about Iowa residents. Produced by Marlon Schram, the segment will include interviews of the Blacks as well as performances of many of their original songs. Broadcast date is Thursday, March 28, 2003, at 8:00 PM. The program will be rebroadcast on Friday, March 29, 2003, at 8:30 PM, and Tuesday, April 2, 2003, at 6:30 PM. |
|BOB BLACK WRITES ARTICLE FOR "BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED" |
|The April and May 2002 issues of bluegrass music's premiere magazine, "Bluegrass Unlimited," will feature a 2-part article written by Bob Black about his experiences working for Bill Monroe in the mid-1970's. Bob's most often asked question is: "What was it like working for Bill Monroe?" This article answers that question by presenting Bob's memories of that period, including descriptions of the audition, recording sessions, Grand Ole Opry performances, trips overseas, and much more. Many amusing and insightful stories are included. For those of you who wish to know more about the personality of "The Father of Bluegrass," this article will be a must-read! |
|BOB BLACK RECEIVES ARTS AWARDS|
| Bob was a recipient of the 2002 Traditional Arts Award presented by the Iowa Arts Council Board of Directors to recognize exemplary individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities that have made outstanding contributions to the arts in Iowa. In addition, Bob was named the final winner of the Arts Build Communities Traditional Arts Award.
The awards were presented at a gala concert celebrating the arts and artists of Iowa on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. The state's Governor and First Lady, Tom and Christie Vilsack, were present to congratulate the winners. Christie Vilsack handed out the awards and Tom Vilsack spoke a few words to commemorate the occasion.
Bob and Kristie met and visited with the Governor and First Lady at the conclusion of the program. After shaking hands, the Governor told Bob: "We're glad to have you living here in the state of Iowa."|
|BOB AND KRISTIE PERFORM AT THE STATEHOUSE|
| Bob and Kristie Black were selected to perform in the legislative chambers of the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines as a part of Cultural Advocacy Week Thursday, February 21, 2002. State representatives enjoyed a program of Bob and Kristie's brand of "Midwestern Roots" music. In addition to original compositions inspired by Iowa heritage, Bob performed "The Star Spangled Banner" as a solo banjo instrumental. Afterwards, many of the representatives expressed their warm wishes and support.|
|BOB AND KRISTIE TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA|
| October, 2001: Bob and Kristie, at the invitation of the Australian Old-Time and Bluegrass Music Society, flew to Australia for a 10-day visit which included performances and workshops at the 13th annual Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention. They stayed with Nick and Janet Dear and their sons Lachlan and Oliver at their bed and breakfast home near Melbourne. The Dears are bluegrass musicians, and Nick and Lachlan belong to a band named "Hardrive." Their home is located near a scenic area called the Wombat State Forest. At the Harrietville festival Bob and Kristie were joined on two of their shows by able bassist Bruce Packard and mandolinist extraordinaire Steve Gilchrist, maker of the fine Gilchrist mandolins which are favorites of bluegrass players the world over. After the festival was over, Bob and Kristie travelled to Port Campbell, on the southern coast, for a visit to the home and workshop of Steve Gilchrist. Accompanying them on that trip were the Dears and Rod and Judy Jones, musicians active in the Australian Old-Time and Bluegrass Music Society. A jam session which lasted until 4:00 AM ended with a radio interview by the Australian Broadcasting Company. The next day a tour was conducted of several of the local scenic coastal spots, including the "12 Apostles," a set of rock formations in the Southern Ocean, just offshore. |
|FRIENDS IN MUSIC ----Now Available!|
| Cagley, Black, Schaefer, and Njoes are excited about the recent release of their brand new CD, FRIENDS IN MUSIC. Just out on the Copper Creek label (CCCD-0210), FRIENDS IN MUSIC features more of the great traditional-type instrumentals heard in the group's well-received 1992 recording, HOT PICKIN' AND COOL TUNES. Both recordings are available through this website. In addition to the 5-string banjo, Bob plays a 5-string dobro on 3 of the tunes on FRIENDS IN MUSIC, one of which is his own original, "Chickadee Waltz". This beautiful-sounding instrument was built by Roger Anderson of Marengo, Iowa, and Bob used it on the recent Greg Brown recording of "Beyond the Sunset" ("Over and Under"--Trailer Records #20). Another one of Bob's original tunes is showcased on FRIENDS IN MUSIC: "Conesville Swamp", played beautifully as a fiddle tune by Tom Schaefer, with banjo and guitar solos, of course!|
|BOB RECEIVES GIFT OF ALL-AUSTRALIAN BANJO|
| While in Australia recently, Bob received a gift of a beautiful new banjo from stringed musical instrument maker Roger Buckmaster of Balwyn, near Melbourne. The banjo, called the "All-Australian," features a marquetry inlaid map of the Australian Continent on the back of the resonator--with aboriginal spears and boomerangs. The neck is hand carved with Australian flowering gum branches and intertwined with wattle branches. All the metal parts are gold-plated, and the ebony fingerboard is graced with hand cut solid pearl block inlays which are hand engraved with a map of each Australian state or territory along with famous landmarks. The ebony peg head is inlaid with a map of Australia and the pearl truss rod cover is ornamented with the Southern Cross. At the back of the peg head is the Australian Parliament building in pearl. It's an exquisite banjo and it sounds as wonderful as it looks! Buckmaster's craftsmanship is enviable, and the instrument will always be a treasured memento of Bob and Kristie's trip Down Under!|
|"OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU" CAST MEMBERS ON BOB BLACK RECORDING|
|Many of the cast members of the movie "OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU" are featured on Bob Black's first solo recording, "LADIES ON THE STEAMBOAT". Long considered by many to be an instrumental classic, this album is currently available on cassette (see the "STORE" page of this website), and will soon be re-released on CD. It features much of the same appalachian-flavored music which is presented in the movie, now playing in
theaters everywhere. The instrumental talents of guitar legend NORMAN BLAKE, mandolin player BUCK WHITE, and bassist CHERYL WHITE (of THE WHITES) are all included in "LADIES ON THE STEAMBOAT". These performers are featured in the movie "OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?" Other famous instrumentalists heard on "LADIES ON THE STEAMBOAT" include banjo player ALAN O'BRYANT (of THE NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND), fiddlers KENNY BAKER, BLAINE SPROUSE, and JAMES BRYAN, bassist TERRY SMITH (of THE OSBORNE BROTHERS), and others. Watch for the re-release on CD, to be announced on this website! |
|"BANJOY" Named #6 Bluegrass Album of the Year|
|Bob's recent solo recording of originals, "Banjoy", was recently named #6 bluegrass album of the year by the Chicago Tribune. This puts him in the top ten with such high-profile musicians as Dan Tyminski, Alison Brown, and Scott Vestal. "Banjoy" is definitely making its mark in the world of bluegrass! |
|Perfect Strangers' West Coast Tour a Success|
|Bob's west coast tour with Perfect Strangers was a success by anyone's definition! Every show was well-attended and the audiences were great. Perfect Strangers' combination of original material and traditional presentation struck a responsive chord in everybody. Watch for more appearances by this fast-rising bluegrass group, including more California appearances in July. A recording is also planned very soon! |
|IBMA Showcases by Perfect Strangers: Audience Favorites |
|Bob showcased in Oct. at the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) in Louisville, Ky. with Perfect Strangers, a band consisting of Forrest Rose on bass, Chris Brashear on fiddle and guitar, Peter McLaughlin on guitar, Jody Stecher on mandolin, and Bob Black on banjo. The showcases were a big hit with fans and promoters alike, and many people said Perfect Strangers were their favorite of all the showcase groups. Several festival presenters expressed their interest in hiring the group for their festivals, so look for this band during the 2001 festival season!|
|We appreciate any of your comments or suggestions concerning our website, or anything else, for that matter! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Or you can drop us a letter at 10693 338th Ave, North English, Iowa, 52316.|
|Thanks again for visiting our website! We look forward to seeing you back here again soon.
Your Friends in Music,
Bob and Kristie Black