Will Call #60: Tony Trischka annexes the Berkshires into his Territory

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Tony Trischka and Territory final concert of the Barn Music, Summer Series at Hancock Shaker Village.

Tony Trischka (left) will play with his band, Territory, Sean Trischka (right) and Jack Pickerl; photo courtesy the artist.

Tony Trischka (left) will play with his band, Territory, Sean Trischka (right) and Jack Picker; photo courtesy the artist.

 

This is Will Call, #60—I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I thank you for tuning in. This episode is sponsored by Headwater Cider, who believes that cider is best when you grow what you press and press what you grow.

Tony Trischka and Territory

Saturday, August 19, doors—6:00 / show—7:00 p.m.
Final concert of the Barn Music, Summer Series
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic Street
Pittsfield MA, 01201
(413) 443-0188 | (800) 817-1137
Tickets: $20

Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from "Great Big World" and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.

Tony Trischka and Territory will perform songs from Great Big World and more at the Hancock Shaker Village 08/19. Click the image to buy the album via our Amazon affiliate link.

I have to start out by saying that this was originally going to be a Top Left Corner episode. Then the opportunity to have a conversation with Tony Trischka dropped into my lap.

No lover of American Roots music could pass up the opportunity to talk with one of the world’s most renown and emulated banjo players. I’d have to be a fool.

Knowing he’d be busy, I figured on a 10 or 15 minute interview that would fit nicely into the middle of TLC. Then I looked at the clock towards the end of our talk and saw that over three quarters of an hour had passed. When I listened through the audio, I realized there was nothing to cut other than a few stray “ummms.”

My solution? Fire up a new episode of Will Call, keep the whole conversation and play some great music. Tony Trischka and his band, Territory, close out the Barn Music, Summer Series at Hancock Shaker Village this Saturday, August 19, and if you’re still undecided about whether or not to grab one of the precious few remaining tickets, here’s one of my fave tracks from his 2014 release, Great Big World, “Single String Medley.”

Be sure to check out his website to get access to photos, videos, info and more. Ready to start pickin’ and a grinnin’ yourself? Why not take some classes from Tony himself?

Left to right, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and Tony Trischka; photo courtesy the artist.

Left to right, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and Tony Trischka; photo courtesy the artist.

 

About Tony Trischka

 

Trischka, 2012 United States Artists Friends Fellow, is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka’s interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA” in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of America’s premier sports-rock band Country Granola. In 1973, he began a three-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.

On Tony’s latest album Great Big World (Rounder Records – released February, 2014) his instrumental expertise and boundless imagination are as sharp as ever. One of the most ambitious and accomplished of his career, the album is a deeply compelling showcase for his expansive instrumental talents, far-ranging musical interests and distinctive songwriting skills, as well as his sterling taste in collaborators. With contributions from his band Territory, Steve Martin, Michael Daves, Noam Pikelny, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot and many other special guests the 13-track set finds Trischka embracing all manner of possibilities, while keeping one foot firmly planted in the traditional bluegrass roots that first inspired him to make music.

Tony continues to maintain a national and international touring schedule with his band of extraordinary musicians.

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