Blaine Johnson - The Old Crow Road


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This is the third solo CD for this 13 year old banjo picker from Beaver, W.Va. He sounds as if he’s been playing for years. And, he has—four years as a matter of fact. He has a good grasp of Scruggs-style banjo and the melodic-style and he aptly demonstrates it on a dozen standard bluegrass instrumentals. His touch is remarkable as he plays with a sureness that belies his age. His teacher, Brandon Green, plays most of the rhythm instruments, some mandolin, and reso guitar. Daniel Boner plays fiddle, and Alex Hibbitts plays some mighty fine mandolin on the tracks Green doesn’t play.

On “Wayfaring Stranger,” Johnson plays fingerstyle guitar. Otherwise, he tears up the banjo parts, adding a little something of his own to pieces by famous forbearer Earl Scruggs— “Randy Lynn Rag,” “Nashville Skyline Rag,” and “Ground Speed.”

The picking throughout this project is accomplished and makes for good listening. The recording quality is good enough, although overall, the final mix lacks real representation of the lead instruments. This is a worthy project by a promising young talent that we no doubt will hear much more from in the future. (Blaine Johnson, P.O. Box 732, Beaver, WV 25813, RCB